Saturday was billed as Gun Appreciation Day across the U.S., but that doesn’t mean people were practicing proper gun safety at all the gun shows held during its observance: Five people were reported injured at three Gun Appreciation Day shows in Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio.
The day was punctuated with a bang at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh when Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, accidentally fired his 12-gauge shotgun while unzipping its carrying case so that a security guard could examine it, according to WTVD-TV/DT, an ABC television network affiliate in Raleigh-Durham.
Three people were injured because of the mishap. One of them was a retired sheriff’s deputy working at the gun show. None of the injuries was life-threatening.
Following the accident at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, the event was shut down for the day, although it will continue Sunday afternoon. Due to the incident, however, no personal guns will be allowed at the show.
Another accident occurred at the Medina Gun Show at the Medina County Fairgrounds Ohio, as a gun dealer was examining a semiautomatic handgun when he accidentally pulled the trigger, the Associated Press reported. The bullet first struck the ground and then richocheting into the arm and leg of a bystander.
Apparently, the dealer had removed the gun’s magazine but had forgotten to take one last round out of the chamber. The victim was taken by helicopter to a local hospital, where the AP said his condition is unknown.
In yet another gun-related accident, an Indiana man shot himself in the hand outside the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, according to WISH-TV in Indianapolis.
The man, Emory L. Cozee, was loading a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the time of the incident. No charges were filed against him.
So next Gun Appreciation Day, remember to study appropriate gun safety before you appreciate your firearms.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.