May 2, 2013

Boy, 5, fatally shoots 2-year-old sister in Kentucky

The children's mother had stepped out onto the porch when the boy fired the .22-caliber rifle, which he had been given as a gift.

The Associated Press

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A home in Cumberland County, Ky, is seen on May 1, 2013, where a 2-year-old girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother with a gun designed for children. Investigators say the Tuesday shooting was accidental. The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and "she heard the gun go off," Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)

Keystone also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children, including books and bright orange vests and hats.

"The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve," the website said.

No one at the company answered the phone Wednesday.

According to the website, company founders Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s and opened Keystone in 1996 with just four employees, producing 4,000 rifles that year. It now employs about 70 people.

It also has a long list of testimonials from parents who talk about how grateful they are to be able to go shooting with their children.

Sharon Rengers, a longtime child advocate at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, said making and marketing weapons specifically for children was "mind-boggling."

"It's like, oh, my God," she said, "we're having a big national debate whether we want to check somebody's background, but we're going to offer a 4-year-old a gun and expect something good from that?"

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