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Local church revisits gun lock program after 3-year-old accidentally shoots father

Memphis Police responded to a home on Harvest Hill Road, and the driver of a car was sitting in the driveway of his home dead. He had been shot in the head.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —

Continuing coverage of a tragic situation out of Southeast Memphis where a 3-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her father Wednesday night. 

Memphis Police arrested the owner of the gun that was used, 26-year-old Allante Jones. Jones faces reckless homicide and unlawful possession of a weapon.  This is not the first time we’ve seen this situation happen across the Mid-South.  

A local church is revisiting its gun lock distribution program. Pastor Ricky Floyd of the Pursuit of God and Transformation Center in Frayser supports the “Safe Tennessee Project,” a program where free gun locks are distributed to save lives in the community. 

“I believe that citizens should have a right to own a gun, but I believe that you also have a responsibility to have those guns in position so that your family members are protected and covered," Pastor Floyd said.  

Wednesday night Memphis Police officers were called to a shooting at a home on Harvest Hill Road. According to a police affidavit, officers found Jerome Smith lying in the driver seat of a car. He had been shot in the head.  

Police said the gun belonged to Allante Jones, who was getting a ride home from Smith. They said Jones got into the back seat, laid the handgun down, which got into the hands of Smith’s 3-year-old daughter, who began playing with it.  

“Number 1 as adults, we need to be keeping guns in a secure place and keeping guns secure, and there’s no such thing as too young to be around a gun, Pastor Floyd said.  

While the child was playing with the gun, it went off and Memphis Police said she shot her own father, killing him.   

“It’s disheartening on so many levels. You have a child at 3-years-old whose life would be forever impacted from that because carrying the guilt that she caused in her family of life, Pastor Floyd said.  

He said this tragic incident is a stark reminder for gun owners to make sure their firearm is secured at all times. He also stressed the need for owners to have gun locks.   

“Because we are a voting site, we are going to let people know that while they are coming here to vote that they are going to have access to gun locks as well so we are cranking that back up full time, Pastor Floyd said. 

You can also find free gun locks through Project ChildSafe. Learn more HERE.

If you would like a free Project ChildSafe Safety Kit, which includes a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions, click on the map below to find a distribution partner in your state. Be sure to contact the partner to verify that supplies are available.

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