Gun owners urged to lock up firearms after KC 3-year-old dies in unintentional shooting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Police are investigating after a 3-year-old died from a shooting.

Investigators said the incident happened Friday night when the child got a hold of the weapon and unintentionally shot himself.

Now, safety advocates are urging gun owners to lock up their firearms if there are children around.

"I feel the sadness for them because I know it was not purposefully," Rosilyn Temple, with KC Mothers in Charge said. "I'm praying for them."

Temple, who leads the anti-violence group, KC Mother's in Charge, lost a son to homicide.

She doesn't want any parent, under any circumstance, to lose a child to gunfire. KC Mothers in Charge gives out free gun locks.

"If you don't have a lock, on it, you need to have one," Temple said. "It's so easy to slip your mind because something else is going on, to leave it right there or in your purse or somewhere unattended. Children are curious."

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute says 90% of unintentional shootings that involve children happen in the home.

"A 3-year-old child has the strength to pull a trigger," Brad Winfrey said. "The basics are, guns away from kids, locked up, ammunition separate."

Brad Winfrey manages the Center for Childhood Safety at Children's Mercy. All of the hospital's locations provide free gun locks.

"No questions asked. We do not want to deter anyone from feeling like they need to explain why they need a gun lock.

Just last week, Winfrey gave out free gun locks outside of Children's Mercy's cafeteria with Grandparents Against Gun Violence.

A KCPD officer was there to teach parents how to use the locks. Winfrey hopes it will make the difference between life or death.

"The data shows that kids are accessing guns in their home," Winfrey said. "We know that that's happening and we know what we need to do to stop that."

KCPD detectives are investigating the shooting. When they're done, they will contact the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office and the prosecutor will decide if there will be any charges.

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