ALTON, N.H. - An eight-year-old boy on vacation in Alton, New Hampshire ended up finding a gun at the bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee, according to police chief Ryan Heath.
Jackson was exploring the bottom of the lake on Tuesday when he spotted a glimmer of metal and swam down to grab it. It turned out to be a gun covered with silt and other organic material normally found at the bottom of a lake.
Jackson immediately told his father, who was swimming nearby. Jackson's father placed the gun in a safe spot where his children couldn't get it and then called police.
Heath said the gun Jackson found was stolen from a home in Sanbornton many years ago.
"Despite being submerged for some time, the handgun appeared to be in remarkably good condition," Heath said. "Even though it most likely would not function properly, the gun still maintained the key characteristics of a firearm."
Jackson, his family and the police department wanted to share this story to remind families to talk about gun safety.
"Please talk with your children about what to do if they ever come across a firearm," Heath said. "The method we teach the kids in our schools is to stop, don't touch, run away, and tell an adult."
Heath said if parents ever need help or advice on how to address the subject, they can call the police department.
Heath also had a message for anyone who is thinking about tossing a firearm or deadly weapon they no longer want.
"You never know when a child will stumble across it, just like Jackson did," Heath said. "Thankfully, this gun was not loaded and in no condition to be fired. If the circumstances were diffident this could have had a very tragic ending."
The Alton, New Hampshire police department can be reached at 603-875-0757.
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