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Gunshot at a Gun Show

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JoeMal, Feb 26, 2011.

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  1. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    Went to a gun show today in Bloomington IL. At approximately 11AM, a gun shot rang out from the middle of the building. It was an extremely loud BOOM; there was no mistake that it was a gun shot. I believe the building is made from aluminum...which only made it sound even louder.

    Initially, everyone stopped and stared in the direction in shock. After a few seconds, somebody yelled "Call 911" and that started the panic. Lots of people started charging for the doors, myself included. I was close to one of the doors, so my exit was pretty easy.

    I have no idea what exactly happened, or how it happened. I overheard a guy that was standing in the general area say that it was a Ruger Mini that was shot. Apparently, one person was hit was a bullet and one person was hit with a fragment. I have no idea where the wounds occurred on the body. I did see someone getting wheeled out of the building on a stretcher and he looked conscious.

    There is also speculation that an 'anti' planted a bullet into the gun, just waiting for someone to pull the trigger. I guess to make pro-gun folks look dumb like it was our fault. Of course this is all hearsay. Someone would have to be pretty ignorant to intentionally place a live round in a firearm, and then pull the trigger if they didn't mean to hurt someone. Which really makes me think it was an anti...it makes me sick to think about that.

    What makes me even more sick, is the obvious neglect of firearm safety. Someone assumed the gun was unloaded. They also pulled the trigger without pointing the weapon in a safe direction. I could have been on the receiving end of that bullet...and that scares me. Admittedly, this was my first gun show, and I'm not sure I will ever go back to one. I'm much more safe browsing firearms online in the safety of my own home. I hope the truth comes out at some point regarding this incident, although I'm not sure it ever will. It could have been a pro-gun person just being stupid and loading the weapon for whatever reason. Could have been an anti trying to plot some hideous crime. Could have been already loaded when the doors opened this morning. Who knows. Very, very scary.

    Aside from what happened, please everyone, be safe out there. Remember the basic rules of firearm safety. It can all end in a second.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  2. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    I keep hearing/reading this, heck I've had a gun shop ship me a Saiga chambered and with a fully loaded mag inserted., so you can't always blame the anti's. Unfortunately people are careless and people get hurt because if it.
     
  3. hawkass13

    hawkass13 Member

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    I read your story to my daughter, (6yrs old) She said they broke rule #1 of gun safety.
     
  4. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    That's why I said speculation. It would be easy for a pro-gunner to think this. But then again, some antis are hardcore enough that it wouldn't surprise me...especially here in Illinois. To think that a pro-gunner loaded a weapon at a gun show, then pulled the trigger, really makes me rethink this sport. Why would someone load a gun at a gun show?! I shoot next to guys at the range all the time...where you're actually allowed to shoot. This could happen anywhere, anytime. The last thing I thought would happen would be to hear a gunshot...I'm obviously still shaken up by the incident.

    Good for her. There should be more like her in this world
     
  5. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Gunshows all present some special safety problems but for someone to be shoot requires almost every gunsafety rule to be broken.
    Most guns are displayed in a way that points the muzzle at someone.
    Some shows leave the inspection to the vendor and let them zip tie on their own. (all shows we do are this way)
    I have always worried about shows and shops that allow easy accsess to the guns because of the ease one could slip a loaded round in a chamber and leave it to some unsuspecting fool to pull the trigger before clearing it.
     
  6. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    It could have been loaded the whole time the seller has had it, long before the gun show, he may have never checked. Some people are too lax about safety. But as far as an anti doing it, I wouldn't put it pass them, but I bet it's very rare compared to the number of times we screwup.
     
  7. JenFann

    JenFann Member

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    I was there too with my 11 year old son. We were about 20 feet from where the gun went off and I went into full panic mode trying to cover my son and figure out what was happening. What a terrifying experience. I am anxious to find out if the person who was hit is still alive. I also "heard" that another person had a heart attack, so two individuals were taken out on the stretcher. My husband, son and I are signed up for a gun safety class through the State of IL here in Springfield. That was really scary.
     
