Adam Keene, 31, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct charges stemming from his 4-year-old son bringing a loaded gun to his Maine day care, reports Raw Story.
Keene sent the boy to the day care in rural Maine with a loaded, semi-automatic .380 caliber pistol after forgetting that he had placed it in his back pack, said Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
The gun’s safety was activated, but there was a round in the chamber.
“If I thought that he’d intended to have the gun go to day care, this would be a very different case,” said Maloney. “But I’m optimistic we’ll be able to come to some common ground.”
Day care owners said they wanted to believe that it was a toy gun, but that it was “very real,” and now other parents are nervous.
Day care owner Elizabeth Rollins said an employee at her home day care in Hallowell had discovered the gun, and that her husband had quickly removed it from the premises.
“We were in denial,” said Rollins. “We wanted to believe it was a toy gun. But it was real.”
She said the nearly four months since the incident occurred in April have been stressful, but a learning experience for her and hopefully, other day care owners.
“I’ve put a lot of time into talking to parents about the incident, and making sure that my kids, and theirs, are protected,” she said. “We’ll be happy for some closure.”
The fear that their child my be faced with gun violence is increasing for some parents.
As previously reported by NewsOne, a sixth-grade student at West Kearns Elementary School in Kearns, Utah was taken into police custody last December and charged with multiple counts of assault after bringing a gun to school Monda.
According to school officials, he claimed that he was protecting himself against a shooting like the one that took place in Newtown, Connecticut when 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced himself into Sandy Hook Elementary and killed 20 children — ages 6 and 7 — and 6 adults, before killing himself.
The 11-year-old boy was seen by witnesses brandishing the .22-caliber handgun after pulling it from his backpack, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley. One little girl, Isabelle Rios, said he put the gun to her head and threatened to kill her.