Baltimore Grandmother Sentenced to Prison for 9-Year-Old’s Shooting of 15-Year-Old Neighbor

April Gaskins, a grandmother from Baltimore, has been sentenced to four years in prison after her 9-year-old grandson used her handgun to shoot 15-year-old NyKayla Strawder in August 2022 fatally. On September 15, 2023, Gaskins was sentenced to three years for reckless endangerment and one year for firearm access by a minor.

The shooting took place on Linnard Street in Baltimore, where witnesses reported that the 9-year-old boy was playing with a loaded handgun when he accidentally fired, striking Strawder in the head. Gaskins was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was found guilty on both counts of reckless endangerment and sentenced to four years in prison.

The case has sparked widespread debate about gun control and responsible gun ownership. Advocates for stricter gun laws have pointed to the tragedy as evidence of the need for tighter regulations on access to firearms, particularly by minors. Others have emphasized the importance of responsible gun ownership and the need for gun owners to take steps to secure their firearms and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

The sentencing of Gaskins has brought some measure of closure to the family of NyKayla Strawder, who have been vocal in their calls for justice. However, the tragedy serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences that can result from irresponsible gun ownership. As the debate over gun control continues, it is clear that there is a pressing need for solutions that balance the right to bear arms with the need to protect public safety.

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