clerk-with-rifle

After a season shooting 3-gun with the FNH USA pro team, I can say with confidence that I’d trust any of them with my life — but there’s no way in hell I’m trusting them to watch my gear. People who work with guns for a living tend to be a great bunch of people, and they also usually have a great sense of humor when it comes to practical jokes. I’m not worried about them doing anything that would hurt my score or me physically, but making me look ridiculous? Absolutely. Prime example: I asked Alex Bosco for a pistol arm brace a while back, and while he generously handed me one, it happened to be a delightful shade of pink. Now my proto-SBR looks fabulous. It seems that one Georgetown, Texas police officer saw the opportunity to mess with one of his cop buddy’s service rifles, but instead of keeping it lighthearted and fun he took things way too far. And now he’s out of a job . . .

From KXAN:

A Georgetown police officer– who was has (sic) a disciplinary history with the Department–has been fired after an investigation found he had tampered with another officer’s rifle.

On February 2, while at the Williamson County Firearms Range with other officers, Officer George Bermudez was asked to retrieve the duty rifle of Officer David Lanier who had forgotten it at the range.

According to an official disciplinary memo from Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero, instead of returning the rifle, Bermudez took it to the Guns Plus gun shop in Georgetown where he talked with the clerks about manipulating the gun’s components, specifically the sights and firing pin.

[…]

After returning the rifle to Officer Lanier, on February 4 Bermudez relayed the messaging about moving the sight. When Lanier asked why, Bermudez said 12 was his favorite number. Lanier found his red dot optics and rear sights were tampered with and were “way off.” He immediately took the rifle out of service.

The lead picture for this article is a photo the police officer took of one of the employees of that gun shop handling the rifle in question.

I can totally see adding hot pink handguards or maybe clipping on a My Little Pony accessory or two. But messing with the important stuff on a rifle is a huge no-no. Especially when the gun in question is a duty firearm for a police officer, someone who might need that to protect himself or others. That’s grossly irresponsible. Especially since the rifle was back in the original owner’s hands a full day before the merry prankster unveiled the fullness of his evil plan to the unsuspecting victim.

Another pressing question: is that a silencer I see in the picture? If so, whose is it? The National Firearms Act isn’t something to be taken lightly, and possession of a registered item (like a can) without proper permission or registration is a huge no-no.

The officer in question was fired as this is the second time he’s had a lapse in judgement. Strike #1 was when he purposefully tripped a bunch of soccer players rushing onto the field (sorry, pitch) after a game. He was given a second chance, and I’d say this is a fairly spectacular way to blow that.

71 Responses to TX Cop Fired for Tampering With Fellow Officer’s Rifle

    • Maybe the jokester did this because he was disgusted that the fellow officer left the firearm unattended.

      • What was done to that rifle was not a “joke”, therefore I do not consider this idiot a “jokester.”

        All evidence points to the fact that he altered a piece of life-saving emergency equipment in a way that could have cost the officer (or someone the officer was protecting) their life. Not a joke, not harmless fun, and anyone who rationalizes it as such, is as much of an idiot-scumbag as the officer in question.

        Glad to see many folks below generally agree with this point of view, but rather surprised to see a few did not. Perhaps they will mature with time.

        • Anyone who thinks this joke had any useful purpose or was even funny needs to rethink their judgement. I see tampering with this life saving piece of equipment like you say as no different than tampering with an AED defibrillator, inhaler, or life saving medicine like an epinephrine auto-injector. An officers patrol rifle is not just some range tool, it could very easily and very quickly become needed.

      • Regardless of how irresponsible he was. You dont mess with certain things. He could of told him it wasn’t there or something a lot less harmless. There’s nothing that can be said to justify his actions. As a fellow officer/brother he went above and beyond in the wrong direction. Hopefully this guy will no longer be able to work in any field in which someone will have to put there lives in his hands.

      • That’s whatbi was thinking. This guy left his fire arm. Why is he not being fired that is a big deal.

        • Was the range part of the gun shop? If so that would explain how he was able to the gun shop to be sabotaged by the willing employee on the way to return it. Also the gun shop shop employee is lucky if they do not be held at least partially responsible for the damage done such as paying for repairs to the gun and/or being charged with criminal destruction of property.

  1. Dicking with the gun’s sights and firing pin? Probably not as bad as plotting the massacre of fellow law enforcement officers across multiple agencies. Worse things have happened by fellow cops. I’m just sayin’.

  2. While tripping soccer players is funny, and it is, ensuring that someone’s firearm won’t function properly endangers the cop and the public. The world is a better place with this bozo not wearing a badge anymore.

