As gun rights activists celebrated the turnout at gun shows for national Gun Appreciation Day Saturday, police responded to at least thee accidental shootings that left five people injured at shows across the country.
• In Indianapolis, a man shot himself when his gun went off outside a gun show. From WISH-TV:
A person who was loading a gun outside of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show at the State Fairgrounds was accidentally shot when his gun discharged Saturday afternoon. ... The man, identified as Emory L. Cozee, 54, was walking back to his car, was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic and accidentally shot himself in the hand, [police said.]
• In Raleigh, N.C., three people were injured when a shotgun went off at a gun show there. From the News & Observer:
A 12-gauge shotgun discharged shortly after 1 p.m. as its owner unzipped its case on a table for a security officer to check it at a security entrance at the Dixie Gun & Knife Show, according to Joel Keith, police chief of the state Agriculture Department. Keith said birdshot pellets hit Janet Hoover, 54, of Benson, in the right torso; Linwood Hester, 50, of Durham, in the right hand; and Jake Alderman, a retired Wake County sheriff’s deputy from Wake Forest, in the left hand. Hoover and Hester were taken to WakeMed, but officials said their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
• In Ohio, a dealer at a gun show accidentally fired a gun, induring one. From WJW-TV:
Jim Conrad, event organizer, said there were about 200 people there at the time, and they heard one gun shot. Conrad said a visitor to the event had handed an exhibitor his gun to look at. It apparently was loaded, and while the exhibitor was looking at the gun, it accidentally went off, hitting another man in the arm.
Meanwhile, gun rights advocates touted Gun Appreciation Day -- which was organized to oppose efforts in Washington, D.C. to pass new gun regulations after Newtown -- as a success. Dave Workman, a former NRA board member, wrote that gun rights activists in Washington state showed up in big numbers at a gun show in Puyallup and a rally in Olympia.
"Among many of these gun owners is a newfound activism, ignited by the gun prohibition rhetoric over the past month, and stoked by the president’s remarks earlier in the week," he wrote.