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Guns are weapons, not toys

On Sunday night, an apparent accidental shooting resulted in the death of a 22-year-old woman in Troup County.

The victim has been identified as 17-year-old Haley Newsom. At this time, no charges have been filed in the case.

According to investigators, the shooting occurred when a 17-year-old in the residence was waving a handgun around.

The gun discharged, striking the victim and killing her.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to write about an accidental shooting this year.

Earlier this year, Leemarkese Deangelo Melson was arrested after a six-year-old managed to get to a gun within reach and shoot a four-year-old sibling.

The gun used in that shooting allegedly belonged to Melson.

Melson was arrested in June and charged with cruelty to a child in the second degree, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence.

In February 2019, 24-year-old Quydarius Weldon was shot in the parking lot of the Pal Express 1 gas station on South Greenwood Street.

According to authorities in that case, Alazea Carr, 22, was allegedly playing with a gun when it went off and struck Weldon in the face. Weldon later died from his injuries.

These types of cases are happening all too often in Troup County.

Guns are not toys.

We believe anyone who owns a firearm should have at least some education in how to handle a gun.

And in all cases, guns should be secured in a locked cabinet or safe when they are not being used.

Other recommendations include making sure guns are stored unloaded and keeping ammunition in a separate location.

Never, in any situation, should a gun be within in reach of children.

Please practice gun safety any time you are using a firearm, whether it’s for hunting or protection.

Too many people are injured and killed each year in accidental shootings, including right here in Troup County.