Jamie Gilt expected to face a misdemeanor charge
Jamie Gilt, the pro-gun activist who was shot by her own toddler when he managed to get his hands on a loaded gun while she was driving may face charges when she recovers. She’s expected to face a misdemeanor charge of allowing a minor access to a firearm.
According to CNN, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office filed an affidavit this week with local prosecutors asking that Gilt be charged with the second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail. The sheriff’s office said gun owners have the “additional responsibility of ensuring children do not gain unintended access to a firearm in hopes of preventing tragedies like this.”
Florida has safe-storage laws and it’s illegal for minors to possess firearms unless they are under the supervision of an adult. The Associated Press quoted Putnam County Sheriff’s Capt. Gator DeLoach, who said Gilt was storing the loaded, unlocked .45 caliber handgun under her seat. It slipped back into the floor of the backseat, where her son found it.
He was riding in a child booster seat, but had recently learned how to unbuckle himself. He got out of the seat, picked up the gun, and fired through the front seat, hitting his mother in the back. The bullet exited through her chest and went through the windshield. “There was also a dinosaur toy on the floor near where the gun would have slid,” said the AP story. He was likely reaching for it when he found the gun.
The second degree misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail, which just doesn’t seem like enough, considering getting shot in the back and surviving was pretty much the best case scenario here. The boy could’ve easily turned the gun on himself. He could’ve fired out the window. Mom could’ve careened into a school bus full of children. There are a zillion other worse-case scenarios that could’ve happened here.
Criminal negligence definitely applies — and she should pay for her mistake.