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Access To Loaded, Unlocked Guns Blamed For Child Gun Deaths

In just the past week, three Texas children have died in accidental shootings

Expert said even kids with training who handle guns without adult supervision run a greater risk of unintentionally killing themselves or a friend.

The Houston Police Department said a six-year-old boy died after locating an unsecured gun in a bedroom on Sunday morning and accidentally shoot himself. A four-year-old boy in Texas City was killed Saturday after finding a gun at his grandmother’s house. And last Wednesday, a three-year-old boy died in Fort Worth after accidentally shooting himself.

The National Rifle Association said children should be taught that if they see a gun, they should not touch it, and should tell a grown-up. Matt Fleming with Best Shot Range in Friendswood teaches gun safety to kids as young as seven, starting with three basic rules.

“Always keep the gun pointed in (a) safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it. You know, I have nine grandchildren, so my intention is for all my grandchildren to respect their firearm and never handle a firearm unless there’s an adult present,” Fleming said.

The Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance said responsible storage of firearms is the key to preventing gun accidents. Beth Joslin Roth is the group’s co-founder.

“We know that these types of shootings can be prevented. They are, in fact, 100% preventable if guns are stored responsibly,” Roth said.

Roth said even kids with training who handle guns without adult supervision run a greater risk of unintentionally killing themselves or a friend or a sibling.

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