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Causes of Accidental Gunshots: Understanding Gun Safety

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According to statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 96 Americans are killed by guns each day. For every fatality, roughly two more people are injured by guns. Some of these fatalities and injuries could have been prevented with proper gun safety and common sense.

The unintentional discharge of a weapon can lead to fatal injuries. If the gun was fired as a result of negligence, seeking a Houston, TX accidental gunshot attorney can help you recover damages for the injury sustained. Below, we'd like to cover some common causes of accident gunshots, and then offer some simple gun safety tips.

Lack of Experience Around Firearms

A number of accidental shootings occur simply because the person who fired the gun has never handled a gun before. It's no surprise that many accidental shooting victims tend to be younger than 25. If you are going to handle a firearm for personal/home protection or for recreational shooting, be sure to take a weapon's training course.

Poor Storage of Firearms

Another cause of accidental shootings is people leaving weapons unattended or just laying around. Guns need to be treated as if they're always loaded, and given their due respect. Make sure that your guns are always properly stored, and you know where they are at all times.

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol and other controlled substances affect your coordination, vision, and decision-making skills. No one should handle a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Tragedies are more likely when controlled substances are present near guns.

Irresponsible Gun Use

A gun is not a toy and should never be treated as one. You should never point a gun at someone or pull the trigger as a joke. So many accidental shootings occur because people simply do not have proper respect for guns and the harm that they can cause.

Lack of Communication

When out hunting or at a shooting range, it's important to communicate your intentions clearly with other armed individuals in the area. Be properly attired, and make yourself known so as not to startle others. Miscommunication can be deadly, so always be aware and communicative with others.

Accidental Discharge of a Firearm

Accidental discharge of a firearm can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common involves people resting their finger on the trigger of a gun rather than keeping their finger off the trigger. Some triggers are extremely sensitive, and just a little bit of pressure can cause an accidental discharge.

Minors Using Guns

Tragically, the presence of guns around minors is more likely to lead to accidental shootings. According to the CDC, gun-related injuries are the third leading cause of death among people 17 years old and younger.

Very young children may be harmed in accidental shootings because of their innocence and inexperience. By contrast, adolescents who wield guns may cause severe injuries due to impulsivity, hubris, feelings of invincibility, and aggression.

Tips to Prevent Accidental Shootings

There are many tips for gun safety worth heeding. It's a good idea to take a proper weapon's training course and/or shooting class just to be a safe side and and to ensure that you are a responsible gun owner. When any firearm is present, these four weapon safety rules from the US Marine Corps are worth following:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
  • Do not point your weapon at an anything or anyone unless you intend to shoot
  • Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to open fire
  • Keep the safety on until you intend to open fire

In addition, when you are aiming at a target, always consider what is around and beyond the target. A bullet could wind up hitting someone in the vicinity of your intended target or behind it, causing a potentially fatal injury.

Learn More About Accidental Gunshot Lawsuits

For more information about your legal rights following a gunshot wound or any kind of incident involving the discharge of a firearm, be sure to contact an experience injury and accident attorney. The team at the Law Office Of Shane R. Kadlec will answer your questions and help you hold the negligent party accountable.

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