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Area detective discusses gun safety

Whitehall Township Crime Watch members and the community learned about gun and firearm safety Oc. 27.

Detective Kurt Tempinski provided an overview of the subject matter at the crime watch meeting.

"Tempinski is a former state trooper who retired from state police and now works in the district attorney's office as a special county detective. He was a forensic firearm and tool mark examiner for state police for many years. Tempinski now is still doing firearm and tool mark examinations in Lehigh County cases at the Firearm and Tool Mark Examination Laboratory in South Whitehall," according to a news release on the meeting.

Tempinski graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in criminology. He served in the military for 21 years and has been working as a firearm and tool mark examiner for 21 years, as well.

"I have worked 3,530 cases in my career," Tempinski said. "Of those, 567 were homicides."

He discussed rules relating to gun safety.

"Primarily, there are 10 rules for the safe handling of fire arms," Tempinski said. "Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Firearms should be unloaded when actually not in use. Don't ever just rely on your gun safety device."

Tempinski also said if you are shooting at a range or hunting, clearly pinpoint your target and what is behind your target.

"Use proper ammunition for your specific firearm, always handle your firearm with care when hunting or when at the range and always wear eye and ear protection when shooting," Tempinski said. "Be sure the barrel of your firearm is clear of obstructions before shooting."

Additionally, Tempinski told residents not to change or modify firearms. He also suggested the weapon be professionally checked on a regular basis and the owner should understand the gun's safe handling requirements before using it.

Tempinski warned attendees that although there may be different settings when shooting a firearm, there is no distinction with regard to the safety measures one must take.

"There is no difference," Tempinski said. "You should be safe in each setting."

In other crime watch news for the month of September, there was one rape incident reported, four DUI arrests and 109 thefts.

Crime watch meetings are held in the public meeting room of the Whitehall Township Municipal Building the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.