INDIANAPOLIS- Five people were wounded in accidents at three U.S. gun shows on Saturday, including three hurt at a North Carolina event when a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as the owner opened its case, officials said.
The accidental shootings come amid a national debate over gun control that erupted after a man armed with an assault rifle killed 20 first graders and six adults last month at an elementary school in Connecticut. It was the deadliest of a string of U.S. shooting sprees last year.
None of the five people hurt in Saturday's accidents - in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana - suffered life-threatening injuries.
In a separate incident Saturday, gunfire erupted at a crowded soccer field during a match in Las Vegas on Saturday, wounding two women attending the game, local media reported.
The shooting took place at a public park during a men's soccer league game attended by 150 to 200 people, Nevada ABC affiliate 13 Action News reported, adding that police said shots were fired toward the field from over a wall.
The women were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, it added. A Las Vegas police spokesman did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment.
The shootings coincided with a day of rallies across the country by gun rights advocates who say the right to own firearms is under attack from President Barack Obama's proposals to reduce gun violence.
The North Carolina accident occurred after Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, approached the entrance of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh to have his personal firearm inspected, according to a statement by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, a host of the show.
The shotgun went off as he was opening its case, the statement said. Two gun show patrons were injured - a 50-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman - as was a 54-year-old retired sheriff's deputy who was working at the show, the statement said.
"They all were struck by birdshot from the gun," Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long said.
In Medina, an Ohio town southwest of Cleveland, one person was wounded in an accidental shooting at the Conrad & Dowdell gun show, according to Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci.
A dealer was holding a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol he had just bought and trying to remove the bullets when the gun discharged, Berarducci said. A bullet struck the dealer's 62-year-old business partner in the arm and leg and he was hospitalized, police said.
"There's no indication of foul play. It's just a tragic accident," Berarducci said.
In Indianapolis, a man was slightly wounded outside the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show when he was loading his .45 caliber semi-automatic firearm and shot himself in the hand, the Indiana State Police said in a statement. He was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.