LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was a Sunday morning no parent wants to experience. Louisville Metro Police said a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot himself before 11 a.m. Sunday in an apartment in the 1500-block of Oleanda Avenue.
LMPD said the child's father was rushing to drive him to the hospital when he crashed his car at the intersection of Fourth and Hill Streets in Old Louisville. According to officials, three other cars were involved in the accident. Police officers arrived to the scene and found the child and his father with emergency personnel blocking off the intersection as the boy was transported to Norton Children's Hospital.
Police said the child was conscious when he arrived at the hospital and his injuries appeared to not be life-threatening.
"It makes me so sick to think about a little one having done that and how that father must feel right now," Lorna Cloud, who walked by the accident scene, said. "And I can see why he was driving, trying to get him help. I would have done the same thing."
According to Norton Children's Hospital, this is the 19th child that has been brought to its hospital with a gunshot wound this year. In several of those cases, children accidentally shot themselves or others.
"It's very troubling," Metro Councilman David James, D.-District 6, said. "Every time I see it on television or I see the news and I see a child's been injured by a gun that was left unsecured, it just breaks my heart."
Kentucky State Rep. Jim Wayne, D.-District 35, has pre-filed legislation for the upcoming legislative session in Frankfort, which would make it a misdemeanor for people to leave their guns unattended with children around, which right now does not carry any criminal penalty, even if someone gets hurt or killed.
"So the officers are frustrated because this happens too regularly here in our community and their hands are tied and there's nothing they can do about it," James said.
The legislation pre-filed by Wayne reads:
"(1) A person is guilty of unlawful storage of a firearm when: (a) He or she recklessly stores a firearm in a manner which allows a minor to have access to a firearm which is not secured by a trigger lock; and (b) The minor, without legal justification, accesses the firearm.
(2) Unlawful storage of a firearm is a Class B misdemeanor, unless the minor, without legal justification, uses the firearm in a manner which results in physical injury, serious physical injury, or death to the minor or another person, in which case it is a Class A misdemeanor."
James told WHAS11 he and several other councilmembers are planning on drafting a resolution in support of Wayne's bill. James said he hopes the bill will be more of a proactive measure rather than a punitive one to encourage parents to secure their guns using either a gun safe or a gun lock.
"A lot of times parents think, 'Well I'm going to put it in the glove box. They'll never know it's in there,'" he said. "Well children are curious and they open up the glove box and there it is."
James said he expects to file the resolution after Metro Council returns from their holiday break.
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