Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Florida Dropped Gun Injury Leads to Common Sense Safety Suggestions

A Hollywood man who was cleaning his .38 caliber handgun accidentally shot himself in his buttocks, police in that city said Monday.
“An adult male in his 20s was cleaning his firearm when it fell to the floor and discharged, [the bullet] hitting him in the buttocks,” Hollywood Police Lt. Derik Alexander said Monday.
“He is not going to be charged with anything,” Alexander said. “He was in his home. There was no foul play or suspicious incident.”
Alexander said there are basic rules one can follow to avoid being wounded by one's own weapon.
"Generally speaking, all firearms should be handled with care," said Alexander, who emailed the following tips: 
  • The firearm should be UNLOADED prior to cleaning.
  • The magazine should be ejected.
  • If firearm is a revolver, the “wheel” of the gun should be empty, with all cartridges expelled.
  • A semi-automatic firearm should have the barrel cleared by manually pulling the slide back. 
  • The firearm should then be disassembled and cleaned with the proper materials.


  1. * A Revolver should have its cylinder ("wheel") swung out or removed depending on design--improves access for easier cleaning as well as preventing a missed cartridge firing.

    * If multiple firearms are being cleaned, all should be unloaded and cleared (magazine removed, chamber checked) and left with their actions open before beginning cleaning.

    * When a firearm is cleaned and reassembled, it should be set aside with its action open. No firearm should be reloaded until all cleaning is completed.

    * If one firearm is a carry piece and one wishes to make an exception to the preceding rule, such an exception should ONLY be made if the firearm is reloaded and immediately reholstered before continuing with cleaning, then not touched. NEVER reload the firearm and set it down with the others!!!

    Also, the bullet point about clearing barrels in semi-autos should apply to ALL firearms (with different instructions for each type of gun--e.g. open action of pump or lever action and visually and manually inspect chamber, visually and manually inspect the fixed magazine of any firearm with a fixed magazine.

    Manual check is important in case a cartridge is stuck and wasn't pulled out by the ejector. It is also important because it helps keep your mind in the game and remind you that you're checking for an empty chamber.

    This staying engaged is very important. I had a friend tell me about his cousin, a cop, explaining an interesting theory he had come up with about some officer ND's including one this cop had had. This guy theorized that most of us are used to checking guns to ensure that they are unloaded and having a default good feeling at seeing the empty chamber. He, on the other hand, was accustomed to checking, making sure his duty weapon was chambered, and getting that good feeling because it was ready to be holstered and for him to go about his duties. He checked a chamber on a gun he was buying once, went off the good feeling in his gut, and then pulled off a round. He thought a similar type of autopilot might be in play in many other such ND's. Same could affect people who carry daily, which is why it is IMPERATIVE to keep your head in the game and not let autopilot EVER take over. Manual double check helps with this.

    Finally, I'd put the rule about checking of chambers in ALL CAPS. This is where some of the worst screw ups can happen, and it's forgetting of this rule that leads to many gun cleaning discharges that involve Glocks since the trigger must be pulled on a Glock to release the tension on the striker before disassembling the gun.

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    1. Anyone this stupid should be barred from having a gun.