Three north Alabama counties rank highest in accidental shooting deaths

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. - Colbert County has reached the top of a ranking that no one would ever want to be on. Over a 15-year period, police saw more accidental shooting deaths than anyone in the country.

“It should probably be an eye opener,” said Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan.

The numbers are not too staggering, but they're still disturbing, Logan added. Between 1999 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control shows 22 people in Colbert County died from accidental gun shots. That’s more per capita than any other county in the nation.

“It factored out suicide, it factored out homicide, and it strictly dealt with accidental,” stated Logan. “This tells me, we probably need to do a better job as far as training of civilians.”

Chief Logan emphasizes training for any person who owns a firearm, even if they have had one for years. He said the biggest cause for accidental shootings is mishandling them.  They are deadly weapons.

“Humans by nature are curious, and when you see a firearm sitting there, the natural curiosity is to want to pick it up and look at it,” Logan explained. “You need to make sure any time you have a firearm that is accessible like that, that it is rendered safe.”

Logan said gun locks are one of the best purchases a gun owner can make, and always keep them out of reach of children.

Colbert County was not the only north Alabama county to make the list. According to the CDC, DeKalb and Marshall Counties were ranked second and third among accidental shooting deaths. Madison County came in seventh for accidental shooting deaths during the same reporting period.

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