Local law enforcement stresses gun safety after filing charges in toddler’s death

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Police have filed charges after the accidental shooting of a three-year-old boy in Rockford.

Both State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross and Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea agree that the death of the three-year-old boy could have prevented if that gun had been safely stored away.

The vast majority of accidental firearm deaths among children is because they have easy access to guns. In fact, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says 31% of those deaths could have been prevented if the gun was locked or stored out of the reach of children.

State’s Attorney Hite Ross recommends people utilize sources like Project Child Safe.

“This is an organization which many members of our law enforcement belong to, including the Rockford Police Department. This is an organization that provides and offers free gun locks at a national level,” said Hite Ross.

Rockford Police Department also provides free gun locks.

“These guns in our community are prolific. They’re everywhere. We are seizing guns every week off the street along with our law enforcement partners. Those are the guns at traffic stops and being used in shootings and unfortunately, this time, it’s with a three-year-old child,” Chief O’Shea said.

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