ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — A two-year-old toddler gained access to a grandmother’s .357 Magnum revolver, located in a pouch in the backseat, and shot her in the back. Rock Hill police are still investigating how the toddler was able to gain access to the pouch located on the back of the passenger’s side seat, retrieve the firearm, and use it on his grandmother. While the grandmother is expected to survive her injuries, Rock Hill police are investigating the scene to determine if charges of child neglect or endangerment are warranted.
Via WISTV 10
“She’s probably lucky that it hit the car seat first because it slowed down the momentum of the bullet,” said Rock Hill Police Captain Mark Bollinger.
This forty-year-old grandmother discovered her grandson had the firearm while driving down the road. She reportedly heard the gun go off, looked in her rearview mirror and saw the toddler holding her .357 Magnum. It was then that she realized she had been hit.
According to police statements given through WISTV 10, she drove to a nearby relative’s house and called police. She was then transported to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life threatening wounds.
Rock Hill police have used this occasion to further educate the public on the importance of gun locks for firearms.
“We encourage people to get gun locks, we give them away free here at the Rock Hill Police Department,” Bollinger said.
In the concealed carry community, this topic comes up a lot: firearm safety around children. We wrote an article entitled Teaching Family Members About Firearms if you’re interested. Most of that article applies to family members of an age to understand the nature of firearms. Toddlers are not in that category. But, in the interest of brevity, let’s go over some quick rules about guns and toddlers.
Guns And Toddlers: A Quick Review
Rule #1: Gun is on you or locked up at all times.
If you’re in a vehicle, the gun is inside a high-retention inside-the-waistband (IWB) concealed carry holster or similar. Your purse doesn’t count as “on your person” and neither does the center console, the glovebox, or an unsecured pouch behind the passenger’s seat. None of those count. If you can’t have the gun on your person, you unload it and lock it with a gun lock. That simple.
That’s it. No more rules. Gun is physically attached to your body or it is unloaded and locked up so it cannot be fired.
I’m sure the grandmother is devastated that her grandson got access to her handgun and shot her with it. I’m thankful she lived through the scenario and managed to get the child to safety without any further harm to him or anyone else.
It’s your gun. You’re responsible for it. We reinforce that at every step in the process. No bullet leaves that chamber without your consent — knowingly or unknowingly.