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Police: WI boy gets hold of mother's gun, accidentally shoots himself

The mother left the gun in an "accessible" place.

A 4-year-old Milwaukee boy accidentally shot himself after police say his mother left her gun in an "accessible" location.

It happened at around 1 p.m. Sunday, with police only saying the mother "left her handgun in a location that was accessible to the child." The boy got a hold of it, and was injured when he shot himself.

The boy is expected to be fine, and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital, the Milwaukee Police Department says. The mother has been arrested, and the case will be reviewed by the county attorney's office.

Gun safety around kids

About a third of all households in the Midwest have a gun in the home, Pew Research Center has found.

So far this year, 24 kids in the U.S. under the age of 12 have been killed in accidental shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive. More than 40 others have been injured. About one-third of accidental deaths could have been prevented by using a child-proof safety lock and a device that shows whether a gun is loaded, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Project ChildSafe makes free gun safety kits available across the U.S. – here's a list of where you can get them in Minnesota.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office has said that simply hiding a gun is not enough, and "negligently" storing a loaded firearm in a place where a child can find it can actually lead to a gross misdemeanor charge.

Some suggestions for storage: Keep guns unloaded when they're not being used, lock up ammunition in a second location, and use a trigger lock or cable lock, or keep the gun in a safe or lock box.

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