Firearms specialist talks safe gun storage after child's accidental death
So far this year, at least 115 children have died in the United States because of an accidental shooting. On Friday, it happened right here in Anchorage.
Police say 5 year-old Amonzel Binion shot himself in the upper body after retrieving a loaded handgun from a kitchen cupboard in his home on Chugach Way.
Now, Anchorage firearm instructors are spreading the word about safety.
"The correct way to secure a revolver is to thread a cable lock through the barrel, preventing the cylinder from closing," said Sarah Stallone, an owner and instructor of Accurate Advantage.
Stallone grew up around handguns, and now she spends her days teaching kids and adults how to use them -- and how to keep them out of reach of those who shouldn't.
"I had a father that introduced me to firearms when I was three years old. I don't remember a time without firearms, but I also don't remember a time without process, without driven safety rules as well," Stallone said. "Leaving a gun in a drawer is a common storage practice, something that to me is quite scary."
Stallone demonstrated a few ways to ensure the wrong fingers can't pull a gun's trigger. From special locks that are sold with firearms, to simple ones -- like padlocks -- that many may already have at home.
"If it's about safety today, this is something you could do right now," Stallone said as she placed the lock under a gun's trigger.
While some guns come with a safety mechanism built in, that shooters can turn on and off, Stallone says that's not enough.
"We don't trust a life with a safety, though it is a good portion on that gun, it's a good thing to train and learn to always keep the gun stored with the safety on," Stallone said.
Stallone adds that how a gun is stored is more important than where.
"If you put it in a drawer, it needs to be locked," Stallone said. "A safe that actually physically locks the entire firearm into a box would be an option for fast access."
For those who choose to own a firearm, Stallone says it's about finding what works to keep the tool from being seen as a toy and ending up in the wrong hands.
Gun owners in Alaska can get a free gun lock, through national programs like Project Child Safe. For more information, click here.
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