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Pittsburgh Police Offering Free Gun Locks Following Accidental Shootings

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The call is going out for gun owners to be more responsible after two accidental shootings within 12 hours.

No charges have been filed yet in connection with the deaths of two little boys in separate incidents in which police say children got a hold of a loaded gun and accidentally fired it.

In East Liberty, a four-year-old boy accidentally shot himself on Monday.

In Penn Hills, a five-year-old boy was accidentally shot by a six-year-old sibling.

"It's a pervasive issue, there's one study that showed there are 4.6 million American minors who live in a home with at least one loaded firearm that is unlocked and unsecured," said Josh Fleitman of CeaseFirePA.

"It's a shame, it's come to my mind I could actually hear the difference in my sergeant's voice when he called me," said Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton.

Of 20,000 kids killed or severely hurt in accidental shootings nationwide in recent years, the majority of those were younger than 12-years-old.

Twenty-seven states currently have laws requiring that guns must be locked up separately from the ammunition.

Pennsylvania is not one of those 27.

For their part, Pittsburgh Police are offering free gun locks to gun owners.

Those locks can be picked up at each zone station throughout the city and police headquarters on the North Side.

Gun locks go through the top of the gun and then into the magazine chamber to prevent it from firing.

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