For Immediate Release
Release Date: 02/06/2013
EBR Officials Jointly Targeting Gun Safety
Mayor-President Melvin gKiph Holden, District Attorney Hillar Moore, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, Coroner William gBeauh Clark, and Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White are jointly issuing this alert together to warn parents, young adults, and teenagers of the danger our community is currently facing from the improper use and mishandling of firearms. It is against federal law for any person under age 21 to possess or handle a handgun except while engaged in adult supervised activity (shooting sports, hunting, etc.). Similar prohibitions are in place for the possession and use of long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, by anyone under age 18.
Since January 1, 2013, Baton Rouge police officers and sheriff's deputies have had to respond to multiple shootings involving minors killed by others mishandling firearms. In these cases, the adult owners of these weapons should expect to face prosecution for negligent homicide or improper supervision of a minor.
Often times these shootings are referred to as accidental shootings. This is not correct. These are not accidents. They are foreseeable injuries and deaths that can occur whenever the adult owners of these firearms leave them unsecured where children and young adults can access them.
To reduce future senseless killings, we are urging parents and other adults in the Baton Rouge Community secure their weapons and provide adult supervision for any shooting activities. Together we can avoid future deaths while we mourn the loss of three minors due to needless shootings in the first month of this New Year:
Enrico Green (age 15). Deaundre Williams (age 20) arrested for this death by handgun
Travin Varice (age 2). Terrance Varise (age 18) arrested for this death by handgun
Marcus Williams (age 17). T.T. a 16 year old juvenile was arrested for this death by handgun
Secure all firearms located in your home. Trigger locks, lockable gun boxes, and other devices for securing weapons are readily available at little cost (much less than the cost of the weapon) at sporting good stores and are often provided free by the gun manufacturer at the time of sale.
Make certain that an adult supervisor is present to ensure that safe gun handling practices are followed. If your children participate in shooting sports, please contact one of the numerous local organizations to secure proper instruction, including the Civilian Marksmanship Program in our schools, NRA education classes, hunter education courses, concealed weapons classes, law enforcement training programs, and shooting sport foundations.
If you see anyone under the age of 21 handling a hand gun without adult supervision, call 911 for an immediate response by law enforcement.
If you see anyone under the age of 18 handling a long gun without adult supervision, call 911 for an immediate response by law enforcement.
If you see anyone handling a firearm at any time in a unsafe manner, call 911 for an immediate response by law enforcement.
# # # # #