ANN ARBOR, Mich. – In response to yesterday’s reports that while sitting in the car outside of a Kroger as his mother loaded groceries into the car, a four-year-old boy found his mother’s loaded handgun in the center console and, while playing with it, discharged the gun, hitting himself in the leg, the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the statement below.
“I was very upset to read about the four-year-old boy who accessed and discharged his mother’s gun in the parking lot of a Kroger in Troy. Fortunately, he is expected to be okay. Many other American children have not been so lucky,” said Kristen Moore, a volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “ According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been at least 224 unintentional child shootings in 2015, including 15 in Michigan alone. In each case, a child accessed unlocked, loaded guns and shot themselves, another child, or an adult. These tragic incidents are preventable. They are not accidents. Gun owners and non-gun owners alike can be SMARTer and work together to keep our kids safe. Responsibility is critically important when it comes to where we take and how we handle firearms.”
Everytown and Moms Demand recently launched the #NotAnAccident Index, an interactive map, a first-of-its-kind tracking of unintentional shootings by children 17 or under across the United States.
Nationally, the #NotAnAccident Index indicates that since January 1, 2015, there have been at least 224 unintentional shootings involving children. The index is based on media coverage and police reports of instances where a child 17 years or younger unintentionally fired a gun and harmed either him or herself or another person.
In efforts to reduce the number of shootings by children, Everytown and Moms Demand Action recently launched Be SMART, a new 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.