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Children who are generally considered too young to be allowed to handle firearms at all can be taught a different set of rules:
- Don't touch.
- Leave the area.
- Tell an adult.
The purpose of these rules is to prevent children from inadvertently handling firearms. These rules are part of the Eddie Eagle program developed by the National Rifle Association for preschoolers through 6th graders.
Whether programs like Eddie Eagle are effective has not been conclusively determined. Some studies published in peer-reviewed journals have shown that it is very difficult for young children to control their curiosity even when they have been taught not to touch firearms. Gun access is also a major risk factor for youth suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that keeping a gun in the home, especially a handgun increases the risk of injury and death for children and youth in the home. If families do keep a gun in the home, the AAP advises keeping it unloaded and locked up, with the ammunition locked in a separate location, and the keys to the locked boxes hidden.
Polling shows that over half of parents who do not own a gun have never talked with their children age 5-17 about gun safety. The ASK Campaign (Asking Saves Kids) is based on the fact that many families with children have a gun, and almost half these guns are left unlocked or loaded. The ASK Campaign urges parents to ask their friends, neighbors and family members if they have a gun in the home before sending their children over to play.
- 4H Shooting Sports Programs
- Boy Scouts of America
- National Rifle Association
- Civilian Marksmanship Program
Read more about this topic: Trigger Lock
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