Shooting range owners discuss safety measures after fatal incident

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A man has died after a shooting accident on a shooting range in Archbald Saturday afternoon.

Police say another person was shot in the face. Eyewitness News spoke with shooting range owners today about shooting range safety.

The Lackawanna County Coroner confirms 61-year old Robert Hamm of Berwick was fatally injured in a firing range incident on Saturday afternoon. The coroner says he died during surgery from blunt force and penetrating wounds to the chest.

Officials say a handgun inadvertently exploded when it was fired by another person nearby. They say the gun is believed to have used reloaded ammunition.

Mike Koneksi owns Rock Mountain Sporting Clays. He was surprised when he heard about the accident.

“It is surprising because the shooting sports are actually the safest sports around. They’re safer than golf,” Koneski said.

Owners say it’s rare for an accident to occur here on a shooting range.

“This is the first one that I’ve heard of,” Koneski said.

Konkeski says accidents usually happen when people forget safety protocols. That’s where businesses like the Cabin Armory and Training Center comes in.

“What we try to stress here is how to use them effectively. A lot of people come in just for the sport, others are trying to learn the self defense side. Some are just trying something they’ve never done before. But they all have to learn that respect for what these things are capable of and take the right steps to make sure they’re safe,” Cabin Armory and Training Center owner John Mitchell said.

Koneski tells Eyewitness News some of his safety rules for shooting on a range. The key is to be aware of yourself and your surroundings.

“You make sure that the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction. Always down the range. You never load the gun until you’re ready to fire. You don’t put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to fire,” Koneski said.

Archbald Police are investigating the shooting. There is no word yet on how the second person involved is doing.

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