A vendor accidentally shot a woman in the leg while demonstrating a gun and holster at a central Pennsylvania gun show.
The Columbia County district attorney's office will determine whether the vendor, Geoffrey Hawk, will face criminal charges stemming from the shooting Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Officer Brad Sharrow said.
Hawk, 44, of Warminster, didn't immediately return calls Sunday to his cellphone and business, In Case of Emergency Enterprises. He was manning a booth for his business at the Eagle Arms Gun show at the time of the shooting.
Hawk told police he thought the gun was unloaded when he demonstrated a concealed-carry wallet holster to the woman, Krista Gearhart, 25, of Orangeville. Gearhart was treated and released for a thigh wound at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Hawk told police he had done the same demonstration about 20 times without incident before the shooting, "racking" the gun's slide to clear it of bullets each time, Sharrow said. Somehow, the gun was loaded when Gearhart was shot.
Police said Hawk told them he had left the gun on display when he completed background checks on some customers and believes it's possible someone loaded the gun when he was busy.
Joel Koehler, the gun show organizer, said Hawk was asked to close his booth and leave the show, which continued Sunday. The show has an entrance sign that says "No Loaded Weapons" and Koehler said his staff checks all guns to ensure they are unloaded before they are brought in for display.
Let's count the acts of negligence and the lies.
Acts of negligence
1. He didn't check the chamber of the gun before demonstrating the draw.
2. He muzzled the lady while demonstrating the draw.
3. He pulled the trigger while muzzling the lady.
1. He said he demonstrated the draw 20 times before and always racked the slide to clear the chamber each time. But, suddenly this time he failed to do so.
2. He blamed it on the gun. It just went off.
3. He blamed the gun being loaded on someone else who must have loaded the gun while he wasn't looking. Of course if he'd checked the chamber before aiming the gun at the lady and pulling the trigger there would have been no problem.
In another report I saw that the wounded customer is very understanding and considers it a freak accident. She feels bad for the negligent and dangerous idiot who shot her. Most likely the authorities will take a similar view. The most we can reasonably expect is a slap on the wrist, some kind of misdemeanor, and he'll be right back in the negligence business.
The reason we need a strict one-strike-you're-out policy about gun misuse is because lying idiot gun owners like this guy need to be disarmed before they kill someone. Chances are this is not his first offense. He probably should have been disarmed long ago.