As children enjoyed the sunshine this past Friday afternoon, their playtime was interrupted by an unwelcome sound: a gunshot.
A 69-year-old man was in his Lemon Creek home cleaning his new .22 caliber handgun, police say, when he removed the clip from the gun. The man then pulled the trigger, Juneau Police Department Lt. Krag Campbell said, and the gun fired into the side of the man’s home.
The bullet went through the wall, Campbell said, and it’s unclear if the bullet hit anything outside. The most important part of the incident was what the bullet didn’t hit — children playing nearby. Fortunately, Campbell said, nobody was harmed. The man immediately ran outside to check and see if anybody was hurt, police say, and was relieved to find that all was well.
The incident happened at about 3 p.m. in the 5800 block of Glacier Highway, Campbell said, but it wasn’t reported until later that night. JPD forwarded its report to the City Attorney’s Office, Campbell said, and the attorneys will decide whether to bring charges of weapons misconduct or reckless endangerment.
Campbell said this instance underscores one of the most basic rules of gun ownership.
“‘All guns are always loaded’ is considered the golden rule,” Campbell said. “If you remember that, everything else falls in line.”
Campbell said people should never point the muzzle of their gun at anything they’re not willing to destroy, they should be aware of their surroundings when handling their gun and should keep their finger off the trigger if they’re not looking to fire the gun. It’s also a good idea to keep firearms locked up and away from children, Campbell said.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.