Jamie Gilt, the Florida pro-gun activist who was accidentally shot and wounded by her 4-year-old son, is expected to face a misdemeanor charge of allowing a minor access to a firearm, authorities said Tuesday.
Gilt, 31, was hospitalized earlier this month after the toddler accidentally shot her from the back seat of a car while she was sitting in the driver’s seat, officials said.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday filed an affidavit with local prosecutors asking that Gilt be charged with the second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail, Capt. Gator DeLoach told reporters.
DeLoach said the sheriff’s office supports the rights of citizens to own and possess firearms but gun owners have the “additional responsibility of ensuring children do not gain unintended access to a firearm in hopes of preventing tragedies like this.”
Authorities said the firearm was legally owned by Gilt, who maintained a Facebook page entitled “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” where she regularly posted pro-gun positions.
Florida law makes it a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave a loaded firearm in such a way that a child could gain access to it.
On March 9, a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy was on patrol when he noticed a truck stopped partially in the travel lanes and a woman in the driver’s seat motioning for help. The only other occupant in the vehicle was the boy, who was not harmed.
The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that Gilt had apparently placed the unholstered gun under the front seat and that the gun slid out before the toddler picked it up and accidentally fired it. The boy, who unbuckled his bolster seat, was likely reaching for a toy when he found the gun.
The sheriff’s office said child welfare authorities were investigating the incident.
On her personal Facebook page, Gilt once bragged about her son: “Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22.”