SAN ANTONIO -- In light of recent accidental shootings involving young children, firearms experts want people to know about easy precautions that could prevent tragedy.
“I put myself into that situation and imagine it could be potentially my child or my best friend’s child,” said Luis Acosta with Dury’s Gun Shop. “I’m going to be blunt about this. Yes, accidents happen, but accidents could definitely be fixable.”
A San Antonio toddler who accidentally shot himself in the stomach earlier this week remains in critical condition. In Houston, two children recently shot themselves in the head in separate incidents.
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“Unfortunately, when we hear about these situations, it’s not – you’re not talking about mechanical failure. You’re taking about human error. You know, guns don’t spontaneously discharge. So, there’s a level of negligence there,” said Michael Mihalski with Sons of Liberty Gun Works.
Acosta and Mihalski – both firearms experts – have advice for gun owners.
“First is, if there’s children in the home, you have yourself a lockbox, something that can ensure we have something we can put our firearm into,” Acosta said.
“At 3 years old, they might not understand the consequences of touching a weapon,” Mihalski said. “As children get older, though, that’s something where education and training and diligence comes in.”
Both experts said it’s a gun owner’s job to secure weapons.
“As basic as this simple, inexpensive lock that we give out for free here at Dury’s Gun Shop,” Acosta said.
“There’s no reasonable excuse to have an unsecure weapon if you knew that somebody else could possibly get it, whether it’s an adult or a child or the valet guy or whatever,” Mihalski said.
“Me in our home, I don’t have a small safe like this, but I do have large safes in my garage, my bedroom that I do use to put our firearms in – and why? Because safety is first,” Acosta said.
“We’re not talking about a gun problem. Again, we’re talking about a negligence and situational awareness problem,” Mihalski said. “That’s human error. That can be simply eliminated by just simply accepting the responsibility of a parent and as a gun owner.”