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3 People Shot at Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh on ‘Gun Appreciation Day’

January 19, 2013 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments
A child at an unrelated gun show. (Photo: Brittany Randolph)

A child at an unrelated gun show. (Photo: Brittany Randolph)

Three people were injured in an accidental shooting at a North Carolina gun show on Saturday, national ‘Gun Appreciation Day.’

ABC 11 reports that the shooting occurred at the Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, which was hosting the Dixie Gun and Knife Show.

According to witnesses, a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally discharged as its owner unzipped its case for inspection at a security checkpoint. A man was struck in the hand and a woman was shot in her face and side. A third victim was later reported. Emergency responders took both victims away in ambulances. The shot also blasted out a window in the building’s main hallway.

The Charlotte Observer identified the gun owner as 36-year-old Gary Lynn Wilson of Wilmington. The victims are: Janet Hoover, 54, of Benson; Linwood Hester, 50, of Durham and Jake Alderman, a retired Wake County sheriff’s deputy from Wake Forest.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said it is too soon to say whether or not Wilson will face charges relating to the accident.

The gun show was shut down following the shooting. The event’s website says it will re-open on Sunday at noon. “No personal firearms are to be brought into the show,” the site says.

Attendance at the show was high as gun enthusiasts mark ‘Gun Appreciation Day,’ a pro-Second Amendment reaction to what they perceive as the Obama administration’s assault on gun rights. Gun-loving Americans are urged to visit gun stores and shooting ranges to protest the administration’s willingness to take steps to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 27 people, including 20 young children, in Newtown, Connecticut last month.

‘Gun Appreciation Day’ made headlines when it was revealed that American Third Position, a white supremacist party labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was sponsoring the event. The event’s organizers have since dropped the controversial sponsor.

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