“A local woman found a spent bullet in her Hamburg Turnpike home last Sunday afternoon, triggering an investigation that led to a neighbor’s house,” northjersey.com reports. “Police then spoke to the neighbor who advised them to talk to her 45-year-old son, Zoltan Cseh. The Riverdale resident had recently purchased a Beretta M9 (a 9mm semi-automatic pistol). [Lt. William] Jernstedt said that the gun owner was staying with his mother during renovation at his own home. When he told his mother he had a gun in the house, she said, ‘I hope it’s not loaded.’ To put her mind at ease . . .

“He pulled the slide back to show where it was empty,” Jernstedt said. But because of the gun’s design, “when he did that, it loaded the weapon and it fired.”

As the company’s lawyer said when pols claimed they wouldn’t bail out of gun-averse Maryland, “Beretta doesn’t bluff.” That said, they don’t fire without a trigger press, either. Anyway, this went down in New Jersey. Provided you’re not a sworn police officer, an ND in NJ puts you in a world of trouble.

Based on their investigation, police charged Cseh with criminal mischief and discharging a firearm within borough limits. They seized the gun and removed Cseh’s firearms purchaser identification card pending the outcome of the case in Pompton Lakes Municipal Court.

Can you say “goodbye, gun rights”? Sure you can. [h/t AFB]

58 Responses to Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge Story of the Day: Racked Beretta M9 Fires Without Trigger Press. Or Not.

  1. Make him get trained. Training fixes most problems that we see with guns. Almost every phobia created by firearms can be eliminated by training also. Gun classes in school on the proper handling in the same category as shop. If you are comfortable with the rock of ignorance your children live under then they can make things out of wood for the same credit.

    • I’m strongly in favor of training.
      I’m strongly opposed to the government deciding how much training is “enough.”

    • We’re not talking about a 21 year old or 18 year old who just bought his 1st gun. A 45 year old guy would’ve been in high school in the mid/late 1980s.

      As someone who owns a 92, I can say they come with manuals that show how to use them and I can say that you have to be extremely unsafe to get a ND. Either he had it loaded and hammer cocked and he didn’t stop to decock with the safety or he pulled back a 10 to 13lb DA trigger without realizing it.

      Read the manual, watch youtube, and each gun is different. Oh and fingers away from triggers unless it’s time.

      • This guy should have had his firearms removed.

        Not because he caused a ND in his home where nobody was injured, but because even at 45 he wasn’t responsible enough to tell the truth to the police when asked. Shit happens, and we get over it, but lying to the cops about a malfunction isn’t the way to handle this situation.

        Having owned and carried a Beretta Centurion for years, and having carried an M9 in the army, I can tell you that these things just don’t “go off” when you rack the slide. Unless I load the pistol, remove the safety, and pull the trigger, this thing just isn’t going to go bang. Not. gonna. happen.

        The M9 and it’s variants were designed by the oldest and most experienced firearms manufacturer in the world (they were building firearms before the founding of Plymouth colony and the pilgrims) for soldiers in their late teens who had very basic training to be able to operate safely. They’re some of the safest firearms out there due to their physical safety, loaded chamber indicator, and DA trigger pull. While on safe, the trigger is completely slack and will not engage the firing pin. If he wanted to show that it was unloaded, he could have simply shown his mother that the ejector/loaded chamber indicator was not showing that a round was chambered. If he wanted to show her the empty chamber, he should have removed the magazine.

        There are lots of things he could have done differently to avoid this ND, but it all boils down to basic firearm safety. If your firearm is loaded, off safe, and you pull the trigger, it’s gonna fire a round…

        • You think he should have come clean with the cops in NJ, like Shaneen Allen did?

          I can’t think of a better situation in which to exercise the motto ‘never talk to police’.

      • Shortly after it replaced the 1911 for military issue Jeff Cooper wrote that he could make make the M9 fire by somehow squeezing the frame between his hands without touching the trigger. Mr. Cooper was not a fan.

  2. The death rattle rides again! Or, far more likely, “Look Ma, the chambuhz empty” – SCHLINK – “if I pull tha trigguh ain’t nuttin gonna happ – aw shit, Ma!”

  3. Sorry no sympathy for this fool. Well except for living in NJ. I’m glad this guy didn’t kill his mother or neighbor. Yeah I know there’s going be folks somehow defending this and lamenting living in aslave state. I live in Illinois-I know how it goes.

  4. Hmmm… That’s never happened with my 92fs. Of course I’ve never dropped the slide with the safety off and the trigger depressed.

