Gun rights advocates are citing this week’s charging of a Tacoma mother and her male friend in the accidental shooting of a 3-year-old as evidence no new laws are necessary to punish irresponsible gun owners.
“Criminal charges filed in the death of a Tacoma, Washington toddler prove that the state does not need a new gun law to hold adults responsible for firearms negligence,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said this week.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist Tuesday charged Jahnisha McIntosh, 22, and Eric Vita, 23, with second-degree manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of McIntosh’s 3-year-old son Julio.
Julio Segura-McIntosh died shortly after midnight March 14 after he accidentally shot himself in the head with a 9mm pistol belonging to Vita that his mother had placed under the driver’s seat in her car, prosecutors claim. The two defendants have pleaded innocent to the charges.
Both McIntosh and Vita were out of the car at a service station near the Tacoma Mall at the time of the shooting.
“The Citizens Committee has maintained all along that the answer to this sort of tragedy is not to rush out and pass some restrictive new law,” said the committee’s chairman, Alan Gottlieb. “Instead, Lindquist has acted with an existing statute, and that should send a message to Olympia that we have ample laws already to hold people accountable for their negligent acts.”
The McIntosh firearms death and another similar shooting in Snohomish County in which a Marysville police officer’s daughter died have prompted calls for new legislation requiring gun owners to further safeguard their weapons.