MILTON-FREEWATER, Oregon — Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer is talking a lot about gun safety following recent events where guns have accidentally gone off, even killing a teenage boy in one case.
On Tuesday, the Milton-Stateline Adventist School reported the sound of a gunshot coming from across the street on Crockett Road. Zachary Ray Lincoln, 27, admitted that he discharged a round from a handgun while trying to fix it. He was arrested and charged with one count of disorderly conduct after he allegedly pushed a deputy and was Tased by a state trooper.
“Gun safety is incredibly important and it’s not just for you, but it’s for everyone. Guns don’t just go off by themselves,” Boedigheimer said. “There’s always some human cause and that error goes back to gun safety.”
Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy passed away from an accidental, single gunshot wound. The boy was not at home when the accidental shooting occurred.
“That youth ought not to ever have had a gun, should have been playing with a gun or manipulating a gun,” Boedigheimer said. “I think these things can be preventable, because guns don’t just appear, and they don’t just go off by themselves. Gun safety cannot be over-stressed.”
The Milton-Freewater Police Department does give gun locks out by request.
“A locked-away gun is a safer gun, but the adult has to do the follow-through and properly secure the weapon,” he said.
Chief Boedigheimer also says it’s important to store your gun in a lock box or gun safe.
“(Do) anything you can do to separate guns from youth especially or guns from people who should never have a gun in the first place as far as adults like felons, burglars – all those people,” Boedigheimer said. “They want guns clearly. They’re a hot item to steal.”
Gun owners are also advised to keep the serial numbers to their guns on file. Those serial numbers will come in handy if your gun is stolen. The police will contact local pawn shops to see if your gun made it into a shop.