Gun Safety Instructor Accidentally Shoots Student


A Utah teacher learns how to fire a gun. (Credit: AP)

A Utah teacher learns how to fire a gun. (Credit: AP)

A gun safety instructor in Ohio accidentally shot a student in the arm while teaching a class required for people applying for concealed carry permits.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Terry J. Dunlap Sr. told police that he did not know that his .38-caliber handgun was loaded when a bullet hit student Michael Piemonte in the arm.

As part of a daylong course on Saturday, Dunlap was demonstrating how to use the gun to Piemonte and 28 other students, including Piemonte’s wife.

“My wife was sitting just inches away from me,” Piemonte said. “It could have easily hit her.”

Fortunately, some of his fellow students were nurses who helped stabilize his wound before he was taken to a local hospital and released later that evening.

The police report documenting the shooting classified it as accidental, and no charges were filed.

In addition to teaching the concealed carry course, Dunlap runs a local shooting range and trains law enforcement officials in gun use. He also serves on the board of trustees of his township and is up for re-election this November.

This year, concealed carry applications have reached record numbers in 12 states, including Ohio, which may double its 65,000 permits from last year. In the wake of the Newtown Massacre, many gun rights activists fear a mass confiscation of guns, leading to a spike in permit applications.

In addition, 20 states have loosened their gun laws this year, often making it easier and cheaper to obtain a permit. Many states have also reduced restrictions on carrying guns in restaurants, bars, and in the case of North Carolina, even playgrounds.

Concealed carry is legal in all 50 states. Last month, Illinois became the last state to allow concealed carry after a federal court declared the state’s ban on concealed carry unconstitutional, though Gov. Pat Quinn scolded the state legislature for passing a bill with insufficient provisions for gun safety and gun violence prevention.

Marina Fang is an intern for ThinkProgress.