Portsmouth, Va. – Police are asking parents to educate their children on gun safety, after two juvenile involved shootings last weekend.
In both cases a child got a hold of an unsecured gun.
While no one was killed in either incident, police are asking parents to use gun safety locks, which are handed out for free at the police department.
If you cannot get a gun safety lock, police ask gun owners lock up their guns in a secure, safe location.
While explaining gun safety to your children, police also recommend showing your children your guns, to help curb their natural curiosity.
“If you have a child and they know you have a weapon, they are going to be curious,” said Officer Shawn Rochefort, the Range Master of the Portsmouth Police Department (PPD). “If you make it something that they know they’re not allowed to see, something that they’re not allowed to touch, then they’re going to want to find it on their own.
“One of the great things that you can do, is sit down with your kid, show them the weapon.”
Additionally, police say gun owners are not the only people responsible for educating children on the dangers of guns.
Detective Misty Holley with the PPD says both parents who do not own guns, and anyone who works with or has a close relationship with a child (i.e. caretaker, teacher, aunt, uncle) should educate themselves on juvenile gun safety as well.
Aside from the recent incidents, Holley says the department has not seen a lot of calls for juveniles firing a weapon, however she say they have seen more people purchasing guns in the last couple years.
“Remind them once a month,” Holley told NewsChannel 3 from the Portsmouth Police Department Training Center on Friday. “If you feel like your child is not getting it, remind them once a week about firearm safety.”