Despite Strict Gun Laws, Toddlers in California Still Getting Ahold of Guns

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It’s an alarming trend -- nationwide in the past year, dozens of shootings have been reported, where the shooters themselves have been toddlers. Despite its tough gun laws, California isn’t immune to the problem.

Back in March, Annique Davis was devastated when her 2- year-old daughter was shot in the head inside of a friend’s South Sacramento home.

"I'm suffering knowing I seen my daughter like that, knowing she's suffering,” Davis said to FOX40 in March following the incident.

Sheriff’s detectives are still working to determine if the young girl came upon a loaded gun and shot it herself. Just eight weeks earlier, a 3-year-old boy in Stockton found his dad's CHP rifle and shot his older brother.

Sadly, incidents like these involving toddlers behind the trigger have been happening at a rate of about one per week since 2015, according to a Washington Post investigation.

"It's horrific, and it's something that can be prevented,” said John Taylor, president of Best Handgun Training in Lincoln, where he teaches safety courses for gun owners.

It's especially important, he says, for gun owners with young children. Taylor says proper safety should be simple.

"It needs to be in a safe. It should be rendered inaccessible, but most importantly, it needs to be in a safe when children are home,” said Taylor.

"In California I think we have been on the forefront of making sure that we are as safe as possible,” said Rebecca Gonzales with the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.

She says California already has some of the strictest gun laws on the books, including safety certification before someone can buy a firearm. In addition, gun owners in California must have a trigger lock or a gun safe.

Sometimes, unfortunately, that’s not enough.

"But accidental shootings, that is one of the tragedies, and it's one of the most preventable, so we really do focus on that,” said Gonzales.

The Brady Campaign will soon begin an effort to push parents to ask other parents whether there are guns in their homes, and whether they're locked up before scheduling play dates.