Birmingham, AL. – The Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement in response to Saturday’s reports that while visiting his great-grandfather, a three-year-old boy found a loaded handgun on a nightstand and discharged it, shooting his nine-year-old sister Kimberly Reylander in the head, who died while in transit to an area hospital.
“I was angry and devastated upon learning about the three-year-old who was able to access and discharge a loaded and unsecured firearm, unintentionally killing his nine-year-old sister.” said Enslen Crowe, a volunteer leader with Alabama Moms Demand Action. “We cannot accepting such tragic events as potential occurrences when it comes to gun ownership,” “According to Everytown for Gun Safety since January 1, 2015 Alabama has had 7 instances where a child has accessed a loaded and unlocked firearm and shot themselves or another person nearby. These child shootings are not accidents and should not be labeled as such. They are entirely preventable and parents, gun-owners and non-gun owners alike, should Be SMART to ensure the safety of our kids around firearms.”
In 2016 there have already been 27 unintentional child shootings with 15 injuries and 12 deaths. Nationally, this is at least the 300th unintentional child shooting since January 1, 2015. Alabama has witnessed 7 unintentional child shootings, resulting in 5 injuries and 2 deaths.
In 2015, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action launched the #NotAnAccident Index and interactive map, the first of it’s kind tracking of unintentional shootings by children 17 or under across the United States.
In efforts to reduce the number of shootings by children, Everytown and Moms Demand launched Be SMART in 2015, a public education campaign asking gun owners and non-gun owners alike to come together to reduce the number of unintentional shootings, suicides, and homicides that occur when firearms are not stored responsibly and children or teens get ahold of a gun. The campaign asks parents and caretakers to take five steps to help prevent shootings by children: Secure all guns in your home and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the risks of teen suicide; Tell your peers to be SMART. More information on Be SMART is available at BeSMARTforKids.org.