  8. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    Good point. Most of the guns were laying on their side...which basically allowed for the weapon to always be pointing at someone since the tables were setup in long rows. NONE of the guns were tied up or had safety mechanisms on them that I saw. A simple fix to this issue would be to enforce a rule that required every firearm to have a trigger lock on it.

    I'll agree with you there. We've all heard stories, or even experienced them ourselves, of ammo being loaded in guns that should not be loaded.
     
  9. Fmjblack

    Fmjblack Member

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    It is very unfortunate on several levels when something like this happens. First, it is unfortunate for the individual who was shot and their loved ones, hopefully they are not seriously injured. Second, it is unfortunate that this reflects poorly on all gun owners and will just be fuel for the liberal fire to ban gun shows. Lastly, it is unfortunate that whomever was selling AND whomever was handling the firearm didn't have the gun safety knowledge to check the chamber before attempting to dry fire (which is what I assume was the intent).
    You should not let this discourage you from ever going to another gun show. Living in fear is what liberals are all about, and we certainly do not want to live like liberals. If you never go anywhere where you might accidentally be shot, you would also never go to a shooting range where the chance is much higher as lots of people are handling loaded guns.
    I really am curious to see what details unfold about this incident. I know at gunshows around here all firearms that come in the door are checked and a zip tie is placed through the gun to prevent it from being fired... so somebody would have had to purposely load the gun after the fact and that really raises some big questions.
     
  10. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I have heard several stories over the years of semi-autos showing up at pawn shops and gun shows with a round in the chamber. Lots of non-shooters don't know to check for a roubd in the chamber when they "unload" a gun they just remove the magazine. Evidentaly one slipped by. The cop who works the door at our local shows has a mason jar that he displays on the table with about a dozen rounds that he has removed from various unloaded guns dyring the routine safety check.
     
  11. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    Welcome to The High Road

    Did you happen to see anything that you didn't mention? See what kind of a weapon it was? I'm just curious to hear the story from 'real' people who were there and witnessed it rather than hearing some media-spun story tonight on the news. Glad to hear you are taking some classes and made it out safely with your family.

    Like I said, none of the vendor guns were locked or tied in any way. I did see a gentleman come in with 2 1911s; the lady at the door put a zip-tie around the trigger guard to show that it had been 'checked', but it was not around the trigger itself. So there was nothing in place that would have prevented the gun from firing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  12. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  13. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    Even if it was a purposeful setup by an anti, it didn't have to happen. Some dolt broke (arguably) the most important rule, and someone got hurt. Unacceptable.
     
  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    This is a commonly stated theory offered to explain away incompetence. Of all of the discharges at gun shows, just how many can be attributed to guns being boobytrapped by anti-gun folks? I don't know of any. http://www.google.com/search?source...tart=10&sa=N&bav=on.1,or.&fp=192b3650e03511a3

    Funny how the antis seem to get ahold of so many guns that turn out to be dealer personal guns and load them without the dealer ever knowing. Funny how dealer personal guns aren't zip tied and are loaded with the dealer's own SD ammo.

    At the gun shows here in the DFW are where this has happened, it is very interesting that it does happen given that the guns are zip-tied. So not only do the antis get the guns, the remove the zip ties, load the gun, replace the zip ties, and nobody ever sees them do it. It is like they are imaginary gremlins. So not only are the antis that hard core, but they are also amazingly competent and nimble fingered enough to do such acts in a 100% stealthy manner. Look at all the gun shows where this has happened. Just how many extremely well trained anti-gun folks are out there and doing this every weekend? Apparently there are lots if you believe this to be happening.

    I was present at a gun show in Frisco when a Glock armeror discharged a round into the carpeting. It was a gun he was going to service, one that he had brough with him. He pulled the trigger so as to release the slide.

