Gun Safety: The Psychology Of Guns & Kids - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Gun Safety: The Psychology Of Guns & Kids

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BERLIN, Md. - In a way, Bob Arthur's life revolves around guns.
 
Arthur's an avid owner himself and a licensed seller. But he's also a father of three and says his kid started shooting by the time they were three.

"Kids should be taken to the gun range at an early age," said Arthur. "They need to go out and see that guns are tools."

In a 2012 study from General Social Survey, 31 percent of U.S. households with at least one kid were also equipped with a firearm. According to Yale School of Medicine, almost 7,400 kids under 20 were hospitalized from gun related injuries in 2009.

"Every family member should be able to know [that guns are in the household] and understand proper safety handling of those weapons," said Arthur.

Child psychologist Kathy Seifert of Eastern Shore Psychological Services says that "kids are curious and they're going to try to check out anything you try to keep from them." Parents need to keep their guns locked up and teach kids it's not a toy, says Seifert.

"You as a parent just need to do whatever you can do to prevent a terrible accident," said Seifert. "If by some chance they get a hold of a gun, you want them to know how not to be afraid of it."

Arthur says he hopes that local schools will start teaching a gun safety class to students.

"As kids who have never seen [a handgun before], it's really a big deal for them for the first time they ever held it," said Arthur. "It would be important for them to get over that and move on and learn how to safely check the gun."

Currently, 14 states, including Maryland hold adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely, enabling children to access them. Delaware and Virginia do not.

A 20/20 Special Report called "Young Guns: A Diane Sawyer Special", about kids, guns and home safety with Diane Sawyer and David Muir airs Friday night at 10 PM on WMDT.

To see WMDT's first report on kids and guns, click here.

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