XD-S (courtesy springfieldrecall.com)

“A North Bend man accused of fatally shooting a childhood friend while showing off a pistol he knew had been recalled has been charged with manslaughter,” komonews.com reports. As Fergie would say, h-h-h-h-hold it. Let’s skip straight to relevant information about the pistol Robert C. Navarro used to kill his friend . . .

Some models of the pistol – a Springfield Armory XD-S – had been recalled by the manufacturer because of a safety concern. Springfield Armory warns that defective pistols could accidentally discharge under “exceptionally rare” conditions.

According to charging papers, Navarro said he was aware of the recall but had not sent his pistol in for repairs. Police say he was worried the repairs would take too long.

Navarro “knew the weapon was defective and placed a greater concern with his own inconvenience over safety,” the investigating officer said in charging papers.

Investigators tested the pistol following the shooting and could not cause it to fire without the trigger being pulled.

Springfield described the problem with the XD-S 3″ model problem this way:

One of our customers reported that his XD-S™ had fired multiple shots unexpectedly and returned this pistol to us for our inspection. Our gunsmith recreated this situation in a test pistol by modifying the components of that pistol and was able to recreate the customer’s claim. Through extensive evaluation and testing of this pistol, we developed an improved engagement among critical components of the pistol to prevent the remote possibility of this unintentional discharge . . .

Our engineers went to work immediately and developed a design solution. Essentially, we redesigned the grip safety and created more positive engagement between the sear and striker. We then conducted extensive successful testing of that solution.

Like most of these recalls, recreating the issue would be nigh on impossible. One hopes the investigators contacted Springfield, rather than simply mucking around with Mr. Navarro’s pistol. In any case, the description of events indicates that the defect probably had nothing to do with the negligent discharge.

“The evidence in this case shows that Robert Navarro retrieved a loaded firearm … pointed it at the chest of Albert Garza, and manipulated the firearm causing it (to) fire the bullet that killed Albert Garza,” the investigating officer said in court papers.

“Manipulated” as in pulled the trigger? One imagines so. Of course, Mr. Garza would still be with us if his “friend” had followed the four safety rules. My point: the fact that Navarro failed to return his pistol is being used against him in a court of law, as evidence – additional evidence – that he was not a responsible gun owner.

This is why you MUST return a gun that you know to have been recalled. As the former owner of a beloved Caracal C and F with Quick Sights, I know well the temptation to hang onto a gun that’s been recalled. But failing to do so puts you squarely in the sights of prosecutors if ANYTHING goes wrong with the gun. Suck it up. Send it in.

56 Responses to Pro-Tip: Send Back Your Defective/Recalled Gun

  1. while back, I joined a steyr forum to quickly find out my S9-A1 had been recalled for a similar issue to “accidentally discharge under “exceptionally rare” conditions.” only affected a handful of pistols, but I was one of the lucky ones. Steyr quickly fixed the issue & I had it back with an additional mag in no time. Peace of mind was the biggest reward though. thank FSM for the interwebs!

  2. What am I missing? Yes, the model has been recalled — but that does not mean that every gun of that model is defective. In fact, “Investigators tested the pistol following the shooting and could not cause it to fire without the trigger being pulled.”

    So it seems that the shooter’s gun was functioning properly, and the fact that he did not send it in for an unnecessary “repair” is not material. What is material is that he shot his “friend” — accidentally or intentionally. I think there are laws that discourage doing so.

    • In an alternate universe, the shooter had sent his recalled XD in for the repair, then he pointed it at his “friend” and also pulled the trigger resulting in a dead friend and a murder charge. Seems he’s worse off when he sends it in.

    • The guns were recalled for what I understand to be a “flaw” in the way that the grip safety worked. As I understand it, the grip safety has to be depressed for the trigger to reset. So in the unlikely scenario that you pull the trigger, lock the slide back, insert a loaded magazine, then drop the slide in such a way that doesn’t involve you holding the grip safety down, the firing pin “can” float and strike the primer due to the inertia. I’m not sure that anyone has ever successfully done this with a pistol, and the voluntary recall was supposedly more of a precaution. Anyway, I highly doubt the recall had anything to do with this incident and is instead being used as a half-assed excuse for this idiot’s negligence. I would normally agree that knowingly ignoring a safety recall would open you up to potential liabilities as the consumer, but this doesn’t seem like it applies here.

  3. I think legally, the owner assumed the risk when he continued to use the gun after he knew it might malfunction. Therefore, if the gun caused injury due to a malfunction, he is responsible. If the injury was not caused by a malfunction, his negligence makes him responsible. He is up that famous creek without adequate means of propulsion.

