This article is from the Firearms Safety & Children FAQ, by Patrick Casey (email@example.com) and John Gunshenan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
Department of Justice data indicate that there are over 200 million
firearms in the United States, with guns present in roughly 50% of US
households (the percentage is higher in rural areas, lower in cities). Even
if you do not own firearms, chances are you have been in houses where
firearms were kept. If you have children, chances are they too have been in
houses where firearms were kept. Don't expect to be told that there are
firearms in the house. Because of the current political climate, many
law-abiding gun owners are quite discreet about their ownership. They tend
not to advertise it.
According to the National Safety Council, 230 children under the age of 15
were killed in firearms-related accidents in 1991, the latest year for
which figures are available. Since 1930, the number of annual fatal
firearms accidents has decreased 55%, while the population has doubled and
the number of privately owned firearms has quadrupled (National Safety
Council, U.S. Census, BATF). While this decline in accidents is good, 230
accidental fatalities is 230 too many. What follows are some things you can
do -- as a parent or as a gun owner -- to "gunproof" your children, and to
"childproof" your guns.