Watch CBSN Live

Deadly Uzi accident raises questions about kids using guns

Local prosecutors say they'll file no charges after a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her gun instructor with an Uzi submachine gun
Local prosecutors say they'll file no charges... 02:19

An Arizona sheriff's department says its investigation is over, but the debate is only growing after a 9-year-old learning to fire an Uzi accidentally killed her instructor, Charles Vacca. Parents of the girl captured their daughter on video losing control while firing the submachine gun Monday.

The tragedy ignited a discussion about whether children should be allowed to fire powerful automatic weapons, CBS News' John Blackstone reports.

Bullets and Burgers, the popular shooting range where the accident occurred, allows children as young as 8 years old to fire guns, including powerful automatic weapons, as long as a parent or instructor is present.

Children in most states are legally allowed to fire any type of gun while supervised, but the question is should they be?

Dan Gross from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said no.

"I think most sane people would net out that it does not make sense to have a 9-year-old having access like that to a machine gun," Gross said.

Accidents have happened before. In 2008, an 8-year-old accidentally killed himself while firing an Uzi during a gun show in Massachusetts.

Experts say these types of tragedies can be averted.

"We can prevent kids from having unsafe access to guns," Gross said. "We can step up as parents and concerned citizens and actually take responsibility into our own hands."

Dan Roberts, an avid gun enthusiast for 30 years, shares his love of shooting with his 9-year-old daughter, Shyanne. He says accidental deaths like these are simply that -- accidents.

"It's a tragedy. It really is," Roberts said. "But it's not in any way in my opinion an indictment on firearms in general, on children with firearms."

A competitive shooter, Shyanne has been firing guns under the careful eye of her father for years. She said following the four rules of safety is everything.

"Always know your target and beyond," she said. "Always shoot a gun like it's loaded. Always keep your finger off the trigger. And never point it at anyone."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.