    If somebody pulled the trigger, then they broke all 4 safety rules, not just one, but if you go to a gun show, you will see the safety rules continually being broken, in part because of how the gun shows are organized. In a full gun show, there is now to point a gun at any direction other than the ground without the muzzle scanning people.
     
  15. elderberry

    elderberry Member

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    This is what the paper reported (in the link up above).

    An attendee at the show was handling a Ruger Mini-14, semi-automatic rifle at about 11:15 a.m. As the patron was laying the rifle back on a vendor table, the gun accidentally discharged, said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery.
     
  16. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    The gun shows I attend have the actions of each weapon zip tied, I am not usually for adding any additional rules but that should be one of them at every gun show. If you want to cycle the weapon or test the trigger pull etc. you ask the salesman to snip it, then right after a fresh tie goes on.
     
  17. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I think it is absurd to blame an anti-person for this. It is much more likely that some idiot just didnt follow the rules of gun safety.

    This is why I support gun show organizers who specifically forbid loaded weapons at shows and insist that they all be zip tied. While even this will not prevent stupid people from doing stupid things, it will at least reduce the number of mistakes people make, lower the gun show organizers liability, and hopefully reduce the amount of ammunition we give the media to bash gun shows with.

    Remember, gun shows will be viewed in a negative light by people reading the news story, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

    The person that pulled the trigger should be charged with reckless endangerment, or some other such crime of negligence. I go to gun shows from time to time, but won't bring my kids to them just because of stuff like this. Here in Georgia, an 11 year old was shot to death at a gun show, because someone decided to pull the trigger on a gun that was not unloaded.


    The Mini 14 must be worth a fortune, because it must be magic! It can discharge of its on volition and does not require a human to pull the trigger! Amazing!
     
  18. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Dittos......finger pointing gets directed at the dealer/owner of the gun and the promoter for not having a zip tie through the action. No explanation can excuse this. Who ever failed to do this should be black balled from Gun Shows for life. Pray for the victims full recovery.
     
  19. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    You can not stop STUPID! somewhere at some point someone put a round into every accidental discharge at a gun show because the last time I checked they do not load themself. Its the STUPID people who end up hurting others and I have NO respect for anyone who wishes to break rules of either safety or rules posted at many shows.

    I have seen the IDIOTS who think just because they can CCW end up pulling out a loaded pistol hand a person a loaded pistol several times at a show. I have also witnessed a few dealers pull out a loaded pistol and put it on a table.

    Out of the 4 I have been at when they have happened 3 were the dealers own fault for doing it and one was a CCW weapon.
    I zip tie every firearm I put out. Semi auto pistols the tie either goes threw the barrel or at least it will go threw the mag well and the the bolt is always at a position that it will not close completely.

    A revolver will get a tie threw the cylinder in a few different way so the revolver WILL not cycle without cutting the tie and removing it.

    Bolt rifles I always tie them in the open position so you may not close the bolt without the tie being cut. semi auto or any clip fed rifle if posible the tie goes threw the mag well so the rifle will not close completly. pumps,single shots, break opens or what ever gets tied with the chamber open.

    Any other firearms like a auto shotgun or auto 22's get the bolt tied back into the open position.

    When setting up I like to put on the ties when I put them out but with distractions you will most always find a few you missed. So when I think I am all done I will start on one end and work my way around checking EVERY firearm. When my partner comes in its like the first thing he does also.
     
  20. KingMedicine

    KingMedicine Member

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    the "could be an Anti" talk is just nonsense. If the situation was dealt with correctly (gun zip tied, checked, no boom switch being pulled by booger picker), there would have been no one shot.

    An excuse like that is unacceptable. We would get more out of this by accepting blame, and figuring out how this could be learned from. Its a perfect example of what not to do.
     
  21. liberty -r- death

    liberty -r- death Member

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    I was there. You saw me if you noitced the black and white Liberty or Death T shirt. With skull and cross bones.

    Been going to gun shows since I was few years old I'm 37 now. First one I've been to that something like this has taken place. So many ways it could have been avoided even if the the conspiracy theory panned out.

