Police say 20 year old Kody Lott, the man who shot two Wichita Falls girls, told them he used a rifle he took, then replaced, from his parents apartment.
They said they can’t comment on whether the gun used in Friday’s shooting was locked up or had any safety measures in place, but we looked at what common basic procedures are recommended that can reduce accessibility to gun owner’s weapons.
A firearm professional we spoke with said a few safety precautions can often mean guns do not get in the hands of unauthorized users, and can also prevent accidental discharges.
“The firearm is an inert object, “Travis Williams, Gun CO Arms manager, said. “The bad situations that occur because someone has not taken precautions or doesn’t understand the firearm and they end up in a situation where the firearm ends up doing someone harm.”
Which is why Williams said proper safety and storage in order to keep it out of the hands of the wrong person is essential.
There are many different options when it comes to gun storage and safety, including trigger and external locks, or the traditional vault that requires a code.
“If you have a gun safe keep them locked up,” Timothy Johnson with the WFPD, said. “If it’s a combination safe, maybe not give people that you don’t want to have access, don’t let them have the combination to the vault.”
But now there are other options available, newer guns are being made with an “internal lock mechanism,” which is in addition to the external safety feature, and requires a key for the gun to work.
“Some people if they were going to leave and concerned about someone breaking in will go in and lock the firearm and keep the keys with them and if someone was to get in a get it, they can’t do anything with it,” Williams said.
But if you have a gun that doesn’t have that new feature, Williams strongly recommends a safe with biometric access, meaning the safe only opens when it recognizes the hand print of an authorized user.
“It’s a great way to a have a firearm secured but at the same time I can get to it quick,” Williams said.
Gun instructors also said said it’s a good idea to store your ammunition in a locked location separate from the firearm, be sure to keep the gun unloaded when not in use, always point it in a safe direction, and most importantly, educate everyone in your family.
“But its always goes back to poor security, poor instruction, just poor basic understanding of what a firearm is,” Williams said.
Which is why Williams basic firearm precautions are so important, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Wichita Falls Police Department offers free trigger locks to the public, and you can stop by the training center on flood street to pick one up.