An East Texas mother has a warning for parents after finding her young son playing with a pistol he found in their rental car.
When Jaymie Bates and her son, Matthew, left Enterprise car rental in Longview, the farthest thing from her mind was Matthew getting his little hands on a pistol.
"We got home, thinking everything is cool...fine, I step out of the car for a second. I get back in the car and my son was in the back seat playing with a pistol," said Jamie.
It was a terrifying image. She immediately took the gun from Matthew and went straight back to Enterprise where the manager contacted the police.
"Bottom line is that my one-year-old was playing with a pistol. It could have gone off, and I could have been burying my son. So, what is a mother to do or think," asked Jaymie.
According to the police report, the gun Matthew found wasn't the only one left sitting in an Enterprise rental car that day. The manager told officers he found another gun in a different car on the lot.
"More than anything, I just want to tell everybody, 'Hey, if Enterprise is not doing their job as a company and checking their vehicles, maybe we as people need to go behind them and double check,'" said Jaymie.
Enterprise's corporate office said in an email statement:
"The safety of our customers is our top priority. On return of each vehicle, our procedure is to clean everything including checking under seats, in the glove compartment, in the center console and in door compartments. We are investigating what went wrong in this particular case, and we will revisit with all of our service agents the proper procedures to make sure this doesn't' happen again."
"As a mother, I'm still upset. Thank God my son is good. He is ok. We serve an awesome God, much prayer and just be more careful next time. I know I definitely will be more careful and more aware as far as everything and renting a car from Enterprise," said Jaymie.
Both guns were 9MM semi-automatic pistols. The police report did not say if the guns were loaded.
According to that report, the manager of the Longview Enterprise where this incident occurred called the people who had previously rented the cars the guns were found in. Both people advised the guns belonged to them and were mistakenly left behind. The guns will be kept by the Longview Police Department until the owners can be verified and come to claim the weapons.
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