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Unintentional Shootings of Children Underscore the Need for Secure Firearm Storage in Louisiana


Earlier this week, a child was shot and wounded in an unintentional shooting outside a nail salon in New Orleans East. Just the day before in the same city, a one-year-old got his hands on a firearm and shot himself in the leg. And last weekend, a Baton Rouge four-year old shot and killed himself while left unattended. These tragedies are not isolated. Yet they are preventable.

As gun sales and gun violence have increased in recent years, so have unintentional shootings by children. According to Everytown’s #NotAnAccident Index, since 2015 there have been at least 2,523 unintentional shootings by children under 18 years old. Louisiana had the highest number of incidents. In 2022 alone, there have been at least 9 unintentional shootings by children in Louisiana. Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the state with an average of 112 children and teens dying by guns in the state each year. 

An estimated 54 percent of gun owners don’t lock all of their guns securely. Gun owners can make their families, homes, and communities safer by storing their guns securely — unloaded, locked, and separated from ammunition

The Be SMART program helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries, youth suicide, and gunfire on school grounds. Earlier this year, the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund, Louisiana Child Death Review, and Louisiana American Academy of Pediatrics launched their partnership with Be SMART.

The program encourages parents and adults to: 

  • Secure all guns in their home and vehicles
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the role of guns in suicide
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

For more information on the Be SMART program and how to securely store your firearms, visit To request materials or local presentations, use the “Connect with Be SMART” contact form.