    • Tripping the soccer players qualified under Texas law as simple assault.

      Given his position, he should have been fully prosecuted.

      The a$$hole should have been fired right then and there.

      But its good ol boy Georgetown TX and the chief gave butterbean a second chance.

      He has a bully mentally unfit for any badge.

  3. And what of the gunshop employee? Did he know he was delibertly sabotaging a piece of city owned kit needed by an officer in potential life and death situations?

    • I’m very curious about that, actually, in light of the firing pin comments. I would have thought that would at least have triggered a call to the department’s armorer.

    • City owned? Some cops buy and use thier own rifles. But i guess that is up to the policy of the department.

    • The fired cop had to have a gun shop mess up the sights??
      He couldn’t figure out how to do that himself?

  4. Wow. I could maybe see it being funny if he had done that prior to range time to mess with him, but tampering with it when he could possibly need to use the rifle to save his or someone elses life? Not funny.

  5. Remind me again how you FORGET your rifle at the firing range?! Especially if it has a can on it.

    Not to excuse messing with the guy’s rifle, but it sounds like there should be two disciplinary actions here, not just one.

    Another question – did they actually mess with the firing pin? It wasn’t mentioned above whether the rifle would still go bang.

    • Yes, forgetting your rifle at the range is just cause for getting your rifle back dressed in Muddy Girl, and maybe a week’s unpaid suspension. But tampering with the sights could get an innocent bystander killed unless the ‘tampering’ with the firing pin rendered the rifle inoperable, in which case you’d be putting the other officer’s life in danger.

      • “Leaving it at the range” is a broad statement. Most multiple-gun cop qualifications I’ve seen allow the officers to deposit their secondary weapons in the range control booth or other semi-secure area while they are attending to other quals, and I’ve also seen smaller departments cycle on-duty officers through quals in a fast rotation, to get them back out on patrol. Under these conditions, the rifle would never have been unattended, and it would be fairly easy to forget in a rush to get back on patrol.

      • LOL. The worst people in the entire country all passed background checks and work in Washington DC, bro.

        • And many in DC passed more than your regular ol’ background check. Idk if you’ve ever seen some of the SF86 forms for positions in the US Government but they are pretty close to deep anal probing for some folks who value privacy. Of course municipal police probably don’t use SF86’s but I do know my town police investigates everything they can find, you can find little hints about a persons personality when you investigate them from pre-school on up.

  6. Can you even cycle the action of an at with the firing pin removed? My experience is limited but on the last AR I built I was checking headspace and wanted to see if rounds would cycle by hand, since I didn’t have time to go to a range (and I am overly paranoid) I pulled the firing pin to prevent any risk of a slam fire in my house. I couldn’t even get the bolt to close because the cam pin kept rotating and binding against the receiver since it no longer had the firing pin running through it to keep it oriented properly.

    Either way, this is a classic example of a legitimate teachable moment being completely lost due to the asshattery of the prankster. They both deserve to be disciplined but, much like when we were kids and you retaliate against your sibling you get punished more severely, so in this case the other guy (who is arguable just as much of a dunbass) skates because his coworker did something so monumentally stupid.

    • I once ordered an AK mag release from some shady foreign company as I had read it would fix the issue my buddy’s WASR was having. They included a red aluminum firing pin that was shorter than stock, and advertised as “for dry fire and force-on-force practice with live ammo”… obviously the most absurd and dangerous thing ever thought of. BUT it was barely shorter than a normal firing pin, 1/8” or so was taken off the tip. That may have been the situation here.

  7. Retail company I used to work for required badges for their field services employees – Forgetting your badge was a serious offense AND whoever found the badge was under orders to mess with the owner of the badge before returning it. Started off with push-ups, etc… and culminated in some clowns launching a fellow employee’s badge into SPACE on an amateur rocket.

    – Don’t forget your dept rifle ANYWHERE; can or not the ones here St. Louis are SBRs that may be the case here too. Always amazes me when guys drive off with their rifle on the trunk, that’s the joke around town here as to why MR all drive Tahoes… no trunk.
    – If you find a fellow officer’s rifle, I’m ALL for trolling the guy, but make him buy you drinks or whatever.
    – If you tamper with the lockwork or firing pin of a duty firearm, there’s going to be potentially worse consequences than “just” being fired.

    • Yeah my town police’s rifles are SBR’d select fire AR’s…..I can’t imagine one of those getting lost and the liberal media learning about it! The officers that are assigned to our “SWAT team” have take home cars and they keep the rifles either in their house or in the car, they are department issue but officers modify the rifles exterior to fit them, when something is personalized like that I really can’t understand forgetting it!

