Public safety officials share importance of gun safety during summer months

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - As many kids embark on summer break, law enforcement and public health officials are working to inform everyone about gun safety, especially those who have firearms in their homes.

Kentucky State Police trooper Matt Gayheart said although accidental deaths involving firearms are not too common, it is still important to know safety tips that can prevent a tragedy like that from happening.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

“Right now, as we see, our schools are letting out for the summer, a lot of people around here have households with firearms inside, we need to make sure we’re being as safe as possible in making sure those kids not only understand how that firearm works, but to also maintain safety while around that firearm,” Gayheart said.

Gayheart added gun safety education should begin early for children.

“The most important one for me would be to treat every firearm like it’s loaded, whether you know that to be true or untrue. Never point a firearm at anything you’re not intending to shoot,” he said.

Scott Lockard with the Kentucky River District Health Department said there are several resources, like the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, that teach basic gun safety.

“I think what we see that is a great concern in that people are getting firearms who are not getting the proper training, who don’t go through appropriate safety education,” Lockard said.

Gun locks and gun storage are key in making sure firearms do not end up in the wrong hands.

“We suggest that a firearm be stored in some kind of lock box or some type of container, whether it be a gun cabinet, or some kind of lock and key that children do not have access to,” said Gayeheart.

Gayheart added although most people would like to have their firearms easily accessible in the case of a home invasion or other life-threatening situation, it is still important to ensure firearms are unloaded and safely stored to prevent accidents from happening.

If you do not have a handgun lock and are interested in getting one, KSP Post 13 and the Kentucky River District Health Department can supply you with one.