What's In Outdoors Calendar
|All Year||Kansas Crappie Club Tournaments - More Info|
Wildlife Habitat Workshop - Sponsored by Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
|February 2-4||Topeka Boat and Outdoor Show. Kansas Expocentre in Topeka|
|Feb 5, 12, 19, 26||Crappie University 2018 - Flyer|
|April 21||Youth Aquatic Education Day - Marina Cove, Council Grove Reservoir|
My Christmas Wish……….Responsible Firearm Ownership.
Christmas is just around the corner. If you are thinking about buying a youngster a firearm for Christmas, even a BB gun or an air rifle; please take a couple of things into consideration. Are firearms safe in your home and can your child be trusted with such a responsibility?
There are many positive things a child can learn from firearms safety education and especially the shooting sports. These include safe habits when handling a firearm and instilling responsibility that can last a lifetime.
Proper handling of a firearm and learning to be a safe shooter teaches responsibility and respect. Self-discipline and control must also be mastered in order to hit the target. Learning to hold a firearm steady and to shoot a gun accurately teaches concentration and helps develop hand-eye coordination. Knowing the shooter alone is ultimately responsible for his or her performance teaches self-reliance and builds self-esteem.
Parents should realize a child’s age isn’t the most important factor when deciding whether there should be a firearm in the house or if the child should be allowed to be around firearms. Mindful, responsible parents know their child better than anyone else. Can the child follow directions and handle responsibility? Is the youngster mature enough to make decisions that will ensure his or her own safety and the safety of others? And last but not least, do the parents themselves have the knowledge and experience to give proper instruction in the basics of firearm safety? Supervision and instruction on basic firearm safety rules should also have been a part of the child’s Christmas gift. Hands-on instruction and training, repeated over and over, along with a thorough understanding of the safety rules will teach the child that nothing can be taken for granted concerning gun safety.
If a new gun is on your child’s Christmas list and you are still apprehensive about giving such a gift, you might want to have your child sign a FIREARMS RESPONSIBILITY CONTRACT. In this written contract the child promises to learn and obey all the rules of safe firearms handling.
Get a copy of the Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety, review them and discuss their meaning. Make it a point to attend a Hunter Safety Education class if you haven’t already done so, even if you don’t plan on becoming a hunter.
A promise from the child should be made to never play with firearms because they are not toys, and that includes BB guns.
Where children are concerned, firearms should be used only with the permission of a responsible adult and under their strict supervision. Treat every gun as if it were loaded and never aim it at something you do not intend to shoot. It should be clearly understood there will be an automatic forfeiture of shooting privileges for whatever length of time agreed upon, if the Firearms Responsibility Contract isn’t adhered to.
An Automobile Responsibility Contract may come into play in years to come when a decision is made to turn the young driver loose with the family vehicle for the first time. Knowing the youngster’s ability to follow directions, handle responsibility and be trusted will make such a decision that much easier.
If you do own a gun already, always remember to unload the firearm carefully and completely before taking it into the house. Never load a sporting firearm in the home. Always make sure that firearms are securely stored in a location inaccessible to children. You might even treat yourself to a new gun safe for Christmas!
Ammunition should be stored in a separate location, locked up and inaccessible to children. Place firearms in their proper storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range. When you remove your gun from storage, always recheck it to confirm that it is still unloaded. It is a gun owner’s responsibility to make sure his firearms are not casually accessible to anyone---especially curious young people who might be looking for Christmas presents.
For more information on firearm safety education, programs and events, contact the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. Tel 203-426-2359 www.nssf.org
Or call Eddie Eagle 1-800-231-0752 for their latest program information.
You might also give the Lyon County 4-H Extension Office a call, 620-341-3220 and ask about their shooting sports program.