Keeping Firearms from Teens

By: Mary Pulley Email
By: Mary Pulley Email

A number of parents in the Valley take their kids hunting and allow them to use guns, which is legal if it's supervised. However, some feel children shouldn't have access to firearms at all.

"The best thing for all parents is that teenager should not have a firearm period. That's just going to be one of the biggest things," say Lt. Kurt Boshart, Harrisonburg Police Department.

Boshart has seen a number of cases involving juveniles using firearms, and some of their parents didn't see it coming.

"We deal a lot with parents who tell us from time to time, I don't search my child's room because it's my child's room, and that's one of the things we would strongly encourage parents to do," says Boshart.

While Boshart says a big safety tip for parents is to make sure to talk to their kids about firearm safety, he says it's the responsibility of every gun owner to properly store their weapons.

He says, "Keep your firearms locked or have trigger locks for them, or keep them in a locked place where only you know where the key is."

Jon Ritenour, the owner of the Homestead Gunsmith shop, agrees.

"Our personal policy at the store is every gun we sell, be it new or used, goes out of here with a gun lock," says Ritenour.

Boshart says he can't stress enough the importance of parents talking to their kids and being aware of what's going on. He also says, in some cases, parents will also be held responsible if their child illegally uses a firearm.

Both the Harrisonburg Police Department, and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office hand out gun locks free of charge.


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