Father-in-law speaks on gun's safety options after accidental sh - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Father-in-law speaks on gun's safety options after accidental shooting

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Veronica Rutledge Veronica Rutledge
HAYDEN, Idaho -

29-year-old Veronica Rutledge died Tuesday at the Hayden, Idaho, Walmart after her 2-year-old son went into her purse, got access to her handgun, and accidentally shot her in the head.

Her father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, says Veronica usually carried her gun on her person, but this time she carried her handgun a purse she got for Christmas.

“The purse that she was using was not just a purse, it was a purse designed for conceal carry to keep the firearm somewhat accessible but secure,” said Terry Rutledge. “It was in a zippered pouch in a holster that fit the gun. It wasn't just rattling around loose in the purse.”

Terry Rutledge says guns have always been part of their family culture.

“Her and my son both they've grown up around guns, they've had multiple classes,” said Terry Rutledge. “Always continued classes in shooting and with other friends of theirs you know in the gun culture that shoot. They've both been around them for years. They've carried concealed legally themselves for years.”

Veronica had a conceal and carry permit in both Idaho and Washington. Her son accidentally shot her with her nine-millimeter Smith and Wesson Shield semi automatic handgun.

“The gun has a couple of forms of safety. One of them is built into the trigger mechanism itself. It has sort of a hinged trigger. The trigger hinges and engages other components in the gun to make it fire,” said Terry Rutledge.

Terry Rutledge says his daughter-in-law was a responsible gun owner, but it's hard to know which safety options were engaged.

“There is a physical manual safety on the firearm as well. I can't speak as to whether or not it was engaged or not. Like I said, it's kind of in the position where I could see little hands grabbing at the gun easily, disengaging that safety,” said Terry Rutledge.

To learn more about the family's online memorial fund, click here: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/bf57/the-veronica-rutledge-memorial-fund

The family also plans to set up a memorial fund at regional US Bank locations next week.

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