FRUIT HEIGHTS, Davis County — The Davis County Sheriff is warning parents of the importance of talking to their children about gun safety, after some elementary-age children in Fruit Heights discovered a loaded gun in a field and it went off.
The boys were playing in the area of 400 South west of Highway 89 on Feb. 27, when they discovered the handgun.
“This is one of those rare occasions that the kids found it before we did,” Sheriff Todd Richardson said.
Investigators said one of the children pointed the gun at a fence and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t immediately fire. However, it went off when the boy lowered the gun to his side.
No one was injured, deputies said, and the event resulted in the kids running home to tell their parents.
Elizabeth Nielson’s home is close to where the gun was found, and said she had already been apprehensive about her children going there because of a reputation for unsavory activity in the wooded fields.
“That does kind of make me nervous because my kids are some that like to go down there as well,” she said. “Makes me think that I need to remind my kids, do a little more review of what some of our rules are and how to be careful around guns.”
Richardson said the most important lesson children need to hear is to stay away from random guns they find and to tell adults about them.
He also noted a couple handling pointers — to keep a gun aimed “down range” and not at anything “you don’t intend to destroy,” and not to put a finger around the trigger area when carrying the weapon.
Richardson said it’s not uncommon for a gun to unexpectedly fire or misfire when it has been out in the elements for an extended period of time.
“Guns that have been out in the weather for a while are a little bit temperamental,” he said. “In many cases, we’d tell the parents not to touch it and call the police and let us come over and handle it.”
Richardson said detectives are working on potential leads on the gun owner. The Davis County Sheriff’s Office is asking those with information to call 801-451-4150.