Gun safety preached in wake of accidental shootings
GLENVILLE, N.Y. (WRGB) - "You treat every gun as if it's loaded," said Steve Borst.
Borst says that's the golden rule of responsible gun ownership.
He owns Target Sports in Glenville and is a shooting instructor.
Borst showed us in his shop how to safely handle a gun.
"Open the action and make sure it's empty, and always keep it pointed in a safe direction. If those things were followed, no one would ever get hurt," he said.
Borst says accidental shootings are tragic, but a result of carelessness.
He keeps a bottle of bullets on his counter, collected from his customers who believed the gun they brought into his store was empty.
"Because we follow safety protocol, the first thing we do is we check, and we've had loaded guns come in the store often times without the owner knowing," Borst explained.
We spoke on the phone with Gary Pudup from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
Pudup has 30 years in law enforcement, and says even his department of trained professionals had four accidental shootings.
"Two of them were in the locker room, one was a deputy who was cleaning his gun at home. These are very highly trained officers and if that can happen to people who are highly trained, it's going to happen to civilians," Pudup said.
Pudup says it goes against common sense that no permit is required to buy a rifle or shotgun in New York State.
"That would be like everybody being able to go out and buy a car and never having to pass a driver's test before putting it out on the road."
He says there should be mandated education before owning a gun.
Borst agrees that education is critical, especially with youth.
He says he's already started teaching gun safety to his five year old granddaughter.
"If I hand her a gun and I say to her, 'Where's the dangerous end? How do we check to make sure it's unloaded?' She can tell you all of those things," Borst said.