Gun ranges eye own safety rules after instructor's Uzi death

LAS VEGAS — Video taken moments before a shooting instructor was shot and killed by a 9-year-old is raising questions. The instructor died when a 9-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi they were using.

How could the accident have been prevented? And how common is it for someone so young to be able to control such a powerful weapon?

Alice Irving turned 10 just two days ago. She and her family came to The Gun Store from England. Their range master, Adam, helped Alice and her 12-year-old brother, Luke, fire off a variety of guns.


RELATED: Few laws govern children at shooting ranges

"The Uzi, as soon as you shot that trigger, you shot straight back so Adam supported me. I felt safe and I knew I wasn't going to get hurt," Alice said. 

Instructors at The Gun Store say they don't allow children to hold the weapons on their own. Alice and Luke's parents say they were impressed with the safety measures.

"I knew the kids wanted to shoot an Uzi specifically," said James Irving, the children's father. "I felt really nervous about that."

Irving was referring to the incident Monday in Arizona, where a 9-year-old girl shooting an Uzi lost control of the gun, sending it over her head. The instructor, 39-year-old Charlie Vacca was shot in the head.

The Gun Store owner Bob Irwin also hosts a radio program on guns. While the law allows minors to shoot these types of weapons, Irwin said it's not always advisable.

RELATED: Video shows moments before shooting instructor accidentally died

"When a young child wants to shoot something like this, it's not a good idea, but if they insist on doing it, what we do with them is, we put the gun in the range, and the rangemaster holds it, and lets the kid reach over and press the trigger and that makes an 8-year-old, 7-year-old really happy they actually shot the gun even though they're not holding on to it," he said.

On public ranges, like the Clark County Shooting Complex, safety is also a priority.

"Class three weapons, which would include automatic weapons, are allowed here at the shooting complex, but they must be on the tripod or must be benched," said Steve Carmichael. He said a child would not be allowed to fire such a weapon on his or her own.

Charges will not be filed in the Arizona case. That range, known as Bullets and Burgers, said it has since changed its procedures.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Connect with 8 News NOW
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Deadly Dust: Asbestos
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Pride
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Politics Now
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center