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8-year-old killed at gun fair

With an instructor watching, an 8-year-old boy at a gun fair aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin and pulled the trigger as his dad reached for a camera.

It was his first time shooting a fully automatic machine gun, and the recoil of the weapon was too much for him. He lost control and fatally shot himself in the head.

Police said Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., was pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., on Sunday afternoon, shortly after firing a 9 mm micro Uzi submachine gun at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, co-sponsored by C.O.P. Firearms & Training.

Police are calling the shooting an accident but are investigating whether everyone connected with the incident had proper weapons permits. Massachusetts requires licenses to own firearms, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issues different licenses to possess machine guns.


Budget deficit tops $3 billion

The revenue shortfall in California’s five-week-old budget has grown beyond the $3 billion projected by state officials earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday.

He said he would issue a proclamation for the lame-duck Legislature to convene after the election to address the budget gap, the housing crisis and find ways to stimulate the economy.

Schwarzenegger signed the most overdue budget in state history on Sept. 23, one that closed a $15.2 billion deficit by making $7.1 billion in cuts, accelerating some tax collections and implementing a variety of accounting gimmicks.

Since then, the economic decline nationally and statewide has become more pronounced.

“It’s going to be a miserable November for all of us,” said current Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata.


Casino smoking ban reversed

Atlantic City’s less-than-two-week-old ban on smoking in casinos will soon end under a change-of-heart measure narrowly approved Monday by the City Council and quickly signed by the mayor.

Casinos said the ban cut into their business, while their workers were deeply divided whether its health benefits outweighed the potential economic harm.

On Nov. 16, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos will revert to a previous arrangement under which smoking is permitted on no more than 25 percent of a casino floor. The ban on smoking will be on hold for at least a year under the council’s 5-4 vote.

From wire reports


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