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Statement on Kids and Guns in the Home

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Most fatal firearm accidents and suicides occur when children and teens discover firearms at home that have been left loaded or unsecured. Because of the serious risk of firearm-related death and injury to children and teenagers, experts on all sides of the gun debate agree that the decision to keep a firearm in the home is very serious and one that must not be made lightly.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), the leading trade association representing gun manufacturers, emphasizes in its literature that a gun in the home is not appropriate for all homes or individuals. According to SAAMI, "if you are not willing to accept basic responsibilities and adhere to important rules of firearms ownership and storage, we urge that you not purchase a firearm."

Moreover, because firearms pose such a significant risk to children and adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that the most effective way to prevent firearm-related deaths and injuries to children and adolescents is to remove guns from their homes and communities. It makes no sense to keep a gun at home for "protection," if that same gun puts your family members or visitors at risk.

Common Sense about Kids and Guns believes that all adults have a responsibility to assure that no child or teen in their home ever encounters a loaded or improperly secured firearm.� The decision to have a firearm in your home comes with an enormous responsibility. You must become fully informed about the risks of firearms to your family and others who visit your home. And whether you own a gun or not, you must take affirmative steps to protect children and teens from the risks of firearm-related deaths and injuries.

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