Accidental shooting in Payson tragic reminder of gun safety in the home

PAYSON - When a 3-year-old somehow gets his hands on a neighbor's gun and accidentally shoots his 18-month old brother, questions of safety came to mind.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at an apartment complex in Payson.

Specifically, why was the handgun not secured? Why was it loaded? And exactly, who should be held accountable? 

The mom, who brought the kids to the apartment? Or the 78 -year-old man, who owns the gun and left the gun where little hands could reach it?

"That's the direction we're focusing on,” said Payson Police Chief Don Engler. “Any possible negligence that might be associated with that weapon being accessible to the children."

While Payson police continue their investigation, we asked Shooters World in Phoenix, which provides specific classes for child safety around guns, what should adults do to keep the household safe if guns are present and kids are around.

“A proper safe or locking mechanism on the firearm,” said General Manager Jesse Hanson. “There's so many things on the market, such as quick access safes. So if you are using a firearm for your home defense, it’s easy to get to for you and very difficult for even a criminal or a young child.

Engler added when it comes to gun safety in the home, “it's certainly a responsibility for all gun owners to ensure that number one, their weapons aren’t accessible to children, and number two, that they are rendered in a safe manner."

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