Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon

As we move past Christmas and into the new year, a lot of us are trying out our new gadgets and items we found under the Christmas tree. For some of us, that means firing a new gun or helping a son or daughter become accustomed to their first firearm.

That brings to mind an important conversation I strongly recommend that you have with your children. Sharing the steps they should take when they come across a gun could save lives.

Guns are very serious. An accident involving a gun can hurt or even kill you or someone you know. Most adults are allowed to own a gun by law, and many in Lexington County have one or more. This means that even if there isn’t a gun in your house, you need to know what to do if you see a gun. And so does your child or grandchild.

  • If you see a gun, follow these four steps: 1. Stop. 2. Don’t touch. 3. Get away. 4. Tell an adult.
  • When you follow these steps, you’re protecting yourself and helping to keep other people safe.

Here are some tips about what to do in specific circumstances:

  • Walk away and tell a parent if your friend shows you his parent’s gun.
  • Tell an adult immediately if you see a gun in someone’s backpack at school.
  • Tell a trusted adult if you hear a girl or boy say that she or he is going to bring a gun to school.
  • Follow the four steps if you find a gun in the park by your house.
  • If you’re not sure why a gun is dangerous, talk to a parent about it.

Discuss gun safety with other family members or parents of friends if your child spends time in their homes. It might feel like an awkward conversation, but the person you ask will likely understand you only have your child’s best interests and safety in mind.