NewsLocal News


The importance of gun safety and proper ways to store a gun

Make sure guns do not get in the hands of children
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 11:50:28-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office confiscated a 40 caliber handgun from a 6 year old boy.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the gun was in the back seat of the boy's father’s car in a bag. The boy grabbed that bag and put it inside his book bag, then the gun came with him to Mirror Lakes Elementary school.

Fox 4’s Elyse Chengery gets an in depth look from law enforcement on how to properly store guns as what needs to be discussed right now is gun safety.

Lieutenant Pate at Fort Myers Police Department says, "Always treat a gun as if it’s loaded. There’s really 4 rules we abide by for gun safety…always treat the gun as if it’s loaded, keep your finger off the trigger, never point at anything you’re not willing to destroy and when you are shooting make sure do you have a background make sure you see what’s behind your target. If we can keep those in our mind when we are looking at guns... is that number one always treat them as if they’re loaded so if you’re picking up a gun and you don’t know where it’s at you always check you always clear the firearm and make sure nothings there. We in law-enforcement always make sure someone else checks it and we check it so there’s two people verifying that there’s nothing in that gun."

And when it comes to storing guns…

“The state of Florida several years ago passed a law that when a firearm is stored in the house it has to be inaccessible to children locked up in a case and that’s one thing that worries us is that if that gun is stored in someplace that is too readily available to the children that gun can get into the hands and causing injury, causing death or be taken to school," Lieutenant Pate.

When storing a gun in the house - law enforcement suggests a lock box or a gun lock of some sort.
Lieutenant Pate also reminds you not to store a gun in a vehicle because they’ve seen an increase in burglaries. "Not storing them in the car we’ve seen an increase in burglaries and of car vehicles and a firearm being stored in the car left in the car overnight the one place we don’t want them to be. I’d say in the last year or two we’ve seen an increase in theft and handguns specifically being stored or left inside vehicles that’s the big one that we get all the time and we question why you would leave that in a place? That’s very insecure a vehicle is probably the most insecure location that you could it’s not a house where there’s multiple layers of security, multiple vehicle locks to get into it... in the vehicle and a lot of times the vehicles being broke into or unlocked so they’re just simply looking for those doors that are open and then they’re just going to get the firearm inside."

Manager of Fowler Firearms and Gun Range, Jon Dezendorf suggests if you have a gun or are thinking about getting one - take proper classes and know the importance of gun safety, “As far as gun safety is concerned it’s the most important part about owning a firearm. If you carry a firearm concealed as far as for self-defense the gun should be with you besides that the firearm should be secured nobody can obtain it besides the owner of the firearm.”

"They should come see us here at Fowler fire arms and gun range and we can get them a class give them a firearm get everything as far as safety is concerned taken care of for them," Dezendorf.

Lieutenant Pate, “Gun ownership is an important responsibility so you have to be responsible with a firearm where are you store them, how you use them so we’re not showing off to friends we’re not showing off to the kids. They are a tool they are a dangerous tool so when we are handling firearms we have to do it safely and we have to lock them back up or put them where they’re inaccessible to children and that’s a big thing keeping the kids safe and keeping them out of the hands of people who want to break in and use them for some sort of the various activity.”

If you need a gun lock you can stop by the Fort Myers police department to pick one up for free.