    1.The dealer says the individual helped himself to looking at the gun. (In Illinois you must provide your FOID to dealers before touching any firearm)
    2.Individual never cleared the gun obviously.
    3.Individual pointed the firearm at other.
    4.Individual pulled trigger while pointing it at others.

    As far as I can see both the dealer and the individual are at fault. The dealer should have had better control of his inventory. More fault lies with the individual than the dealer, but still it was on his table.

    Stuff like this is what the anti-gun establishment pray upon accident or not.

    I hope those hurt will recover.
     
  22. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    About 25 years ago I was at a show where an AD occurred. It was a high powered bolt action rifle and it was fired straight up into the ceiling. Unlike the descriptions above regarding yelling and panic, in this case everyone just froze and the hall fell silent. After about 5 seconds somebody called out, "Nobody hurt" and everyone went about their business.

    The seller stated he did not have any ammo for the rifle. None in his car, or at home, or with him at the show. None at all. Someone loaded a round into that rifle at the show while handling the gun. May have been a shopper checking something and forgot to remove the round from the chamber. May have been an anti hoping for a death or injury to cause the shows to be shut down. You don't like to think a person would do such a thing but at this point, quite honestly there is nothing I would put past a dedicated liberal.
     
  23. stonecutter2

    stonecutter2 Member

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    I was also at the show, and showed up just as the police arrived (after the incident).

    My brother-in-law and I didn't know what was going on while entering.

    We spoke with a gentleman near the roped off area (about 1/4 or 1/6 of the show was cordoned off with crime scene tape for hours after the incident).

    He said what has been reported - someone was handling a Ruger Mini 14, the gun discharged and struck a wooden pole that is approximately 8 inches thick - but the shot only went through about 4 inches (maybe) of the pole (it caught the corner of the pole), then went through a person and into another - I heard that the 2nd person's face was injured, probably from flying debris from the pole.

    The news is reporting a 3rd person was injured but refusing treatment, didn't hear that.

    The shot went through one of the massive wooden support poles in the Bloomington Sale Barn. Here is a picture of the pole after the area was opened again.

    [​IMG]

    The wooden splotch is where the shot exited. The picture is kinda blurry because I felt gross taking it and just wanted to do it to post it here, so sorry about the partial finger in it.

    The exit of the shot sprayed wooden particles all over the display case in the foreground of the picture.

    The area was closed for hours, then news crews showed up and the owners of the show were talking with police, and cooperating, and the police gave the go ahead to reopen the area after, what looked like, every vendor was accounted for, and allowed beyond the roped off area to check every single weapon in the cordoned off area's chamber. Every single one. One Sheriff even double checked the vendor's table where the discharge happened.

    It's really sad to have something like this happen.

    I do not buy into the conspiracy theory about someone putting a round in the chamber to do harm/cause mischief. Someone else I spoke with in the area said that someone asked (if they did...I dunno) if they could put a round in the chamber to check cycling of the weapon, then they didn't remove it. Whether it was that person who went to set the weapon down and it discharged, or what, I don't know.

    Much is speculation as to cause, but the end result is people are hurt because of carelessness. In so many years, nothing like this has happened at these gun shows, and I hope it doesn't mean the end of these shows in this area.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  24. Metzroth

    Metzroth Member

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    Ignorance/negligence and firearms don't mix, that is the message I take away from this article. Unless you intend to follow the rules of firearm safety, you should not be anywhere near a firearm, loaded or not.

    Personally, I think the vendor should stripped of his FFL and maybe even his FOID. It's the vendor's responsibility to insure the safety of the firearm before the show, and after each customer handles the firearm for precisely this reason.

    Hopefully the customer learns to follow firearm safety procedure anytime he/she handles a firearm from here on.

    It's people like this who give firearm owners a bad name.

    I've already had to hear from anti friends about this incident. Of course, they don't know how to respond to when you point out that careless people in vehicles kill at a much greater rate than careless people with firearms.
     
  25. Metzroth

    Metzroth Member

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