Why You Should Create a Firearm Life Plan
Understanding what’s at stake can better prepare you and your family for the future.
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Reasons for owning firearms might change with age.
People own and use firearms for many different reasons and those reasons may change over time. Understanding what firearms mean to YOU and how you expect to use them as you age is important for planning for the future. As reasons for owning a firearm change, so too do some safety concerns.
Normal aging, medical conditions, and medications can lead to physical, emotional, and cognitive changes.
These changes may compromise safe firearm handling abilities.
Responsible firearm handling requires physical strength and manual dexterity for things like using, cleaning, and storing firearms. Arthritis and shakiness in the hands are examples of conditions that can make these activities more difficult. Reflexes and reaction times also slow down as part of the normal aging process.
Emotional changes are common and are often linked to changes in lifestyle, living situation, or outlook on life. Some people may experience anxiety or agitation, while others may feel depressed, hopeless, or have thoughts of suicide.
Finally, cognitive changes – like changes in thinking and memory – also affect safe firearm handling. Not remembering how to be safe in using a firearm is a concern – things like remembering to check if a firearm is loaded or forgetting to maintain muzzle discipline. Other changes in cognition can make a person not recognize a family member and think they’re an intruder, and they can make it harder for a person to honestly assess how safe they are with firearms.