SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith emphasized the importance of gun safety in a press conference that took place on Monday afternoon.

This comes after a child was killed and two other children were injured in two accidental shootings last Friday.

Two toddlers were shot late Friday afternoon in Shreveport‘s Werner Park neighborhood. Police say one child was playing with a gun and discharged it. A four-year-old boy was shot in the chest and died. The three-year-old was taken to Oschner with a gunshot wound to their arm.

Earlier in the day, a toddler was wounded after finding a gun on the sofa and discharging the weapon, shooting himself in the leg. 

“It’s important to keep your guns locked up at the house,” Justin McDonnell, Firearm Sergeant for the Caddo Parish Sheriff Training Academy says. “Kids are curious even if you think they don’t know where they are kids pay attention. They know where things are inside the house. So, keeping them locked up is the best bet, the best method to keep your children safe inside the home.”

DavTac Custom Arms & Ammo owner Joey Miguez says a major way to prevent these tragedies is firearm safety education and training.

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“Education is key because even if you lock all your guns up in your home put them in a big home safe and put locks on them and unload them and do all the things properly there’s a chance our kids or our children can get access to firearms other than our homes,” Miguez says.

The four basic firearm safety rules that Miguez and others advocate for are:

  • All firearms are loaded until you prove otherwise
  • Always keep the gun pointed in the safest direction
  • Never put your trigger finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire the firearm
  • Always know your target, what is in front, in back, and beyond