Geoffrey Hawk may soon have the reputation of gun displays that are a tad too realistic for customers after he accidentally shot a customer while displaying a gun for sale. Hawk, 44, could be criminally charged for the shooting.
Hawk was at the Eagle Arms Gun show (on its face a bad interspecies mix) when he showed Krista Gearhart, 25, a concealed-carry wallet holster to the woman, Krista Gearhart, 25, when the semiautomatic .380 went off and shot her in the thigh.
He has an interesting defense: he claims that he racked the gun previously to guarantee that it was unloaded but had left the gun on the counter while doing a background check on another customer (yes, finally proof that background checks can kill). He suggested that someone may have walked up and strangely loaded the gun and then left it there. Seems a bit implausible but I have never gone to such shows.
If someone did load that weapon, it does not necessary excuse the negligence of Hawk but does implicate that person as well if there are any videotapes of the areas.
Gearhart is being remarkably generous about the ordeal and says that she feels sorry for Hawk.
I understand the recklessness allegation but I still have great trepidation over using the criminal code in such cases of obviously negligence. This clearly should be a matter that puts permits in danger and certainly can lead to civil liability though Gearhart seems disinclined to blame Hawk. Accidents do happen and we have licensing and civil liability systems to handle the repercussions. The steady criminalization of our society raises serious questions of how it is changing our relationship to each other and the state.
Source: Seattle Times