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8-Year-old Boy Dies After Accidentally Shooting Himself with Machine Gun at Massachusetts Gun Show

Massachusetts state troopers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accidental shooting death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj at a gun show in Hampden County over the weekend. Bizilj was attending the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo, an annual event at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a 9mm micro submachine gun.

A certified instructor was supervising the boy when the tragic accident happened. Christopher’s older brother and dad were also with him. According to police, Christopher lost control of the weapon during the recoil. It was the first time the 8-year-old had shot a fully automatic machine gun.

In Massachusetts, it is legal for a child to fire a gun if he or she has parental or guardian consent and is supervised by a certified instructor. Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett however, has said that he hasn’t found any law that would let a young child own or shoot a machine gun. He is trying to find out whether letting Christopher fire the gun violated Massachusetts’s firearms statute.

State troopers have started interviewing people associated with the shooting to see if anyone acted wantonly and recklessly, allowing the tragic accident to happen. An attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence believes that Massachusetts law makes it illegal to provide a machine gun to anyone under 18.

Christopher will be buried during a private ceremony tomorrow.

State probes gun death, BostonHerald.com, October 29, 2008
DA: Criminal charges possible in boy’s Uzi death, BostonHerald.com

Related Web Resources:

Chapter 140, General Laws of Massachusetts
‘Micro Uzi’ fires 1,700 per minute, Boston Herald, October 28, 2008

Premises Liability and Wrongful Death
If your loved one was killed at an event on a public or private premise because of what you believe may have been the responsible party’s negligent or careless actions, you and your family may be able to file a Massachusetts wrongful death claim against all negligent parties.

Premise owners and event supervisors are supposed to make sure that there are no dangerous conditions on a premise that could cause injury or harm to visitors. In the event that there are dangerous conditions on a premise, safety precautions must be put in place and patrons must be made aware that the hazards exist. Otherwise, an injured party may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit.

In Massachusetts, contact our Boston personal injury lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP today.