Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

14-year old Illinois boy brings three guns to school and fires one

A 14-year old boy brought three guns to his school, in Bloomington, Illinois, and fired one on school property.  Apparently no one was hurt.  Two of the guns belonged to his parents.  One belonged to him.  He also brought knives

He is experienced with target shooting.  

From an article:

A 14-year-old student left home with three handguns — one of them his own — Sept. 7 and fired one of the weapons in a Normal Community High School classroom about an hour later, raising questions about how firearms are stored in homes where children live. 
How the boy accessed the guns that he carried into school along with ammunition, two knives, a hatchet and other items found by police is one of the questions authorities have not answered yet about the incident that forced the evacuation of the school during a six-hour ordeal on a rainy Friday morning. 
But McLean County State’s Attorney Ron Dozier said Wednesday that the student “knew where the guns were kept.” 
One of the weapons, a .22-caliber handgun, belonged to the minor who “has experience with target practice,” said Dozier.
The parents of the 14-year-old involved in the NCHS incident are cooperating with authorities, and the state has no plans to file criminal charges against them, said Dozier. 
The charges filed against the minor, whose identity is protected in juvenile court records, include three counts of unlawful use of weapons for carrying a firearm into a school and three counts of unlawful possession and concealment of a handgun by a person under 18. 
In a culture where gun violence has rocked schools across the country, last week’s incident involving gunshots was a first for Twin City schools. The most recent gun possession case in the area was reported in 2007 in Pontiac where a student brought six unloaded guns to school with plans to sell them. 
Illini Central schools in Mason City were locked down Wednesday after a report of someone bringing a gun to school. After searching the school, police say no gun was actually found.

The article also discusses the importance of keeping guns locked and unloaded, preferably in a gun safe:
“Gun ownership comes with the responsibility to store them safely,” said Stephen Stewart, owner of 10-8 Outfitters gun shop in Bloomington. 
Stewart’s shop sells several items designed to secure handguns, including a small vault. The vaults are small enough to fit under a bed or on a closet shelf and can be opened by entering a four-digit code. 
Trigger locks are included by manufacturers on all new guns and given to owners who purchase used guns as well, said Stewart. 
Keeping guns in a safe or installing trigger locks is the responsible thing to do, said Stewart, but it does not preclude a determined person from figuring out a way around the safeguards. 
Illinois gun owners are not required to lock up firearms in their homes, but keeping weapons out of the hands of unsupervised youths can prevent tragedy, said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery. 
“Gun owners have a responsibility to ensure children don’t have access to weapons. If firearms are in a gun safe, they are out of sight, out of mind,” said Emery.
Allowing access to guns could lead to civil lawsuits for owners whose firearms are involved in an incident that harms another person, but criminal charges are rarely filed. 
The local gun scares provide “a teachable moment for people to talk about safe gun storage and the easy access that might exist to firearms in the home. Nowhere in the U.S. are we insulated from these situations,” said Stewart.

The boy was arrested and will be charged.  The parents, who allowed access to the guns, are not being charged.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

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