(Reuters) - Three people including a retired sheriff's deputy were wounded on Saturday at a gun show in North Carolina when a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged as its owner was taking it out of its case, state officials said.
The incident comes as the country debates gun control and the rights of gun owners after a man armed with an assault rifle killed 20 first graders and six adults last month at an elementary school in Connecticut - the deadliest of a string of U.S. shooting sprees last year.
Saturday's shooting occurred when Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, North Carolina, approached the entrance of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh to have his personal firearm inspected.
The shotgun fired as he removed it from its case, according to a statement by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, a host of the gun show.
Two patrons of the gun show were injured - a 50-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman - as was a 54-year-old retired Wake County Sheriff's deputy who was working at the show. None of the injuries were life-threatening, the statement said.
"They all were struck by birdshot from the gun," said Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long.
The incident coincided with a day of rallies across the country by gun rights advocates who say the right to own firearms is under attack from President Barack Obama's proposals to reduce gun violence.
On Sunday, gun control advocates plan events at houses of worship to demand more gun regulation.
The North Carolina gun show will go ahead as planned on Sunday, but no private gun sales will be allowed and personal guns will not be allowed on the property.
just go shoot yourself. Actually, that's a joke.
But, please, please don't go and shoot up your local Denny's after your rally in an attempt to protect the "great" american constitution from the socialist and obama.
you seem like the type, so i want to put this fire out before you think it's some novel idea.
You obviously have no knowledge of history, how and why the US came to be the most powerful nation on the earth, well except for the past 4 years.
You live a reactionary life, like animals living minute by minute day by day, happy to get a government check, no planning or thought about preparing for the future or taking care of you and your family and certainly no ability to contemplate the consequences of baseless knee jerk reactions.
If we had a country full of your ilk, sad to say we're heading that direction, it wouldn't be long before a Stalin could waltz right in an dictate your every gray move. Something that probably sounds appealing to your type.
Weapons are dangerous, especially in the hands of idiots who are not taught gun safety. I was amazed that the 4th infantry division in Vietnam suffered more self-inflicted casualties than combat related casualties. Go figure! Bottom line is weapons are dangerous in hands of anyone not briefed on gun safety measures or individuals who refuse to follow safety procedures.
But the point is that current laws allow for reckless fools to be bringing loaded guns into the public and accidents do happen. Also, crazy people have access to guns as well where the incidents are not accidental.