Child Accidentally Shoots And Kills Woman In Easley - WSPA.com

Child Accidentally Shoots And Kills Woman In Easley

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EASLEY, S.C. - A woman is dead after being shot in the passenger seat of a car.

Easley Police tell 7 On Your Side a 6-year-old child in the back seat found the gun on the floor board and fired it, accidentally killing Alexandra Anita Santos.

The incident occurred at a stop sign on Hastings Circle in Easley Thursday afternoon. Now, authorities are looking to see if any gun laws were broken.

7 On Your Side’s Addie Hampton talked to experts about the laws on storing guns in vehicles and the recent changes for permit holders you may not know about.

South Carolina concealed weapon permit holders have a little more freedom these days when it comes to storing their firearm in their vehicle. Historically those with or without a CWP were legally required to store that gun in a closed glove box, console, or trunk. In February, Governor Nikki Haley signed a concealed weapon reform bill that altered that law.

“For CWP holders, we can now have it anywhere inside the passenger compartment, as long as it's not in plain view,” said certified firearms instructor, Mark Bilicki.

He explained that if you don't have a permit, you still have to keep it in the glove box, a consol, or the trunk. However, the law is designed to give easier access inside a vehicle to those who've been through permit training of some sort. He said the law makes no distinction for gun owners, permitted or not, when it comes to gun readiness inside the car.

“It can be either loaded or unloaded. That's the choice of the handler,” said Bilicki.   

This means it is possible, even for the most law abiding gun owner, to have the weapon wind up in curious young hands.

“If they touch a gun, even to see if it's loaded, we possibly have ammunition and somebody unskilled or careless in its use. That is the recipe for an incident to occur,” he explained.

It’s why Bilicki said education is so important among gun owners and children who will be around guns.

“We teach ‘don't touch it.’ It's that easy. The only way for that gun to go off is for you to touch it. It cannot go off by itself,” he said.

This is the second incident this week in South Carolina involving a child and a gun found in a car. Saturday in Gaston, a 5 year old boy picked up what he thought was his toy rifle out of a trunk. He fired the real weapon, striking and killing a 7 year old girl. Authorities say no state law was violated in this case.





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Addie is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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