Ohio police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 2-year-old girl. The toddler's mother told authorities that she was handling a handgun on Friday night when it slipped from her hands and fired a bullet that struck the child in the chest, according to a statement.
Police said the shooting happened inside a hotel room at Econo Lodge Wickliffe-Cleveland East, about 16 miles from Cleveland. Emergency responders rushed the girl to the hospital, where doctors said the toddler died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police have said the incident appears to be an accident. The mother was a registered gun owner and had a concealed carry permit, local news reports stated.
"The safety was on when I dropped the gun and the bullet shot her," the mother said in a 911 call, obtained by WEWS-TV. "The gun dropped, I dropped my gun. She's gone. My baby's gone. She's not breathing at all. She's gone."
Police in Wickliffe, Ohio did not release the identity of the young child or her mother. No further information was immediately available.
More than 150 children have been killed or injured in shootings in 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks shootings.
Ohio is one of the more lax states when it comes to firearm restrictions, according to the National Rifle Association. In the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, however, Ohio lawmakers have moved forward with additional gun control legislation. Such measures include tightening background checks and introducing so-called "red flag" laws, which could allow authorities to confiscate firearms belonging to people who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.
The legislation signals a pivot from Governor John Kasich's past positions. He was once endorsed by the National Rifle Association and boasted on his website about supporting "every pro-2nd Amendment bill" that has crossed his desk. Recently, the governor urged President Donald Trump to take steps to strengthen gun control laws. His website was also updated to include a section on "common-sense" gun reform, a move criticized by conservative media.
On Monday, the Republican lawmaker tweeted that he planned to take additional steps to bolster the National Criminal Background Check system.
"In too many communities, convictions aren’t uploaded to the National Criminal Background Check system as they should be," Kasich said. "This afternoon, I’ll take action to help close this gap to keep weapons out of the wrong hands in our state."
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