Gun Safety in Ferndale
On May 21st, 2018, the City Council passed a resolution declaring June 2nd to be “Wear Orange for Gun Safety Day”.
Guns can be a contentious issue but there are lots of opportunities for Ferndale to work together to help keep people safe. Whether it is working to reduce gun violence by tackling the root causes, ensuring the safe storage and ownership of firearms or working with loved ones in times of need to reduce suicide, there is plenty of common ground.
Below are some resources available for improving gun safety. Please take a moment to peruse them, it may save a life.
Securing Your Firearms
If you own firearms, make sure they are safely stored. Gun locks are available for free at the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
Here are 10 more tips for firearm safety in your home, courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Help When You Need It
Over 2/3rds of the gun deaths in Washington State in 2016 were suicides. If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, remember, you don’t have to face this alone. There are a number of resources only a phone call away.
Whatcom County Crisis Line: 1-800-584-3578
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 press 1
Compass Health Crisis Prevention/Intervention Team (CPIT): 1-360-752-4545
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Volunteers of America Crisis Line: 1-800-584-3578
Preventing Tragedy with ERPO
In 2016, the voters of Washington State passed a law allowing police and family members to ask a judge to keep firearms out of the hands of people believed to pose a danger to themselves and others.
This one-year gun ban, called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is intended to help keep guns out of the hands of those who may be suicidal or facing mental health challenges.
You can find all the documents you need for that here at the Washington State Courts page.
If you or a loved one is going through a difficult time and may need to surrender their firearms for a limited period of time, please call 911 and inform them it is not an emergency. They will be able to connect you with the resources you need.
Talking to Kids about Firearms
One of the most important steps you can take towards keeping everyone safe around firearms is talking to your kids. On average, a toddler shoots another person every week in America.
Start with the basics, what is a gun, what do they look like, why is it important not to handle them, and work your way up as your kid gets older.
This also extends to talking to other parents if your child is playing at their house. Do they have firearms, are they properly stored?
For more tips on how to start these conversations, here is an article from Parenting magazine.
Gun Safety Outdoors
As our outdoor recreation season approaches, it is important to remain vigilant about firearms, whether you are hunting or hiking in our beautiful Whatcom County.
Here’s some tips from Recreation.gov on how you can stay safe with your firearm outside:
- Review and follow the four basic rules of firearm safety. The most common hunting incidents result from hunter judgment mistakes. To avoid hunting incidents, every hunter should review and follow these basic rules:
- Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
- Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot.
- Always be sure of your target and what is beyond.
- Remember common sense safety rules. When you go hunting, keep other common sense safety rules in mind:
- Check the weather report before you go;
- Tell someone, in writing, where you will be hunting and when you will return;
- Carry a first aid kit
- Bring dry clothing.
- Identify hunting seasons and lands open to hunting. Learn about where and when hunting is taking place and plan your recreation activities accordingly.
- Wear bright clothing (like hunter blaze orange). Make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like bright, fluorescent red, orange or green. Avoid wearing earth-toned clothing.
- Don’t forget to protect your dog, too. Tie a swath of brightly-colored fabric or a bandana around your dog’s neck or purchase a hunter blaze orange dog vest, available from many sporting goods outfitters.
- Make noise. Whistle, sing or carry on a conversation as you walk to alert hunters to your presence.