It’s no secret that gun sales locally and nationally are booming.
With those booming gun sales comes responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to weapons, say local law enforcement officials.
That fact rings true especially in Puyallup of late after 18-year-old Sabrena Defreece was fatally shot in a Puyallup home Dec. 8. The 19-year-old man who was holding the gun was interviewed for hours and booked into the Pierce County Jail. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Roberts jailed in lieu of $1 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor John Sheeran, who told Foley that Roberts had been convicted of previous felonies and wasn’t legally allowed to have a gun.
Police are trying to determine whether the shooting was accidental or deliberate.
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Tad Miniken, lead firearms instructor for the Puyallup Police Department, says for those who are going to own guns, have a way to lock them up. While he says how and where one does that in their home is a personal choice, he recommends either storing guns and ammunition separately or keeping guns in a safe.
“It’s the same principal as power tools or poisons under the sink,” Miniken said. “If I’m living alone, I can leave my power tools out. Where if I have kids in the house, I’m going to store them safely.”
Additionally, he recommends for parents to talk to their children about guns just as they would do for strangers or other hazards.
“Explain it to your child like you do for any other dangerous thing,” he said. “While there’s an extra curiosity with guns for kids, think if it like any other dangerous thing.”
For pointers, he says the National Riffle Association does “Eddie Eagle” gun safety education. While it doesn’t promote gun ownership to children, the NRA does teach them what to do when they come across a gun.
The program teaches children when they do come across a gun to stop, don’t touch, run away, and go tell an adult.
Most importantly, Miniken stresses that if you do in fact plan to carry, seek out training.
“Be part of the solution and not the problem,” he said. “Knowledge is power. It’s not going to hurt you to get more training.”
Locally, Miniken recommends Insights Training in Bellevue, a course he himself has taken. Additionally, Sportsman’s Warehouse on South Hill also offers training.