Accidental Shooting At A Tulsa Arms Show

Sunday, October 22nd 2006, 6:24 pm
By: News On 6

Thousands of gun enthusiasts were back at the Wanenmacher Tulsa Arms Show a day after an accidental shooting injured two men there.

Joe Wanenmacher says while Saturday's accidental shooting was unfortunate, his gun show is, and has always been, safe.

Things were back to normal on Sunday as thousands of people streamed into the Expo Center for the annual Tulsa Arms show.

A day earlier, two men suffered minor injuries after a gun that was not supposed to be loaded was fired. Pellets from the gun ricocheted off the floor, struck one man in the head and grazed another.

Joe Wanemacher, the man whose name is attached to the Arms Show, says it could have been worse. "It could have been very tragic accident, we were lucky however, 3 band-aids fixed the whole problem."

Wanemacher says only three people have been hurt during the more than 50 years he has overseen the arms show. He says incidents like Saturday's are rare because neither dealers nor patrons are allowed to load their weapons.

"It's very frustrating when it could have been avoided, accidents like these can be avoided if people will follow our safety instructions."

Organizers say safety is taken extremely seriously here at the gun show, the first thing that happens when anyone enters is they have their gun tied so it won't fire.

Skiatook Police Lt. Pat Dean: "it's important to get people in here and make sure their firearms are unloaded, a lot of people just forget."

There were no additional security precautions taken as a result of Saturday's shooting. Wanenmahcer says the dealer simply used poor judgment, and there was nothing he or anyone else could have done to prevent it. "We have a very safe show and I don't think it's anything to worry about, we're proud of our safety record."

Tulsa County authorities have submitted a criminal complaint against the dealer involved in Saturday's incident.