9-Year-Old Firing Uzi Accidently Kills Firing Range Instructor

If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you’ll know that there are billboards right in the airport with buxom, scantily clad women holding guns and telling you to come “fire a real machine gun.” It’s all supposed to be great fun for bachelor parties, families, and gun enthusiasts.

However, one family outing to the Burgers and Bullets shooting range south of Las Vegas in White Hills, Arizona, ended in tragedy when a 9-year-old girl accidentally killed her instructor while learning to fire an Uzi. Video of the incident was released by the police and shows the girl and instructor Charles Vacca just moments before she loses control of the weapon, striking the 39-year-old military veteran in the head. Vacca later died after being airlifted to the hospital.

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The girl was visiting Burgers and Bullets with her parents; while you must be 18 to carry a firearm in Arizona, children can fire a weapon if accompanied by a parent, or licensed instructor on private property. While she had been shooting single shots, Vacca can be heard telling her to go “full auto.” No charges will be filed in the incident, which is being treated by authorizes as a workplace industrial accident.

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Instructors typically stand next to people firing a weapon in order to push the weapon in the correct direction. Some people however have questioned giving the young learner a full clip.  

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“Teaching people machine gun 101, even with adults, even with people going through military training, the first few times they shoot machine guns you don’t have them shoot a full freaking clip,” Steven Howard, a gun expert from American Firearms & Munitions Consulting, told CNN. “The thing begins to fire and it begins to jump and buck all over the place. Your first human instinct is for your hands to clamp down, and you clamp down on the trigger and if the thing has a 32-round magazine … it starts spraying all over and people get killed.”

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What are your thoughts on this? Should A 9-year-old be allowed to fire a sub-machine gun such as the one used in this tragedy?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney