BUTTE — Two Montana Technological University nursing students are tackling gun safety in Montana for a community health class project.
The two students were inspired by their own experiences and shared stories of people they know who faced the consequences of holding a firearm without proper training.
"I personally have known a few people that have been injured by guns and has resulted in death and it actually is super traumatic and super hard to work through," said nursing student Amber Boucher.
According to a study published by the Rand Corporation, 66% of Montanans have at least one gun in their household. Additionally, a study published by Erin Grinshteyn and David Hemenway found over 90% of all firearm deaths among children and adolescents that occur in industrialized nations occur in the United States.
Boucher says children are more susceptible to the dangers of firearms.
"They can’t recognize the difference between a real gun and a fake gun or if it’s gonna end somebody's life or just injure them. They don’t know the difference," said Boucher.
Sydney Parks stressed that education is especially important when children are in the household.
"I think it just needs to be said that it’s a responsibility to own and hold a gun and I think that proper education needs to be had before doing so," said Parks.
Butte Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester says that many firearm accidents occur when people are poorly educated in firearm handling and when the firearms are not secure from someone who should not be handling it.
"When there is a firearm accident, it’s often very tragic and it’s a very unforgiving situation. So, a small mistake can really make a huge impact.' said Lester.
Boucher and Parks urge people to take the necessary training in order to avoid the tragic consequences that could be avoided.
"I think it’s really important that they understand the power that they have behind those guns," said Boucher.