“He sat down and somehow or another it became dislodged from this body and when he got up he didn’t realize that he was without it,” Weger said.
After “just a few minutes,” a 6-year-old child found the gun and fired it at least once into the couch cushions, Weger said. It was then the gun owner noticed his gun was missing.
“As soon as he realized that there was a commotion in the store, the gun owner quickly identified himself . . . and fully cooperated with the investigation,” Weger said.
In a statement, Ikea said it had apologized to the family of the child and was taking the incident seriously.
“We have processes in place to ensure that the store is safe for customers and co-workers. For example, our store team has regular safety walks and audits which happen before, during and after opening hours,” the company stated. “As soon as we were made aware of the situation, our co-workers took the action they were trained to do to ensure the safety of customers. We are cooperating with police as they investigate this incident.”
No arrests were made Monday, but the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office will decide if criminal charges are warranted, Weger said.
“We’re just very fortunate that no one was injured and we want to press the importance of responsible gun ownership and making certain that, if you are going to carry a weapon, that it’s under control at all times,” Weger said.
Although Ikea says it has a no-weapons policy “to prevent exactly these types of situations,” Indiana has some of the most pro-gun laws in the United States.
“Indiana has a strong [concealed-carry] law with low fees, no training requirement and full recognition of out-of-state permits,” according to a ranking in Guns & Ammo magazine. “Open carry is also legal in the Hoosier State.”
Evaluating those same gun laws, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has given Indiana a “D-” grade, pointing out that in 2016, the state had the 18th highest rate of gun deaths per capita in the nation.
Attorney Guy Relford told WTTV News that violating Ikea’s no-weapons policy in Indiana would not be considered illegal and that it would be difficult to prove criminal recklessness in this case.
“Being a knucklehead is not a crime in Indiana, or in most places,” Relford told the news station. “I actually doubt there will be criminal charges filed.”
The incident occurred just three days after the Fishers Police Department promoted responsible gun ownership on its social media accounts.
“Model responsible behavior around guns,” read a flier the police department tweeted Friday. “Tell your peers to be SMART.”