Aunt charged after 7-year-old nephew brings gun to school

 

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office offers the following basic firearm safety tips for the home:

• Gun safety for kids starts with a responsible adult.

• Talk with your kids about the risk of gun injury both in and outside the home.

• Lock your gun and ammunition separately.

• Always use a trigger/cable lock and keep guns in a safe or lock box.

• Make sure that friends and relatives are safely storing guns and ammunition.

• Consider storing your guns somewhere other than your home if someone in your home is depressed or suicidal.

• Firearm safety classes for kids can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms/index.html. 

Gun is fired as kids look at it, no injuries

On Nov. 22, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Breanna Jones, 34, with one count of endangerment of a child by firearm access after her 7-year-old nephew brought a loaded handgun to school, the week prior.

Jones’ nephew lives with her and her husband at their home on Bradley Street in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, where he allegedly found the gun.

According to the criminal complaint, Jones’ nephew brought the loaded Smith & Wesson .38 revolver on a school bus Nov. 17, gave it to another student and that student brought it to Crossroads Elementary school in the North End neighborhood. 

The student was showing the gun to his classmates, when one of the children accidentally fired the weapon in the classroom. The bullet hit the floor and no one was injured.

The criminal complaint states that when police asked Jones’ nephew where the weapon came from, he said, “It’s my uncle’s, and I got it out of the drawer in his bedroom.” When Jones and her husband were questioned she allegedly admitted, “It’s mine. I have it for home protection.”

The gun was kept in the top drawer of a transparent-plastic bedside stand, though Jones allegedly told police she stored it underneath clothing. The criminal complaint adds that the stand had no locking mechanisms and Jones admitted she had no trigger lock or any other storage devices for the firearm. 

Jones got her permit to carry a firearm about two years ago, the criminal complaint says, but she bought the revolver only about three weeks before the incident.

“This incident serves as an important reminder to parents: If you own a gun, it is not only your responsibility to lock up your gun and keep it stored safely away from children, it is the law,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement.

The charge against Jones alleges she recklessly caused a child under 14 years old to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child’s health or cause the child’s death as a result of the child’s access to a loaded firearm.

She faces up to one year in prison, a $3,000 fine, or both. Jones will make her first appearance in Ramsey County District Court Dec. 16.

“Please take a moment to lock your guns and ensure they are well out of reach of children,” Choi said in the statement. “In Ramsey County, we launched a gun safety initiative to keep children safe by giving out free gun locks at community locations.”

Choi urged residents to visit www.ramseycounty.us/gun-safety for a list of locations to pick up a free gun lock, along with tips on safe gun storage.

 

 

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