The issue of safe gun storage by law enforcers with children is being spotlighted following the shooting Sunday of a Long Island boy who apparently was handling the .38-caliber revolver of his father, a New York police officer. Although rare, such cases have happened on average about once every five years, reports the New York Times. Police officers are required to keep their guns in a secure place while off duty, according to the department’s policy manual. It reads: “Do not store or leave firearms in an unattended motor vehicle. Do not carry firearms in briefcases, handbags, fanny packs, hip packs, tote bags, knapsacks, paper bags or similar devices.”
In the latest case, Tyler Dunne, 10, found the gun under some clothes on a closet shelf in the basement while looking for a ball. His 8-year-old sister was nearby watching television and was apparently unaware that Tyler had found the gun. Police said the boy’s father, Officer Joseph T. Dunne, a 14-year veteran, usually left the gun in his locker at work, but took it home after working late one night. He was not home when the shooting happened. The gun fired, and young Dunne was hit in the head. He was on life support.