New guidelines have been developed for the popular summertime Cody, Wyo., gunfight shows in response to an accident that left three spectators wounded during a performance last year.
The new guidelines developed by Cody Police Chief Chuck Baker require a site safety manager, who will be responsible for all weapons and blank ammunition used during performances.
“We will have a person each night who is in charge of checking in all firearms,” said Richard Muscio, president of The Cody Gunfighters organization that puts on the shows. “Somebody not in the show.”
The safety manager also will issue the performer factory manufactured blank rounds and will watch as the gun is loaded. At the end of the show, the performer will turn in all blank rounds, fired or not, so every round is accounted for.
The safety regulations also require the organization to provide Baker with a list of performers in the show, as well as proof the performers are legally allowed to possess firearms. Baker said this can be demonstrated either by the performers showing they have a concealed-carry permit or submitting to a background check. Wyoming’s concealed-carry permit requires a background check.
Baker told the Cody Enterprise that the key element of the new guidelines is having a manager solely focused on safety, and not distracted by performing as well.
Last July 29, three spectators, including a 3-year-old child, were wounded by live rounds fired by a performer. No more shows were held the rest of the year after the incident. They will resume this summer under the new guidelines if the city council approves.
Steve Winsor of Cody was arrested earlier this month and charged with five misdemeanor counts of reckless endangering with a firearm.
According to a police affidavit filed with the charges, Winsor’s gun was loaded with one live round when it was inspected shortly after the incident and a former Cody Gunfighters manager told investigators that performers were responsible for inspecting their own firearms.
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