May 22, 2013
The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office is working to make sure gun accidents, like the one that claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl in Crozet, don't happen.
Gun experts, like Tobey Bouch, of Tobey's Pawn in Charlottesville, say gun locks can go a long way in preventing accidents.
"Even if it had a round in the chamber you would not be able to fire," said Bouch. "The firing pin would not be able to make contact with the round."
An $8 cable lock in his store will work on all guns.
"It allows you to keep anybody from firing it because the bolt will not actually go into the chamber," said Bouch.
Those that can't afford to buy their own gun lock can get one for free from the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office. The office has hundreds of them, and Chief Deputy Bobby Shiflett says they have given out hundreds of them already, and he hopes they will save lives.
"Accidents like this are very unfortunate," said Shiflett. "Your heart goes out to the families and the victims."
The sheriff's office also offers a class, put together by the NRA, that teaches elementary school kids about the safe use of guns.
"They're not real weapons," Shiflett said, about the props used in the class. "They're fake weapons, but it gives them an idea. It shows them what to do with it."
Bouch says, that instruction can be the best safety of all.
"I would encourage anybody who's going to keep firearms in their home to educate children in how to use them," said Bouch. "How to properly maintain them, how to treat them. Those types of things are more important than any device or lock or cabinet or anything you can put a gun in."