Owners must secure firearms from criminals


Having started a career in law enforcement in 1967, then retiring in 2011, I read the "Police Blotter" with great interest in The Sumter Item. I am dumbfounded by the neglect that people have for their firearms. Rather they are in the home or in the vehicle. Firearms need to be secured to keep them out of the hands of criminals and untrained children. Products can be purchased to secure weapons.

I have always assumed everyone I meet is in possession of a weapon; I guess that is due to my chosen profession. Law abiding citizens can take courses to obtain a Concealed Weapon Permit. Persons convicted of crimes cannot possess weapons legally; therefore, they purchase those stolen weapons. By limiting the areas in which a law abiding citizen can have their weapon, the weapon is left unsecured in their vehicle.

Hopefully our state legislature and senate will continue to work on a law to allow Open Carry. I definitely support it. That is, if citizens are still required to take a safety, legal and weapon familiarization course to be qualified to possess and carry the weapon. People would then be in possession of their weapon and not leave it unsecured. Open or concealed, that choice belongs to the citizenry not the government.

I firmly believe that "guns do not kill people, people kill people." So many young children are being killed by unattended guns. Many persons are killed due to assuming the weapon is unloaded when they handle it. My children were taught at a very young age about guns and allowed to handle and shoot the weapon so they could understand safety and protection. My whole family believes in the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution and we all have CWP's. Interest and ignorance about guns can be very devastating.

I urge our state lawmakers to continue pursuit of Open Carry as other states are doing, and further, I urge parents to teach their children about weapons and quit leaving your guns unattended.

Jim Austin