TEMPLE, Texas — Owning a firearm is an extremely serious responsibility. If not taken seriously, people could either lose their lives or be injured for the remainder of their lives.
Aftermath.com reports nearly 500 people unintentionally die by a gun in an average year.
A nine-year-old in Killeen was shot in the foot on Sept. 6 during a physical altercation between a man and women.
Since Texas Bill 1927 made it legal in Texas for most people 21 or over to carry a handgun in a holster without a permit both openly and/or concealed a year ago, Hawkeye Shooting Academy Brent Martin says business has grown more and more each month.
“We've seen a great uptick in people wanting to purchase firearms and learn how to use them," Martin said.
He also believes the loose gun laws in Texas may have played a role in the continued accidental shootings across the U.S.
Martin said keeping your firearm far away from young children and those with no firearm experience can be a start to lowering the number of accidental deaths.
“You've got to be always hypervigilant if you don't have it secure of where it is and who could possibly get it at any time," said Martin. "And never leave it at the house and unsecure while you're gone. If you can't or you don't have a lock box to put it in, then you take it with you."
The Temple Police Department partnered with Project Child Safe to offer free gun locks to the community for a few years.
Deputy Sheriff Jeff Clark wants the public to remember what resources they have and hopes more people will utilize these gun locks to prevent the worst from happening.
"Fortunately this year, we've been lucky this year where we haven't had any accidental shootings but you know, it does happen from time-to-time and those are definitely ones that we try to do everything we can to be able to prevent," Martin said.
These gun locks can be found at the TPD station and can be picked up at any time.