A 14-year-old taking care of a Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker’s dogs while he was away was found dead of a gunshot wound from the senator’s 9mm handgun, Pennsylvania newspapers reported earlier this week. There was no trigger lock on the gun, and Pennsylvania law doesn’t require one.
Senator Robert Regola III, a former Democrat, is a member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the Police Rod and Gun Club, according to his website. He is also a member of Ducks Unlimited and the legislature’s Sportsmen’s Caucus.” In his campaign literature, he identified himself as an avid defender of the 2nd amendment.
Police said that the gun was not stored “haphazardly or recklessly” and the senator is cooperating with the investigation. A second gun was also found on the property. Forensic tests are underway to determine whether the boy shot himself accidentally or on purpose.Regola had hired the boy, a neighbor, to watch the family’s dogs while he and his wife were in Harrisburg, the state capital, to accept the Pennsylvania Sheriff’s Association “legislator of the year” award.
Earlier this summer, Colorado Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave sponsored a successful amendment to defund a federal requirement that gun dealers provide trigger locks when selling handguns. The Musgrave measure, which is attached to the House version of the Commerce and Justice spending bill, is now pending as the House and Senate work to reconcile different versions of the bill.
[cross posted at www.muckrakingmom.com]