A Walmart store in Waverly, Ohio, recently witnessed a gun safety-related incident involving a two-year-old boy.
The incident occurred on the morning of November 16, 2022, when the toddler accidentally fired a Taurus 9mm handgun from his mother’s purse, sending a bullet into the store’s ceiling, as reported by the Waverly Police Department.
The child sustained a minor injury to his forehead from the gun’s magazine, according to the police. His mother, whose identity is withheld, was apprehended and charged with child endangerment, a decision made by the Pike County Court.
Subsequently, the toddler was released to a guardian and received medical attention.
The incident has raised significant concerns regarding the importance of responsible gun ownership and the criticality of secure firearm storage, particularly in homes with children. The Waverly Police Department has emphasized these issues in a statement, calling for heightened awareness and the adoption of proper safety protocols for storing firearms.
Statistics highlight the severity of the problem: approximately 4.6 million American children live in homes with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm. Every year, around 350 children unintentionally shoot themselves or others with guns obtained from their homes or those of friends. Furthermore, firearms are the predominant method in suicides and school shootings involving children.
Organizations like Project ChildSafe are advocating for secure gun storage solutions, including the use of lockable safes, cabinets, or vaults, separate ammunition storage in locked locations, and the utilization of cable-style gun locks. These preventive measures are crucial for avoiding accidental shootings and ensuring the safety of children.