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Simple gun safety devices for the home

Keeping firearms away from children

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – In the hands of a trained professional, guns are nothing but a tool used for protection.  But in the hands of a child, they are a disaster waiting to happen.

[WEB EXTRA: Get a free gun safety kit]

Over a span of four days three young boys, under six years of age, were all shot dead in the Houston area recently while playing with guns -- guns that were loaded and unlocked.

Locally, back in November, an 8-year-old DeLand boy was shot and accidentally killed by his 9-year-old sister.

In February, an Orange County mother borrowed a car without knowing there was a gun in the backseat. Her 4-year-old son ended up shooting himself in the leg.

But there are simple devices that could save your child's life.

The first is the simplest, cheapest device you can find, a standard cable gun lock.
It's basically a steel cable covered in plastic that you snake through the barrel of the gun or through the clip holder or magazine.

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Once in place, you lock it up and the gun will not fire.

It works with any type handgun and costs about $15.

Perhaps most importantly, it can be removed in four to five seconds, so it won't slow you down

Want something even easier?

Try a biometric, locking gun box.

Liberty Safes is one manufacturer that makes a box called The HDX 150 Smart Vault that doesn't even require a key.

You simply swipe your finger across a small pad and the box reads your fingerprint and opens.

It's programmed to read only your fingerprint and retails for about $200.

Heath Moore of Moore Security in Houston says the box is very strong, small and easy to carry and it also gives you quick access to your firearm.

"You just swipe your finger twice, once to turn it on, once immediately afterward to open, grab your gun and you're ready in about five seconds", Heath says.

Locks are vital, but also important according to Miguel Yanez, a firearms instructor at The Athena Gun Club in Houston, is to sit your children down and have a serious talk with them about the dangers of guns.

Yanez is a former Navy Seal and both he and his police officer wife carry a sidearm to work every day.

They also have an 8-year-old son, also named Miguel.

"Don't think hiding your weapon is going to keep your kids safe because it won't work, they will absolutely find it, you can count on it," Yanez says.

Instead, Yanez advises parents to take the mystery and curiosity out of the whole gun experience.

"Sit them down and with the gun unloaded, let your kids touch it, hold it, feel it in their hands. But make it clear they can never touch that weapon again at any time without you being there with them. Make them understand that weapon can kill and can never be played with like a toy," Yanez said. "We don't need any more tragedy involving our children."