LAKEWOOD, Wash. - In less than one month, there have been two separate incidents of children getting their hands on guns in Western Washington.
Monday night, Lakewood Police responded to a fatal shooting involving the an 11-year-old girl. Police say it happened on Steilacoom Boulevard.
Police say while recording a video, a little girl shot herself in the head with her mom’s gun. Her 10-year-old brother is the one who called the police.
The little girl died. Police are investigating whether this was an accident. They also do not know how the little girl got the gun.
"We know that there are measures that can be taken to prevent these kinds of horrible tragedies in our communities," said Renee Hopkins.
Hopkins is the CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the organization that led the effort behind Initiative 1639.
Initiative 1639 is a state law, approved by voters in November 2018, focused on gun safety. The law focuses on several areas, including an effort to prevent guns getting into the wrong hands, like kids.
"All kinds of gun violence are preventable and should not happen and this provision was meant to help change social norms and behavior," said Hopkins.
The law states that if someone owns a gun, and allows it to get into the wrong hands, they could face legal ramifications. The law strongly encourages guns be locked away but does not require it.
However, some folks who have dealt with gun violence, feel locking up your firearm is the best option.
"Please, please, please lock up your guns," said Paula Horstead.
Horstead’s granddaughter has spent the majority of the month of February in a hospital, after her 13-year-old brother accidentally shot her.
The incident happened about two weeks ago in Auburn.
Police say they’re still investigating how and where the boy got the gun, but say it wasn’t from the family’s home.
Horstead says she’s dealt with loss from gun violence all through her life and knows there is a simple solution for a lot of these incidents.
She hopes folks will never have to experience what her family is going through.
"It’s the worst feeling," she said.