Child Injures Himself With Handgun

by Judy Silberstein

(December 4, 2008) A ten-year-old boy shot himself in the hand while visiting a Woodbine Avenue home on Wednesday, December 3.

Larchmont police issued a release the next day, reporting that the child “came across a firearm. He began to handle it and in so doing accidentally discharged a round from the firearm.”

A call to 911 from the home brought emergency responders to the scene at around 6:40 pm on Wednesday. Typically, “this is a pretty quiet town,” said George Hu, a Woodbine resident who noticed two police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance converging on his neighbor’s home.

The child was taken for medical treatment, and police later characterized his injury as “non-life threatening.”

An investigation determined that the handgun was legally owned by the owner of the residence. For now, police are treating the shooting as an accident.

Further details and the names of those involved are being withheld “due to the nature of the incident and the age of the victim,” according to the police release.

“It is legal to own a handgun and there is no law against keeping it loaded, “said Lt. Antonino Rigano, spokesperson for the Larchmont police. There is no New York State law governing the storage of hand guns, however, police are researching local statutes.

Westchester County laws require that a weapon owner must not leave the weapon without securing it in a “safe storage depository” or rendering it incapable of being fired by means of a safety lock.

An owner may be charged with “negligent storage in the first degree” if the unsecured weapon is discharged and causes physical injury to any person. Penalties for violating the law include imprisonment for up to 15 days, a fine of up to $250 or both. (See: Westchester General Code Section, Section 527)