Canine belonging to owner of pickup truck steps on rifle, causing weapon to discharge and leaving the 30-year-old man dead, Kansas state police say.

Accidental shootings are tragically common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people.
Accidental shootings are tragically common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people. (Reuters Archive)

A dog has shot and killed a man in the United States over the weekend, police said, after the animal stepped on and accidentally discharged a gun left on the backseat of a pickup truck.

The victim, who was sitting in the truck's front passenger seat, was struck in the back as he and the pet were out on a hunting excursion on Saturday, according to police in the central US state of Kansas.

"A canine belonging to the owner of the pickup stepped on the rifle, causing the weapon to discharge. The fired round struck the passenger, who died of his injuries on scene," the Sumner County Sheriff's office said.

"The investigation is ongoing, but the preliminary investigation shows it to be a hunting-related accident," the sheriff's office added in a separate statement.

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Over 500 died in firearm accidents

Officials did not say whether the 30-year-old man who died was the dog's owner.

Accidental shootings are tragically common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500 people died in firearm accidents in 2021. 

Americans began 2023 with a steady volley of mass slaughter claiming 39 lives — an alarmingly bloody start for the country of more than 333 million people.

READ MORE: US accounted for 73 percent of global mass shootings

Source: AFP