Columbia Police Urge Gun Safety

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COLUMBIA - Two incidents of children shooting themselves in St. Louis during the last two weeks should cause parents to worry.

Lt. Scott Young, Commander of Columbia Police Special Operations, recommends parents lock up their weapons, because loaded and unloaded guns are equally dangerous.

Mendi Mantal from Jefferson City has three boys, and she kept her handgun locked in a bedroom closet, and took the key with her. She taught her oldest son to use a hunting gun.

Lt. Young recommends gun safety education.

"There's a lot of competitions where under supervision, children can shoot very safely, and that doesn't mean they get access to them on their own."

Lt. Young said there are no specific laws in Missouri about gun storage. 

"It gets big news when it hits, there's no minimizing of the level of the tragedy. But statistically, in terms of public health, it's a tiny, tiny problem."