North Carolina members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today called on District Attorney Rick Shaffer to review relevant state law in relation to the shooting of a toddler in Patterson Springs.
Three weeks ago a 3-year-old boy took a loaded handgun from a compartment on top of his father’s dresser and shot his 17-month-old sister. The father said the toddler climbed onto a stool and was able to remove and shoot the gun without the knowledge of his parents. His sister is recovering from her injuries.
Based on North Carolina law, such a shooting should not be classified as accidental. Under state law, “Any person who resides in the same premises as a minor, owns or possesses a firearm, and stores or leaves the firearm . . . [loaded and] in a manner that the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised minor would be able to gain access to the firearm, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if a minor gains access to the firearm . . . and the minor . . . causes personal injury or death . . . .” (N.C. G.S. 14-315.1).
“Thirty years of public health research tells us that these tragedies are preventable,” said Suzanne Conway, Regional Manager of Moms Demand Action. “If a family with young children chooses to own a gun, it is paramount that the firearm is stored securely. It is not an accident when a toddler finds a gun; it is negligence, plain and simple.”