The boy was riding in the back of his great-aunt’s car Sunday afternoon when he discovered her .357 revolver in a pouch behind the passenger’s seat. The toddler promptly pulled the trigger, shooting one bullet through the seat in front of him and into the back of his 40-year-old grandmother, local police told Charlotte television station WSOC. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, and has since been released.
“The gun should have never been that accessible,” Rock Hill police captain Mark Bollinger told the station, adding, “It is possible, for having the gun in the wrong location and easily accessible to a child, there could even be some child safety laws in violation. Our detectives will be working with the solicitor’s office to determine what, if any, charges will come of this.” (We’re thinking at least a good long time-out for the kid.)
South Carolina law requires drivers to keep their firearms “secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle.”
There have been at least 204 unintentional shootings involving children so far this year, according to a running count by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control advocacy group.
According to WSOC, it wasn’t clear if the child was in a car seat, either.