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Two Year Old Shot and Killed By Three Year Old Brother in Unintentional Shooting; Kentucky Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

January 26, 2024

COVINGTON, KY – The Kentucky chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statement after a two year old was fatally shot and killed by his three year old brother in Northern Kentucky. According to authorities, a loaded handgun was left within reach of the three year old, who picked it up and fatally shot his brother. The parents are now being charged with second-degree manslaughter. 

“This tragedy is absolutely devastating, and the direct result of our lawmakers refusing to prioritize our calls for gun violence prevention legislation,” said Ken Bowman, a volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Kentucky has some of the worst gun laws in the country, and instead of keeping us safe, our lawmakers have spent the last several years repealing the only laws we have on the books to prevent gun violence. We will continue to demand that our lawmakers take action to keep us safe, and that starts by requiring that firearms be stored securely. It’s one of the easiest things we can do – if we can’t do that, what’s left?” 

Research shows that one of the most effective ways to prevent an unintentional shooting is to make sure firearms are stored as securely as possible. That means unloaded, locked by a cable lock or gun safe, and separate from ammunition. Firearms are not stored securely when they’re placed in an unlocked dresser or nightstand drawer, under a couch cushion, mattress, or pillow, in an unlocked closet, on a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator. Kentucky lawmakers have introduced a secure storage bill this session, HB 240

Despite the fact that Kentucky has some of the weakest gun laws and the 14th highest rate of gun deaths in the country, state lawmakers have failed to take any life-saving action and have instead actively worked to weaken the state’s existing laws. Last year, the state legislature passed a dangerous nullification bill which seeks to undermine federal firearm laws, making it illegal for any public officer or employee of the state, including state and local law enforcement officers, to assist with the enforcement of new federal gun laws or regulations that would help keep Kentucky safe. This year, lawmakers have introduced legislation to lower the age for concealed carry from 21 to 18 (HB 259) and strip colleges of their power to restrict where concealed handguns can be carried, increasing the presence of guns on campus (SB 66).

In an average year, 823 people die by guns in Kentucky and another 1,531 are wounded. Gun violence costs Kentucky $9.6 billion each year, of which $183.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Kentucky is available here.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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