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Overview of Safe Firearm Storage


Hi, I’m Dr. Andy Jones, one of the
pediatricians at the University of Michigan. One of the objectives of this
course is to provide the skills and confidence to discuss safe gun storage and
gun safety with our patients and their families. Over the next few minutes
I’ll be going over some of the practical aspects surrounding safe gun storage. There may be some taking this course who have a limited exposure to firearms. This
portion of the course is to cover in general different types of firearms and safe
storage devices to better understand what families may share with you.
Specifically I will be covering types of firearms, basic ammunition, types
of firearms actions, general parts of a firearm. I will also be covering types of gun
locks such as this cable lock available to families free of charge from their
local police station through a national program called Project Childsafe as
well as ammunition storage. The most important counsel to emphasize to families who choose to
keep firearms in the home is this: Firearms should always remain unloaded
when not in use especially during storage or
transportation. Firearms should always be locked up when not in use. Ammunition should always be stored
separately from the firearm with the ammunition in a locked container and
children of any age should never have access to the keys to these locks. This
segment as well as the remaining segments are meant to provide a basic
knowledge of each of the topics and will not cover all the different possibilities of
firearms, ammunition or safe storage devices We will now cover a few of the main types of firearms
including handguns and long guns. I will also cover two other types of guns that
are not defined as firearms according to state and federal standards but that
might be used by your patients these two are airsoft and BB or pellet guns. Airsoft and pellet guns use either springs or compressed air to fire the projectile
airsoft guns like all other toy guns have an orange tip to show that they are
not real guns. Patients who use toy guns should be counseled to never remove the
orange tip so as not to be confused for real guns by others including the police.
Airsoft guns shoot plastic BB’s which we will go over later. BB or pellet guns
also use compressed gas or springs to fire a projectile. However, they fire
metal BBs or pellets which can be dangerous and these guns should be
treated like real firearms. These are inexpensive to shoot and are used for
recreation or hunting small game. These are a few examples of handguns also
known as pistols these are intended to be fired by using the hands only. These
firearms are often used for hunting small game, recreational shooting, or for
self-defense There are two very common types of long guns: rifles and shotguns.
These are both meant to be used with placement of the butt of the gun against
the shoulder as well as the hands. Rifles are used for hunting of small and large
game as well as recreational shooting but not as commonly used for
self-defense. This is a shotgun. You will notice the
barrel of this firearm is larger in diameter than that of the rifle. This is
because a shotgun fires multiple projectiles called “shot” with each firing.
Ammunition or ammo is the supply of rounds that is shot from a firearm. We
have here a few different kinds of ammunition. Here on the left is an
airsoft BB which is plastic. Next to it are the metal BB and pellet that are
fired from the pellet gun. The next three rounds are for handguns. The first of these three is also a
common rifle round in addition to the other rifle round seen here. With the
tall rifle round you’ll notice that the bullet is similar in size to the others
but there is much more explosive powder compared to the pistol rounds. The last
two are shotgun rounds with a different diameter of shot contained
inside. The anatomy of a handgun includes a grip
to hold the firearm a trigger to fire the firearm a trigger guard, a chamber
where the round is inserted and fired the barrel where the bullet travels, the
muzzle, the point where the bullet exits the barrel, and sights used to aim the
gun. Depending on the action a handgun may also include a hammer which
causes the gun to fire, a cylinder which holds multiple rounds on a revolver, a
slide which is the part that moves with each shot on a semi-automatic action and
the magazine which holds multiple rounds and can be replaced The anatomy of a
long gun includes the butt of the gun that goes against the user’s
shoulder, a grip to hold the firearm trigger to fire the firearm, and the trigger
guard, a chamber where the round is inserted and fired. And barrel where the
bullet travels. Then the muzzle, the point where the bullet exits the barrel and
sights used to aim the firearm. Again the most important counsel to
emphasize to families who choose to keep firearms in the home is this. Firearms
should always remain unloaded when not in use. especially during storage or
transportation. Always lock up firearms when not in use. Always store ammunitions
separately from the firearm and in a locked container. Never allow children
of any age to have access to the keys. There are many types of locks or storing
options for firearms. We will cover some of the basics here with particular
attention to cable locks. Trigger locks are placed over the trigger to prevent
the ability to pull the trigger and fire the gun. Families should never place a
trigger lock on a loaded gun as it still has the potential to be fired. Chamber locks are placed in the action
or chamber to prevent the loading of a round into the chamber. Cable locks look
like this and can be used in many different ways to prevent loading of the
round into the chamber or movement of the mechanism of action. This lock was
obtained from my local police department through a national program called Project
Childsafe. This program provides free cable locks to anyone who asks for them
to aid in the proper storage of firearms. As you can see here I can lock up every
single firearm by using this one type of lock. A case, safe, or lock box can also be
used to store firearms. Most gun cases have the option for replacement of a
locking device. Safes come in many shapes and sizes there are also many options to unlock
safes such as keys, combinations, touchpad or fingerprint recognition. Another option is to simply disassemble
the firearms so that it cannot be used this can often be very simple to do. I can
remove the bolt from this rifle which could easily be stored or locked in
another location Ammunition should also be stored
separately and locked up. Many people store their ammunition in military
surplus ammo cans like this one These can be locked up to prevent access to
the firearms ammunition creating yet another protection against intentional
or unintentional harm. All of these locks are available at many locations and
online.

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