Fatal gun accident sparks safety talks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fatal gun accident sparks safety talks

Posted: Updated:
Frank Herndon, a Leesburg Police Officer and salesman at Backwoods Outdoors Frank Herndon, a Leesburg Police Officer and salesman at Backwoods Outdoors
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Albany teen seriously injured by hit & run driver

    Albany teen seriously injured by hit & run driver

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:02 AM EDT2014-07-29 08:02:54 GMT
    Albany Police searching for hit and run driver.More >>
    Albany Police searching for hit and run driver.More >>
  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

South Georgia gun safety experts are urging gun owners to lock up their weapons and keep them out of reach of children following a fatal accident involving a 10 year-old Waycross girl.

For many Americans, the fascination with firearms starts at a young age. "Guns are like a magnet for kids. They see them on TV all the time and they pick them up," said Frank Herndon, a gun salesman at Backwoods Outdoors. 

That interest claimed 10 year-old Taylor Marie Jowers' life after she asked to hold her teenage brother's 12-gage shotgun, which fired while he was unloading the weapon. Deputies arrested the victim's father when they determined he shouldn't have had weapons in the house.  Joshua Jowers has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Detectives seized several other guns from the home. 

"You know, why did he have it out? Where were the parents," asked Herndon. He's a Leesburg Police Officer, served in the military, and has a lot of experience with firearms. "The magazine was probably loaded in the (brother's) weapon and the chamber was empty, and when he went to open to check it, he probably put a round in the chamber," he said while demonstrating on a 12 gage shotgun in his store. 

Hernon said parental supervision and storing ammunition separate from weapons could have prevented the accident. "If you think the child is gonna be able to get to it (the gun), lock it up," he said. "Put it in a safe, or put the gun lock on it."

The Centers for Disease and Control says 62 children under the age of 14 died from accidental gunshots in 2010. Gun safety experts say every firearm should be treated as though it's loaded. To avoid any tragedies, make sure to point weapons in a safe direction before handling them.

"Learn the fundamentals of handling the weapon," Herndon said.

He said children interested in hunting should also be gradually introduced to firearms. "Don't buy a ten year-old child a .30-06," he said. "Buy them something that's size manageable for that child. Something that's gonna be easy for that child to learn how to use the safeties on it, and how to use the action of the gun." 

Herndon says gun locks offer extra protection. He said gun owners can request free replacements of safety manuals and gun locks from the weapon's manufacturer if they get lost over time.  He also gun owners to attend gun safety classes.  

 

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.