PORT CHARLOTTE - It's on the minds of many these days but unfortunately a Port Charlotte family is learning a lesson on guns the hard way. Sheriff's investigators say back in November, three year old Christopher Eli Davis accidentally shot and killed himself. Thursday the boy's father charged with negligence.
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell says the death came by the toddlers own little hand. "Our investigation showed that he suffered a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head."
Authorities say the Port Charlotte boy found the the licensed, loaded, and unsecured hand gun in a closet around 3am that Sunday morning. "Those of you who have young children know sometimes they will get up and just wander."
At a press conference Thursday Prummell announcing the arrest of the boys father 24 year old Christopher C. Davis. Explaining it is difficult to charge a parent who is already suffering but it's the law. "In any circumstance when you are dealing with the death of child it is tough to begin with. To go back and say you are charged to a parent it is rough but his negligence led to the death of that child."
Prummell says two other guns were found secured in the home. He says a gun lock, safe, or secured case for the third might have kept the tragedy from occurring. An unthinkable lesson for one family and a warning to all as gun sales continue to soar as well as the risks of owning one. "Citizens have constitutional rights to bear arms. If are going to exercise those rights you need to be responsible. Responsible in the maintenance, security, and care of those firearms."
The law in this particular case states that if anyone 16 years or younger hurts themselves or somebody else, the person who allowed them to get their hands on that gun without taking precautions can be charged with a felony.
Detectives say the family is distraught but is cooperating with them. Davis was processed at the jail Thursday and released.