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Overview chart of firearm deaths

Some years ago, a 10-year-old boy finished a hunter education class in western Washington. He was one of the best students in his class, and he did very well on the test. One week after class had ended, this young boy was dead. He was shot and killed while playing at a friend's house. The friend found a loaded rifle, pointed it at the boy, and pulled the trigger. He died instantly… all because of carelessness and ignorance.

You already know hunting is a very safe activity. Most people only hunt 5-7 days per year. The rest of the year—more than 350 days!—guns are stored at home.

Look at the chart on the right. You can see that 60% of all accidental firearm deaths happen in or near home. What does this mean to you? Simply this: You must follow safety rules at all times, not only while you are hunting.

The safest way to store firearms and ammunition is under lock and key. Keep firearms unloaded, and store ammunition away from firearms until ready for use.

Store firearms with a locking device if stored in an accessible area such as a closet

There are several products available to help prevent accidents at home. You can now buy trigger locks and other devices to help keep careless fingers away from firearms.

Invite all family members to attend a hunter education class. If there is a firearm in your home, everybody should be trained in firearm safety. Safety applies to everybody, including parents, brothers, and sisters.

Firearm safety also applies to your friends. Never handle firearms at home unless your parents give you permission and supervise you. Also, never handle firearms at a friend's house unless parents are present to supervise you. Tell a responsible adult if you do find a firearm at home or at a friend's house.