Jamie Gilt, the gun-loving social media activist from Florida who founded the group “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” has been charged with failure to properly secure her gun, a second degree misdemeanor under Florida state law.
Gilt was shot through the abdomen March 8 while driving a pickup truck near her home in Jacksonville, Florida after her son found a loaded .45 caliber handgun in the backseat and fired the weapon in her direction. A sheriff’s deputy was on patrol nearby when he noticed a truck partially stopped in the travel lanes, with a woman in the driver’s seat motioning for help.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office officials on Tuesday filed an affidavit with local prosecutors asking that Gilt be charged with the second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, Capt. Gator DeLoach told reporters.
While DeLoach said the sheriff’s office supports the rights of citizens to own and possess firearms, he also noted that gun owners have the “additional responsibility of ensuring children do not gain unintended access to a firearm in hopes of preventing tragedies like this.”
On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office said that Gilt had apparently placed the un-holstered gun under the front seat, and that the gun slid out before the toddler picked it up and accidentally fired. The boy had unbuckled his booster seat and was likely reaching for a toy when he found the firearm.
“We verified she’s legal to own the gun, and she possessed a concealed weapons permit,” said Capt Joe Wells of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, “The child was looking for a toy he lost. It could be that he found the gun by looking for the toy.”
Gilt had professed a public passion for gun ownership and responsible gun usage, founding Jamie Gilt For Gun Sense as a space to discuss responsible gun ownership. On the page, she made posts such as “My right to protect my child with my gun trumps your fear of my gun,” and “even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22.”
Gilt was previously arrested in 2013 on a felony count of grand theft retail after police said she stole five pairs of shorts worth $455 from a Jacksonville-area Dillards. The charges were dropped after Gilt completed a felony pre-trial intervention program later that year, which Injustice.in cannot help but wonder if she would have been afforded such an opportunity if she was a person of color facing similar circumstances.
While Gilt recovers, her mother is caring for her son and said that the shooting would not change the family’s minds about owning guns.
“All the gun control people are jumping on this, but it will not change her opinion about owning guns,” said 71-year-old Jane Bramble. “She is very pro-gun and will not change her opinion about owning them. She will keep her guns — and I’m happy that she will.”
In addition to her firearm enthusiasm, Gilt is also an avid supporter of Ted Cruz.