Loaded gun found in mall parking lot prompts gun safety conversa - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Loaded gun found in mall parking lot prompts gun safety conversation

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A loaded handgun found in a crowded Evansville parking lot is prompting authorities to start a conversation about gun safety, even if your household doesn't have firearms. 

The loaded, semi-automatic pistol was found in the Eastland Mall parking lot, and luckily it was picked up by Sheriff Eric Williams before it ended up in the wrong hands.

Williams says he was walking around the mall parking lot with his wife on Sunday afternoon when he saw the weapon on the ground. He says, most importantly, he didn't touch the gun, he called Evansville Police.

He says at the time he didn't know if it was loaded or not, so he stood guard until officers arrived.

Now he's urging parents to teach their children what to do if they find a firearm, especially those children who aren't used to weapons and might be curious.

"It was loaded. It had a full clip in it or a full magazine, so it was usable gun. I really don't know how long it had been where it was, but it looked completely operational," Williams says. "The important thing is that kids, if you found a weapon out in the public, find a responsible adult as fast as you can. Don't touch it. Don't play with it. It may be there and it's not part of a crime, so maybe fingerprints aren't an issue. But it may be part of a crime and fingerprints are an issue. Make sure you call 911 so we can get an appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction to come and secure the weapon."

Williams says he was in a position to secure the area and wait for officers to arrive. But if you have experience with firearms, it can be in the community's best interest to go ahead and disarm the weapon and make it safe.

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