There was what appears to be a shooting accident on Saturday at a gun show in Bloomington, Illinois. A rifle went off as a person attending the show put it down on a vendor’s table. The bullet hit wood and two persons were hit by flying wood. One person had small wounds from the flying wood and refused medical treatment. But, another man was hit by the flying wood and what is believed to be a .223 round. The bullet went through his arm and then struck another person.
One of the victims was reported to be in critical condition at a local hospital. Tests will be done to determine if the bullet came from the rifle. The bullet was recovered.
The show resumed after the injured left the building. At least one state has criminal penalties for accidental discharge of firearms at gun shows. There's an explanation of Arizona's law below. A visitor at the gun show turned on his cell phone camera right after the shooting. Here’s the video...
Here's what one state's Attorney general had to say after an accidental discharge at a gun show in Arizona and the penalty for guns being fired at gun shows.
Bill Lockyer, Attorney General
California Department of Justice
Randy Rossi, Director
Gun Show Safety and Security Responsibilities
No.: For further information contact:
2004 FD-02 Firearms Division
Date: 5/26/04 (916) 263-4887
TO: ALL GUN SHOW PRODUCERS AND ALL CALIFORNIA FIREARMS DEALERS
A recent accidental discharge of a firearm at a gun show dramatically emphasizes the
importance for strict gun show producer and vendor adherence to the provisions of Penal Code
sections 12071.1 and 12071.4.
Penal Code section 12071.4, subdivision (a) (5):
states that all gun show vendors shall certify in writing to the gun show producer that they, “Will verify that all firearms in their possession at the show or event will be unloaded, and that the firearms will be secured in a manner that prevents them from being operated except for brief periods when the mechanical condition of a firearm is being demonstrated to a prospective buyer.”
While this mandate permits the vendor to briefly unsecure a firearm in order to demonstrate its mechanical condition, vendor firearms must remain unloaded at all times during the gun show.
Penal Code section 12071.1, subdivision (j) states that the gun show producer shall be
responsible for informing prospective gun show vendors of the requirements of Penal Code sections 12071.1 and 12071.4 that apply to vendors.
Moreover, Penal Code section 12071.1, subdivision
(l) states that if a licensed firearms dealer fails to cooperate with a producer or fails to comply with
the applicable requirements of Sections 12071.1 and 12071.4, the gun show producer shall not
allow that person to participate in the gun show.
The gun show producer must also ensure that members of the general public comply with
important security mandates imposed by Penal Code section 12071.4. The gun show producer
must provide sufficient oversight to ensure that each member of the general public bringing a
firearm into the gun show does not also possess ammunition for that firearm.
The gun show producer must also ensure that all weapons brought to the show by the public are checked, cleared of any ammunition, and secured in a manner that prevents them from being operated. The gun show producer must also ensure that each individual bringing firearms to the gun show completes and signs an identification tag or sticker and attaches it to the firearm.
A violation of the responsibilities mandated by Penal Code section 12071.4 is a crime,
punishable by a fine. Knowing violations, or second, or subsequent violations can be punished by a fine and up to one year in jail. (Penal Code section 12071.4, subdivision l).
For the purpose of Penal Code section 12071.4, “secured in a manner that prevents them
from being operated” means a firearm must be secured in such a manner to ensure than it cannot
be readily operated by any person at the gun show. The fastening of a hard plastic strap through the action of the firearm preventing the firearm’s operation will meet this requirement.
Merely tying the hammer back with a string would fail this requirement. All Gun Show Producers and All California Firearms Dealers Gun Show Safety and Security Responsibilities
In order to ensure the safety of all gun show participants, it is essential that gun show
producers and gun show vendors fully adhere to all the requirements of Penal Code sections
12071.1 and 12071.4. DOJ enforcement personnel will vigorously enforce firearms safety and
security requirements at gun shows.
If you have any questions, please contact the Firearms Division at (916) 263-4887.
RANDY ROSSI, Director
For BILL LOCKYER