HAMPTON, Ga. — With the rise in cases of children being hurt or killed by guns, one metro Atlanta gun shop owner is creating his own potential solution.
Brad Ward owns Full Blown Firearms in Hampton and has been teaching children under the age of 12 gun safety classes for the last seven years.
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He told Channel 2′s Michele Newell that this is one way he hopes to prevent children from mishandling unsecured guns and possibly hurting themselves or someone else.
“If you educate kids, you take that curiosity factor away. You’ve now taught them how to use it, you’ve taught them it’s dangerous and you don’t need to play with this. It has the power to hurt somebody,” he explained.
Ward says he uses different types of guns to teach children of different ages.
A 4-year-old may learn with a .22 caliber pistol, while older kids may use a .22 caliber handgun or .22 caliber rifle.
He hopes that taking these classes will help prevent a child from misusing a gun.
This comes after a 4-year-old died Thursday from a shooting in Griffin over the weekend. The mother and her boyfriend are charged with murder, but police aren’t sure if child accidentally shot himself.
Last week, a 7-year-old was shot by his 9-year-old stepbrother with a gun left inside the car while the mom was picking up food from a Snellville Chipotle.
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When they are taking a class, there is always an instructor right next to them. Depending on their age or maturity level, they could be firing the gun in the first 30 minutes of their lesson.
The kids learn to always a treat a gun like it’s loaded and never point at anything they don’t want to shoot.
“If they adhere to those two rules, if there is an accident, they shoot a hole in the floor or they shoot a hole in the coffee table, but nobody bleeds, and that’s the ultimate goal,” Ward said.
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Police say that parents need to make sure their children don’t have access to their guns. Whether it’s in the home or the car, it needs to be secured so they can’t get to it.
Ward says there are ways to make sure children can’t use the gun, even if they get their hands on it, like key locks that stop the gun from working.
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