Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wichita Safe Storage Repealed - Accidental Shootings Increased

There was a time in Wichita when an ordinance required adults to properly secure guns around children.

Some people, including the mayor, wish it was still that way. Others say that a law is not the solution to protecting children.
For 12 years, Wichita had an ordinance regulating gun storage around children. The Wichita law required that guns be properly secured if someone under 18 could have access and required that adults keep guns unloaded, locked away or secured with trigger locks. The City Council adopted the ordinance – punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail – in 1993 after a rash of accidental shootings involving children. In a little over two years, from January 1991 through April 1993, police recorded 69 firearms accidents in Wichita that resulted in death or injury. In 26 of the cases, the victim was under 18.
In 2005, the Wichita gun storage ordinance was repealed because a state law nullified it.
After the ordinance was repealed, from 2007 through 2013, Wichita police recorded on average eight accidental shootings at homes each year, according to numbers Lt. Dan East provided Friday. In 2013, 10 shootings were reported. No other details of those accidental shootings, including whether they involved children, were available, East said.
On the state level, there is no law specifically involving safe gun storage, said Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett.
Last month, the governor signed into law a bill that will prohibit local governments from enforcing local gun ordinances and will make gun laws uniform across the state.

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