Concern About Kids Access To Guns
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
April 10, 2013
The fatal shooting of a six-year-old boy by a four-year-old neighbor in Toms River is raising concern about children getting their hands on guns.
New Jersey has a law that allows disorderly conduct charges to be filed against an adult for leaving a gun where a kid could get it.
Bryan Miller is executive director of Heeding God’s Call, a gun violence prevention organization.
He has concerns about a provision in the law that would prevent it from being applied if the gun was kept in in a place believed to be secure.
“I think that means it’s up to the prosecutor to decide whether it fits or not, and that’s the sort of thing that should be more clearly defined so that if someone is negligent and a child is wounded or uses a gun, that there’s a charge for it.”
Miller says prosecutors are reluctant to file charges in those cases because they believe the family has suffered enough.
He plans to lobby to strengthen the law as state lawmakers consider a series of gun control measures.
“Prosecutors should use the law thereby making it more obvious to more people so they learn to practice safer storage of guns. If a prosecutor charges, even if it’s a relatively low penalty, that will get out in the news, and more people will take care with their guns.”