Another unintentional shooting involving a child with access to a loaded gun

Monday night, a Nashville two-year-old shot himself in the arm with his father’s gun, which was left unattended. The shooting marks the 18th time so far this year, and the third time this month, that a child under the age of 18 shot themselves, a friend, sibling, or parent with an unsecured gun.

Of the 18 incidents this year, three involved toddlers between the ages of one and three.

“These shootings are both tragic and incredibly frustrating because they are are completely preventable,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “The single most important responsibility a gun owner has is keeping their firearms out of the wrong hands, especially the hands of curious kids.”

In 2018, there were 14 unintentional shootings involving kids and unsecured guns in Tennessee, resulting in four fatalities.

As of July 23, 2019, there have been 18, resulting in five fatalities.

According to data from the Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance, as of June 30th, Tennessee led the nation in the number of unintentional shootings by children with access to unsecured firearms. In 2017, Tennessee had more of these incidents (31) than any other state.

Since June 30th, there have been three additional incidents in Tennessee and five more in Texas.

“These incidents happen across our state and they happen with alarming regularity,” Roth said. “And what we see is that they happen in Tennessee far more often than they happen in other states. We certainly encourage all parents to discuss gun safety with their kids, but the responsibility to prevent these¬†shootings is totally on the adults. Guns should be safely stored and inaccessible to children at all times.”

2019 Unintentional Shootings Involving Children with Access to Unsecured Firearms in Tennessee by the Numbers:

Total incidents: 18
Injuries to children: 10
Injuries to adults: 2
Fatalities: 5
No injury: 1

Age groups of the children pulling the trigger:
Incidents involving toddlers: 3
Incidents involving preschoolers: 1
Incidents involving elementary-age children: 3
Incidents involving children of unknown age: 4
Incidents involving tweens: 1
Incidents involving young teens: 1
Incidents involving older teens: 3
Incidents involving teen of unknown age: 2

Who the children shoot:
Six kids shot themselves
Five kids shot a friend
Three kids shot a sibling
Two kids shot a relative (one shot his mother)
One shot someone where the relationship was not clear
One incident did not result in an injury

Of the five fatalities:
One was a Memphis 4-year-old, shot by a 3-year-old sibling
One was a Jackson 3-year-old who shot himself
One was a Memphis 9-year-old, shot by a 7-year-old sibling
One was a Nashville 15-year-old, shot by a 16-year-old friend
One was a Nashville 16-year-old who shot himself

Where the shootings happen:
Memphis: 8
Nashville: 4
Jackson: 3
Knoxville: 1
McKenzie: 1
Millington: 1