A 5-year-old boy from Medford was shot in the stomach Saturday morning after finding and handling his father's unsecured and loaded black-powder gun, police said.
The shooting occurred at the family's trailer in the 800 block of W. Jackson St., as the boy's father slept, according to a Medford Police Department news release.
Investigators said the boy found his father's black-powder pistol in a cabinet. As the boy's 8-year-old sister tried to take the gun away from him, the gun discharged, striking the boy.
Medford police Cpl. Trevor Arnold said the boy was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. He was later listed in stable condition.
"I had the same sickening feeling when I read that, just like everyone else probably will," Arnold said. "It's not proper to have any gun sitting around loaded."
The boy's father, 46-year-old Brian Wayne Green, is a convicted felon and not allowed to possess guns, court records show.
Police arrested Green on charges of third-degree assault, recklessly endangering another and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was lodged in Jackson County Jail on $34,000 bail.
"Keep your guns locked up. If you can't keep it locked up, you probably shouldn't have it in the house," Arnold said. "If you have little kids and you have a gun in the house, it's your responsibility to keep them out of harm's way."
Gun locks are available to the public for free at Medford City Hall, which receives a small number of locks through a donation from Project Child Safe, a national advocacy group promoting safe firearm handling and storage.