80ºF

Kids' reaction after finding gun surprises parents

Check out results of gun-safety test

This year more than 200 children under the age of 18 picked up a firearm and accidentally shot themselves or someone else, according to the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

In July, an 8-year-old Port Orange boy accidentally shot and killed himself after finding a gun in his grandmother's home.

News 6 teamed up with the Orange County Sheriff's Office to find out how children would react if they found a gun when no adults were around.

Eight children ages 5-10 thought they were at the News 6 studios to test their gaming skills.

Their parents knew as they watched on monitors in a nearby conference room that we were testing something else- gun safety.

"We have a gun in the house and we've spoken about it before," Amanda Carroll told News 6.
"They know that they should never touch it.

"They should find a mom or a dad or any adult they can," she said, talking about her daughters, 5-year-old Mallory and 7-year-old Allison.

We teamed up with Master Deputy Stanley Murray with the Orange County Sheriff's Office and hid an unloaded BB gun in a plastic bin.


"If someone pulled this on you in the middle of the night, you couldn't tell the difference," Murray said about the gun's realistic appearance.

A News 6 producer tells the kids it's time for a gift hunt.

They have 19 gifts to find and if they find them all they can keep them all.

Nearly four minutes into the gift hunt, 7-year-old's Nicco and Brianna open the box.

Nicco reaches in and makes the discovery. "What is that?" he says while backing away from the gun.
"Oh my goodness what is in there," another child says. 

Brianna closes the box and the children continue their search.

Less than a minute later, desperate to find the last of the 19 gifts, 7-year-old Allison goes back to the box.
"Don't look in there," a child yells from across the room.

Allison grabs the gun looks at it and points it at her face.

Parents gasped as she did it.

Then 10-year-old Noah grabs the gun.

"Dude that's a real gun," he said. Brianna closes the lid again.

While Noah goes looking for our producer, 5-year-old Mallory makes a decision. "I'll see if it's a real gun," she said.

Then a group of the children have a discussion about whether the gun is real or a toy, and several reached into the box to touch it.

"It's a real gun," 9-year-old Kade said.

"Oh no, no, no," several parents said as they watched on monitors in a News 6 conference room.

Only a few minutes passed from the time the kids found the gun until they looked for an adult, but there was plenty of discussion, and touching before that happened.

"We've always said never to touch it and to find an adult so I'm surprised she didn't find an adult," Amanda Carroll said talking about her daughter Allison, who picked up the gun.

"The peer pressure and the curiosity are what concerned me," Amber Bachura said.

"So they know at first when they see it not to touch it, but then they're like, 'But everyone else is looking, iI want to look too.'

After the experiment, we had Murray drive home the message he shares with children of all ages,

"What's the first thing we don't do if we find a gun?" he asked the group.

"We don't touch it," they all yelled.


About the Author: