Guns and children

I’d also like to point out that MA state law dictates that if the gun is not in your control or not in use, it must be kept in a locked container or equipped with a locking safety device. Even if no unauthorized person gains access to your guns, you can be punished with fines and possible imprisonment, along with being permanently ineligible for an LTC or FID card.

I don’t have kids, but as an uncle I babysit rather frequently. My nephew, and niece are 7 and 5.

When I am at home I have my 38 in a recluse packet holster and the rest locked in my safe with my ammo locked separately. When the kids are over I also lock the room.

I leave the bulk of the firearms training to their father (my brother) but if they have any questions I answer without hesitation. I also have Nerf guns laying around for then to play with and/or demonstrate anything they have learned.

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Divorce is never fun and an ex making false accusations is so hard - especially on the kids.

The one upside, @Kerryman71, is that she set a precedence for false claims. I’m assuming you have that all documented just in case.

Does MA recognize a locked house as a locked container?

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In MA your locked home is not considered a locked container, even if you’re in it. If the police came to my house, even if I called them for something and noticed my gun in another room not secured, I could be prosecuted. It’s actually happened here, under different circumstances.

We’re told the best bet is to carry it or have it within arms reach as “within your control” is vague and open up to interpretation. If not, lock it up. Trigger locks alone are not acceptable either.

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Trigger locks are not acceptable? Do you need to have the cable locks?

Yes. There are other methods of mechanical locks that are ok too. I don’t know exactly what they are, but I’ve been told a trigger lock alone isn’t one of them. I just use the safe.

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@Dawn I’d like to tweak my previous statement. The “no trigger locks” applies to large capacity rifles and shotguns in a vehicle. Those have to be unloaded and in a locked case or other secure container at all times when transporting in a vehicle.

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I use a bedside safe for my carry gun, and home defense handgun. All other guns are locked ins gun cabinet, including my sons youth rifle. It’s right next to my shotgun, to emphasize it is just as dangerous as the bigger guns. My son knows guns aren’t toys. Also, if I’m not feeling well, or might possibly fall asleep, I lock up my carry gun as well. If I’m not awake and alert, I feel I’m not in control as I should be. We also have young toddler age nephews that visit from time to time, so I don’t want any question that one of them might stumble onto a loaded gun.

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I do the same thing when I get home from working overnight if I lay down for a couple hours.

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I own a 2 story home and the only thing upstairs is the master bedroom and a finished attic space which I have turned into a gun room. I’m going to put a keypad lock on it but for now there are child saftey gates at the bottom of stairs. So there is no reason whatsoever for any visitor to go upstairs unless invited to see the gun room. I carry all the time in my home and while I sleep the gun is in a sticky holster between the mattress and box spring just incase the little one wonders in he would have to pick me and the mattress up to get the gun

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I don’t have children, but there are always children running around at every family event, including butchering after a hunt. Guns are kept locked up, but inevitably with the amount of hunting my family does, kids are around guns that aren’t locked up because they are drying off, getting ready to be packed up, or getting ready to be cleaned.

The kids in my family also see what bullets do to living things, and are purposefully shown the damage. My dad put my face up to the exit wound from my uncles .300 weatherby mag on a deer when I was like 6 or 7 and it was driven into my head what guns can do to people. But it was also pounded in my head that like dad’s chainsaw, axe, and all the dangerous equipment on family farms, guns are grown people tools, and if I touch them without an adult, I will get hurt like the buck in the garage.

Maybe it was a bit excessive, but unlike my dad I will utilize a safe when I maybe have a couple little Lahtis running around, but like my dad, those little people will get the same lesson I recieved when myself or any family member shoots a deer. There’s something to be said about a little bit of rural education. Teach them that something innocent dies for their steak, and guns can really hurt you.


Seeing the damage a .300 can do to an animal the size of a deer can definitely leave a lasting impression on a child. A child who sees that damage will hopefully understand the lesson and respect firearms.

(However, ewww! I’m not one for blood and guts. I may try my hand at hunting next year, but I’ll have to get over the ewww factor.)


Well, it leaves a hole about the size of a softball. But if you put the bullet a little further back off the shoulder you don’t lose any shoulder meat and most importantly the lungs cease to exist and the animal dies really fast.

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When hunting game I use the Madagascar Method, two center mass and one to the head. That way I’m always prepared.

Yes always carry
Yes I use a safe for my long guns
No I do not hide the gun

My 14 yo has taken hunter education and knows the purpose of the firearms and the proper use of them. My 8 yo understands that she cannot touch them unless I personally ask her to. Before she brings it to me I unload it so she walks it to me with barrel down and hands it by the grip. The only firearm I have out at all times is my EDC either on me or on top of safe for quick access.

This is heartbreaking. Stumbled across this article and thought I’d share it here. This thread already shares plenty of insight into safe handling of firearms with childern around. I’m posting this as a reminder how quick a tragedy can happen. Our little community here is filled with different experience levels across the board. Whether you’re newer and unfamiliar with different ways to keep your firearm accessible and safe from little hands, or experienced with an attitude that it will never happen to you. Take the time to make sure you are not the reason for an article like this.

I have a 4 year-old boy, so all of my firearms are kept in a safe or in a holster ON MY BODY. Firearms are never left out of the safe or personal control of myself or my wife. That said, I have already been teaching my son about safety with firearms. I have also told him that if he wants to see a gun, all he has to do is ask. We make the firearm SAFE AND CLEAR before he ever actually sees it. Even then, we hold it while he looks it over. A big reason why I feel that bad things happen with kids and guns is not only negligence on an adult’s part, but also the curiosity factor. Kids are tremendously curious, and combine that with complete lack of knowledge, you have a recipe for disaster. My personal belief is that if I can take away the curiosity and provide good safety knowledge, then my son will be much better off than if I tried to keep my guns hidden and secret. With more time, I will teach him how to shoot with a BB gun and so on.


Tragic events happen and every one of them is terrible. I have 6 children, and I spend a great deal of time instructing them on gun safety. They know very clearly to never touch a firearm under any circumstances. Especially a firearm left unattended! I do carry in the home, and I periodically (with magazine removed and double checked for surety) ask if they want to “play” with it. They always say no. This is part of training them. If they find a weapon laying on the ground somewhere, they won’t touch it. We’ve taught them it could have been used in a crime, or it could have malfunctions which may make it unsafe to handle. I believe maturity is a factor, but moreover, proper teaching. One of my children has down syndrome and another is on the autistic spectrum, they can and do learn.
Be safe in training them. Repetition in training on proper handling is key to effective safety in the home with children.
Accidents do happen; we, as responsible gun owners need to be very proactive to do what we can in every way to try and prevent them from happening.


These situations are horrific - the death of a child is never a good thing.

It is sad that the death of a child or children is usually used as a tool for political manipulation.

I really hope that the brother is getting some emotional support so he can recover from this terrible accident.


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