GREENSBORO - Gun safety was top of mind as authorities continued to investigate Friday's school shooting in Connecticut. Investigators said the semiautomatic weapon used in the incident belonged to the shooter's mother.
A law enforcement veteran and firearms salesman said there are steps gun owners should take to make sure weapons don't end up in the wrong hands.
Ron Parrish said any weapon, including the Bushmaster .223 used in the shooting, was potentially dangerous, especially in the wrong hands. He said safety begins at home.
"I think any responsible adult or any responsible gun owner is going to make sure their weapons are secured," said Parrish, a sales consultant for Powers Firearms.
Parrish spent 38 years in law enforcement. He served as a special agent with the state's alcohol law enforcement division and as a major with the Alamance County Sheriff's Office. He said owners should store weapons under lock and key.
"Either in a safe or locked away from kids having access to them," he said
Parrish said owners should be careful when writing down a safe's combination.
"Certainly don't go write the combination down somewhere and put it in a place where you know they're going to find it and then they have access to your safe," he said.
Parrish said parents who own guns should be more than gun owners. They also should be teachers.
"I take my kids to the range,” he said. “I teach them how to shoot and I teach them how to responsibly handle a firearm."
Finally, he said, gun owners have the moral obligation to go a step further if they're concerned about a family member's mental state.
"If we have an individual in our family that we think, or that has some mental health issues or similar issues that we think that they may go off the deep end, so to speak, then we need to do everything in our power to ensure that they do not have access to a firearm,” he said.