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Gun store owner reacts to teen hostage standoff


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Gun store owner reacts to teen hostage standoff

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jan 15, 2013

FORT MYERS - The owner of a Fort Myers gun shop wants to know how a 16-year-old was able to get his hands on a gun and take a 15-year-old girl hostage.

"What the heck is wrong with all of these young people," asked Travis Brunson, the owner of Guns on 41 in Fort Myers. "And secondly, how did he get a hold of this firearm?"

Police will most likely be zeroing in on how the suspect was able to gain access to a gun in the first blame. Brunsin blames what he calls a "sloppiness" among some gun owners when it comes to keeping their firearms secure.

"Obviously they're going to be looking into how that particular minor got a hold of this weapon," said Brunson, "whose it was, that person is arguably in as much trouble as the minor."

Brunson says if a minor gets a hold of a gun that wasn't secured, the owner of that firearm can be held responsible.

"In some cases," he said, "it's a felony."

But how do you stop a teen from gaining access to a gun? Brunsin recommends keeping firearms unloaded and locked up. He points to safes with a lock code or more high tech versions that require a fingerprint.

He says sometimes teens steal firearms from family members and blames gun owners who leave them lying around and unsecured.

"Every case is different," said Brunson. "But a lot of times they aren't being properly secured at the home. Obviously, just in general, sloppiness has gone on with having someone who is unstable have access to a firearm."

While you have to be 18 to own a gun, Brunson says a 16-year-old with a hunting license can have one for sport. Still, he says they need to be supervised an adult.

"Owning a firearm is a major responsibility," said Brunson.

Which is why he urges anyone who owns a firearm to keep them locked up so they don't fall into the wrong hands.

"If inside your house you have someone who shouldn't have access to a firearm," said Brunson, "a minor, someone mentally unstable, you have to take steps that they cannot access that firearm."

Investigators still do not know how the minor got his hands on a gun in this situation.

Matt Grant