DURHAM: Free gun locks given at Durham gun safety event - WFLA News Channel 8

Free gun locks given at Durham gun safety event

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In April, 9-year-old Christian Pittman accidentally shot and killed himself in Durham. In April, 9-year-old Christian Pittman accidentally shot and killed himself in Durham.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Putting a stop to accidental shooting deaths in Durham is a goal for community leaders after recent tragedies in the city.

The Durham County Human Services Building hosted an "Asking Saves Kids" campaign in the courtyard Monday morning. The event taught responsible gun ownership and how to find out if guns are at the home where a child may be playing or visiting.

"We know that in the U.S. about once in three homes has a gun and many of those guns are not stored properly," said Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley of the University of North Carolina.

After seeing several young accidental shooting victims come through her hospital, Coyne-Beasley started the Durham County Gun Safety Team.

"I really was interested in trying to develop a program that would actually help reduce firearm injuries to young people because these are injuries that are absolutely preventable," she said.

Officials said the use of gun locks should go hand in hand with responsible gun ownership. Those who attended the course were able to get a free gun lock for their firearm.

That's a step gunshot victim Timothy Brown is glad is happening in his city.

"I just think they are doing a good job with that, trying to keep the gun violence out of Durham," he said. “I think that's a good thing."

Timothy Davis was accidentally shot in the throat when he was 16 years old by a friend who was playing with a gun.

"When I got hit, I didn't know until all of my stuff started swelling up," he said. "My arms and my neck started to swell."

After spending a month in the hospital and learning how to walk again, at age 23, Davis strongly encourages gun owning parents to make sure their guns are locked away.

In April, 9-year-old Christian Pittman accidentally shot and killed himself in Durham.

Copyright WNCN 2014. All rights reserved.

Shumuriel Ratliff

Shumuriel, a North Carolina native, is thrilled to be back in the Tar Heel state as a general assignment reporter for WNCN.
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