PROVO — In 2017, the centers of disease control and prevention reported 410 deaths in Utah related to firearms.
Just a few weeks ago, two children in Utah accidently shot themselves in the head while playing with guns.
With all these incidents piling up, the Provo Police Department is concerned about keeping kids safe around guns.
Teaching the Community
Last night, the Provo Library hosted a gun safety event taught by Provo police officer, Steven Brough.
“A gun is an incredibly powerful tool,” Brough said, “If you have the capability of owning a gun, you need to be responsible for it.”
Wanting to be responsible was exactly what brought Jessica Whitten to the gun safety event.
Jessica explained that her brother owns guns and they often go shooting with friends, however she was never taught any safety precautions.
Some precautions Brough talked about included never leaving a gun unattended, removing ammunition whenever it’s out of the safe and keeping your finger off the trigger when not shooting.
Another precaution is knowing how to keep guns locked up and out of reach.
Safes are also a great option for keeping guns out of reach. Brough suggests not sharing the key or combination with your kids.
Officer Brough has two young kids at home and believes that it’s extremely important to teach them about gun safety.
“I would always recommend that you start teaching your kids at a young age,” he said.
Teaching them young means explaining what guns are for and what the various components do. It also means teaching them to never touch a gun without an adult’s supervision.
Some other tips included storing guns away from home, setting specific rules about handling firearms and discussing the differences between guns in real life and guns in movies or video games.
Officer Brough said it’s helpful to teach your kids that if they see a gun, they need to stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult.