Sheriff’s office: Safety should be No. 1 for gun owners


TUSCALOOSA – Alabama is one of the latest states to allow people to carry a concealed handgun without getting a state permit that requires a background check. But more people carrying guns means more people may put themselves or others in harm’s way because they lack the proper safety knowledge.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy G.W. Keller said gun safety isn’t complicated.

“The biggest thing is proper storage, not leaving it where where people can get to it,” said Keller.

Keller, who has children of his own, knows how imperative it is to teach children what they should do if they come across a gun.

“So the best advice I can give you, is if you know how to safely operate a gun and you have one at home, is to teach your kids,” Keller said. “The best thing for safety is to teach your kids how to unload a gun, how to safely fire the gun, and how to safely store the gun. That’s what I did with my kids from a young age, so now at this point when they see a gun they know how to unload it and make it safe so it will not fire.”

If your children are too young to understand the intricacies of firearms, trigger locks are a cheap and effective way to prevent anyone from accidentally firing a weapon they might find.

Shaina Twigg, who lives in Tuscaloosa, said she feels safer with firearms around, especially when she’s looking after her nieces and nephews.

“I like (guns),” he said. “I feel like it’s a necessity in life. They are good to have. They keep you safe.”

According to a 2018 article in the magazine Science, guns have overtaken cancer as the second-leading cause of deaths in children. The No. 1 cause of children’s fatalities are motor vehicle crashes.

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