COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The accidental shooting of an Arizona firearms instructor has sparked a national debate about children using guns.

The instructor was standing next to the 9-year-old girl, who was shooting a fully automatic Uzi.

When she squeezed the trigger, the recoil pulled the Uzi upward, fatally shooting the gun instructor.

“There’s really no reason for a 9-year-old to have their hands on an Uzi, even if it is with their parents,” said Dominic Lira. “I plan to teach my daughters how to shoot, but I’ll start with something much smaller.”


The shooting has left many people wondering how young is too young to use a gun.

“That is just way too young and we really need to protect our children from guns, said Angie Messina. “Now somebody has lost his life.”

Mel Bernstein owns Dragonman’s Shooting Range in Colorado Springs. He says age restrictions help keep his business safe.

“You have to be at least 8 years old and with an adult to use our shooting range,” he said. “You have to be 21 years old to have an automatic weapon or handgun here.”

Berstein says the accidental shooting in Arizona could have been prevented.

“A 9-year-old would have trouble holding up a toy water gun,” he said. “They shouldn’t have given her a gun like that.”