Emphasis on Gun Safety After Ankeny Teen Dies - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Emphasis on Gun Safety After Ankeny Teen Dies

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

Police say an Ankeny man killed his daughter on Friday. He allegedly thought a handgun he pointed at her wasn't loaded and pulled the trigger. Firearm safety instructors who frequent the Isaak Walton League shooting range in Elkhart say it's really all about following a few basic rules.

"The biggest fault in firearm accidents is because they don't have the knowledge of that firearm or how it works properly," said Sight Right gun safety instructor Jon Mahoney.

Get to know your firearm -- It's a rule that most gunowners know, and one that can be the difference between life and death.

"You're never going to squeeze the trigger unless you're pointing at the target you're going to fire at," Mahoney said. "A lot of people think that a firearm could be unloaded when it's really not."

Keeping your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire is just one of the cardinal rules. Instructors say the most important part is keeping your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

They also say that gunowners should use as much care as possible when unloading a gun to be sure that both the magazine and the firearm are completely empty.

The best way to steer clear of accidents is to enroll in a gun safety course. Instructors say they're an affordable way to prevent deadly mistakes.

"It'll give your children or yourself more knowledge on different types of firearms that we have today, so if they do see something like that laying around they can either clear it properly or they can let somebody know."

There are several different courses available in the Des Moines area for children and adults of all ages.

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