Oklahoma Wildlife Expert Discusses Gun Safety Tips At Home

Friday, October 9th 2009, 10:19 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, OK -- A 17-year-old was killed in the garage of a home on Bartlesville's east side.

Tyler Teague was with several friends, looking at shotguns, when one fired. Teague was hit in the chest and according to police, killed instantly.

"We don't even think there was horseplay. These boys were looking at some guns used in bird hunting. One fell over and was unknown to them had a live round in the gun. When they grabbed it to keep it from falling over, it went off," said Chief Tom Holland, Bartlesville Police.

10/9/2009  Related Story: Bartlesville High School Student Fatally Shot In Tragic Accident

The tragedy could have been prevented, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. With the fall hunting season here, they hope other hunters are paying attention so it doesn't happen again.

Tyler Teague was remembered Friday night as his high school took to the gridiron.

"It's just a tragedy all around. When you lose a student 17-years-old, a junior, in an accident like this, it hits the school hard, it hits the community hard," said David Austin, Bartlesville Public Schools.

Teague died of a gunshot wound Thursday night while looking at a shotgun in a friend's garage. Police have ruled it accidental.

"Accidents happen, but most accidents are usually preventable and when you see what the opportunity was to prevent that, it just really makes you cringe. You know, someone just slipped and let something happen," said Daniel Griffith, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Daniel Griffith is with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. He says there are several guidelines hunters should follow, regardless of whether they are out in the field.

"Primarily when you're dealing with a firearm, always assume the firearm is loaded, whether you know it is or don't know it is, just assume that it's loaded, period," said Daniel Griffith.

Griffith says there are two major rules for gun safety at home -- never leave your weapon loaded while at home, always load and unload out in the field, and he says keep your ammo and your weapon in two different locations inside your home.

As Bartlesville mourns the loss of Tyler Teague, Griffith hopes others learn from the tragedy and recognize the responsibility that comes with owning a gun.

"Sad lesson to learn and it's something that hopefully can be used as something to learn from this and we don't see this happening again," said Daniel Griffith.

The state offers free hunter safety courses and anyone under 36-years-old is required to take it.

Learn more about the free hunter safety courses.