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With recent teen shootings, Chattanooga police emphasizing gun storage, safety

Teen wearing hood, pointing gun. Paul Bradbury via Getty Images.jpg
Teen wearing hood, pointing gun. Paul Bradbury via Getty Images.jpg
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A shooting involving 3 teenagers at the Lofts Hotel near Hamilton Place is the sixth such shooting this year in Chattanooga, according to police.

And with the summer months likely to see more acts of gun violence, CPD is asking gun owners to take storage and safety seriously.

It's a top concern for Chattanooga police: 6 teen shootings in a single year.

"We're having some issues with guns, shootings. You know, gang related type of shootings or gunplay with our youth," says Chattanooga police Chief Celeste Murphy.

CPD says most teens obtain guns by stealing them from cars or their parents.

"Try and educate the children as much as possible," says says Chief Murphy.

It's an issue in other counties too.

Just this week on the Marion County/Grundy County line a teenager shot his twin brother with a gun from inside of their home.

Although Tennessee doesn't have laws on gun storage, Billy Walsh with Big Bucks Pawn and Gun says storage training should be a top priority for gun owners.

"If you just keep it hidden from them and don't educate them, it's going to turn into one of the situations like they will see it, 'oh cool,' and run up and grab it," says Walsh.

Walsh says Big Bucks serves as a one-stop shop, providing guns and safety equipment like locks to prevent the weapon from firing as well as safes.

Equipment that keeps guns out of the hands of children.

"I would stress for parents not to be afraid to have these conversations with their children because it could save their children's lives," says Walsh.

Billy's co-cower Zachary Freese says early training, through the use of toys like nerf guns, can install safety principles at an early age.

"They will need to understand the difference between a toy and a real firearm. But that can come later," says Freese.

Lighthouse Founder Ladarius Price says proper gun storage is only half the solution.

"We have to make sure that we're doing our due diligence, to really mold and shape our young kids," says Price. "It needs to be everything."

He adds that activities like the collective's upcoming youth summit are safe alternatives.

"Providing them with things that can really pique their interest and really help them to really see what it is that they want to do in life," says Price.

One of several measures Chief Celeste Murphy hopes will end the summers of violence.

"What we're trying to do proactively in the community is to make sure as we move into the warmer months, that we have things for our children to do," says Chief Murphy.
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