You can greatly reduce the risk of serious bodily injury and death while also avoiding possible legal consequences by understanding basic gun safety principles and by making a commitment at a young age to always obey the following gun safety rules and guidelines:
- Never play with a gun.
- If you ever find a gun, remember these important points:
- Assume that the gun is loaded.
- Be very careful not to touch or even go near the gun. Leave the area!
- Call the police or communicate with another trusted adult to report the gun immediately.
- If you are at another child’s home and the child is talking about showing you a gun,
follow these important steps:
- Assume that the gun is loaded.
- Begin to make statements to the other child to end the situation.
Here are some statements that you could use if the other child wants to show you gun or wants to take you to the place where a gun is kept in his home:
- “I don’t like what I’m hearing!”
- “That is a bad idea!”
- “I don’t want to be around a gun. I have to leave!”
- “I am calling my dad so he can come pick me up!”
Communicate with a parent or another trusted adult to report the incident immediately or as soon as possible.
Even if the other child changes his mind about getting the gun, you still need to talk to a parent or another trusted adult about the situation.
If you are at another child’s home and the child is touching or holding a gun, follow these important steps:
Assume that the gun is loaded.
Begin to make statements to the other child to end the situation while you are leaving the area as quickly as possible to go to a safe place away from the gun.
Here are some statements that you could use if the other child is
touching or holding a gun:
- “You need to put that down now before someone gets hurt!”
- “This is not safe at all!”
- “I don’t like what I’m seeing!”
Note: Some of the above statements can be combined to emphasize the seriousness of the situation. For instance, “I don’t like what I’m seeing! You need to put that down now before someone gets hurt.”
Important to Remember: Anytime you are in a dangerous situation such as being close to someone who is holding or handling a gun, it is extremely important to remove yourself from the situation by moving to a safe location as quickly as possible.
Communicate with a parent or another trusted adult to report the incident immediately or as soon as
Even if the other child stops touching the gun or returns the gun to its original location, you still need to talk to a parent or another trusted adult about the situation that occurred as soon as possible.
- Before you go to another child’s home to visit or stay overnight, ask your parent to talk to the other child’s parent to see if there are any unsecured guns in the home. If necessary, your parent can ask the other parent if he or she would be willing to secure an unsecured gun.
- Never agree to hold, keep, carry or transport a gun for another person.
- Never take a gun or any other type of weapon to school for any reason.
- Never use a gun or any other type of weapon to deal with a conflict situation.
- Never use a gun or any other type of weapon to scare or threaten someone.
- Do not have any involvement in the illegal sale or purchase of a gun.
- Learn about the laws in your state that relate to the purchase, possession and carrying of guns, especially if you think that you might want to be a legal gun owner in the future.
- If you believe that you need to carry a gun for your own protection, consider these facts:
The decision to carry a gun illegally is a WRONG decision that places you at risk of arrest
and other legal consequences.
Each time you carry a loaded gun, a dangerous situation results that places you and others at-risk of serious bodily injury, permanent physical disability and even death.
There have been shooting incidents and other incidents involving guns in which the actions of those who carried guns for protection were considered to be unnecessary, aggressive or hostile. In some cases, the actions of gun-carrying individuals exceeded what would have been considered to be reasonable defensive use of the gun. The point is that there is a link between gun-carrying and poor decision making, especially in situations involving interpersonal conflict, and poor decisions can result in very serious consequences.
There is no guarantee of protection when you carry a gun. In fact, one study involving individuals who carried a gun for protection reported that the individuals who carried guns were over four times more likely to be shot in a gun assault than those who did not possess a gun.
There are ways to increase your safety that do not involve the illegal carrying of a gun. You can speak with a parent, a school counselor, a school police officer or a community police officer to get assistance in developing a SAFETY PLAN or to get assistance with any other safety-related concerns.
If you see another student with a gun at school or you hear that someone either has a gun or is planning to bring a gun to school, you are expected to report the situation immediately to a teacher, a principal or assistant principal, a school police officer or another adult employee of the school system. When possible, a verbal report should be made. In some cases, a written message can be given to a school employee. However, a written message should only be given to a school employee if the employee receives immediate verbal notification that the message on the paper “is very serious and needs to be given immediate attention.”
If you are away from school property or if the report is being made outside of regular school hours, here are some helpful phone numbers for police response.
Note: Crime Stoppers tips may be submitted by phone, text message or online.
Anonymous Tip Hotline
Select option 5 to report a new tip or to give more information about a previous tip.
Crime Stoppers Text-A-Tip:
Text “INDYCS” and your tip to 274637.
Crime Stoppers Online:
Logon to Crimetips.org to submit a tip.
If you decide to submit a tip, be sure to give well-detailed information to the extent possible. A report should include details that answer the following questions:
- Why? (if known and when applicable)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT REPORTING GUNS
Many students have said they would not report a concern about a gun because either they were taught not to be a “snitch” or because they do not want to be labeled as a snitch. You should know that there is a difference between “snitching” and reporting. The difference between the terms is based largely on the type of situation and your motivation for telling an adult about the situation. In every situation, you need to consider: 1) What the situation actually involves, and 2) Your reason for sharing the information – In other words, what are you hoping to accomplish by telling an adult about the problem?
There are four key reasons for telling that are associated with REPORTING. Your decision to report a situation to an adult should be based on one or more of these reasons:
- The situation involves something that is serious or very important.
- The situation involves actual or possible harm.
- Your intention is to stop a problem or prevent a problem situation from occurring.
- Your intention is to help someone or help your school become a safer environment.
Some students are reluctant to report a situation because they either fear or are concerned about possible retaliation. Unfortunately, it is true that wrongdoers have sometimes targeted students who were known to have reported or believed to have reported guns, drugs or other concerns to school officials or law enforcement officers. While a student who reports a gun, drugs or another concern to an adult may never be targeted, there are some incidents in which students have received threats and other cases in which students have actually become victims of physical attacks resulting in serious bodily injury or even death. In some schools, students have been overheard proclaiming the well known phrase “Snitches get stitches!” either as a direct threat or as a reminder that reporting an incident could be harmful to the reporting person’s physical health.
These facts are not meant to discourage you from reporting. They are, however, reminders that you need to be aware of any concerns about your own personal safety. You may decide to report the situation while remaining anonymous or, at the very least, discuss the situation and any concerns about your own safety with a trusted adult as soon as you become aware of the situation that needs to be reported. In some schools, a student who fails to report a gun or another serious concern to school officials may face disciplinary consequences. Remember, a student who makes a report may actually help to save someone’s life while a student who fails to report a gun, a threat or a pending danger of another type can be partly responsible for a death or serious bodily injury that could have been prevented.