INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A boy died and a girl was in the hospital this week because of two separate shootings that Indianapolis police investigators believed were unintentional shootings.
I-Team 8 found out what police want gun owners to do to avoid unintentional shootings.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department wants people to think about gun safety in the home because unintentional shootings are too common.
- IMPD: Teenage boy dies at hospital after ‘unintentional’ shooting at home
- IMPD: Girl critical after accidentally shot in stomach
Officer William Young, an IMPD spokesman, told I-Team 8, “So many times we’ve seen, and obviously today, where a young child was struck. We’re investigating obviously as accidental, but could of happened if whoever that gun owner is practiced those good gun safety tips.”
He tells I-Team 8 that the department is still investigating both unintentional shootings this week to determine exactly what happened. Young would not go into specifics about what happened during this week’s unintentional shootings but stressed that gun owners should constantly think about securing their firearms at home.
I-Team 8 went to Beech Grove Firearms to get suggestions. Manager Garrison Burge agreed keeping guns secure and safe so that children cannot gain access to the firearms is easy.
“Well, pretty easy. These locks right here were given to us from the Marion County Sheriff’s (Office). We hand (them) out for free.”
Beech Grove Firearms’ manager acknowledges not every gun owner is going to want to lock firearms away in a safe in case quick access is needed.
Burge also suggests never having a round of ammunition in the chamber and always keeping firearms in a place out of reach of children. He also says having important conversations with kids about guns is vital to gun safety in the home. “I believe the most appropriate age is probably between 7 and 9 years old depending on how mature that they are.”
The IMPD officer says he remembers having those same conversations with his parents. “Me personally, my father was a police officer, so firearms were pretty prevalent in our home, and I can remember probably when I was 8 or 9 years old where he started saying, ‘Hey, don’t touch my firearm. If you see it, let me know.'”
Young says gun safety in the home is also about knowing exactly how guns work to avoid accidental discharges that could hurt or kill someone. “It’s so important as a gun owner to get that training that you need,” he said.