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Thread: Negligent Discharge

  1. #1
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    I was talking to a gentleman that I work with (No it is not a "codename" for me) and he told me about his "screw up" last night. He is single, no kids in the house.

    Apparently he was cleaning his HK .40 in his living room, magazine and ammo safely on the floor, gun and cleaning materials on the coffee table.

    He finished cleaning the gun and then he put the full magazine back in and chambered a round.

    He then set the gun back on the coffee table next to the cleaning materials (first mistake) and he went into the kitchen to get a quick snack. After finishing his snack he went back into the living room, picked up the gun and proceeded to do a post cleaning "dry fire", momentarily forgetting that he had put the magazine in and had a round chambered, and failing to verify that the gun was indeed unloaded (second mistake).

    He proceeded to point the gun at his brand new HD DVR (third mistake), and then he pulled the trigger (fourth mistake).

    I would love to have seen the look on his face when it went "BOOM" instead of "click".

    After the initial second or two of panic and adrenaline, he dropped the magazine out and put the gun into his safe. A few minutes later he realized, "It a semi-automatic, there's still a round in the chamber!" and he went back to properly clear the weapon (finally).

    The good thing is that he is only out an HD DVR (put a round right through the middle of it) and he needs to spackle a small hole in his wall (bullet stopped after the drywall, didn't penetrate to the outside). He has no injuries, and nobody else was hurt either.

    It CAN happen to anyone, because it only take one tiny distraction, or one moment of inattention.

    Before dry firing:

    1. Check to ensure the weapon is unloaded. If not, unload in a safe area, if the gun goes off, know where the bullet is going.

    2. Check again to ensure that the gun is unloaded.

    3. Repeat as often as necessary to ensure weapon really is unloaded.



  2. #2
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter
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    Thank you, we cannot remind each other enough. Stay safe.
    I make it a personal habit to clear the firearm each and every time I pick it up, no matter how long it's been out of my hand.
    I also clear it and leave the slide locked back when I hand it to someone. If we're at the range, the slide is locked back and I lay the magazine on the table for the other shooter to pick up.
    I'm glad your friend only lost a video player and not a family member.

  3. #3
    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    I came really close to a similar ND about 15 years ago but I caught myself. Since that day my own personal rule is that no ammo is allowed in the same room as gun cleaning.

  4. #4
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    My lady said tome the other day "You CONSTANTLY rack that thing!". YES,everytime I pick it up. That's why.



  5. #5
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    Personally, I follow the old rule about unloading in another room and leaving the magazine or ammo there. Wanting to add another layer of protection, I lock the ammo in a file cabinet.

    Then the cleaning and reassembly. Then function check. Then all the cleaning gear is put away--completely.

    Then unlock the cabinet, check for clear and obstructions, then load.
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  6. #6
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    I clean my gun with the magazine and the single round from the chamber laying out in front of me. As soon as I remove the magazine and the chamber round, I lock back the slide. I clean the gun with the slide locked back. When done, I function test it, but before any dry fire,I always checkat least three times to ensure that I didn't have an alzehiemers moment. Once that is done, I put the magazine in, chamber a round, remove the magazine and put the previously chambered round into the magazine.

    The key is consistency. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent. If you do the same thing in the exact same order every time, it gets to be muscle memory. With shooting, and with cleaning.

    Step by step, everything in order, and everything double and triple checked.

    For anything other than firearms this would probably be considered Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but OCD is the way to go when screwing up can cost a life.

  7. #7
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    And right before the Super Bowl too....

    ...he's out of the Man Club!!

  8. #8
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    Rule #1: Treat the firearm as if it is always loaded, even if you know it is not.

    Rule #2: Never point the firearm at anything you aren't willing to destroy. (That includes knowing what is behind your target.)

    Luckily for your friend, nobody was injured or killed by his negligence. He made a whole lot of really stupid mistakes (however easy they may be to make). He was close to being another of the Brady Campaign's poster boys. Hopefully he realizes the gravity of his errors and will never repeat any of them.

    When I dry fire or handle the firearm in any other way, I make sure I know the muzzle is pointing in a safe direction. Also, as already mentioned - make good habits. Clean the gun exactly the same way every time, start to finish (don't take a break for a snack, etc - hell, I won't even answer the door or the phone). I also recommend you check the chamber before every single dry fire. (I do almost everything in an obsessive-compulsive manner, so this is easy for me.)
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  9. #9
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    So I shouldn't be looking through the barrel when I dry fire?

    Well thank God I learned that now, before something bad happened!

  10. #10
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    Theseus wrote:
    So I shouldn't be looking through the barrel when I dry fire?

    Well thank God I learned that now, before something bad happened!
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  11. #11
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    Have your friend read PC 246.3 and consider himself lucky it wasn't reported.

  12. #12
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    cato wrote:
    Have your friend read PC 246.3 and consider himself lucky it wasn't reported.
    CA PC 246.3:
    Code:
    246.3. (a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who 
    willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which 
    could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public 
    offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not 
    exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
    I think the key word there is "willfully." I think this introduces the requirement of the prosecution to prove the negligent discharge was intentional. I bet this statute exists for cases like people shooting guns in celebration (New Years, e.g.) or target shooting with the neighbor's house as a backstop.

    However, he's still probably lucky it wasn't reported. I'm certain the cops would have confiscated the firearm and maybe even try to wrongfully prosecute this unintentional ND under 246.3.
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