Richmond County Sheriff Admits There is a Problem with Guns in Schools

Photo taken Tuesday, August 25, 2015 of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office patrol car parked at W.S. Hornsby K-8 School in Augusta, Georgia.
Photo taken Tuesday, August 25, 2015 of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office patrol car parked at W.S. Hornsby K-8 School in Augusta, Georgia.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in this investigation at Hornsby Elementary school as well.

After yesterday’s incident the question remains who is at fault when a child brings a gun to school?

News Channel 6’s Margaret-Ann Carter took those concerns to the person in charge, speaking exclusively with Sheriff Richard Roundtree.

As someone who has kids, Sheriff Roundtree knows how important it is to keep them safe.

Unfortunately Tuesday isn’t the first time an elementary student has brought a gun into school, so we asked him, at what point is a parent, or gun owner charged with negligence.

What could have been an unthinkable tragedy at Hornsby Elementary school, also could have been avoided.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree says Tuesday’s incident should be an eye opener to parents and guardians, but he acknowledges parents aren’t the only ones who need this reality check.

“I don’t think it’s one answer, I think it’s a community issue, I think it’s a community problem. Again we take instances like yesterday, and take instances as a community, and say look we have a problem and it’s a societal problem,” The Sheriff admitted.

He says in any case you have to take several factors into consideration. How the child got the gun? Where the gun is kept? Is it locked up?

“Again if it’s a point of negligence then that’s a case to be made, but a lot of times when you’re dealing with kids, especially at that young age kids have a natural curiosity,” he explained.

The Sheriff says if it is proven to be negligence of the gun owner then they can charge the owner with criminal negligence.

“That is where I think we’re lacking, is that people buy protection but they don’t take the next step, and say ok how do I use it safely how do I store is safely,” Roundtree explained.

He says once you become a gun owner you are then responsible for that gun.

Roundtree says education is key, and there is no better time than now to express that.

“Especially with the incident yesterday, again I’m glad no one was seriously hurt, but every parent who had a child at that school, use this as an opportunity to show them how dangerous weapons are, and how they are not to handle them they are not toys,” he encouraged.

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