South Mississippians talk gun safety and accessibility following teen's death

South Mississippians talk gun safety and accessibility following teen's death
Riley owns Dad's Super Pawn in Gulfport. He legally sales guns every day, but he says the problem often lies with guns obtained illegally.(Image Source: WLOX News Now)
Riley owns Dad's Super Pawn in Gulfport. He legally sales guns every day, but he says the problem often lies with guns obtained illegally.(Image Source: WLOX News Now)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One group of teens' plan was to make a video showing off guns for social media, but before that could happen, 16-year-old Damien Thompson, accidentally shot and killed himself.

Gulfport police say adults were in the home during the incident.

Kenyatta Braxton, a pastor at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport, is saddened by that outcome.

"If we have parents that have fire arms, you don't want your children to be engaged in that. Keep those things in a spot where you know your children won't engage," said Braxton.

Gun locks can provide a solution.

"Gun safety is paramount every day in every home. There are gun locks that come with every new purchase," said Kevin Riley.

Riley owns Dad's Super Pawn in Gulfport. He legally sales guns every day, but he says the problem often lies with guns obtained illegally.

"The illegal guns, guns that are stolen out of homes that are not recovered, these are the real problems. These guns end up in the wrong hands, in the wrong places. When they do, it creates a problem," said Riley.

Pastor Braxton says he isn't placing blame on anyone. However, he does want to see parents become nosier when it comes to their children.

"Be in their business. Be on their pages.  Know what's going on with them at school. In some degrees, we have some parents that know what's going on with our children, but do not engage themselves and become distant from their children," said Braxton.

Thompson's death is a stark reminder of the dangers that come with firearms.

"Is there a way to prevent someone from playing with something that they shouldn't, and being hurt or wounded. If I knew the answer to that, I would be the richest man on the planet," said Braxton.

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