Talking to Kids About Gun Safety

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SPARKS, NV - After Monday's shooting at Sparks Middle School, parents have been voicing concerns about how to talk to their kids about gun safety and how best to educate them.

KOLO 8 News Now talked with Jay Hawkins of U.S. Firearms Academy and John Daniel Miller of MiScenarios, an indoor digital shooting range focusing on defense in hypothetical dangerous situations.

Here are some tips from Hawkins and Miller:

- Teach gun responsibility at a young age. Use your best judgment in deciding when to inform them that you own a gun.

- As a gun owner, you should learn as much as you can about your firearm. Know how to safely operate it and how to secure it so that kids cannot reach it. ALWAYS be aware of where the gun is pointed. Have your finger off the trigger. Keep the gun unloaded until it is ready to use.

- Have a gun safe, and use your gun lock. Gun safes prices can vary from one hundred dollars to several hundred dollars.

- Talk to kids about how guns are glamorized. Movies and video games have desensitized kids to guns and its possible consequences. Make sure they understand that guns can be dangerous if handled improperly.

- Attend a class about gun safety and how to make the decision on when to use it. Make sure your class is taught by a certified and experienced firearms trainer. Ask about their background in teaching.

- Talk to kids about what to do in certain situations. If kids find an unsecured gun (it could be anywhere; kids can find guns at a friend's house or even in public. Police say suspects can toss their gun aside in a bush or the grass after a crime.), experts say DON'T touch it, tell a responsible adult and leave the area.

For more information or to learn more about gun safety classes and scenario training, go to or Links are below.