MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - This year, in particular, has been marked by a number of kids wounded or killed in accidental shootings. By our count, there have been at least seven in the Memphis area since September alone.
It happened this weekend to 13 year old Carl Fowler after his friend reportedly pointed a shotgun at him. Fowler was killed.
Bull Frog Corner Pawn and Gun owner Danny Metcalf says inexperience with weapons is a killer.
"Kids keep getting loaded guns in their hands, and they don't know how to operate them," said Metcalf.
For example, some guns are very sensitive and don't take much to pull the trigger.
"A kid might not know how much they pulling and it will go off," said Metcalf.
Even de-cocking a gun can have deadly consequences if the hammer slips.
"Now if that slipped out of your finger, bam! That could be an accident," said the gun shop owner.
A number of recent accidental shootings happened while a kid was holding the weapon. Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich says charging a minor in cases like that depends on the evidence.
"If we can't prove that there's a crime, then we can't charge somebody with a crime," said D.A. Weirich
In some cases, a child doesn't get charged in an accidental shooting, but an adult does.
"There was a case a couple of years ago where the gun was left in the child's toy box. That's not only irresponsible parenting, but that rises to the level of criminal conduct," said D. A. Weirich.
Metcalf says you have to keep guns out of a child's reach.
"You can have all the safeties on a gun. Safety is not going to stop that. If a kid can pull the trigger, they can take it off safety," said Metcalf.. "Guns need to be put up with locks."
Words of wisdom that will hopefully prevent future heartache.