Local instructor weighs in after child accidentally, fatally sho - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Local instructor weighs in after child accidentally, fatally shoots AZ instructor

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L-R: Sherea Harris speaks to Caleb Machen. Source: WBRC video L-R: Sherea Harris speaks to Caleb Machen. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A local firearms instructor is weighing in after a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a gun range instructor in Arizona.

Officials say at the time of the incident, the girl was allegedly handling a fully-automatic Uzi.

Tony Wilson, who's also a father, said he doesn't see anything wrong with taking a nine-year-old to a shooting range. However, he said not even under close supervision it is OK for a child to train using a weapon like an Uzi.

"Uzi, no. No child. Not a fully automatic Uzi, no way," said Wilson

Caleb Machen, Firearm Instructor at Alabama Training Institute & Piston Range in Birmingham, said he's watched the video over and over of the incident in Arizona.

Machen said he can tell the little girl wasn't prepared to shoot that type of weapon.

"Because she seemed a little timid, reserved," said Machen.

But he said even if the girl seemed confident and ready, he would not have allowed a child train on an Uzi in fully-automatic mode.

"I've had customers here that shoot in competitions and one of them actually brought an Uzi one time and shot it and he's a very large man. He ended up shooting our ceiling in the range because he even couldn't control the rate of fire," said Machen.

Machen said he's had parents bring in their children, younger than nine, to shoot at the gun range. He's okay with that only after determining the child has proper skills and understands gun safety.

"Definitely a .22 to start them off," said Machen.

And he said any other semi-automatic gun is okay for them to use.

He believes the decision to give that child an Uzi was just a bad judgment call.

"No child should ever be given a full auto. Whether it be a little girl or little boy," he said.

Machen said when parents bring their children to the range the instructor can decide whether or not to allow a child to shoot.

If the instructor doesn't feel the child is mature enough or doesn't have the proper skills, then they can deny them access into the shooting facility.

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