Mandate Careful Handling of Guns

Most West Virginians appear to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment’s guarantees that we may keep and bear firearms. But along with that, we understand the responsibilities that go with gun ownership and use.

One of them is to handle firearms safely — certainly with whatever prudence is required to avoid endangering others.

A Charleston man failed badly in that, according to police in the state capital. During an event at the Clay Center in the city, as he was taking off his jacket, a pistol fell out and discharged. The man then grabbed his firearm and fled.

No one was injured and there was no significant property damage, police say. They were able to identify and find the man.Charleston police have referred the case to the Kanawha County prosecuting attorney.

That office should file charges — stiff ones — against the man. Someone could have been wounded or killed because of his irresponsible handling of a gun.

Accidents happen. But when they involve careless handling of deadly weapons, those responsible should be punished. That should be the policy in every county throughout our state.

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