Local News

Parents Responsible for Keeping Kids & Guns Apart

Posted March 25, 1998

— Guns and children can be a deadly combination. The massacre of four students and one teacher in Jonesboro is proof enough. WRAL's Amanda Lamb has more on what parents can to keep kids and guns apart.

North Carolina law is very clear. Children under 12 can only use a gun if they are supervised by an adult. Adults are required to store firearms in a place where children do not have access to them. The laws are widely ignored.

Gun dealer Barry Perry showed me the correct way to hold a bolt action rifle. The weapon is similar to the one used to kill five people in Arkansas. Perry explains how easy it is to to line up your target in the scope. He says it's just as easy and important to explain gun safety to your children.

Listen toauorRealAudiofiles."Be able to explain in an intelligent manner the danger of the guns, they do and can cause death and things like that, I think it's very important for parents to stress that to their kids."Perry endorses safety courses and safe storage. He sells gun locks, but prefers gun vaults.

Listen toauorRealAudiofiles."These are large steel containers, they are fire proof, handled by combination lock and can be easily guarded by parents."Dr. Marcia Herman-Giddens researches child fatalities for the state.

Listen toauorRealAudiofiles."The biggest issue really is the very easy access in general that children have."She says in 1996, 65 children were killed by guns here, nearly half of those guns were improperly stored by adults.

Listen toauorRealAudiofiles."I think stronger laws as far as ownership of guns in general would help, the thing that is discouraging to me is that I don't think our society wants that."When the two boys in Arkansas went searching for firearms, one of their parents had a metal gun vault. They tried in vain to get it open with a blowtorch, and were not able to. Perry says this is an example of just how successful these vaults are in keeping guns from kids.


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