KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police said a 6-year-old boy was killed on the Fourth of July after he accidentally shot himself.
In an email to WATE 6 On Your Side on Monday, Knoxville Police said they wanted to emphasize the importance of responsible gun ownership. “One very important aspect of that is ensuring that your firearms are always kept completely secured in a way that is inaccessible for children, especially if the firearm is loaded,” wrote Scott Erland of the Knoxville Police Department. “These kinds of tragedies can happen in the blink of an eye, so you really cannot ever be too cautious when it comes to firearms.”
While there are many options for firearms safety and security, one is buying a safe built specifically for guns.
“If you only have a few guns you don’t need a gigantic gun safe, but that’s why we have all sizes and all price ranges,” said Mike Bradley, the Owner of The Safe House in Alcoa.
He’s had his business for more than 20 years and also has two other locations, one in Nashville and another in Atlanta. He said it can cost a couple of hundred dollars to secure a single pistol and thousands for an entire gun collection.
Bradley said it’s important gun owners secure their firearms. “They don’t need to be left out to where other folks can get in touch with them that don’t need to be.”
That can include kids or others looking to get their hands on guns. Knoxville Police also told WATE 6 On Your Side they’ve had issues with guns being stolen from vehicles. “Those guns often fall into the hands of people who don’t have the best of intentions,” they wrote. “If you leave your firearm in your vehicle, it needs to be hidden out of plain view and secured under lock and key.”
Bradley said some people are hesitant to buy a gun safe because in an emergency it’d take time to open it. He doesn’t exactly believe that. “You either push buttons or you turn a dial, you can get into your safe in 15 seconds, 6 seconds depending on how quick you are.”
Ultimately, he just wants people to be proactive.
“If you buy a weapon for home security, for your personal security understand the responsibility is there to take care of that weapon and not let someone else have access to it,” said Bradley. “Don’t wait for an accident to happen, don’t wait for somebody to get hurt before you take action.”
Bradley lastly warned people in the market for a safe that the delivery could take longer than usual. “The increase in gun sales has a direct impact on safe sales.”
He said the political climate, the new permitless carry law in Tennessee, and there is no sales tax on safes for nearly the next year is ramping up sales. “Traditionally, you come in and buy a safe and it’s delivered in three days,” said Bradley. “You might be as far out as 12 weeks depending on what you select.” He said in some cases people could be waiting until 2022.