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About 1.7 million kids live in households with loaded, unlocked firearms. Every day at least 3 children die due to accidental firearms’ deaths. Here in California, accidental firearm deaths have been on the rise since the mid nineties. Is there an unlocked firearm in your home, or better yet does your child know where it is located?
In California each year we read reports of children that have been involved in accidental shootings. This year is no different. Last week a two year old was shot and killed by a 12 year old relative when they were playing in their garage. The child “thought” it was a toy gun until of course it went off and struck the small boy. The owner of the gun was later arrested. Under California law, authorities can hold the gun owner responsible for a death if they leave a handgun or weapon where a child may have access to it.
Child Access Prevention (or CAP) Laws hold gun owners responsible if they leave guns easily accessible to children and a child improperly gains access to the weapon. Eighteen states, including California have established these tougher laws to protect children and reduce serious personal injury. The safe storage laws requires gun owners to one, always keep guns out of reach of children and two, if they chose to have their guns out, to always have a safety device to lock the gun.
Each year more than 16,000 children are injured with guns and since 1990, more than 5,000 kids have died. Many of these incidences are from kids finding guns in a drawer, in a closet or an unlocked gun cabinet in the home. Moreover, in 72% of unintentional deaths and injury cases the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, relative or friend.
In a study that asked parents about gun safety, 87% of parents believed that their child would never pick up or play with a gun. Experts agree that parents are deceiving themselves and placing too high of expectations on their children to “know” what the right thing to do is. Parent’s surveyed felt their kids were “too smart” or “knew better” to do something reckless. Gun safety is a safety topic, like stranger danger, that should be discussed with your children as soon as they are old enough to understand the danger and play at other friends’ homes, for example during a play date situation.
Even though gun ownership is a fundamental right guaranteed by the second amendment, along with ownership comes responsibility, and way too many guns are getting in the hands of children who are too young or untrained. This combination can lead to accidental deaths or personal injury. Be smart about storing your guns and protect our children.
If you have been injured in a gun related accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie have a staff of experienced personal injury attorneys that will assist you through this experience.

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