Portsmouth Police using social media to educate kids on gun safety

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 17:37:52-05

Portsmouth, Va. - There is a quiet atmosphere on Lancer Drive, unlike when it had a large police presence Sunday after a seven-year-old accidentally shot himself in the hand with an unsecured firearm.

Residents say can't believe kids have access to guns.

“Kids a grab a gun and want to shoot it, just to feel it," resident Paulette Pope said. “Ain`t nothing like that happen over here and I been staying out here for 16 years. '

And it didn't just happen once, but twice. That same day a child accidentally shot another child on Morgate Lane.

'I was also concerned that this could have been an accidental killing, just playing with guns,” Malisha Blackwell, who lives across from where the shooting happened, explained. “My first thing was `How did they get it?’”

According to police the shooter actually found the gun outside.

“Oh my god,” resident Vanessa Crawley said. “For a nine-year-old or a seven-year-old to find a gun and it was just laying out side, it do surprise me.”

Luckily, neither of these two situations were deadly, but now Portsmouth Police are using Facebook to teach parents how to talk to their children about gun safety.

The department posted this status that reads in part “teaching and repeating firearm safety information with children of all ages can help stop accidental shooting injuries and death due to firearm mishandling.”

It includes a list of rules and guidelines as well as a video of kids talking about gun safety. Parents just hopes this is will be a wake up call for everyone.

“It was really senseless for what happened. I`m glad that they`re okay,” Blackwell said.

For more information on gun safety, visit the Portsmouth Facebook Page or ProjectChildSafe.