Indiana couple detained after baby filmed with gun in its mouth

Police say footage shows the couple encouraging 12-month-old girl to make shooting noise

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A couple in Indiana has been arrested after police found video footage in which a 12-month girl puts a handgun in its mouth and makes shooting noises.

Police in Evansville said they discovered the footage after a 19-year-old man, Michael Barnes, was detained for trying to sell a handgun to an undercover officer. When they examined his phone, it contained footage showing the young girl with the weapon in its mouth and the couple encouraging the child to say “pow”, according to Reuters.

Police say the mother, 22-year-old Toni Wilson, told officers the girl was holding a pellet gun, but detectives say it was a 40-calibre handgun. It appeared that the gun’s magazine had been removed although it was not obvious if there may have been ammuntion in the chamber of the weapon.

“Barnes can be heard telling the child to say pow on multiple occasions while the child plays with the gun,” police said in a statement. “The video also shows the child placing the muzzle of the gun in her mouth. At no point does Barnes try to stop the child from playing with the gun.”

Police said the couple had been charged with child neglect and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. Mr Barnes also faces charges in connection with the thwarted gun sale, police said. The 12-month-old girl and one-month-old twins in the home were placed in emergency care, police said.