A pro-gun Florida mother was accidentally shot in the back by her 4-year-old son, who found the handgun while sitting in the back seat of her pickup truck, according to police and media reports.
Jamie Gilt, 31, was driving on Tuesday when the child fired the .45-caliber handgun that was on the floor of the truck, according to the Associated Press. The Jacksonville woman was hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday as authorities investigated how the firearm was stored in the vehicle, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
Social media accounts for a woman with Gilt’s name in Jacksonville show she is an advocate for gun rights and a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. She could not be immediately reached Wednesday, and several family members declined to comment. Those Facebook accounts, including one titled “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” drew criticism and mockery after multiple local and national media outlets connected the woman behind the pages with the shooting victim.
She appeared to brag about how excited her son gets around guns in a comment posted on Facebook a day before the accident. “Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22,” Gilt wrote. The mom also posted that it’s her right to protect herself and her family with guns. “I can promise though, if someone breaks into my house, or tries to harm me or my family pretty much anywhere, they will be shot and most likely killed,” she wrote.
Gilt was on her way to a family member’s house to pick up a horse when a sheriff’s deputy spotted her truck, which was towing a horse trailer, rolling across traffic lanes near an intersection, authorities said. She legally owned the firearm, and her son had picked up the gun without her knowledge, police said.
It’s a misdemeanor in Florida for someone to store or leave a loaded firearm where a child can gain access to it. Detectives will not file criminal charges until they speak to Gilt, police said. The Florida Department of Children and Family Services is also investigating.