Craig police urge gun safety following juvenile incidents | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig police urge gun safety following juvenile incidents

Lauren Blair

Craig Police Department is encouraging parents to talk to their kids about gun safety following two recent incidents involving youth and guns in Craig.

— Following two incidents in the past week involving youth and guns, the Craig Police Department is urging parents to teach their kids about gun safety.

When officers contacted a juvenile at Centennial Mall on Feb. 17, they found the youth was carrying a BB gun designed to look exactly like a handgun. The BB gun even had realistic-looking cartridges that can be loaded just as on a handgun.

The next day, a four-year-old boy saw the handle of a revolver handgun sticking out from the snow when out on a walk with his mother near 10th and Rose Street.

"Not only was it a firearm, it was loaded and relatively close to a school," said Craig Police Commander Bill Leonard. "In this case, the four-year-old pointed it out to his mom, but it could've been two kids that found it and could've turned out totally different."

As the self-proclaimed "elk-hunting capital of the world," guns are a familiar part of Craig culture.

The total number of concealed handgun permits in Moffat County has ranged from 183 to 205 between 2013 and 2015, according to the Moffat County Sheriff's Office 2015 annual report.

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First and foremost, parents and adults should keep guns securely stored where kids cannot access them, Leonard said. He also encouraged parents to reach out to CPD for information and guidance on gun safety around kids.

The department regularly deploys Eddie Eagle, a character and program devised by the National Rifle Association to teach kids about guns in local schools and child care facilities.

"The program stresses the importance of not touching a gun and to tell an adult if a gun is found," according to CPD's website.

Parents need to teach kids gun safety at home, too, though, Leonard said.

"We can do all these trainings and work with the schools,” he added, “but we still need parents to do their own safety at home.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.