Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wisconsin father charged after 4 year old brought loaded gun to preschool

(UPDATED -- see below)

A Wisconsin father has been charged after a loaded gun was found in his 4 year old son's backpack. From an article:
The father of a 4-year-old boy who brought a loaded gun to a Hallowell day care center in April has been charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor charge.
Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Wednesday that Adam J. Keene, 31, of Madison, has been served with a summons to appear in court.
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.
"All weapons are toys to children, so parents have to take care of them," Maloney said. "By failing to keep control of his weapon, Mr. Keene acted in a reckless manner that could have ended in tragedy, not only for his family, but for an entire daycare. That's why I decided to bring the charge."
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.
Philip Mohlar, Keene's attorney, said his client is upset about what happened.
"He does not know how it ended up in the bag," Mohlar said. "He was very upset obviously, and horrified, to think of what could have happened and is grateful that nothing did."
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.

UPDATE (8/13/13):  The father, Adam Keene, was given a slap on the wrist for nearly killing his son or other kids in the class by allowing a loaded handgun to be in the boy's backpack.  According to an article:
The father of a 4-year-old who brought a loaded handgun to day care in Maine has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct, claiming the incident was unintentional. .... 
Maloney said she chose not to pursue felony charges because she believed the incident was an accident. She said in a phone interview that the state had extended a plea offer to Keene, who has not yet responded to it. 
"If I thought that he'd intended to have the gun go to day care, this would be a very different case," said Maloney. "But I'm optimistic we'll be able to come to some common ground."

Thus, the man will be able to continue owning a gun...  and potentially making the same mistake, or worse.

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