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Boy, 4, shoots 6-year-old neighbor in the head

The shooting happened after the 4-year-old boy got a rifle from inside his house.

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Maryland's new gun laws were prompted by the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 26 children and teachers were gunned down. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

A 6-year-old boy was shot in the head by another boy, aged four, in New Jersey on Monday evening. 

The incident is likely to further fuel debate on America's gun control legislation, currently a major focus among top lawmakers.

The wounded Toms River boy, who was shot by a 4-year-old neighbor weilding a .22-caliber rifle, is in a stable condition, the Star-Ledger reported.

The mother of the 4-year-old called police after the shooting at 7 p.m. and investigations were continuing into the circumstances leading up to the tragedy, police said.

Toms River Police Sgt. Robert Rankin told the Associated Press authorities are investigating claims the boy obtained the weapon from his family's home.

NBC Philadelphia reported police investigating Monday's night shooting will examine whether the 4-year-old pulled the trigger or if the rifle accidentally discharged.

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The shooting happened within hours of President Barack Obama's impassioned speech in Newtown, Connecticut, in which he urged lawmakers to move on gun control legislation.

"The day Newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency," Obama told the crowd, which included family members of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims.

"But I've got to tell you, if we don't respond to this, that'll be a tough day for me too. Because we've got to expect more from ourselves. We've got to expect more from Congress.

"We've got to believe that every once in a while, we set politics aside and just do what's right."

The president wants gun control laws overhauled, and has asked for Congress to vote on a proposed assault weapons ban. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130409/boy-4-shoots-six-year-old-neighbor-the-head