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Law enforcement offers gun safety tips for children

Statistics show at least 35 percent of all Florida homes have guns inside

South Florida has been the scene of three recent accidental shooting involving children, and authorities and gun experts are weighing in on how to keep your home and your children safe.
South Florida has been the scene of three recent accidental shooting involving children, and authorities and gun experts are weighing in on how to keep your home and your children safe.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Guns and children have proven to be a lethal combination in South Florida, following several incidents in which young people have been hurt and killed by accidental gunfire.

Statistics show that, in Florida, at least 35 percent of all homes have guns somewhere inside. But experts say accidents can be prevented.

Last week, the Broward Sheriff's Office held a free, recurring gun safety course for children. Sgt. Robert Chenoweth, a BSO range master, said the time to talk to kids about guns is when they start to show curiosity.

His advice to children who come across a gun is simple.

"If you come in contact with a firearm - stop," Chenoweth said. "Don't touch. Leave the area. And tell and adult."

His advice to parents:

"The easiest thing to do would be to keep it locked up and in a secure container," he said.

There are a variety of gun safes available at gun stores throughout South Florida. Experts say gun locks are also an effective way to keep a gun from firing in the wrong hands. At the BSO gun safety course, gun locks were offered for free.

The next safety class will be held at the Cooper City District Office on Wednesday, Aug. 19  at 7 p.m. The address is 10580 Stirling Road. For more information, visit the Broward Sheriff's Office website.

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