The second amendment is important to many Americans, as it is one of the few laws in the world that enshrines in a constitution the right for ordinary citizens to own and maintain firearms. However, firearms are one of the deadliest weapons in human history and, as designed, can inflict lethal amounts of damage.

This means that such a weapon should be treated with great seriousness and responsibility. And yet, at the same time, because Americans enjoy the freedom to own these weapons, they sometimes also abuse that freedom and don’t treat these devices with the caution they deserve. Tragically, this can sometimes result in accidents that are anywhere from serious to fatal.

Children Are Most At Risk

Improperly stored firearms are one of the most common causes of accidental gun injury or death not just in Florida but throughout the USA. Children, in particular, see guns used on their favorite TV or movie content and don’t view them as dangerous weapons so much as fun toys. If these same children can get easy access to firearms, they will treat these weapons as fun toys, right up to the moment they are fired, and someone is injured or killed.

An average of nearly 500 people die from accidental gun deaths yearly; in most cases, these victims are under 25. In 2022 alone, even though the year is just a little over halfway through, 202 children have already died due to accidental gun death. Another 519 have survived but been injured in unintentional firearm discharge.

Legal Consequences

Fortunately, for parents who have suffered an injured child or even lost a child to an accidental gun death, there are legal ramifications to ensure justice is served. Accidental deaths are not considered criminal acts, but if an accidental death is the direct result of carelessness or negligence, that is against civil law, and the people responsible can be taken to task for what they’ve done.

In the same way that an amusement park can be legally responsible if a child dies on a poorly maintained attraction, as happened in Orlando earlier in the year, the same is true for a household where a firearm was improperly stored—or not stored at all—allowing children to gain access to, use, and cause an injury or death with that firearm.

Taking Action

The owner of a property, whether public or private, has a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for visitors. For businesses, such as amusement park attractions, it may entail routine equipment maintenance. For homeowners, this means taking precautions such as confining aggressive dogs to prevent dog attacks on postal workers or visitors.

It can also mean that firearms owners are responsible for ensuring that these weapons are not easily accessible. A gun locker or other means of controlled access is the best way to ensure this happens. However, for those who don’t and are careless with their firearms, such as leaving them loaded and lying on a coffee table for anyone to pick up, this is premises liability, and you should talk to a firearm accident lawyer if someone has been hurt in the process.