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How to keep your children safe in a home with firearms

Education, prevention and security can go a long way in keeping guns out of children's' reach.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — We have the right to bear arms, but with that comes a big responsibility.

Sergeant Mark Snowden with the Jefferson County Sheriff department gave some helpful tips for how to keep children safe with guns in the home.

Spanish Version: Cómo mantener la seguridad de sus hijos en un hogar con armas de fuego

"It's our responsibility to make sure that our kids are knowledgeable of the weapons," Snowden said.

Safety starts with a conversation.

Snowden said to set restrictions and explain the severity of what the device is capable of. Children will be more likely to stay away from guns if they understand the dangers.

 "It's our responsibility as a parent. We have got to be responsible, mature and  keep it up so the kids aren't able to access to it," Snowden said.

Many incidents take place because the child doesn't know the risk.

"The first mistake they make is picking it up and having fun with it," Snowden said. "There's a lot of toy guns out there these days. A bunch of kids may think it's a toy."

There are other steps to take to ensure that your gun doesn't get into the wrong hands.

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Precautions such as keeping the gun unloaded, on safety, and stowed away in a locked area.

"You can even use a child lock for added safety," Snowden added.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is one agency that offers free child safety locks. Other local police departments may do the same.

"If you need some, be happy to stop by and get as many as you need," Snowden said.

With proper prevention and security, we can work together to keep the youngest members of our families safe.