A Florida mother who was accidentally shot in the back by her 4-year-old son just hours after she bragged about his shooting prowess may face a criminal charge in connection with the incident.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has asked that Jamie Gilt be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor charge of allowing a minor access to a firearm, according to CNN.
Capt. Gator DeLoach told the network Tuesday that the charge carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail.
Sheriff’s officials did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.
But, CNN added:
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.”
It will be up to the state attorney’s office to decide whether to charge Gilt. An office spokesman told The Post that the case is under review but declined further comment on the matter.
According to Florida law, it is illegal for minors to possess a firearm unless they are under the supervision of an adult. There are exceptions, the law states — if the minor is at least 16 and engaged in lawful hunting, a recreational shooting activity or marksmanship competition, for instance; or if the weapon is unloaded and being transported to one of those events.
Officials told the Florida Times-Union that Gilt was not supervising her son when he fired a .45-caliber handgun, hitting his mother in the back while she was driving down a road in Putnam County earlier this month.
The Associated Press quoted DeLoach saying that Gilt had placed the loaded weapon underneath the front seat of her pickup before it slid to the back seat, where her son was able to pick it up off the floor after unbuckling himself from a child booster seat.
The AP reported that the gun — which was legally owned — was not in a holster and didn’t have a trigger lock on.
“She was shot through the seat and the round went through her back,” sheriff’s Capt. Joseph Wells told the Times-Union. “There was a booster seat in the back of the vehicle, but, however, the boy was not strapped in when the deputy got to them.”
Hours before the March 8 shooting, Gilt had bragged on Facebook that her son “gets jacked up to target shoot.”
The 31-year-old Jacksonville woman’s social media presence is filled with pro-gun messages, Second Amendment memes and posts supporting the NRA, as well as photos of her posing with weapons.
She appears to maintain a Facebook page called “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” which has since been inundated by people criticizing her passion for weapons in light of being shot by her son.
The page includes numerous posts asserting that the government plans to confiscate weapons from U.S. citizens.
Gilt was towing a trailer when the shooting occurred and was on her way to a relative’s home to pick up a horse, police said.
Her vehicle was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy who was driving by and noticed Gilt in the driver’s seat “motioning to him as if she needed assistance,” according to police. After approaching the vehicle, the deputy realized that Gilt had been shot.
“The deputy provided first aid until the arrival of paramedics,” according to a statement released by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. “The victim was transported to University of Florida Health in Gainesville and was last reported to be in stable condition. The only other occupant of the vehicle was the victim’s 4-year-old son, who was unharmed.”
Before she went into the emergency room, the statement added, Gilt told police that she’d been shot by her son.
Officials told the Gainsville Sun that they didn’t have information about Gilt’s condition or whether she’d been released from the hospital.
A Florida Department of Children and Families investigation remains open, and Gilt’s children remain in the care of family members, a DCF spokesman told The Post.