On Thursday, January 16, 2014, Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen invites area residents to participate in a public education forum on Firearms Safety. This special meeting, to be held at the Hamilton County 4H Fairgrounds from 7:00-8:00pm, will focus on what gun owners can do to promote responsible weapon ownership. Led by Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board certified instructors and Sheriff’s Office deputies, participants will come away with practical ideas and suggestions on how to increase safety around firearms.
Hamilton County has recently experienced the loss of two of its citizens due to incidents with charges of reckless homicide involving firearms. Gun ownership has steadily increased with over 450 permits issued each year in 2012 and 2013 by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office alone. Recent estimates put gun ownership at more than 30% of the population across the country. With the increase in gun ownership comes an increased chance of negligent discharges or accidents with firearms. In 2010, there were over 15,000 people injured and 600 deaths due to firearms related accidents in the United States. Research shows that half of gun-owning households do not lock up their guns. Many, if not most, of these tragic incidents could be prevented with education and practice in safety and responsibility.
There is no cost to attend the forum and no registration is required. The forum is designed for ages junior high school through adult. Free child care will be provided for pre-school and elementary age children. Free gun locks will be distributed while supplies last. Vendors will be available to show a variety of firearms safety products and classes. This is not a shooting course and firearms should not be brought to the meeting.