The father of a 6-year-old girl who was accidentally shot Sunday afternoon by a 6-year-old boy is stressing the importance of gun safety as his daughter still fights in the hospital with serious injuries.
Gary Hamblin says he was working in Indiana when he got the call his daughter had been shot back at a home in Greenup County, Kentucky.
The kids reportedly found the gun in an unsecured wooden cabinet, and Hamblin says knowing the gun was left unsecured is what disturbs him the most about the incident, WSAZ reports.
“I am a big supporter of gun safety,” Hamblin said. “Any of you parents out there who have guns, lock them up.”
Firearms experts are reinforcing Hamblin’s statement, including gun range owner and retired police officer William Bare.
“Part of being a responsible gun owner is you’ve got to protect your family,” Bare said. “That’s the whole reason why you purchased a gun. So you want to have some type of device that will secure your weapon to keep any unwanted person, a kid another adult, anybody from getting access to the firearm.”
Bare noted the numerous devices available to safely store firearms and spoke about having a dialogue with his own children about firearms safety.
“I took the mystery out of it with my children,” Bare said. “I showed them that anytime they wanted to look at the firearm, that I would get it down, show it to them, and make sure it’s safe to where they could touch it.”
Hamblin indicated his daughter’s injuries were very serious — including a punctured lung, shattered shoulder and broken ribs — and said she was still fighting for her life at a local hospital.
“If you’re a responsible adult and you want to own guns, take the proper precautions to do it,” Hamblin said. “Do not let another child, another angel that was given to you, get hurt.”
No charges have been filed related to the accidental shooting and Kentucky State Police are investigating the incident.