Wichita police chief urges people to practice gun safety, reduce accidental shootings

Local

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – According to a Centers for Disease Control report, since 2015 there have been 30 accidental shootings in Kansas involving children, out of which 25 were injured and seven died.

In the last week alone, three children have been injured in accidental shootings in Wichita.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said on Tuesday that accidental shootings like the one that happened Monday night could have been avoided if proper gun safety was practiced.

“What we are seeing here is we are seeing significant injuries, and if that continues, it is only a matter of time before an innocent person is going to be killed in an accidental discharge,” said Chief Ramsay.

The Wichita Police Department said even one accidental shooting is one too many. In 2020, the department reported approximately 26 accidental shooting incidents. So far this year, the department reported around 12 accidental shootings.

“It is very important to make sure that before you purchase a firearm that you have basic knowledge and receive training on how to properly safely handle a gun,” said Chief Ramsay.

Chief Ramsay said with record firearm sales in 2020, more guns could end up in the wrong hands.

“We continue to see guns stolen from cars and burglaries. It’s a concern for us because a lot of those guns are later used in crimes,” said Chief Ramsay.

Ken Grommet is the co-owner and head instructor at Range 54. He said it’s important to always keep guns safely locked away.

“Locking guns up is important whether via a quick access safe or a large safe. Guns need to be kept out of the hands of unauthorized people whether it is children or somebody breaking into the house,” he said.

When in doubt, Grommet said there are four basic rules for safety to follow.

“One is treat every gun like it is loaded number, number 2 is don’t point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy, number 3 is keep the finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire, and number 4 is know your target and what is beyond it,” he said.

Important rules that Chief Ramsay said could save a life.

“There are permanent injuries and potential death by these accidental discharges and it is 100% preventable,” said Chief Ramsay.

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