Harrisonburg police encourage gun safety after accidental shooting

Photo: Janson Silvers
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Harrisonburg Police Department wants to remind everyone of the importance of gun safety in the wake of an accidental shooting that injured a juvenile last Friday.

On August 11, the Harrisonburg Police Department responded to a home in the Mosby Court area, where a juvenile was found with a gunshot wound and taken to UVA Medical Center.

The boy is now in stable condition.

Police say the incident was an accident, involving another juvenile and an unsecured firearm. Investigation continues, however, and charges are pending.

Considering the role of the unsecured firearm, police say they "would like to remind all residents, especially parents and guardians of children, of the importance of firearms safety while in the home. Most firearms accidents can be prevented with owner precautions and proper storage of equipment and ammunition."

If you want to learn more about best practices for keeping children safe with firearms in the home, Harrisonburg police recommend Safe Kids Worldwide and Project Child Safe as excellent resources.

The department also has gun locks available to the community, in the same way many local law enforcement agencies do.

The National Shooting Sports Foundations Top Ten Safety Tips include the following:
• Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
• Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
• Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
• Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
• Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
• Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms.
• Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety.

You can also call the Community Services Unit of the Harrisonburg Police Department at 540-437-2635 for more information.