Dedham Police are issuing a reminder and a handful of guidance to parents and gun owners in the area regarding the safe keeping and storage of firearms.
"If you own a firearm, its safe storage is one of your most important responsibilities," Dedham police said in a statement Tuesday. "You must always secure your firearm and ammunition, so they are not accessible to children or other persons."
The following is a statement issued by the Dedham Police Department Monday:
Mass General Laws ch.140 s.131L states in part “It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle, or shotgun in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user. Such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.”
Even if you don’t have a gun in your home, it’s important you consider the possibility that your child may someday come into contact with a gun, or another child who has access to one. Just like any other dangerous situation, a simple conversation with your child may prevent an injury or worse.
Dedham police have issued the following tips for gun owners:
- Unload your firearms and store them properly;
- Lock and store ammunition separately;
- Hide keys, combinations, or other access information.
Below are a list of safety rules for gun owners, courtesy of Dedham Police:
- Before handling any firearm, understand how it operates;
- Always safely store and secure your firearm;
- Always lock and store ammunition in a separate location;
- Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded;
- Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction;
- Never place your finger inside the trigger guard unless you intend to fire;
- Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.
Dedham police have also put together guidance for parents to use in discussions about guns and gun safety with their children. Parents are asked to speak with their children about guns and ask other parents and neighbors if guns are present where their children visit or play, and if so to ensure they are safely stored.
Below is a list of “rules” about guns parents can set for their children:
- Never touch a gun;
- Do not look for guns in their homes or the homes of friends;
- Immediately leave any area where you see a gun. DON’T TOUCH THE GUN!
- Find an adult and tell them if you see or find a gun. AGAIN, DON'T TOUCH THE GUN!
- If they can’t find an adult, dial 911 and tell the police;
- Even if the gun looks like a toy, don’t touch it. Leave the area if other children are playing with a gun and tell an adult;
- If someone threatens you or talks about bringing a gun to school, speak up. Tell an adult like a parent or teacher;
- Remind your child that they shouldn’t worry about getting another child into trouble and that they may just be saving their life if they alert an adult.