JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman who was accidentally shot by her 4-year-old announced on Facebook she will soon teach gun safety classes.
Jamie Gilt, 31, was shot in the back March 8 while driving on a Putnam County road.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office said her 4-year-old son, who was in the back seat of the pickup truck, had picked up Gilt's .45-caliber handgun and pulled the trigger. The round went through the seat and struck Gilt in the back, exited her chest and went through the windshield.
Gilt runs a Facebook page called Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense.
She posted Tuesday that it was time to make a statement about what happened.
"I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone that said a prayer or a kind word," Gilt wrote. "It made more of a difference than you will ever know."
Gilt said she read some of the negative messages and comments but "can't take to heart something negative coming from someone that does not know me, or what truly happened."
She said she made the mistake of placing a handgun under the front seat of her vehicle, which led to a horrible accident.
"However, this is not something that is rare," Gilt wrote. "A very large number of people place a gun under their seat every single day, I can only hope that what happened to me will help to open their eyes to what can happen by doing so."
Gilt also addressed some of the questions she's been asked since the incident.
She said her son was buckled into a booster seat but is capable of unbuckling himself.
"Anyone that has ever had a child this age should realize that," Gilt wrote.
She said the gun was not on the seat beside him, nor did it slide from under the seat onto the floor below him. She said he dropped a toy and it bounced under the seat, then he unbuckled himself to get it.
"The safety was not off. I was not shot with the compact 1911 that was shown in pictures," Gilt wrote. "It was a Springfield XD Mod 2. That particular handgun does not have a thumb safety."
Gilt said she's never claimed to be an expert, she's just very passionate about keeping Second Amendment rights and has conservative political views.
"I have chosen to take this very negative and scary experience and make something positive out of it," Gilt wrote. "I have gone through a lot of training since the accident, and am nowhere near finished. I realize that many of the classes offered are seriously lacking and I plan to do my best to improve that. I will be teaching classes as soon as I am ready, and I will continue to share my story in hopes that it will help just one person make a different decision or get a little more training."
Gilt was not prosecuted for the incident. She entered a deferred-prosecution agreement on a charge of unsafe storage of a firearm to avoid facing a trial.
She was required to complete a gun safety course, install a mounted holster in her vehicle, provide proof of safe storage of firearms within her home and give 10 speeches related to the incident and the need to secure firearms.