Adult cited after child brings loaded gun to Concord summer camp, officials say

Staff members addressed the camper, secured the weapon and called authorities, city officials said.
An adult has been cited by police after a child came to a Concord summer camp with a loaded gun Tuesday, officials said.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:54 AM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) – An adult has been cited by police after a child came to a Concord summer camp with a loaded gun Tuesday, officials said.

According to the City of Concord, a camper at the Les Myers Summer Camp for children ages 6 and 7 told a counselor that a fellow camper had a weapon inside their lunchbox.

Staff members addressed the camper, secured the weapon and called authorities, city officials said.

“The camper involved had no intent to cause harm and at no time was the weapon used to threaten other campers or staff,” information from the city stated.

According to the police report, officers responded around 8:45am and seized a 9mm handgun.

The adult who owns the gun, 48-year-old Cynthia Earnhardt, is facing a charge of failure to store a firearm for the protection of a minor.

Parent Kristy Fals says she did not know about the incident until she picked her 6-year-old daughter Breea up from camp Tuesday afternoon.

“She’s like ‘I saw the police and they took a boy with them,’” she said.

Camp staff sent her home with a letter notifying parents that a camper brought a weapon to camp in a lunch box.

“It didn’t state that it was a loaded handgun or what the weapon was,” Fals said.

Fals wants to know why there was not more transparency and why she did not get a phone call.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the city told WBTV:

“The safety of campers and staff is our number one priority.  When a safety issue arises, we want to communicate first and foremost to parents and guardians. The initial letter to parents was the first communication sent. Once the police investigation was complete, we were able to disclose additional details. Many parents are understandably concerned, and Parks and Recreation has been communicating with parents and hearing their concerns.”

That spokesperson also said the child will not be returning to the camp and they began bag checks at all camps Wednesday morning.

“If this kid would’ve gotten it out and dropped it or if someone else would’ve found it,” Fals said. “All the horrible things that could have happened.”

Fals is keeping her daughter home until she is sure they are checking every backpack and lunchbox at drop off.

She’d also like the children to be taught gun safety.

“Getting some cops out here teaching some intentional lessons so that moving forward they know to never bring any weapon with them,” she said.

She also hopes it’s a wake up call for parents who own guns.

“It’s so eye opening and it makes me just want people to realize that gun negligence is no joke,” she said.

The city spokesperson also addressed gun storage, telling WBTV:

“We’re grateful for the quick actions of our camp staff and that no one was harmed. Yesterday’s incident, however, is an important reminder for all gun owners to take care to properly secure and store their firearms to help keep kids safe and prevent unintentional tragedies.”

Fals says she will revisit the idea of sending her daughter back to camp next week.

WBTV reached out to Earnhardt for comment regarding the incident but did not get a response.

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