Most neighbors use the grassy curb areas outside our homes as play-space. We live in the city and our yards are small, so any flat green area automatically draws kids in. Today we learned that a hand gun was discovered by a child playing in the parking strip outside their home. The child alerted his mother, who then quickly called 911. The weapon appears to have been dumped recently, and while there is no visible clip, there could have been a bullet in the chamber.
It is fortunate that an adult was present when the gun was discovered. According to Seattle Children’s, “each year in Washington state, about 33 children are hospitalized and 19 die from gun injuries. Most of these shootings occur in or around the home.” Kids are curious and when they see something new, they are likely to explore. That might mean picking up a gun, looking into the barrel, or pointing at a friend – completely unaware of the danger.
Detective Mark Jamieson, SPD Public Affairs, shared that the neighbor who found the gun today did everything right. The neighbor didn’t touch the weapon and called 911 right away. “The neighbor did a good job.”
So what happens with the weapon now? Det. Jamieson shared that the SPD will “run it”, checking the identification number or serial number for ownership. They will determine if the weapon was stolen, or used in a crime. A report will be written and then the gun will be placed into evidence. If it is suspected that a crime was committed with the weapon, it could stay there indefinitely. If it was stolen, SPD will make every effort to return the gun to the rightful owner.
Knowing that there is the potential for dangerous items to be discarded curbside, parents need to talk with kids about possible hazards. On their website, Seattle Children’s provides parents with guidance regarding firearm safety and talking with children about guns. Click here to learn more about gun safety: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/safety-wellness/guns-in-the-home/