Local gun range makes shooters stick to strict rules - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local gun range makes shooters stick to strict rules

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Amarillo, TX - The video of the 9-year-old girl accidentally killing her range instructor with an automatic Uzi has raised some concerns. 

Panhandle Gunslingers, owner Burnie Stokes says the instructor did many things wrong that lead up to the accident. 

"He shouldn't have been up there that close to her, he should have been back away from her," said Stokes. 

He also says if she couldn't handle the gun she shouldn't have been holding it.

This raises the question of "Should a 9-year-old be allowed to use an automatic gun?" 

We reached out to some of our viewers on NewsChannel 10's Facebook page to see what they had to say. 

A few agree with Stokes and say the instructor should have been behind her. Many say it is okay to have a 9-year-old shoot a weapon. 

However, several disagree with the whole situation, saying she was too young to be using a weapon like that. 

Although Stokes allows people under 18 to shoot an automatic weapon, he doesn't see an accident like this happening at his shooting range. 

"First of all, if somebody brings a gun that is fully automatic, they have to get permission to shoot it," said Stokes.  

At Panhandle Gunslingers, everyone on the line at the shooting range has to agree. Stokes says this creates a comfortable environment for all the shooters. 

"That serves as a safety factor," said Stokes. 

If they are using an automatic gun, they are allowed only a three round burst. 

"There's a selector switch on the gun that will allow you a three round burst. We don't just let them let it go, roll and roll, all the way open," said Stokes. 

In the case of the video, Stokes says the weapon should have been chained down, which is another safety rule for his range. 

"We have to make sure that it's chained down per ATF guidelines," said Stokes. 

Panhandle Gunslingers is indoors which has also benefited them to keeping shooters safe. 

Stokes is thinking about renting out fully automatic guns at his shooting range.