As US Focuses on Guns Curbs, 5 Are Wounded in 3 Accidental Shootings at Gun Shows

Talk about bad timing.

On the same day that gun advocates gathered around the country at rallies in state capitals to protest stricter gun laws, five people were injured in three accidental shootings at gun shows in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio.

The ease of gun sales at gun shows was one of the major loopholes that the Obama administration hopes to close — surely bringing some chagrin to gun advocates that these shootings would occur as the nation is so closely watching the gun industry. The president is seeking another assault weapons and high-capacity-magazine ban, to close the loophole that allows the sales of guns at gun shows, to strengthen measures to keep guns from the mentally ill and other measures, including some that go into effect immediately by executive action.

Each of the shootings was the result of careless handling of firearms, and all occurred on so-called “Gun Appreciation Day,” being held around the country. In Raleigh at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check at a security entrance. Three people were wounded, according to state Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long.

Two bystanders were hit by shotgun pellets and taken to a hospital, and a retired deputy sheriff suffered a slight hand injury.

Long said the shotgun owner, Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, brought the weapon to the show to find a private buyer. Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that it was too early to know whether Wilson might be charged.

The North Carolina show, held at the state fairgrounds every quarterly and usually drawing thousands of people, shut down but was expected to reopen today.

In Indianapolis, police said Emory L. Cozee, 54, was injured when he inadvertently shot himself in the hand while loading his .45-caliber semi-automatic as he was leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show at the state fairgrounds, state police said. He was wounded as he was leaving because loaded personal weapons aren’t allowed inside the show.

Cozee was hospitalized for treatment and no charges will be filed.

In Ohio, a gun dealer in Medina checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had just bought accidentally pulled the trigger, injuring his friend, according to police. Though the magazine had been removed from the firearm, one round remained in the chamber.

Police Chief Pat Berarducci said apparently the bullet ricocheted off the floor and struck the friend in the arm and leg. The man was taken by helicopter to a hospital 30 miles north in Cleveland. His condition wasn’t immediately known, according to The Associated Press.

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