NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Adults in New Orleans may soon face jailtime if a juvenile gets their hands on an improperly stored gun.

Currently, the leading cause of death among young people is homicide, data shows.

“We had a shooting just last night in the St. Roch area where a 14-year-old was found dead on a driveway in the fifth district,” New Orleans City Councilman Eugene Green said. “We’ve had 11 teenagers killed in New Orleans since the beginning of the year.”

In response to these shootings, the New Orleans City Council will consider amending the city’s gun ownership ordinance.

Right now, according to NOPD Lieutenant Sheila Celious, officers are allowed to issue a gun owner a summons if the careless storage of a firearm leads to the injury or death of a juvenile.

The new ordinance would allow for the arrest of any adult who’s responsible for the careless storage of a firearm that leads to a juvenile’s injury or death and a penalty to be issued if someone doesn’t secure their gun.

“It’s not our intent to put any citizen, any hardworking parent in jail,” Lt. Celious said. “It’s to offer a deterrence for them to take the extra step to put their gun away where their kids cannot get ahold of it and prevent another loss of life.”

The New Orleans Police Department teamed up with the city’s health department to advocate on behalf of this amended ordinance.

“We also know that in homes that do properly secure their firearms, there’s an 85% reduction in unintentional injuries to children and teens compared with homes that do not, so the data is pretty compelling that we need to do everything we can to encourage safe gun storage,” New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said.

Some council members are asking for the public’s cooperation as they focus on responsible gun ownership.

“People, separate the right to own a gun from owning it irresponsibly, and let’s go about the job of saving our young people from any harm whatsoever,” Councilman Green said.

In terms of the prevention of injuries, the New Orleans Health Department is in the process of obtaining their first purchase of biometric lock boxes and will soon team up with neighborhood engagement groups to distribute them.

The ordinance will be voted on during the council’s regular meeting on Thursday.