“The Sheriff’s Office is changing its policy for gun shows at the Crown Expo Center after a rifle fired unexpectedly during a Sunday event.” Once again, the media reports a negligent discharge so that the weapon gets the blame (i.e. people don’t cause gun accidents, guns do). That’s how they roll at The Fayetteville Observer, but not here at TTAG. We finger Mr. Martin Brooks of Chapel Hill as our IGOTD: the man responsible for what could have been a fatal mistake. Mr. Brooks “brought his PS90 rifle to the C&E Gun Show and presented it to a deputy who was making sure that all weapons that were brought into the center were unloaded, [Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Debbie] Tanna said Tuesday. Bands are placed on the triggers to show the weapons have been inspected by the deputies, Tanna said. Brooks’ rifle had a band on the trigger because he had brought it to the gun show Saturday . . .

He took the PS90 to a booth where a vendor, identified as Levi Peetz of Concord, was inspecting it, she said.

“When Mr. Peetz turned the safety off, the band around the trigger had enough pressure to pull it, causing the live round to be fired,” Tanna said.

The round went into the ceiling, hitting an electrical conduit and knocking out power to part of the center, she said. Damage was estimated at $500. No one was hurt, she said.

So, Mr. Brooks had the PS90 inspected prior to entering the show, left the show with the gun, loaded the weapon with the safety band still in place, then brought it back to the show loaded. Brooks didn’t check to make sure the gun was unloaded after he’d finished loading it, or before transporting it to the show.

Of course, we could also point the fickle finger of fate at the dealer, Mr. Peetz, who assumed that firearm safety was someone else’s responsibility. Or the not-so-bright-spark who couldn’t figure out that a “safety” band that can pull a gun’s trigger is the very definition of danger.

Here’s a related cautionary tale: a local gun dealer told me he recently received a brand new AR from the factory—with a chambered round.

As they say, gun safety is everyone’s responsibility. But Mr. Brooks, you are the weakest link. And again, we would advise the Fayetteville police to penalize Mr. Brooks for his lack of due care and attention. Sometimes the more painful the lesson, the more valuable it is. To a point, obviously.

2 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Martin Brooks

  1. Every gun show I've been to, the gun was inspected and then a long tie-wrap inserted through the magazine well, out the breech, and then secured. This prevented the insertion of a loaded mag and prevented closing of the breech. For revolvers, either the tie-wrap went through the barrel and secured, or through one of the cylinders and secured. In some cases (especially the vendors) the exposed hammers were tie-wrapped down such that you could not dry-fire the weapon. I've never seen the trigger banded as described above.

    The owner was definitely at fault, but there needs to be some improvement at the security and inspection area.

  2. I agree with 67dodgeman, and the gun security has always been excellent (with techniques as you described) at every gun show I’ve attended. So, something’s not quite right about that part of this story, but otherwise the author is right; Mr. Brooks is clearly negligent.

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