4-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Grandmother After Finding Gun in RV

A 4-year-old child accidentally shot their grandmother after finding a gun inside an RV, according to police.

The child's family had been traveling home to Virginia when they stopped at the Carlie C's IGA in Erwin, North Carolina, at around 12 p.m. on Sunday, WTVD reported.

The child and their grandmother stayed in the RV while the rest of the family went inside the grocery store.

According to WTVD, the child located the handgun in the vehicle and when the grandmother tried to get the weapon, it went off and struck the woman in the abdomen.

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Erwin Police chief Jonathan Johnson told the station that the woman was taken to hospital, but is in a stable condition with injuries that are not life-threatening.

The investigation is ongoing, but charges could be filed in the case.

Johnson has been contacted for additional comment.

It's not the first time a child has found and accidentally fired a weapon, injuring or killing someone.

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In July, an Illinois woman died after a 4-year-old accidentally shot her.

The child, who was in the back seat of 64-year-old Marita Hile's car, accidentally fired a handgun hat went through her car seat and struck her in the back, authorities said.

Hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else every year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

There have been at least 191 unintentional shootings by children so far in 2020, which have resulted in 79 deaths and 119 injuries, according to the group's #NotAnAccident index which tracks such shootings. In more than half of those incidents, the shooter was a child aged five or under.

The group says research shows an estimated 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes where there is at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked.

The group and numerous other charities and nonprofit organizations urge gun owners to take extra precautions when children are in the presence of firearms.

Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a campaign called Be SMART to raise awareness about how storing guns responsibly can help save lives.

"Gun owners can make our homes and communities safer by storing their firearms unloaded and locked, with ammunition kept in a separate place, to prevent access by children and other people who are at risk of harming themselves or others," a guide on how to store guns safely on the campaign's website says.

"Research shows that these storage practices can play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence, particularly among children, due to unintentional shootings and gun suicides."

It advises gun owners to store their guns safely by removing all ammunition from firearms, locking the firearm with a device such as a jacket lock and storing it in a locked location such as a safe or lock box. Ammunition should be stored separately from the gun in a secure location.

Handgun
Stock photo shows a handgun in its case at the K&W Gunworks store on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida. A 4-year-old accidentally shot their grandmother after finding a gun inside an RV in North Carolina. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
4-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Grandmother After Finding Gun in RV | U.S.