The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

May 3, 2013

Pediatrician: Children don't fully understand firearm dangers

NORTHUMBERLAND — The accidental death of a 2-year-old has put gun control back in the national spotlight and raised the issue of how young is too young for children to be handling firearms.

In a horrific accident Tuesday, a 5-year-old Kentucky boy killed his 2-year-old sister with a single shot to the chest using a gun marketed toward children.

According to the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, the said Cumberland County, Ky. Coroner Gary White, “described the Cumberland shooting as ‘just one of those crazy accidents’ and said the parents had left the rifle in a corner next to the boy’s BB gun and didn’t realize that it still had a shell in it.”

The rifle - a Crickett - was made by Milton-based Keystone Sporting Arms, which sells guns specifically for children — “My first rifle” is the slogan — in colors ranging from plain brown to hot pink to orange to royal blue to multi-color swirls.

Keystone also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children, including books and bright orange vests and hats.

Calls to Keystone Sporting Arms were directed to the company’s attorney, New York-based John Renzulli.

Renzulli said the “media frenzy” surrounding the case has lead to the company receiving threatening messages.

The company will not have any comment until an investigation into the death has been completed, he said.

“We believe the privacy of the family needs to be respected at this time,” he said.

By the afternoon, visitors to crickett.com received an error message, though Keystone’s other websites, available at keystonesportingarmsllc.com, were working properly.

The key to having firearms in a home with children is “safety, safety, safety, safety,” said Ken Mertz, of Washingtonville, a longtime instructor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Hunter Education program and a 4-H shotgun leader.

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