On Your Side Investigation: Kids and guns, Part I

On Your Side Investigation: Kids and guns, Part I

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - What would your child do if they found a gun laying around the house or a playground? Have you taught them not to touch the weapon? What you think your child would do and what they actually do may stun you.

More than half the parents at this daycare center say they've talked to their kids about guns.

"We just told him find a teacher, don't touch it, don't play with it," said David Bemish, father of Gabe.

Frank Fiveash has talked about guns for years with his son Preston. "I do have guns in the house, but I wanted him to be able to distinguish between a daddy gun and a Preston gun, or a kid gun," he said.

Susan Helms, director of Injury Prevention at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, said, "It's not enough just to say something, but you actually have to teach and you have to teach again and again, and you have to really do it so they really understand."

That's what this On Your Side Investigator undercover experiment intends to do. Before kids arrived at the daycare, police Sgt. Andrew Hefner hid an unloaded black training gun inside a cubby filled with puzzles. Later, our hidden cameras were rolling as the teacher, Ms. Monica, told the kids it was time to play with puzzles, then left the room.

Parents secretly watched down the hall. Within minutes, Dorian, 8, discovered the gun. He quietly went to the door to find an adult without saying anything to the other kids. In no time at all, more kids made the discovery and from one camera angle they heeded their parents' warnings.

"Don't touch that," Preston said.

When Sgt. Hefner entered the room, the kids immediately told him about the gun. Even Corianna, 4, showed the officer where it was. "I run away from it when I first saw it," she said.

Parents were thrilled the test seemed successful. That is, until we looked at the footage from our hidden camera inside the cubby.

"Huh? A gun," Gabe said. "Huh!" said Preston.

NBC12's report continues at 11 p.m. Thursday with the camera angle parents didn't see. What really happened when the kids thought no one was watching? How do you think your child would react?

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