COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Early education and awareness can help a child develop respect for firearms.
Jon McMullen was just a young boy when his father took him out to shoot a sapling.
“And he brought me over to it, and of course, he let me shoot this shot gun, and hit that sapling," McMullen said. "Of course it cut it in half and fell down. He said the bottom line is these firearms will do the exact same thing to you.”
Now McMullen is the owner of Shooters of Columbus. He said it was that lesson that showed him just how dangerous firearms can be.
“When the bullet leaves the barrel," it is way too late. You can’t call it back," McMullen said.
He said early education for children is key. Kids are curious in nature. McMullen said they will snoop around homes and find hidden guns.
“It’s about stop, don’t touch it, go tell an adult," according to McMullen.
Robert Tamboer has owned guns since his now-grown children were little. "If you hide them, it’s like a Christmas gift. You know some kids may be curious that are not exposed to guns very often. They will go in there and find those guns. So, I always say secure the guns,” said Tamboer.
McMullen said some people think hiding a gun is enough in terms of safety, but really securing your firearm is the best way to keep your children and others safe.
“There are a lot of different options," McMullen said. "I mean these are very inexpensive, only a couple dollars, by locking that firearm up in such a way it can’t be accessed.”
If you’re worried a lock will prevent you from protecting yourself in a dangerous situation, McMullen said there are locks that can open as easily as laying your fingers on a scanner. A gun sold by a licensed dealer is required by law to come with a lock.