CLIVE, Iowa — The death of a 4-year-old girl from a gunshot wound in Ankeny on Monday has quickly impacted the Des Moines metro area.
“It is sad that something like that happens,” said Royal Nahno-Kerchee who is a general manager at Rangemasters Training Center in Clive. He said, “We really stress the home safety.”
Nahno-Kerchee has 36 years of law enforcement experience with the Altoona Police Department and teaches gun safety classes. “The big thing for me is we tell most of my students to make sure it has a lock on it,” said Nahno-Kerchee.
Ankeny police responded to 910 Northeast Fifth Street on Monday shortly before 11:30 a.m. on a report of a child with a gunshot wound. Investigators say the four-year-old died at a local hospital but police have not released who owned the gun or who fired the weapon. “You don’t want to be that Monday morning quarterback and do that but you realize you’ve got to be prepared,” Nahno-Kerchee said.
Rangemasters offers gun locks to everyone who takes a class. Nahno-Kerchee said, “Some people forget that even if they take that magazine out there still might be a round inside that chamber.”
These locks can be basic but require a key for access and others have gone high-tech. “You can put the lock on your cell phone and then just touch it with your cell phone and it pops open,” said Nahno-Kerchee.
Gun locks range in price across the board from extremely affordable at just $31 to full-size safes that can go for over 41,000. For anyone on a budget, The Veterans Crisis Line has donated plenty of locks for free for anyone looking for a new lock or to replace an old one. “We are only promoting safety and that’s what we are looking for as well. We are a gun shop but we want to promote safety at the same time,” said Nahno-Kerchee.
Some may feel locks are cumbersome when quick action is needed to protect your home. Nahno-Kerchee says practicing and having a plan with the gun locked up can help a gunowner effectively use self-defense while adhering to gun safety tips. “Maybe you just forget that one time and that one time could be the result of what happens in an accident.”
Ankeny police have not made any arrests in the shooting incident.