Husband charged with accidentally shooting wife in restaurant

LENEXA, Kan. — A Lenexa, Kan., man with a conceal-carry permit has been charged with the accidental shooting of his wife at the Longbranch Steakhouse restaurant in January. Sixty-six-year-old William H. Mize Jr., faces a misdemeanor count of carry concealed weapon under the influence of alcohol and a felony for aggravated battery.

The couple was having dinner when, police say, the husband discharged a small caliber handgun he was carrying in his front pocket. The bullet hit his wife in her left leg just above the knee cap. The wife was treated and released from Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

Loren Stanton is chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Project in Johnson County. He says Johnson County prosecutors made the right decision to charge Mize.

“When things like this happen, examples should be made. We’ve got over 50,000 people with conceal carry permits in Kansas. You know all 50,000 of those people aren’t as careful and cautious and law abiding as we would like to think they are.”

Becky Bieker owns the Shawnee gun store “She’s a Pistol.” She has a conceal carry permit but says people who misuse firearms should be charged.

“He was reckless by drinking and carrying a firearm, just as any person would be, same as any driver that gets behind the wheel with alcohol in their system,” she said.

Investigators won’t say what Mize’s blood alcohol level was but it had to be at least a .08 for him to be charged with the misdemeanor count.

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