    • That wouldn’t do anything. If dropping the slide with the trigger pulled fired the gun, that’s a full auto gun. The Beretta doesn’t do that.

      • Good point. I guess I’ve never dropped the slide WHILE depressing the trigger.

        Yea, 92s are about as safe as you could make a pistol, IMO.

  5. Failure to RTFM
    + violation of the “safe direction” rule
    + lapse of trigger discipline
    = ND

    …also, I haven’t personally handled a Beretta M9, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain that pulling back the slide does not cause it to fire. Just sayin’.

    • Kind of looks like it, but I think it’s just the slide locking on the last round. The angle makes it look like it’s not all the way open though. Judging by my own experience, unless that’s a pistol that hasn’t been cleaned or lubed since the 1990s (which is possible in the military) the odds of a FTE are microscopic. Besides, why would Beretta put a FTE shot in a promotional video?

    • Yeah, I think you’re right – it looks like an FTE to me. If you look at the guy reloading at 5:08 you can see the slide sits way farther back than where it is at 5:13. Watch the amount of muzzle jump the 5:13 guy gets, I think he’s a noob & limp-wristed the shot. I see new shooters do this all the time, and they think the FTE is from bad ammo or a problem with the gun. Then an experienced shooter picks up the firearm & rattles off a mag full of the same ammo without a hitch.

      Probably Berretta hoped no one would catch it, it goes by pretty quickly. Kind of like the Stormtrooper head-bump blooper: http://youtu.be/dBQaLuqwtl8

      Addendum: I watched a couple more times, and I can’t be certain. Maybe FTE, maybe a weird camera angle. Eh.

    • OK, I pulled out my 92 and that IS definitely a failure. The slide is notched down slightly at the locking block and you can clearly see that the front of the notch is ahead of the rear of the barrel. There is no angle that would make a locked slide look like that.

      My guess is it might be a failure to feed, which could be attributed to a worn recoil spring. You can’t see an empty cartridge sticking up (stove pipe), and I have a hard time seeing any grown man being able to limp wrist an M9.

  6. Why the disparate treatment of stupid firearm operation versus stupid automobile operation?

    Suppose the man was in his car in his mother’s yard and his car is pointing at the neighbor’s home. The engine is running and he has his foot on the brake pedal. His mom is worried about safe operation of the car. So the man says, “Mom, it is in Park. Look, I’ll take my foot of the brake pedal and step on the gas pedal to show you.” However, the car was actually in Drive and the man proceeds to drive into the neighbor’s home and cause minor damage. Would the local police arrest the man for criminal mischief and maliciously operating a vehicle within borough limits and immediately suspend his driver’s license? If convicted, we he be legally forbidden to ever own, borrow, operate, or even step foot in a vehicle ever again?

    • Obviously, the disparity is because guns are evil and they kill people.
      If you don’t understand that, then you’re obviously not an ignorant, liberal hoplophobe.

    • Hey uncommon_sense,
      Thank you for this. It’s an excellent retort for people, like some of my family members, who use the “guns should regulated the same as cars” analogy (misguided and just plain dumb as it may be) in their arguments”.

    • In 30 years of driving, I have been cited for speeding at least a dozen times even though no one was harmed. People are ticketed for not wearing seat belts, tail light out, tinted windows, crossing double lines, and more. Should people be fined for firearms safety rules violations even though no one gets hurt or nothing was damaged?

      • That’s a great question. And the answer is simple: no harm, no foul.

        Suppose I am splitting wood in my back yard. For whatever reason, the axe flies out of my hand with lethal velocity and comes to rest on the neighbor’s lawn. I have not harmed anyone. So why should I have to pay a fine? If I damaged the neighbor’s lawn, then I can repair their lawn or pay someone else to repair it. The object is irrelevant. That same process should apply to vehicles and firearms.

      • I agree but what are you gonna’ do in NJ? That poor black lady with 2 kids is facing up to 11 years in prison for b ringing a legally owned and carried gun into that evil state. Her I greatly sympathize with. Zoltan not so much…

  7. ”Safe? Of course it’s safe! It’s even unloaded, see? Not convinced? Look, I’ll even point it over…” BANG!

    4 rules, they ALWAYS apply.

  8. Screw him. If you can’t handle it safely, then no guns for you! First chance, last chance. You want second chances? He’s already working on his third chance!

    His first chance at responsibility ended with the original ND fail. His second chance, and fail, at responsibility came when he went to investigate the consequences of his original ND. This round flew through at least two rooms and a closet and through a window in his mother’s house, then through a screen window of the neighbor’s house, before lodging into the neighbor’s bedroom furniture.

