In response to the tragic shooting of a 5-year-old by a sibling playing with their parent’s loaded gun over the weekend, both News2/WKRN and News Channel 5 both did stories on the need for tougher storage laws and better education around the issue of firearm storage.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New numbers show that 20 children have been accidentally shot in Tennessee so far this year. Of those 20, eight were killed.
“That’s hard to wrap your mind around,” said Beth Joslin Roth with the Safe Tennessee Project. “Eight children who are no longer here because someone was irresponsible with a gun.”
Most recently, a 5-year-old Goodlettsville boy was accidentally killed by a sibling in their home.
According to police, a dad left the gun near the children when he went to the kitchen.
Right now, Joslin Roth says it’s not illegal for a parent to leave a loaded gun unattended even when children are nearby.
“This is the easiest gun violence issue to address because it all just comes down to being responsible with your gun,” said Joslin Roth.
She says she wants to see parents to face criminal charges if they leave a loaded weapon near children.
She also wants mandatory signage on “safe storage” where adults buy guns, mandatory safe storage classes for parents whose children get ahold of loaded guns, and to see children are potentially removed from a home where a child is accidentally shot.
“I don’t relish in the thought of removing children from their homes or criminally punishing parents,” said Joslin Roth. “A big part of it also is just changing the way people think about their gun in their home and educating them on the importance of safe storage.”