TYLER (KYTX) - New data from "Everytown for Gun Safety" contends that unintentional shootings involving children -- happen more often than reported. As of right now the Center for Disease controls shows an average of 62 deaths a year for children 14 and under, but the group says it's more like 100. That's because some deaths are classified as homicides or suicides -- and don't take into account the fact that guns were involved.
CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey brings us safety advice from east Texas experts. Taking aim and firing shots is something 7-year-old Kaydin Lottman has had plenty experience doing. She's been shooting since she was three.
She's a regular at the Lock and Load shooting range where her dad Kenneth Lottman works.
Her dad is always near when she loads up... And if he's not ...
"The rules are stop don't' touch, leave the area and go tell an adult," Kaydin said.
One group says for nearly 100 children a year, it's a rule that appears to go unfollowed, ultimately ending in death.
"Everytown for Gun Safety" has generated new statistics -- that show about 2/3 of the deaths take place in situations where weapons are *legally owned. The guns just aren't properly secured.
"Train them as young as you possibly can, explain to them what fire arms are capable of doing...and even let them shoot fire arms, when you do that it takes the mystery out of what a fire arm is," said Lottman.
He said, just having a gun's safety latch engaged, or taking the bullets out, or hiding a weapon isn't enough.
"Kids are kids, they are going got be looking all around for a fire arm and they will find it."
Gun cabinets, lock boxes or cable locks must be used to secure weapons.
"Most come with at least a cable lock, just a simple safety box with a key lock would do the trick.
As new statistics show just how many children are devastated by unintentional shootings -- the hope is parents will pay more attention, and protect their little ones.
"They should talk to them cause something bad will happen," said Kaydin.
Gun safety advocates hope the death rate will drop. Specialists say, even if you aren't a gun owner, still have those conversations about the dangers of playing with guns. A trip to a friends house who's parents have guns could end badly.