    • I don’t think that negligence can be assumed. It looks like the shooter pointed the gun at his so-called friend and pulled the trigger, striking the victim in the heart. That doesn’t sound like negligence to me.

      The shooter has been charged with second degree manslaughter, which is a form of criminally negligent homicide, a class B felony. If there had been no recall, he might have been charged with murder or reckless manslaughter, both of which are class A felonies.

      • He needs to stand trial on some charge for the killing so that double jeopardy attaches before he marries the friend’s widow.

      • This certainly seems like a case of a prosecutor going for charges that he knows he can get.

        Based on the evidence as presented to us, it would be strait forward to get a conviction on these charges. If the state can get its ducks in a row, gather the proper expert witnesses and evidence to say that this simply could not happen unless he intentionally depressed the trigger the charges may be upgraded.

        I doubt very much that anything in the murder category will be on the table though. Unless some bombshell comes out about an affair or some such I doubt the prosecutor wants to get involved in the realm of intent and motivation for the crime. Manslaughter will serve well to give the prosecutor a win without taking much of his/her time away from other cases.

        The entire recall angle here just seems like an excuse given in the hope that it would make some meaningful difference. While it “may” have gotten a lesser charge to start with, I doubt that it will have any bearing on the case what so ever in the future.

      • What is described above is murder. Whether there are other factors we don’t know about is a different question. You point a gun you know is loaded at a man’s chest and discharge that gun, that does not describe negligence.

    • Exactly Grindstone: Gun was loaded, gun was pointed at a human that was not a threat, finger was placed on the trigger and the trigger pulled. How many responsible gun owners would do any of those things when showing someone a gun ? The defect appears to be totally irrelevant to the friend’s death. Accidental discharges do not happen with an unloaded gun. They also don’t happen if the gun is not pointed at someone, even if it is loaded. And they certainly don’t happen unless someone pulls the trigger. The last one might be in doubt with a defective weapon but that appears to be highly unlikely due to what we know at this point.

  4. I thought this recall was about the gun firing from the firing pin striking the primer when the gun was cycled without the back strap safety engaged… Idiot! No matter what you don’t point an assembled weapon at someone unless you are about to show them “wrong house!”. I say assembled because I am not very picky on muzzle discipline when handling a slide without a frame or an AR upper without a lower attached.

  5. The worst is situations like the Frachi SPAS-12.

    – Super dangerous flaw (engaging safety can discharge gun)
    – Manufacturer no longer fixing the recalled problem
    – No aftermarket fix available for those willing to repair the gun out of pocket

    Don’t get into this situation… get things fixed while the recall is being honored.

  6. Yes Charles Ray- me too. The grip safety kept me from buying a Croatian creation Springfield. Never had a problem with 4 Taurus’ but if I still had one I would send it in IF I had any problems. THIS just sounds like some dipshite who killed his compatriot negligently…

    • Not one of my Springfield plastics have malfunctioned, had a failure to geed, failure to eject or failure to fire. That’s why I carry XD and XD/m pistols when I choose to carry a plastic pistol. These pistols combine the best features of the Glock and 1911 platforms.

      • My thought exactly. Two independent safeties, one disengaged with a proper grip and the other when the finger is on the trigger.

        Plus, I’m a better shot with an XD/m than with any other semiauto I’ve tried.

      • Golly gosh gee I don’t hate Springfield(better not join a certain “regular guy” FB page. They hate ’em). I just don’t like the grip safety.

        • Can you notice it on a Springfield? I forget the grip safety exists on my Kimbers. What’s not to like?

  7. Why is it that almost all of these firearm “accidents” always involve some cretin pointing a gun at another or themselves?
    Pointing a firearm at a person is never a smart move, period.

    • Seems like having the firearm pointed at someone is a prerequisite for the aforementioned “accident” to occur. Imagine how many similar “accidents” happen without the barrel pointed at a person. I’ll bet anyone involved in those tries to quietly sweep that under the rug.

  8. Had to send my XD-S in awhile back, it took them a month or so to get it back to me. On the plus side Springfield sent it back with a new case and an additional seven round magazine. A+ for Springfield

  9. I’m not familiar with Fergie, but my first reaction is that you should be ashamed of yourself to quote her here.

    • If you’re not familiar with Fergie, how can you possibly be offended?

      Google ‘SLASH feat Fergie “Beautiful Dangerous”‘.

