Firearms kept in the residence should always be unloaded when not in the immediate control of the owner. In Illinois, the Parent Liability Child Act makes it illegal for a person to store or leave any loaded firearm in a way that allows a minor to gain access to the firearm, without permission from the parent or guardian, and use it to injure or kill. Persons violating this law could be held civilly and criminally liable.
A firearm is properly stored if it is secured by a trigger lock, placed in a securely locked box, or placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secured from a minor. Children should be instructed that if they should find a gun to call an adult and not touch it.
On a range, or when hunting in an approved legal area remember to be sure of your target and beyond, and keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to fire.. All firearms should always be considered loaded until physically inspected by you, and should never be pointed at anything that you would not eventually fire at.
Following these simple but crucial rules could reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur far too frequently.