  8. Unless the range master/armored had asked to hold on to it for a bit to change something or put a new optic on or something he shouldn’t have left it on the range.

    That being said, this guy is an assclown. Of all the things, he messes with the sight and the firing pin??? Two things that could have gotten his buddy killed.

  9. I can see messing with a guy who forgot his rifle – but not in that way. In training, the punishment for being more than arms lenth away from your rifle was to have the sling reconfigured into a leash, so the rifle is tied to the neck of the offender.

  10. Putting a bear trap by my front door at night is a class A felony, even if no one ever steps in it.

    How is this any different?

    Oh yeah, I forgot. He’s a cop, so he will never be charged with anything.

    • As an aside, there are always cops in the parking lot. Or near it. It’s across from the high school. I always figured they just hung out there while they are waiting to fight crime.

  11. If a guy comes into your gun shop and says, “Hey, this is my buddy’s duty rifle. I want you to screw it up so it won’t work right,” the only proper response should be, “That’s not what we do here. The door is over there,” not to give advice on how to adjust the sights so they’re way, way off and suggest removing the firing pin.

    I don’t think I’d want to patronize a shop that’s willing to potentially put people in danger for a prank. Especially one that wouldn’t even be funny if it were 100% safe.

  12. I don’t even really want to jack around with someone else’s formatting in Excel, when it’s their file and not something submitted to me. That’s just me.

    Even with my own property, it isn’t that I’m OCD and everything needs to be perfect. It’s that certain pieces of equipment need to be orderly and functioning properly so they’re of use to me.

    I don’t care whether labels on soup cans in the pantry all face the same way. I don’t care what channel the T.V. is on when I turn on the set. If you borrow my cell phone, however, I expect there to be no new, deleted or moved app/widget icons when I get it back.

    For something like a duty rifle where lives, not just conveniences, matter, I’d terminate this officer’s employment, too, especially since he was already on thin ice from a prior incident.

    • Yep. And “Officer” Lanier was too damn busy to return to the range and pickup up HIS weapon. Commander should have ORDERED dumbass to secure the rifle until Lanier arrived to retrieve it. Lanier to then to immediately return to HQ for Article 15 hearing (none of it on overtime).

      • “Forgetting it at the range” is a broad statement, and it may not have happened as some of you are “seeing” it. Most multiple-gun cop qualifications I’ve seen allow the officers to deposit their secondary weapons in the range control booth or other semi-secure area while they are attending to other quals, and I’ve also seen smaller departments cycle on-duty officers through quals in a fast rotation, to get them back out on patrol. Under these conditions, the rifle would never have been unattended, and it would be fairly easy to leave the rifle in the range control shack in a rush to get back out on patrol.

        Many cops treat firearms as just another piece of equipment they have to deal with, and this attitude can make it easier to leave stuff lying around. But that doesn’t mean it was left unattended on a shooting bench available for anyone to pick up and take home.

        • Many cops treat firearms as just another piece of equipment they have to deal with, and this attitude can make it easier to leave stuff lying around.
          Like in the rest room stalls in Washington DC.

    • Amen to that. The “victim” who “forgot” his duty rifle should be the one disciplined, AND he should not have trusted the rifle until he checked it out, regardless – even if he went back and picked it up himself.

  13. Both are morons and both should be fired. Practical jokes with firearms can have deadly consequence as well as misplacing your firearm. No room for error.

  14. Oddly mixed signals…

    Committing obvious murder and hiding behind qualified immunity, get paid vacation and a raise.

    Play with the sights and you’re fired.

    I know it’s different people, different departments, etc… But when this obside-down, backwards head-up-ass kind of disparity… I’m not even going to bother with the rest of this paragraph.

  15. It’s strictly a side issue but what really amazes me is these cops know so little about the AR platform that they have with them everyday that he doesn’t know how to mess with the sights and firing pin himself and has to take it to a gunshop? Really?

  16. He might need that rifle the next time they kick in the door of a sixteen year old low level pot dealer!
    Sabotage? Because it’s eldritch black magic to count out twelve clicks?

  17. Officer George Bermudez was asked to retrieve the duty rifle of Officer David Lanier who had forgotten it at the range. instead of returning the rifle, Bermudez took it to the Guns Plus gun shop in Georgetown where he talked with the clerks about manipulating the gun’s components,
    This is why only highly trained high speed low drag government agents. military, and police operators should be allowed to have firearms.

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