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AAP asking parents to talk about gun safety

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 20:16:13-04

June 21 is Ask Day and the Academy of Pediatrics wants to remind parents to "ask" other parents where their children might be playing if there are guns in the house and if they are locked up. 

Ralph Defalco is a firearms safety instructor for the Annapolis Police department.

Officer Defalco has been shooting firearms for 20 years now and knows the importance of having your firearms secure at home.

"I can not stress enough the importance of locking up a firearm. Whether it's in a big safe or a small lockbox, it has to be secure," said Defalco.

Guns are one of the top 3 leading causes of death among teenagers in the United States. About a third of the households in America have a gun in them. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to ask these questions of your neighbors where your children may play.

Ask if there is a gun in that home. If the answer is yes:

1. Ask how the gun is stored. 

2. It should be stored in a locked location and unloaded.

3. Ammunition should be locked up separately.

If you are not comfortable with the answers, invite the other child to play at your house instead.

John Breznak was out with his 11-year-old son Ian. They are avid outdoors sportsman and have guns in their home.

Breznak has no problem asking a neighbor if they have guns in the house accessible to kids.

"I don't think it's an unfair question to say, "do you have a weapon in the house?" If you do have a weapon is it locked up, just so I know for my kids own safety. It's not that I don't trust you but,  I don't know and you don't know what you don't know," said Breznak. 

"You have to keep these things secure. It's not only for yourself or your kids but for everybody's kids," said Defalco.