Gun control is a highly debated issue. People argue over it, create petitions, protest and otherwise make their beliefs known. Whether people are on one side or the other, it’s safe to say that no one wants to see a loaded gun accidentally wind up in the hands of a toddler.
This past Wednesday, that’s exactly what happened.
A 17-month-old girl was brought into daycare by her grandmother. In a hurry, the grandmother left the toddler and the diaper bag and rushed to get on with her day. It turned out that she had forgotten her handgun in the bag.
Soon after, an anonymous tip was telephoned to the police.
The Vermont State Police released a statement on Thursday:
“She placed the handgun in the bag as she was leaving the house, while she was in a hurry, and then forgot to take the gun out of the bag upon arriving at the day care.”
The toddler was found walking around holding the loaded handgun.
Luckily, no one was hurt. There was a safety lock strap that prevented the gun from being fired, but the situation could have easily been tragic. The grandmother was obviously distracted enough to leave the gun in the diaper bag, a little more distraction and the gun might not have had the safety on.
Ivy Crowe, the owner of Helping Hands Day Care in Beebe Plain, called the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) as soon as the police notified her.
Once an incident report was filed with both the DCF and police department, Crowe proceeded to implement a new policy at the day care center stating that it was against the rules for parents or guardians to leave diaper bags or backpacks with their children.
“People are reminded to practice gun safety and ensure they have a locking device. The Vermont State Police also remind our citizens to keep guns in a secure location, away from children,” the police department added in their statement.
Vermont authorities have stated that no one will face criminal charges because they believe the incident was accidental in nature.
There has been no further information released about the grandmother or the toddler. No one from Helping Hands Day Care has come forward with any explanation as to how the toddler was able to walk around with the gun unnoticed until an anonymous tip could be made.
What do you think? Is the grandmother’s mistake forgivable or should she have been charged with a crime?
[ Image courtesy of The Bump ]