When a Clinton boy was fatally wounded by an accidental gunshot, how the gun got into the house and how gun laws are enforced undoubtedly became hot topics of conversation.

Prince George’s County Police (PGPD) responded to the 6000 block of Arbutus Lane at 2:40 p.m. on April 9, following reports of a shooting.

There they found 6-year-old Amari Markel-Purrel Perkins in a bedroom suffering from a gunshot wound. Emergency vehicles transported the child to Children’s National Medical Center in the District where he was pronounced dead.

Raymond Allen Brown was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, firearms access by a minor and possession of a firearm by a minor. Police said Brown brought the loaded gun into the home and hid it in a Spiderman backpack that the boy found in a closet.

Brown was not the registered owner of the gun.

Police are still trying to find the gun owner and determine how it came to be in Brown’s possession.

District 9 Councilman Mel Franklin, whose district encompasses the crime scene, issued a strong statement condemning bringing guns into homes.

“This is a preventable tragedy and offers a stern reminder to all of us that we must fully enforce our gun laws that require due care and responsibility with the possession of firearms, especially in an environment with children in the home,” District 9 County Councilman Mel Franklin said in a statement. “I strongly encourage and endorse the prosecution and maximum punishment for any crimes that occurred in connection with this tragedy.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge overruled a Maryland law requiring “good and substantial reason” for someone to obtain a handgun.

In his opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Benson Everett Legg wrote that the law does nothing to make Maryland streets safer, but took the power to defend themselves away from normal citizens.

“Indeed, issuing permits specifically to those applicants who can demonstrate an increased likelihood that they may need a firearm would seem a strange way to allay Defendants’ fear that ‘when handguns are in the possession of potential victims of crime, their decision to use them in a public setting may actually increase the risk of serious injury or death to themselves or others,’” Legg wrote.

“If anything, the Maryland regulation puts firearms in the hands of those most likely to use them in a violent situation by limiting the issuance of permits to ‘groups of individuals who are at greater risk than others of being the victims of crime.’”

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO