1 Week, 2 Kids, 2 Guns, 2 Fatal Shootings in SC - WSPA.com

1 Week, 2 Kids, 2 Guns, 2 Fatal Shootings in SC

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Two young children got a hold of guns and accidentally shot and killed someone in the past week in South Carolina.

The most recent case happened Thursday on Hasting Circle in Easley. A 6-year-old found a gun on the floor of a car and fired it, killing 22-year-old Alexandra Anita Santos.

On Saturday in Lexington County, 7-year-old Juliet Lynch was shot to death by a 5-year-old who thought he was taking a toy gun out of a trunk. It was a real one.

7 On Your Side looked into what laws are in place to hold gun owners accountable when their weapons get into kids' hands.

It's hard to say at this point how the laws will apply to the recent shootings. Investigations are ongoing.

But State Senator Larry Martin said he believes there are adequate laws in South Carolina to hold irresponsible gun owners accountable.

“I believe there are. We have a couple of different statutes that we could apply. One would be unlawful neglect of a child. The other could be an involuntary manslaughter charge with criminal negligence," said Martin.

Thursday's shooting in Easley hit close to home for the Pickens state lawmaker, who's also a parent and gun owner.

"A child will live with that from now on, knowing that they were involved in something that was so horrific at such a young age," said Martin.

He said the two recent fatal shootings have not sparked talks in Columbia about implementing stricter gun laws.

Looser restrictions on where you can store a gun in your car just got signed into law in February. If you're not a concealed weapons permit holder, you still have to keep your gun in your glove box, console, or in your trunk. If you are a CWP holder, you can now keep your gun right under your seat.

“One of the things that we emphasize in our CWP training, or concealed weapon permit holder, for instance, is the great responsibility and obligation that a gun owner has toward keeping their guns away from children,” said Martin.

Martin said lawmakers can only do so much to prevent guns from getting into kids' hands.

"You can't legislate common sense," said Martin.

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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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