Keep your guns locked up, officials say after 4-year-old is shot in St. Paul

The girl was shot by her older brother after they found a loaded gun at home.
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Two kids found a loaded gun in their playroom, and one of them ended up shooting the other one.

The 4-year-old girl was shot in the leg by her 7-year-old brother in their St. Paul home Tuesday night, according to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office

She suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police are calling an accidental shooting.

A woman – who isn't related to the kids – has been arrested in connection to the shooting, the Pioneer Press says. She hasn't been charged, but the Ramsey County Attorney's Office says it will review the case to see if charges are appropriate. 

'Stark' reminder about gun safety

Officials are calling this incident a "stark" reminder for people to keep their guns locked up so kids can't get them. 

"If you are a gun owner in St. Paul, please be smart – secure guns in your home and model responsible behavior for young people," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement Wednesday, adding that accidental shootings like what happened Tuesday are "preventable." 

"These preventable tragedies are not accidents and are all too common throughout our nation and in our community," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement. 

Choi said these types of shootings wouldn't happen if people locked up their guns, which is why the county has a campaign to distribute free gun locks to help keep people safe (here's a list of places where you can get a free gun lock). 

'Preventable shootings' happen a lot

These types of shootings – where a kid gets their hands on a gun that isn't locked up properly and shoots themselves or someone else – happen quite a bit around the U.S., the Ramsey County Attorney's Office said. 

According to Every Town, there have been at least 154 unintentional shootings by kids this year, with two happening in Minnesota (including Tuesday's incident). 

And so far this year, more than 408 kids under the age of 12 have died or were hurt in shootings this year, Gun Violence Archive says.

Gun safety tips

Ramsey County has some gun safety tips on its website, including keeping your gun unloaded when you're not using it; lock ammo up in a different place from where you keep your gun; use a trigger or cable lock; and keep the gun in a safe or lock box.

And if you're looking for more ways to help prevent these types of shootings, check out the Moms Demand Action "Be Smart" campaign website here.

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