Firearm Safety in Your Home

Proper security and storage is the #1 way to help prevent firearm accidents, thefts and misuse, and can play a vital role in suicide prevention.

With this in mind, Project ChildSafe offers several tools and resources for all gun owners, whether you’re contemplating buying your first gun, or your family has owned guns for generations.


Download, print or share this list here.

  1. Know your firearm. Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
  2. A hidden gun is not a safe gun. Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
  3. A gun lock provides an additional level of safety with a gun safe or other storage. Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use.
  4. Unload firearms before storing. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
  5. Keep firearms and ammunition separate. Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
  6. Always assume a gun is loaded. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and confirm it is unloaded.
  7. Be Muzzle Aware. Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
  8. Keep Fingers Off the Trigger Except When Shooting. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun.
  9. Talk to your kids. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
  10. Teach firearm safety. Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.

Additional Downloadable Resources for Families

Firearms Responsibility in the Home Brochure

Gun Storage For Your Lifestyle