ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A St. Paul, Minnesota woman is facing charges after her seven-year-old nephew brought a loaded handgun to his elementary school to show his peers and another student accidentally fired the weapon in the classroom.
The seven-year-old St. Paul student lives with aunt, Breanna Jones, and his uncle. He told police he had taken the revolver out of a drawer in his aunt and uncle’s bedroom, according to the charges. He put it in his backpack and brought it on the school bus, where he gave it to another student.
Jones, 34, told police the gun belonged to her and that she had purchased it three weeks prior to the incident for “home protection.” Both Jones and her husband denied ever showing the gun to their nephew, but said he may have overheard them talking about it.
The revolver was underneath some clothes in the top drawer of plastic, see-through beside stand with no locking mechanisms. Jones admitted she had no trigger lock or any other storage devices for the firearm.
"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.
Jones is charged with endangerment of a child of a child by firearm access. She will make her first court appearance on Dec. 16.
In an effort to keep children safe, Ramsey County has launched a safety initiative by giving out free gun locks at community locations. More information is available here.