Missouri ranks second highest in shootings by toddlers since 2015
COLUMBIA - Toddlers have shot seven people in Missouri since 2015, according to a Washington Post analysis. Only Georgia had more, with eight.
The Post gathered news reports where a one, two or three-year-old child fired a gun and injured or killed themselves or another person.
The report shows toddlers have shot at least 23 people in 2016. In 18 of the 23 shootings, a toddler accidentally shot themselves and nine of those shootings were fatal.
One of the shootings happened in Boone County.
Last July, a three-year-old shot himself in the arm and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Det. Tom O'Sullivan from the Boone County Sheriff's Department said part of being a responsible gun owner is taking extra steps to ensure children don't have access to a gun.
"We work too many incidents when people have left guns laying out like it was the remote control for the TV and a kid gets a hold of it and then we have a tragedy on our hands," he said. "It's simple common sense."
Columbia resident Paul Jobe has been a gun owner for more than 60 years and raised his children with guns in the house.
"I would put them where they couldn't see them. Every gun has a trigger lock that you can guard the trigger. I'd either put that on it or put it in a gun safe," he said. "At times when I didn't have all the places to lock them up safely, I took them to my brothers house and he had a gun safe."