Gun Debate Grows After 9-Year-Old Accidentally Kills Shooting Instructor

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Tracey Leong joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2014 as a general...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Concerns about children using guns are mounting after the accidental shooting death of an instructor by a child.

Tracey Leong has more on the growing debate.

People on both sides of the gun debate are all asking the same question: why was a nine-year-old, who had limited training and experience, allowed to shoot an automatic weapon?

Video taken moments before the deadly accident shows the nine-year-old girl holding an uzi as the man next to her gives instructions at a gun range in Arizona.

The child’s parents were behind the camera when she lost control of the gun, killing her instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca.

“No nine-year-old should have an uzi,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

“Definitely too much gun for her,” Bill Loane, manager of the Pasadena Pawn and Gun Shop.

The gun range where it happened, Bullets and Burgers, allows children as young as eight-years-old to use these powerful weapons.

This isn’t the first accidental shooting by a child. In 2008, an eight-year-old killed himself while firing an uzi at a gun show in Massachusetts.

Vincent DeMarco says these tragedies can be avoided.

“The good news in Maryland is that uzis have been banned for sale since 1994,” he said. “And last year, under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, they banned all assault weapons. We’re ahead of the game. What we need is for the rest of the country to follow us.”

But Bill Loane says the blame shouldn’t fall on the weapon or child.

“Definitely bad parenting on that guy’s part. I don’t blame the little girl. She didn’t know no better. They shouldn’t have given to her,” Loane said.

The nine-year-old and her family will not be facing any charges regarding the shooting.

Under the supervision of their parents, people under the age of 18 are allowed to shoot guns at a firing range.

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