THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Prosecutors are still trying to determine whether they should try to indict an 11-year old boy for murder.
On May 26th, 12-year old Braden Dakota Phillips was at a friend’s house in Colquitt when the friend shot and killed him with a .22 caliber rifle.
It’s another reminder of how important gun safety is, especially if you have kids and guns in your home.
Owning a gun is a serious responsibility. “If you have a gun it’s something that can badly hurt somebody or kill somebody so it’s something that needs to be taken very seriously,” said Manager of American Pawn Shop Jonathan Gandy.
Gandy says if everyone followed the Marine Corps’ four gun safety rules, these accidents wouldn’t happen.
“Treat every weapon as if it’s loaded. Keep your weapon on safe, unless you intend to fire. Keep your finger off the trigger, unless you intend to fire. And don’t point it anything, unless you intend to shoot.”
Gandy says he’s satisfied with the current gun control laws on the books.
Thomas County Sheriff’s Investigator and Senior Firearms Instructor David Godwin says it’s up to parents to teach their kids how dangerous a gun can be. “A lot of kids aren’t mentally prepared or taught well at home that guns are not toys. They don’t understand. They see what happens on TV and think it’s real life.”
Gandy says his and other stores sell gun locks and other precautionary items to keep kids away. “If they have children in the home there is a gun safe that will keep the children from getting to it, but it will allow you to get to it very quickly.”
But Godwin says negligence is the most common reason for any gun to accidentally go off. “A lot of people don’t pay attention. They get comfortable around things, like anything else in life, and they’ll have their finger on the trigger and something happens and the gun goes off.”
Godwin says it’s a good idea for any parent who is also a gun owner, to take their kids out to the range to demonstrate the damage any gun can cause.
Firearm-related deaths in the home have actually dropped 33 percent over the last 10 years and 50 percent in the last 20.
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