VAN NUYS : Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Giving Daughter Gun Access

A Panorama City woman pleaded not guilty in Van Nuys Municipal Court on Thursday to charges that she allowed her 9-year-old daughter access to a gun, which the girl took to school and fired through a classmate's jacket.

Gloriette Littlejohn, 37, is the first person in the city of Los Angeles to be prosecuted under the state's 1991 Children's Firearm Accident Prevention Act. The law makes it illegal for a parent to leave a firearm readily accessible to children, who then fire, brandish or exhibit the gun.

Littlejohn, who is free without bail, was ordered to return July 20 to face trial on the misdemeanor count, as well as a second misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property. The gun was reported stolen in February from a Venice home.

If convicted, she faces a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine on each count.

According to prosecutors, the girl--who was not identified because of her age--found a loaded .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol in a drawer in her mother's bedroom on May 4 . The girl removed the magazine from the gun, but apparently did not realize that a bullet remained in the chamber.

The girl told authorities that she put the gun in her backpack to protect herself from gang members who had been threatening her as she walked to and from school. At school, the girl pulled the trigger in front of a 7-year-old classmate and the bullet passed through the fabric of the boy's jacket sleeve, although no one was injured.

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