Innocence Lost: Unintentional firearm death in Missouri. Do you have a claim for damages?

5 children died in Missouri in 2014 from unintentional firearm death.  5 lives gone, 5 families directly devastated and countless others forever altered due to an a preventable cause; firearm negligence.  19 children died by firearms as the result of an intentional act. 

Every single unintentional firearm death was preventable.  Every single one of them.  Across the nation, the same story plays out.  A minor child found a gun and played with it, accidentally shooting themselves, another child or an adult.  Someone was cleaning a gun and did not check to see if it was loaded.  A child visits a friend’s house to play, and finds a gun…Regardless of how it happened, the results are tragic and permanent. 

Despite the rhetoric and the skewed statistics, firearms can be handled safely.  They can be enjoyed, with proper supervision, by children of an appropriate age.  However, children should never be left alone with a gun or access to a gun.  Parents and adult gun owners need to be vigilant and aware of some important facts.

  • Studies have shown that in general terms, children under the age of 8 cannot reliably tell the difference between real and toy guns; nor can they fully understand the consequences of the dangers firearms impose.

  • Some children as young as 3 years of age have the hand strength to pull the triggers of many readily available handguns in the U.S.  Assume that every child can pull the trigger of any gun.

  • Over 65% of parents with school age kids, who have guns in the home, believe that their guns are safe from their children.  But consider this, among a study of first and second graders, 78% knew exactly where those guns were kept. 

This past month, January of 2015, a 5 year old Missouri boy shot and killed his 9 month old brother.  The boy had found a loaded .22 caliber handgun and was playing with it.  Just an innocent boy playing with an inanimate object that unfortunately can cause unimaginable harm.  That young boy with have to grow up knowing that he killed his brother.  The parents will re-live that moment every day for the rest of their lives. 

Adults are no immune from this either.  Our law firm has represented the victims in multiple negligence claims based on the mishandling and misappropriation of firearms by adults.  Just like with the tragic case mentioned above, every one of these cases could have been prevented. 

If you or a loved one have been the victim of an accidental firearm discharge, please contact our law firm immediately for a free consultation.

Duane M. Randle
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Partner at Price & Randle, LLC focused on representing injured parties.

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