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South Fulton enacts gun safety initiatives after 5-year-old killed in accidental shooting

The family of little Khalis Eberhart planned her funeral Monday after police say her 3-year-old cousin got ahold of a gun and accidentally shot her.

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — The City of South Fulton is taking action to stop accidental shootings after a 5-year-old girl was killed on Thanksgiving Day.

The family of little Khalis Eberhart planned her funeral Monday after police say her 3-year-old cousin got ahold of a gun and accidentally shot her.

This is the third child hurt and the second to die in an accidental shooting in South Fulton in the past year. Now the police chief is taking action and trying to prevent another tragedy.

"It looks like the adult left a weapon underneath a sofa cushion, and the child found it," Chief Keith Meadows said.

City of South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows believes the 3-year-old boy then shot and killed Khalis last Thursday. 

“I sat down with my staff, and we decided to come up with a gun safety program that would help us to educate our citizens on a much higher degree on gun safety to make sure they’re taking the proper precautions whether it’s using gun locks, or lockboxes, or even unloading the weapons," Meadows said. 

Meadows is working with a nonprofit group to give free gun locks to people who live in South Fulton, as well as provide gun safety classes.

“We’re partnering with some of our gun experts in the community so that we can try to help facilitate these classes," Meadows said. 

There are several different kinds of locks to keep your guns safe. That includes a trigger lock. You can also get a cable lock, and the third option is to put your gun inside a lockbox.

“One way to keep guns safe, certainly around children, is always to have the firearm unloaded and if it’s a semi-automatic pistol, not to have the magazine in it," Arthur Banks with Arrowhead Pawn and Gun in Morrow said.

Banks said gun locks are also crucial for safety. 

“The lock comes with most manufactured, new guns," he said. 

Banks encourages gun owners to buy a lock if their firearm doesn't come with one. 

"It sandwiches on the trigger guard, and it covers the trigger, where the trigger cannot be pulled," he said while demonstrating how a trigger lock works.

Chief Meadows hopes to launch the two initiatives in early 2022.

“One death is too many, but three is far too many as it relates to our children finding weapons throughout their homes," Meadows said. 

Meadows said the DA's office is still reviewing whether any adults will face charges in Khalis' death.