A 7-year-old elementary school student has been hospitalized after a gun kept inside another student's backpack went off and injured him, authorities said.

Police responded to a report of gun discharge at the Newton Elementary School around 4.30 p.m. Thursday. Newton County Sheriff Joedy Pennington said that it was an accidental discharge from another student’s backpack, WJTV reported.

"A child brought a gun in a backpack. The weapon went off right at getting out of school time, accidentally. It hit a 7-year-old in the leg," Pennington said.

According to Pennington, the backpack belonged to a first grader. The injured child was airlifted to a trauma center in Jackson after the incident. 

Police did not reveal the victim's identity. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations has joined the investigation and is assisting local authorities to probe the incident further, WTOK reported.

Officials did not say if they are going to take any disciplinary action against the child who brought the gun to school.  

Newton Elementary School Spokeswoman Tiwari McClain said they had an apparent school shooting involving two students. She said she did not know the condition of either of the students, according to WJTV.

According to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Mississippi does not require a locking device to accompany a firearm sale manufacture or transfer. The state also does not require gun owners to lock their fire weapons. However, Mississippi has a Child Access Prevention law in place and follows the federal safe storage law. 

A study by #NotAnAccident Index found that states with secure storage and child access prevention laws witnessed the lowest cases of injury or death from unintentional shootings. "Rates of death or injury from these shootings in states with no secure storage laws were double to triple the rates in states with laws that hold gun owners accountable when children can or do access an unsecured gun," the group said in a statement.

In July, a 15-year-old boy in Utah accidentally shot and killed his 13-year-old friend during a night out. The older teen was handling the gun when it went off and struck the victim. The teens were unaware that the gun was loaded.

The older teen was book into a Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of manslaughter.

handgun-231696_1920 Representation. A gun. Photo: Pixabay