Puyallup teen's grieving mother calls for new gun law

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 11 at 7:23 PM

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Eddie "Zee" Holmes' mother describes the pain as "unbearable."

Sandra Aponte Holmes hopes the death of her 13-year-old son prompts gun owners and legislators to take action.

Eddie Holmes died in an apparent unintentional shooting in Puyallup last week. A 13-year-old classmate told police he accidently killed Holmes with a shotgun. A group of boys were handling a shotgun that belonged to a stepfather of one of the boys.

The boys told police they thought the gun was unloaded.

The boy who was arrested may face manslaughter charges.

The owner of the gun is not related to the boy who pulled the trigger.

Holmes' family does not blame the boy; they think the gun owner should face criminal charges.

"I have to say I believe in the 2nd Amendment," said Sandra Aponte Holmes, "But what's troubling me is our law at this time is written to protect the rights of gun owners rather than the safety of our children."

Gun owners can be charged if their guns are used in shootings, but there is no law requiring owners to secure their weapons around children.

Several lawmakers have tried to pass laws requiring so-called "safe storage" of guns around minors, but the bills have never had much support.

"Because our state has yet to agree on locking and securing guns," said Sandra Aponte Holmes, "I'm left with the unbearable task of planning the funeral of my 13-year-old son."

According to police, the group of boys found the loaded shotgun hidden behind a headboard in the stepfather's bedroom.

"It is my hope that speaking out today motivates just one person to secure their gun," said Sandra Aponte Holmes, "so my son, Eddie "Zee" Holmes' life would not have been taken in vain."
 

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