AMELIA, OHIO — A failure in range safety resulted in a concealed carry student negligently shooting and killing a gun shop owner during a concealed carry safety course. Ironic and tragic but also a stark reminder that ensuring the importance that both instructors and students preserve basic firearm safety at all times.
According to ABC 6 News, the instructor was shot in the neck while teaching students about dealing with pistol malfunctions. One of the students accidentally shot him while attempting to complete the activity.
News Channel 4 said the student shot through a wall and the instructor was on the other side. The instructor died from his wounds at the scene.
The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office was called in to investigate and they have not identified the shooter in this incident. While he will likely not be charged with any criminal intent, there is still the possibility he could be charged with civil proceedings due to a wrongful death.
No matter if we’re a student or an instructor, a handgun is something we must maintain accountability over at all times
Every bullet that leaves the chamber is our responsibility — negligent or purposeful.
It’s truly sad that a man who has dedicated his life to teaching others about firearms had his life cut short by one. Both the community and his clientèle have voiced their sadness at his departure from this world.
“I can’t say enough about him, how much he was loved by the whole community and we lost someone really special,” said Anita Fritz. “He loved and wanted to protect. That’s why he did what he did.”
From the sounds of it, the student was either not given enough instruction before proceeding with the exercise or required closer supervision prior to the live fire segment. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the instructor but it is a tragic oversight. Everyone’s competence with firearms is different. Instructors often struggle between the fine line of allowing students enough room to learn a technique and micromanaging their actions. It’s a tough call and in this particular case, it ended poorly.
This is not the norm for firearms safety instruction courses. It’s an aberrant event and as someone who’s been reporting on news related to firearms, it is a very rare event that an instructor or student will get hurt during training.
But, this is also why we need to continually reinforce technique first, speed second. And proper technique should always include adherence to the basic rules of firearm safety. Those are:
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
- Don’t point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Know what is in front of and directly behind your target.
It’s obvious, in hindsight, which rules the student failed to comprehend fully. For that student, he will have to live the rest of his life replaying that tragic portion of his life. Let’s avoid having this become a repeat.