New Data: Gun accidents involving children high across the south

Study: Louisiana has high rate of accidental shootings

Guns going off, with children pulling the trigger. It's something that sadly is all too common in the United States and in Louisiana.

A new study shows Louisiana ranks in the top ten for the highest rates of accidental shootings per capita.

One incident took place January 2016, when a 3-year-old boy in New Orleans East was shot in the chest after his grandmother's gun discharged under the pillow while they slept.

The new study by the Associated Press and the USA Today Network found accidental shootings involving kids occur more in the south than any other part of the country.

The study also shows that child shootings spiked under the age of five, then again between the ages of 15 to 17.

Lt. Brian McGregor with the Kenner Police Department says it is not only curious children getting their hands on guns that is the problem.

"They have this thing with juveniles out there called 'car raiding,' which is you know vehicle burglaries. So they'll go through a neighborhood, they'll start pulling on door handles, you know rummaging through vehicles. If you're not securing your weapons and somebody takes that weapon, all you're doing is creating a situation that can get yourself hurt or someone else hurt," Lt. McGregor said.

State firearm instructor Henry Kuhn always tells people attending his class that if they own a gun, it is best to place it in a gun safe or a lock box. Many guns also come with their own locks.

"Once it's in there and it's locked the weapon can't be loaded, a round can't be chambered. Good to go," Kuhn said.

Kuhn also says the locking process takes around five seconds. Five seconds that could be life saving.

The AP/ USA Today Network study also found that Louisiana lacks a law specifically making parents responsible for gun safety, making certain incidents difficult to prosecute. However, that does not mean you will not be arrested or charged.


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