Accidental child shooting in Louisville prompts calls for gun safety

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Since 2015, at least a dozen kids in Louisville have been accidentally killed or injured because they grabbed a gun or because another child did.

"I wish people would wake up and take it seriously," said Barry Laws, CEO of OpenRange gun shop. "It literally takes a second for a child to get a gun." 

On Wednesday night, another family felt the pain of an accidental shooting. A 3-year-old boy in the Russell neighborhood got a hold of a gun and accidentally shot himself in the face.

"Anytime a child is injured, everyone takes it to heart," LMPD Sgt. Dean Sturgeon said. "It affects you personally."

That child is going to be OK, but the shooting brought Luther Brown back to dark times.

"When I first got the news of the baby being shot yesterday, it just re-lived baby Dre all over again," Brown said. 

Brown's 8-year-old grandson was shot and killed after a mishap with a gun in 2016.

"That baby yesterday wouldn't have had this issue today had this been on that gun," he said. "Baby Dre would be alive had they practiced safe gun storage."

Brown is working with local lawmakers to get a state bill passed that would hold gun owners criminally responsible if a child is hurt or killed by an unsecured gun. This seems to be something people on different sides of the gun issue can agree on.

"It has to begin here in Jefferson County," Brown said. 

Sturgeon said he thinks parents should also be held accountable for their actions. 

"It really isn't an accident when it's negligence," Sturgeon said. "And so I personally wish that there would be ways to enforce the responsibility level on that person who was negligent."

Even though Laws is gun shop owner, he too said it's time for parents to be held responsible, and it's up to them to keep their kids safe. 

"I'm not a big fan of new laws, but somebody has to be held responsible," he said. "I know it's devastating, but people need to be held accountable for their actions, and these parents are being completely, completely irresponsible."

The proposed legislation is pending, but a official hearing on it has been scheduled for Nov. 9 in Louisville. 

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