LAS VEGAS — The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the US: gun tourism.
With gun laws keeping high-powered weapons out of reach for most people — especially those outside the US — indoor shooting ranges with high-powered weapons have become a popular attraction.
Tourists from Japan flock to ranges in Waikiki, Hawaii, and the dozen or so that have cropped up in Las Vegas offer bullet-riddled bachelor parties and literal shotgun weddings, where newly married couples can fire submachine gun rounds and pose with Uzis and ammo belts.
‘‘People just want to experience things they can’t experience elsewhere,’’ said Genghis Cohen, owner of Machine Guns Vegas. ‘‘There’s not an action movie in the past 30 years without a machine gun.’’
The accidental shooting death of the firing-range instructor in Arizona set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.
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