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Police Discover Toddler Holding Loaded Handgun During Routine Traffic Stop

Posted on in Criminal Defense

In Illinois, the Child Passenger Protection Act guidelines state that all children under the age of eight must be secured in a child safety seat. When police saw a car full of people with two children in the vehicle who were not in car seats or wearing seat belts, they immediately pulled the driver over. Officers were shocked at what they discovered. One of the children, a three year old girl, was holding what turned out to be loaded handgun.

When one of the officers tried to coax the weapon away from her, the child threw the gun to the floor of the vehicle. The weapon was identified as a 9 mm handgun and contained eight live rounds. Police reported that at no time did the gun discharge.

Queshawn King, a passenger in the car, was identified as the owner of the gun. He was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon for having a loaded weapon in the vehicle. He also faces a misdemeanor count of endangering the life and health of a child, and a misdemeanor possession of a gun without a valid firearm owner's identification card. The child’s mother and grandmother were also passengers in the car.

The Chicago Tribune quotes a police report from the incident, stating that as police approached the vehicle, the officer noticed King, who was sitting who was in the rear passenger seat, making "furtive&& downward movements toward the child, who was sitting next to him. The officer also reported that he found King to be "extremely nervous” as he was talking to him. A second officer, who was approaching the vehicle’s front passenger side, noticed the child holding the handgun and when he tried to recover it from her, she threw it on the floor.

A routine traffic stop always has the potential of turning into a situation where serious criminal charges are filed. If this happens to you, consult with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney.

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