Arizona Girl Shoots Uzi and Accidentally Kills Instructor; Gun Laws for Children


Published 08/29 2014 09:45PM

Updated 09/02 2014 08:27AM


“First of all we aren’t offering any kid of automatic weapons training to the public,” said Rocky Stotts.

Rocky Stotts, a firearms instructor at Hillside Shooting Sports just outside Fort Wayne said this in light of the tragic accident where a 9 year old in Arizona accidentally shot her instructor with an Uzi.

“The incident in Arizona, fire arms accidents do happen and it was tragic. I don’t know what happened and can't comment but an instructor lost his life. The little girl will be traumatized,” said Stotts.

Stotts said accidents do happen, which is why he and other instructors at Hillside are certified and have extensive shooting backgrounds. Stotts said when someone walks in and wants to shoot a gun; there are instructors to give them lessons to shoot safely.

“That instructor is going to give them the preliminary basics to safely handle and fire the particular fire arm,” explained Stotts.

Rules at Hillside state no one under 8 can enter the shooting range. And although several safety measures are taken, Stotts said they have to rely on the parents to ensure the child is ready to use a firearm.

“I ask them would you feel comfortable having your child hold a gun in their hand and if they say no then I think we need to wait a couple years and come back then,” said Stotts.

Jackie VanNatta, a parent of young children, said his children will not have a gun in their hands any time soon.

“At this point they’re too impulsive. They’re not mature enough to how what a gun will do and there’s so much violence on TV these days. It leads them to think they can shoot someone they’ll come back,” said VanNatta.

Stotts said most of the children are 12 to 13 that come into Hillside but he agreed it depends on the child’s maturity as to when they are ready to shoot.

“The child should be mature enough to understand what’s going on and be big enough physically to be able to handle the weapon and all that is still under the supervision of a qualified instructor,” said Stotts.

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