SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - When it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones, a gun can be a lifesaver.
Owning a gun also comes with the responsibility of making sure it doesn't end up in the wrong hands - especially those of children.
Two tragic incidents in the past two weeks alone show just how dangerous a gun can be when it falls into the wrong hands. An Augusta father is facing charges after his four-year-old son found a hidden gun and shot and killed himself, and a South Carolina couple is also facing charges after a four-year-old found a gun in his mother's purse and shot himself.
"It is absolutely critical that the gun be kept secure," said Dick Berman, Thunderbolt Guns. "The problem arises when you get to defensive guns because they have got to be available immediately in the event that you are faced with a life or death situation, and there are ways to do that safely."
Berman recommends securing the gun in a single gun vault that still allows for easy access with the use of a code, fingerprint reader, or bracelet.
"It keeps your defensive handgun loaded and secure. You put this little bracelet on when you retire for the evening, and if something happens, you swipe it across the front of the gun safe and if something happens, there is your handgun ready for use but still secured from unauthorized people."
Berman says proper training and instruction is also a must for any gun owner.
"Most people just reach for a gun. Look what just happened, my finger went right on the trigger."
When it comes to kids, he says to talk to them about guns even if you don't have one.
"You tell the kids, 'look, if you see a gun, stop. That's number one. Number two, don't touch. Number three, leave the area, and number four, tell an adult,' Berman said. "I think that if every child was given that mantra, had that drilled into their heads by the time they are out of the first or second grade, you could cut firearms negligence incidents in half or more."
Don't be a victim.