Father of 2-year-old killed in shooting accident not allowed to own a gun

akelley@thesunnews.comJanuary 2, 2013 

A 2-year-old boy shot and killed himself on Christmas Day with a gun his father is not authorized to have, according to federal law.

Horry County police charged Rondell Smith, 30, of Conway, with involuntary manslaughter after his son, Sincere, picked up his gun off a table and accidentally shot himself.

But, Smith isn’t allowed to possess or acquire a gun or ammunition because he was convicted of a misdemeanor crime that could’ve carried more than two years imprisonment, according to the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Smith was convicted on misdemeanor drug possession charges in 2005 and 2006 according to a State Law Enforcement Division background check. He was also convicted of careless operation of a motor vehicle in 2005.

He did not have any convictions between 2006 and his son’s death, records show.

Because Smith’s prior convictions were not violent crimes, he cannot be charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon at the state level, said Sgt. Robert Kegler with Horry County Police.

Smith could be charged for unlawfully having a gun, but those charges would come from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kegler said.

Smith, in an interview with The Sun News a couple days after his son’s death, was inconsolable by family and said no punishment by the law would suffice.

“Going to jail ain’t even enough,” he said. “Whatever’s coming to me is coming to me.”

Tears steadily ran down Smith’s face as he recalled the day his son died. About two weeks before Sincere died, Smith said someone tried to break into his home while he and his family were there. He said he felt like he was nothing because we wouldn’t have been able to protect his family. So he got a gun.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.

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