Children pictured holding weapons at Putnam Sheriff’s Office event raises some eyebrows

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — A Facebook post showing young children holding weapons is causing some backlash.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office posted the pictures from the “Touch-the-Truck” event Tuesday, where they showed local families tools and equipment.

According to the sheriff’s office, the event was educational, with the goal of opening up the conversation with children and their parents and letting them see the tools law enforcement officers use.

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“It is really disturbing that it is a sheriff’s office who is allowing children to touch these types of weapons,” Patricia Brigham, President of Prevent Gun Violence Florida said.

Brigham, who lives in Orlando, feels the event wasn’t teaching children about gun safety and says what is really needed is a campaign reminding adults to keep guns locked and unloaded.

Renee Myrick and Georgia Pappas both agree gun education is important but said they feel the children in the picture were a little young to be holding weapons.

“If they were older, I might be a little bit better comfortable with it. But I think they are way too young to be learning about guns,” Myrick said.

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“The kids seem a little young in my opinion. I think at that age they’re gonna think it’s a toy,” Pappas told Action News Jax.

Tucker Johnson believes it’s good to bring kids up around weapons and teach them about safety. “I grew up around weapons and stuff, and I’m very glad I did. It’s something you should know , how to handle weapons,” he explained.

A spokesperson for PCSO told Action News Jax the sheriff’s office has no plans to remove the post, and that they’ve done these demonstrations for years and this is the first time there’s been an issue.