At least five people were injured in accidental shootings at gun shows as pro-gun supporters celebrated 'gun appreciation day' on Saturday.
The biggest incident took place at North Carolina's Dixie Gun and Knife Show where three people were injured after gunfire rang when a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged when the owner presented the gun to be checked at a security point.
Joel Keith, chief of police of the North Carolina State Fair, told CNN that a 54-year-old woman was being treated at a local hospital for a wound to her right torso and a 50-year-old man was treated for an injured left hand.
A sheriff's deputy was also injured in the hand but was treated and released at a local hospital.
Witness Daniel Peadan told local NBC station WNCN that he heard a loud pop by the entrance to the fair, "The people right there at the door, a lot of them ran ... They scattered because it was chaotic."
Two others were injured at gun shows in Ohio and Indiana as rallies were held in 49 states to celebrate 'Guns Across America'.
Pro-gun enthusiasts held the rallies in response to the White House's recent pushes for tighter gun control in the wake of a series of horrifying shootings, including the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 children and 6 adults were killed.
In Ohio, one man is in stable condition in the hospital after being shot by his business partner at a gun show, said Medina police Chief Patrick Berarducci.
CNN reports that the original owner of the Taurus semi-automatic 9 mm handgun used in the shooting brought the firearm into the show fully loaded.
In Indianapolis, state police said a 54-year-old man was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic gun when he shot himself in the hand, reports NBC.
Original Story: Jan. 19
Three people were injured in an accidental shooting at a North Carolina gun show as pro-gun supporters marked gun appreciation day.
Officials at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show said a 12-gauge shotgun discharged while its owner was showing the gun to law enforcement officer during a security check at the fair's entrance, reports AP.
WRAL reports that a man identified as Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought the 12-gauge shotgun to the show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and was attempting to remove it from its case when the weapon went off shortly after 1 p.m., police said.
Linwood Hester, 50, of Durham, was struck in the left hand by birdshot, according to Joel Keith, police chief with the state Department of Agriculture. The birdshot also struck a woman identified as Janet Hoover, 54, of Benson, and Jake Alderman, a retired sheriff's deputy from Wake Forest who was working at the event.
Alderman was treated and released at WakeMed North Healthplex for a minor injury, Keith said. Hester and Hoover were taken to WakeMed. Details on their conditions were not immediately available.
"I want to emphasize that this was an accident," Joel Keith, police chief with the state Department of Agriculture told WRAL."At the time, no employee, no officer had inspected that gun."
The incident happened on Saturday afternoon, which just happens to be the day that pro-gun enthusiasts have marked as gun appreciation day.
A group called Guns Across America planned to rally in 49 states on Saturday to protest increasing calls for tightening gun laws, reports Reuters.
The Obama administration has already begun a push for an assault weapon ban after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 children and 6 adults in December.
"There is no question in my mind that if the federal government could get away with it they would keep passing gun laws until the Second Amendment has gone," Eric Reed, an airline pilot in Texas who launched the group told Reuters. "We as a people have to stand together on this."