    All this jack wagon did was go outside and generally look around to see if he’d hit anything. He didn’t follow the path of the bullet beyond his residence, though he knew where it had exited because he made a makeshift repair of the window.. He didn’t check with his neighbor, though. He thought “Well, I don’t see anything, so it must’ve just gone someplace safe and what’s done is done.” Well.

    His neighbor wasn’t hit, thankfully, but she sure as hell could have been hit and dying in her bedroom alone for all this hide-covering fool knew. Guns go bye-bye. He’s lucky that’s all they could charge him with. They should hit the mom with failure to report it, too. Don’t blame NJ for your ND.

  9. “criminal mischief”
    That would require intent. I don’t think he intended to ventilate his neighbor’s house.

    • I think he might be stuck with that charge.

      “2C:17-3. Criminal mischief. a. Offense defined. A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:…(2) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property, including the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution of eviction proceedings.” (emphasis added)

      He’s lucky they’re not charging him with unlawful possession of a weapon. 2C:39-5.b. prohibits the possession of a handgun without first having obtained one of the elusive ~1,600 NJ carry permits (pursuant to 2C:58-4). They could have charged him and let him try to prove in court that his mom’s house qualified as his “residence” and that he was accordingly entitled to the exemption under 2C:39-6.e.

    • I think you may be right. Culpability generaly runs from intentionally, to knowingly, to recklessly, to negligently. Criminal mischief requires at least knowingly, which may be too high a standard in this case. Depending how the law is worded in NJ, he may slip by on that one. The discharge within the city, though, is going to stick.

  10. Um excuse me mr gun owner, when you rack the slide back on ANY firearm with a slide and close it on a loaded magazine, it chambers a round. A: If you do not know that you need some training with firearms, abd B: Said training would teach you to keep your bugger hook off the bang switch until you are ready to shoot it.
    Just y 2 cents worth.
    P.S. I am trying my hardest not to be personally insulting to said gun owner, that’s why I called him MR gun owner

  11. Always pull the slide back twice, and then once more while physically looking in the chamber.

    I live by this technique. Spending that extra 20 seconds is worth avoiding the drama that comes with an ND on a handgun.

  12. Ok, everyone double-check each other for safety. As Soon as you say it can’t happen to you, you’ll be one step closer.

    • It doesn’t happen “to” anyone. Individuals act in particular ways, or fail to act, and they cause this to happen.

      There’s no reason to run around fearing fate’s fickle finger will point at you next. You just have to do the right things, every time, and not do the wrong things, every time. If you can’t, then don’t, but it’s all up to you.

  13. There was a VERY attractive bank teller at my bank in Kinnelon… or is that Butler? Hard to tell with the small towns in that area. Anyway, her last name was Cseh. It’s right next to Riverdale. Granted, she’s young enough to be this guy’s daughter… but I wonder if they aren’t somehow related. It’s not a very common name ’round these parts.

    At any rate, this guy’s a fool. And since this is Passaic County we’re talking about here, he’s probably screwed. In Sussex County, he would be fine. Also, I’ve never had my 92fs accidentally go off… even with a Wilson Combat 13lb. hammer spring.

  14. ““He pulled the slide back to show where it was empty,” Jernstedt said. But because of the gun’s design, “when he did that, it loaded the weapon and it fired.””

    Geez. Remind me never to buy a Baretta! O_O

    ….This guy should have taken a gun safety course before he even bought a gun…. no, make that touched a gun.

    • Maybe so, but reading is essential:
      ” Jernstedt said that the gun owner was staying with his mother during renovation at his own home,” which means that he was only staying there temporarily. Let’s not condemn people for visiting their own family. His head was in the right place about informing her about the weapon….. too bad he didn’t get appropriate safety training.

  15. I believe, some day, Beretta will make a (slightly) modernized (modern-looking) version, and its ads will read “This ain’t your daddy’s 92” (or “M-9”), and it will be as beloved, by some, as Browning’s precious 1911. And those who were given one by our Uncle to carry around for a little while in some crappy place will remember them fondly.

    Yes you can get them to fire inadvertently IF you mean that you inadvertently overcame the inherent safeties, especially the de-cocker. Beretta is the only Make that threw their weapon out of a helicopter at 100′ and still fired a few rounds through it in the DoD’s testing competition, no other Make would attempt that.

  16. Whoever this “Lt” jerk is, he should be marched directly to a course teaching how firearms work. Epic fail explanation, leaves listeners knowing less than they did before he spoke.

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