Negligent Discharge Of A Gun And How It Happens

Are you a gun owner?

I want you to think seriously about negligent discharges and how they happen.

They don’t happen from failed safety mechanisms.

They don’t happen because you dropped the gun.

The gun doesn’t just “go off”.

They do happen when they are allowed to happen.
It is almost always a human finger pressing the trigger.

I was reading the latest issue of Concealed Carry Magazine and I wanted to share with you the pertinent information from an article “How It Happens” (the negligent discharge of a firearm).

Think it won’t happen to you? Hopefully not!

Here’s how it happens:

Information sourced from The United States Concealed Carry Association


Counting On The Chamber Being Empty

Any time you press a trigger but do not intend to shoot, you’re counting on that chamber being empty.

The following has to be front and center in your mind every time you handle a gun:

“If I press this trigger, a bullet will come out of that end unless I’ve personally ensured this specific gun is unloaded.”

This is the nexus of almost every single negligent discharge that occurs: Someone presses the trigger without personally guaranteeing that the gun is unloaded. It sounds ridiculously simple, but that’s how it happens.


When A Loaded Gun Is Left Out Of Sight

Any time you load a gun, set it down and walk away, you’re drastically increasing the chances of a negligent discharge.

“gun owner leaves gun loaded and then forgets he did so”

Always check the gun to see if it’s loaded, even if you think it’s not.


During Disassembly / Field Stripping

When you combine not knowing the exact condition of the firearm you’re disassembling – with loading a firearm and then leaving it unattended, you’re almost guaranteeing a negligent discharge.

When some bonehead shot his finger off trying to field-strip his loaded pistol…
You get the idea…


Loading, Holstering and Unholstering

There’s no secret to doing this safely:

Keep your finger off of the trigger and indexed on the slide unless you intend to fire, and ensure that your holster is in good working order.

(You did train on your holster with an empty gun before trying to put a loaded gun in there, right?)


Trigger Catching On Article Of Clothing

You know those little plastic drawstring toggles that you see on the hips of jackets, pullovers and coats? They need to go.

The trigger on your striker-fired pistol doesn’t know the difference between your finger and that little plastic toggle.

Since it’s so easy for them to make their way into the rigger guards of pistols that are being reholstered, they have to be removed from all articles of clothing as soon as possible.


On a related safety note, I have several of the following pistol safes. I believe it to be the best general purpose handgun safe there is for quick access. The biometric fingerprint works EVERY TIME and is fast to open. Amazing…

Pistol Safe: Quick Access Biometric, Button-press, or Key

Add your own gun safety comments – how they relate to a potential negligent discharge…


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