Five Injured After Weapons Discharge at Gun Shows

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(CNN) — At least five people, three in North Carolina, one in Indiana and one in Ohio, were injured after weapons went off at gun shows Saturday, officials said.

The incidents come at a time when there’s been renewed discussion about private gun sales at such shows.

The most casualties occurred at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, where attendees bolted — with at least one woman wiping out in the frenetic scene — when gunfire rang out around 1 p.m., as seen on video captured by CNN affiliate WRAL.

Police later explained that a a 36-year-old man from Wilmington, North Carolina, was unfastening the case of his 12-gauge shotgun on a table near the show entrance when it accidentally discharged. The man planned to sell the shotgun at the show.

The bird shot ended up injuring three people. One was a sheriff’s deputy, who suffered a slight injury to his hand and was treated and released at a local hospital before returning immediately to work, said Joel Keith, chief of police of the North Carolina State Fair.

A 54-year-old woman from Benson, North Carolina, was being treated for a wound to her right torso at a local hospital, and a 50-year-old man from Durham, North Carolina, was treated for an injured left hand, Keith told reporters.

“I want to emphasize that this is an accident,” Keith said.

That said, Wake County sheriff’s investigators and the local prosecutor will determine whether to file charges against the gun’s owner, authorities said.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison said he was unsure whether it was legal to bring a loaded gun on state fairgrounds. However, when the state fair is held in October, it is illegal to bring a loaded gun to the fairground because of the large crowds, authorities said.

“This is state property. That’s something we’re looking into,” Harrison told reporters. “It’s early right now.”

The shooting prompted police to ban any private gun sales — in which visitors bring their firearms to sell at the gun show — for the remainder of the two-day show, which concludes Sunday, Keith said. He added there wouldn’t be any private gun sales on fairgrounds for the indefinite future.

The gun show was closed after the shooting and will reopen Sunday. At that point, show vendors can continue to sell firearms, which are already secured inside the show, Keith said.

“If we thought if it was a problem or a hazard, we wouldn’t have this show,” Keith said about private gun sales at the show. “I’m sure there isn’t anybody who hates this more than the guy who owned this weapon.”

A person is in stable condition at a northern Ohio hospital after being shot by his business partner at a gun show run by Conrad and Dowdell Productions, said Medina police Chief Patrick Berarducci.

The original owner of the Taurus semi-automatic 9 mm handgun used in the shooting brought the firearm into the show fully loaded. This is despite the policy of searches to make sure all guns are not loaded and rendered safe before others can handle them.

The man who bought the gun told police that he took it out, then accidentally fired it, said Berarducci. A single bullet ended up going into the arm and thigh of this man’s business partner.

Authorities don’t know who brought the loaded firearm into the gun show and sold it, added the police chief. They’ll file a request with the federal ATF to track this person down.

The victim, meanwhile, is in good spirits with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Berarducci.

And in Indianapolis, a man walking out of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show shot himself in the hand as he was loading his .45-caliber semi-automatic firearm, Indiana State Police said in a statement.

The 54-year-old Indianapolis man was sent to Wishard Hospital for treatment after being “slightly” injured.

“The investigation determined the shooting to be accidental, and no charges will be filed,” police said.

Reforming private gun sales — at shows or anywhere else — is among the changes that President Barack Obama is now seeking by requiring background checks.

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    • Herve Auch-Roy

      These were not rednecks, but responsible and law abiding gun owners gathering among themselves. The organizers were very specific about the safety measures that they implemented in order to demonstrate that guns are safe, making these rallies far safer than anything than you would encounter in your neighborhood. It proves that even with the highest safety measures, and no crazy shooter, the "responsible and law abiding" gun owners are unable to ensure even their own safety among themselves. let alone the safety of the rest of the population.
      The proliferation of guns is a threat to the rest of the population and deprive us from the constitutional and fundamental right to assemble peacefully without the risk of being shot by "law abiding people" with guns.
      The 2nd Amendment was written at times when single shot muskets were the most powerful guns, and this amendment is now irrelevant. Today's guns are high performance and high power, purpose-built, killing devices, and their ownership must be a privilege (not a right), that we regulate and restrict whenever safety is at stake: it's a matter of national security. You will never be able to follow your child everywhere with a gun in your pocket (or in his), and one day or another, you will regret having supported the "more guns make our world safer" motto.
      I'm sick and tired of not being able to go to concerts, fairs and rodeos because a bunch of "law abiding" guys dictate their own law with their gun. Where is my own freedom?

  • Joe Kanoguy

    QUOTE:- "Authorities don’t know who brought the loaded firearm into the gun show and sold it, added the police chief. They’ll file a request with the federal ATF to track this person down." Now they need The Federal Government to search the Gun Registry? So we need to register gun sales after all?

  • Herve Auch-Roy

    At the same time that the ban on assault weapon was not renewed, it was made unlawful in 2004, by NRA supporters in the Congress, to maintain and/or disclose any statistics about gun related wounds and gun related death. This law is supposedly "for the protection of the Police forces". The law therefore prohibits the ATF from disclosing the information that the Police is looking for, so nothing will be resolved.
    Besides, the FBI must destroy any gun wound or death related report within 24 hours, and the law prohibits the release of any such information to the public by anyone.
    If you create your own gun related statistic and if you publish it, you go to jail. Now, who do you think benefits from this law? Just get over it: you're screwed.

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  • Terry

    Unfortunately, people dont treat guns as they are always loaded. A gun is not jewelry…a purse with a gun in it is a weapon and should be treated accordingly.