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How to protect your children when having legal guns at home

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 05:46:19-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Over the past week, we have reported on two different cases in the Bay area of children dying because of accidental shootings.

Two children, one in Bradenton and the other in St. Petersburg now dead because of accidental shootings in the home. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said it was an accidental shooting when a 15-year-old shot his 16-year-old friend in the head.

Meanwhile, across the Bay, the St. Peterburg Police Department told us that they are still investigating how that 9-year-old boy, who shot himself last Friday, got the gun in the first place. All of this as a national discussion about gun safety continues.

“I have kids of my own and just letting them know, OK, this is a no-no, we don’t touch this,” said Sgt. Anthony Alli with the St. Pete Police Department. Sgt said parents should start having conversations with their children about gun safety as early as possible. “Sometimes, you have to bring it down to a kids' level. As kids progress and they get older, as teenagers, explain to them the dangers of it and let them know what to do and what not to do with it,” said Sgt. Alli.

St. Pete Police urges parents to do three things in order to protect their children when around guns:

  • Emphasize the fact that guns are not toys for your children.
  • Always treat a firearm as if it were loaded, even if it is not.
  • Play out different scenarios with your kids to prepare them for how to handle a situation where a gun is present.  

Florida law requires you to store your gun in a locked box container or use a trigger lock if you know a minor under the age of 16 could gain access to it.