Gun safety paramount in avoiding accidental tragedies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Last year in Tennessee, 21 kids were unintentionally shot due to guns being left unattended or unsecured.

It only takes a moment for lives to be forever changed or ended, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Memories are untouchable, prized possessions, but all parents have the fear that one day that’s all they’ll be left with.

Sienna Owens (Courtesy: The Owens family)
Sienna Owens (Courtesy: The Owens family)

“Every memory is going to be treasured forever, yes,” said Danny Owens.

His daughter Sienna died last year in an accidental shooting. She was among seven others who tragically lost their lives.

“Never take for granted your children or the time you have with your children,” Owens told News 2.

Sienna was 11 years old and shot by a 12-year-old in a garage in Franklin County while at a friend’s house.

In Goodlettsville last November, Robert Turner was accused of playing with the laser on his gun near his children.

Police say his 7-year-old picked the gun up and accidentally shot his 5-year-old brother in the head.

Turner was ultimately charged with felony criminal negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

Gun safe
Photo: WKRN

Nashville Armory’s range master, Leroy Farris, tells gun owners one thing: “You need to be responsible for that firearm and know where it is at all times.”

It sounds like common sense, but it’s not always used.

Already this year, the Safe Tennessee Project reports two child deaths from accidental shootings, a 100 percent preventable tragedy.

“You don’t get but one chance. You never get a re-do,” said Farris. “Children are curious. It’s normal for them to pick up something they see on TV.”

Last year, the Washington Post reported that nationwide, a toddler shot themselves or another person every week of the year.

Whether your firearm is for protection or recreation, Farris recommends a safe to store it.

Safes are better than gun locks and trigger locks; a safe can take the risk out of it.

“Anything that can happen at some point will,” Farris added.

In Tennessee, gun owners are not required to secure a gun at home.

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