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Florida Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond to Death of Girl who Unintentionally Shot and Killed Herself While Looking for Candy in Grandmother’s Purse

#NotAnAccident Index Reveals There Have Been at Least 208 Unintentional Shootings by Children Nationwide This Year, Resulting in 84 Deaths and 127 Injuries

Moms Demand Action’s Be SMART Program Outlines Steps Adults Can Take to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Children

TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today issued the following statement in response to reports that a four-year-old girl in Tampa unintentionally shot and killed herself while reaching for candy in her grandmother’s purse.

Research by Everytown for Gun Safety indicates that there have been at least 208 unintentional shootings by children nationwide this year, resulting in 84 deaths and 127 injuries. In Florida alone, there have been 17 unintentional shootings by children this year – the most of any state in the country – including six fatal incidents.

Adults, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, can help prevent unintentional shootings by children by following the steps laid out in Moms Demand Action’s Be SMART program.

STATEMENT FROM WENDY MALLOY, TAMPA-BASED VOLUNTEER WITH THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“My heart is breaking for the family of Nelly Zoller. She was just four years old, and her family says that, like many four year olds, she loved playing with puppies and watching cartoons. I wish she were still here enjoying those things, today.

“Unintentional shootings by children are all too common in our communities. Already this year, there have been at least 17 unintentional shootings by children right here in Florida – the most of any state in the country – and Nelly’s death was the sixth fatal incident this year. I will never stop grieving for the families who have been touched by this violence.

“It is always an adult’s responsibility to prevent unauthorized access to guns, not a curious child’s responsibility to avoid guns. I implore everyone to review the Moms Demand Action Be SMART program, which introduces five easy steps all adults can take to ensure guns are stored responsibly and help prevent incidents like these from happening. By starting this conversation about responsible gun storage in our communities, we can let people know about the simple things that everyone – gun owners and non-gun owners alike – can do to prevent these tragedies.