It turns out the boy had the gun for six days.
The father, who owned the gun, had put the gun in the boy's backpack when leaving his truck, intending to remove it once getting inside the home, but forgot all about it.
The father has been charged with "reckless conduct", a misdemeanor, and will be able to possess guns again.
The father had previously threatened to shoot the family dog, according to his ex-wife.
From an article:
On April 23, a worker at Rollins Family Child Care Center in Hallowell found a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the boy's backpack. ....
The charge alleges that Keene, who works as a dispatcher for the Somerset County Communications Center, "did recklessly create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury" to the boy.
"It's more that he misplaced his weapon and didn't know where it was," Maloney said. "Misplacing it in his son's daycare bag is reckless. I'm convinced it was not intentional -- that's why it's not a felony."
The gun was removed from the premises, and Hallowell police were called. Hallowell Police Chief Eric Nason said at the time that the gun's safety was on, but a round was in the chamber.
Later that day, the boy's mother, Heidi Lynn Johnson, of Hallowell, alleged in an affidavit seeking a protection from abuse order in Augusta District Court that "the gun was brought in the bag to day care on at least three occasions. It was available to my son for six days as he had access to the day care bag."
The boy uses the travel bag to carry belongings between the homes of his parents.
She also indicated that Keene "kept a loaded gun in the house and pointed it at the family dog threatening to kill him."
Johnson said after telling Keene that the gun was found in the bag at day care, she asked why he was not using the gun safe she bought for him, but received no response.
Johnson got a temporary protection order, but two weeks later successfully requested the court dismiss both her complaint and the temporary order. In asking for the dismissal, she said the district attorney's office and the child protective services department were investigating the incident.
The termination of that order on May 9 meant Keene could possess firearms again.Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.