      Offending Fergie would be quite a trick…

      🙂

  10. So don’t agree with this post… if your firearm has a safety recall, or a defect for that matter and you choose not to return it that doesn’t mean you should be punished. I can count on 5 fingers the 1911’s I’ve had to modify to get to work properly in terms of feed ramps, extractors and FTF/FTE… does that make me irresponsible because I didn’t send it back to the factory for them to repair? Just because a stupid prosecutor is prosecuting stupidly doesn’t mean we should all modify our behaviors. This is still a free country, they can make a recall and it takes away their legal responsibility if something happens, but it doesn’t make us de facto irresponsible! We should fight this like we are fighting all the other stupid laws.

    • No argument here, but if your gun, car, refrigerator, toaster, American cheese, whatever, is recalled for safety reasons, it would be exceptionally foolish not to have the manufacturer take care of the problem.

    • Sending the gun back the the manufacturer is not the only option. Having the gun checked by a qualified gunsmith would be acceptable. I saw nothing in the article to suggest he did that either.

  11. Well, kinda. Remington jacked up the trigger on my 700 LTR .308. So I put in a Timmey. Didn’t have to wait, didn’t have to remove the scope, and didn’t have to risk Remington screwing it up again.

    If your manufacturer sucks, I recommend upgrades. Especially if you have a good gunsmith handy. Now the safety of the firearm and its use rests solidly on my shoulders where it belongs.

    • Or do like I just did when looking for a new bolt gun, I bought a Savage M10. No Remington trigger to think about one way or another, and that Accutrigger is sweet.

    • Because as we know, all classic designs were perfect at inception, handed down to us as they were from on high by the archangel Gabriel.

      • Uh, no, because the classic designs went through their shake-down about 100 years ago. They’ve had their problems shaken out a long time before I was even a glint in my daddy’s eye. Kinda like why a Willys Jeep or a Deuce-n-half truck are so reliable and predictable.

        But hey, nice try, tho.

        • Now if we introduce logic to the situation, it dawns on us that modern technological innovations and the rapid dissemination of information allows that same vetting process for new designs to take significantly less time than ever before.

          I’m familiar enough with your contributions to know not to ask you to be less condescending, but I will suggest that if you insist, at least work it from every angle.

        • Being a retired engineer who has actually had to design products, ship them and support them after they’ve been shipped to customers, I tend to be condescending to people who think it’s easy. Such people remind me of my management.

          In a product as fraught with legal attention as a firearm, the manner in which modern guns are shipped into the market leaves much to be desired – by everyone.

        • There are many good designs in guns, by several designers.

          Example: the Mauser bolt action rifle, especially the 98, is an example of an excellent firearm design. There are safety features upon safety features – some of them brought on my personal injuries suffered by Peter Paul Mauser himself (a case failure in a semi-auto design cost him his eyesight in one eye). Today’s bolt action rifles are mere shadows of the Model 98, with one safety feature after another removed to cut costs.

          The root problem today is that corporate management wants to produce a product at the lowest possible cost. Well, dotting all the “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” takes money. A fair bit of it, as a matter of fact. Exhaustive testing takes money. The trouble today is that too many outfits today want to just run simulations on a computer, and take that as golden. Well, it isn’t.

          Look at the recent experience with the Remington R51. A real big failure. Yet, the original Remington M51 100 years ago was a winning design, well tested by both Remington and the US Army – and found to be both reliable, low in parts count, easily maintained, etc. All that had to be done to come out with a model 51 today is… replicate the original design, with some changes for supporting a 9×19 instead of a .380. But nooooo… Remington wanted to cut the costs of implementing the design, and they screwed up what was a pretty simple design that survived testing by both Remington and the US Army about 100 years ago.

  12. I enjoy old model Ruger single action revolvers. My old Rugers will never be sent in to be “improved” with the transfer bar safety. I also enjoy the new models as well. With the old action, it’s just a matter of knowing how to load it so the hammer is never down on a live chamber.

  13. Amusingly, I live in that very same North Bend (which is a small town – ~7k), and I haven’t actually heard this piece of news until now. Too much reading TTAG? ~

    Anyway, between “having a few beers” and “pointing at his chest”, I doubt the defect had anything to do with it. Just a drunk idiot showing off a gun.

  14. If I read this properly, he was guilty of negligence, or worse, even without the recall. That said, whether or not returning a gun that has been recalled is necessary to be a responsible gun owner, ANYTHING that can be used to argue you are not is unwise in most cases.

  15. How do you know if its recalled do they send you a piece of paper like with your car? Because i have got no such paper for my Springfield yet.

    • The recall was for early model 3.3″ XD-S 9mm & .45 models. 9mm S/Ns between XS900000 and XS938700; .45 S/Ns between XS500000 and XS686300. Go to springfieldrecall.com or to the Springfield Armory website and enter “recall” into the search box.

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