A mom was accidentally shot in the leg trying to take a loaded revolver away from her toddler on Thursday, according to Rapid City police.

The 22-year-old mother discovered her 23-month-old son playing with an unsecured revolver around 9 p.m. in a home on East Custer Street, according to police spokeswoman Tarah Heupel. 

Two shots were fired from the gun when she attempted to take the weapon. One bullet hit her in the leg. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Rapid City police remind gun owners that it is important to safely secure their firearms, especially in homes with children. Firearms should be stored unloaded and locked. Ammunition should be stored in a separate location.

Contact Andrea J. Cook at 394-8423 or andrea.cook@rapidcityjournal.com

(21) comments

Frank Smith
Frank Smith

How about child endangerment charges? Was the gun legally owned? Did the police run the serial number to see if the gun was stolen? Was the gun confiscated? There needs to be a very stiff penalty here for allowing a toddler to grab a loaded firearm. I think we can all agree on that.


This is a reason guns should be treated as cars, you can own a gun, however you have to pass the background check and show that you know the safety rules and can operate it safely ( hit what you aim at). This would not violate the second amendment and make gun owners some what safer. It would make it easier to prosecute criminals who use guns because you could make having control of a firearm without a license a law.


I know people that buy and trade 5-10 guns in a year. Are you going to pay for their proficiency testing and licensing each time they get a different gun? Sometimes people buy old guns that may be unsafe to shoot with today's ammunition because they want to hang them on the wall or otherwise display them, will you require they they perform the test? Will you personally put that rusty old double-barrel on your shoulder and pull the trigger? Who is going to administer the tests to verify operation? What is the pass/fail threshold? Surely you can't expect the same results between a .38 at 7 yds vs a 22LR @ 50 yds vs a .50 BMG @ 500 yds. Would your testing methods account for differences between a cheap heavily used plinker and a professionally built target rifle? Technically, a receiver with a serial number is considered a firearm. How do you suggest someone performs the firearms proficiency test when their firearm has no barrel or other critical parts and is completely incapable of firing a bullet? If an individual is not allowed to control a firearm without a license, how do you suggest they take the test? If a person fails the test and must surrender their firearm, who pays for the value lost on a gun that was new but was used for testing purposes?

See how complicated and expensive your proficiency testing could be? If you honestly think that wouldn't violate the second amendment, then you should have to personally apologize and pay $10 to each person who read your silly firearm proficiency testing and licensing theory. If you want me to pay and take a test to exercise my second amendment rights, then I propose you take a test to exercise your first amendment right to free speech. You just failed the logic portion of the exam, so you have lost your first amendment rights.

I believe there is no requirement to get a driver's license before you purchase a car. You don't need a license to operate a vehicle on your own property either. The law only requires a driver's license if you want to drive on public roadways. So, in this news article, the gun would have been legal to own and operate on private party, but if that 2 year old stepped outside packing heat, you'd bust him for having control of a firearm without a license.


And what other civil rights do you plan on licensing and registering away?

By forcing people to obtain training to possess something that is Constitutionally protected, you are in effect placing the equivalent of a poll tax on gun ownership. That, sir is illegal.

Now while I get where you are coming from, however misguided it is, remember this. Under no circumstances will this scheme do anything to the very people you intend it for. Criminals cannot be made to register or get licenses because this violates their 5th Amendment right against self incrimination. Their illegal possession of a firearm or possession of an illegal firearm (depending on the jurisdiction) won't mean diddly until AFTER the crime has been committed, and your 'gun violence prevention' scheme still will not have worked. It will have affected only one group of people, those who weren't the problem to begin with.

Then there's this: You can jump up and down and mandate all you want. Some folks just won't comply. What are you prepared to do then?


Seriously doubt this was mom's gun. Registered? to whom?


There is no provision for gun registration in state law. In fact, it is a violation of state law for the state or its subdivisions to keep record of privately owned firearms. See SDCL 23-7-8.6. There is no provision at any state or local law enforcement agency to look up the owner of a firearm.

The completion of BATFE form 4473 at a dealer is an eligibility verification document, not a gun registration.

a thought

The mother should have taken more care to assure that this gun was stored properly so that the toddler could not have gotten at it. And it should have been stored unloaded. Unfortunately, she didn't do either. She made a poor choice and now has to live with the consequences of those actions. I hope that now she will take time to properly store her gun in the future.


Guns should be stored in a secured and unloaded condition until used. If that use is preparation for home defense, it should be secured in a lock box. This event was entirely avoidable by following longstanding, industry standard directions. I hope that mom takes a basic gun safety class, either as initial education or a refresher.

A two year old is more than capable of pressing through the 6-10lbs of resistance common in revolvers. As are children younger than that.


Calvin, are you so sure? I am now 70+, but I remember well how I used to practice "fast draw" with my Dad's S&W when he wasn't home. Any kid knows where the guns are hidden!! Fortunately I knew better than to have ammo in the gun (and so did my father).


Typo: strong enough


I have to admit to being curious as to how a two year old would be string enough to pull the trigger on a revolver twice. Double action revolvers usually have a pretty stiff trigger pull


Very fishy! in fact wreaks of trouble. Why no name of Mom? Knowing location of Custer street, not at all surprised a loaded weapon would just be lying around and in reach of a baby. If sense was common, wouldn't need phrase "common sense".


Something is fishy in this story!!!!!


The simple fact that a 23 month old had the opportunity to pick up a loaded gun, and proceed to fire two rounds, should be a felony for the parent that let this happen! But what the heck second amendment remedies preclude such punishments!!!!!

big al

Strange that the kid would shoot twice, must have been quite a tantrum.


Wow the pure stupidity to find humor in this circumstance is astounding!


The stupidity and carelessness of some people should not be used as an excuse to put out this statement, "Firearms should be stored unloaded and locked. Ammunition should be stored in a separate location."

And unloaded, locked firearm with no ammunition close at hand is only a hammer. I have raised four children and now have five grandchildren, and never has even one of them played with a firearm. they are taught from a very early age what a gun is, and what it will do.

Summer Nights

While I would agree that gun owners have a responsibility to teach their children gun safety, the child in the article is only 23 months old. He's learning his colors and shapes, hardly old enough to understand gun safety

Sue Ellen

Thank You! Calvin


I'm sure you're a responsible gun owner, which is why I'm also sure that you were never stupid enough to leave a loaded weapon anywhere in arm's reach of a 23 month old child.

The common sense warning in this article seems perfectly apropos given the circumstances.

Some people need frequent safety briefings. And some common sense.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.