9-year-old shoots instructor, sparking concern for gun range safety

Local shooting instructors explain how to stay safe while shooting guns.

Safety training necessary before picking up a gun

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor at a gun range in Arizona, some concern was raised for safety at the range.

Major Tom Reddin with the Boone County Sheriff's Department  said gun safety starts with the instructor.

"Making sure they have good experience, good training and firearms themselves.  So they can teach good firearms habits and good firearms safety," said Reddin.

Jim Hill is a shooting instructor in Columbia.

After he watched the girl shooting the UZI he tells me what he would have done differently as an instructor.

"First of all I probably wouldn't have taken a 9-year-old out and given them a magazine full of ammo in it... I also would have stood on her right side and not her left."

He also would have held the gun steady as the child shot.

He has to teach children and those who have never shot before differently.

"The way we normally do it with kids... Even though the gun may hold 20 rounds we will put one in at a time until we know that child can handle that firearm," said Hill.

He said at Target Masters they follow three safety rules at all times.

One, always hold a gun in a safe direction, loaded or unloaded.

This way even if it's unloaded if becomes routine for you.

Two, always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

Three, keep the gun unloaded if you are not using it.

Hill believes in the incident of the accidental shooting in Arizona the recoil was too much for the small girl not being able to handle the "kick" of the UZI.

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