Ensure weapons are secured in safe place

It is probably never a good idea to leave a gun in a car at night, but if you do, please always remember this good sense tip: lock your car. City and county police say a surprisingly large number of residents forget to do this and, consequently, wake up the next morning to find their guns missing, as well as anything else of value left in the vehicle.

No one can say for sure what the thieves intend to do with the handguns or rifles they steal. Suffice it to say, whatever it is, it's probably not good. They are the last ones, truth be told, who any of us would want to provide a free weapon to, even accidentally.

The best advice is to take the gun inside at night, the time of day when most thefts of this kind occur. The second best advice, of course, is to make sure the vehicle is locked and the handgun out of easy, quick-glance sight.

Owners should keep their vehicles locked - and guns out of sight - even during the day. This will decrease the chance of a son or daughter, or perhaps some other youth on the street or in the neighborhood, from inadvertently stumbling upon it if searching for something else.

Be just as careful where weapons are left inside the residence. More than one youth - several just recently, in fact, in this state alone - have been shot and killed by an "unloaded" handgun or rifle.

Keep weapons safely locked away from children. Your own child might know everything there is to know about gun safety and handling, but that's no guarantee that the preteen or teen who resides next door or down the street does.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees our right to possess arms. That does not, however, give any of us the right to be careless.

Protect yourself, protect your family and protect everyone else by keeping guns secure.