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Palm Beach injury lawyers remind parents to keep firearms secured

A 14-year-old Hollywood boy avoided a possible 30-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to a manslaughter charge for shooting his best friend in the head with his mother’s gun. The Palm Beach Post reported that the teen was sentenced to a rehabilitation program and could be released in nine months.

These are tragic cases. A Palm Beach child injury attorney can assist families in cases where a child is seriously injured or killed at a friend’s house or on someone else’s property, including a church, school or daycare center. Dog attacks and swimming pool accidents are frequent causes of child injury. But, tragically, the failure of families to safely store and maintain firearms continues to lead to serious or fatal accidents involving children.

The April 28 shooting death of the 13-year-old boy involved a 9 mm pistol belonging to the defendant’s mother. She faces a charge of culpable negligence and the judge has entered a not guilty plea on her behalf while she finds legal representation.

These cases are a tragically common occurrence in Florida:

-In June, a 2-year-old boy apparently shot himself after a man visiting the child’s mother left a loaded handgun on a bed. The man reportedly worked as a security guard, according to ABC7.

-In January, the Fort Myers News-Press reported the case of a 2-year-old boy who shot himself while visiting grandma’s house.

-In December 2008, a Cape Coral teenager reportedly made up a story about a break-in by armed burglars after shooting another boy in his home. The father in that case was also charged with culpable negligence.

The University of Michigan reports that 9 children a day are killed by handguns, including hundreds who die each year as a result of accidental shootings.

Safety advocates recommend the following safety measures:

-Keep the gun locked
-Keep the gun unloaded
-Store the ammunition locked
-Store ammunition in a separate place
-Hide keys to firearm and ammunition boxes
-Only parents should know the location of firearms in the home
-Check with local police for additional advice
-Never leave a gun unattended
-Teach children about the dangers of guns
-Talk to children about the risks of gun injury outside the home, including the homes of friends

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to representing families dealing with the injury or death of a child in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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