CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte gun shops are shedding light on a nightmare scenario at an Arizona gun range. Monday, a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor, 39-year old Charles Vacca, when she was unable to handle an Uzi's recoil. It was tough news to hear for Donald Ingram, store manager of Carolina Sporting Arms in Charlotte.
"The instructor's family's suffered a loss. This child's family is going to be scarred forever," Ingram said. "It's tragic whether they're in our industry or not."
The incident does raise safety and procedure questions.
"I would wonder why a 9-year-old was given a full automatic weapon," Ingram said.
The minimum required age to shoot at Carolina Sporting arms is 12.
"Even after 12, between 12 and adulthood we wouldn't allow them on the range by themselves without a parent or guardian," Ingram said.
Even once they turn 18, they still can't handle a firearm in the range by themselves until they turn 21, which is the legal age to purchase a gun in North Carolina. Along with safety instructors on hand, optional classes are provided for beginners including "first steps" followed by "first shots."
As for the automatic weapons like the Uzi the little girl was using, Ingram says their store doesn't carry them yet, but they're in the process of discussing the rules and regulations for customers who want to use them.
"We're trying to craft some policies and procedures to prevent just this very thing, whether it's a 9-year-old handling the gun or a 39-year-old handling the gun," Ingram said.
Ingram says their shop also provides instructional safety videos for new, inexperienced shooters.