Something that gives all concealed carriers and firearms enthusiasts a bad name is a negligent discharge. Few things give the gun-grabbers as much ammunition – pardon the pun – as reports of people injuring themselves or others with a negligent shooting. People can’t carry guns safely, they’ll say, which is clearly wrong. In fact, it’s relatively easy to safely carry a gun without ever suffering a negligent discharge. Here’s how to make sure that you stay ND-proof.
Treat Every Gun Like A Loaded Gun And Check The Chamber
Ever hear of or see a news report of a person who was cleaning a loaded gun and negligently fired it or something to that effect? It could happen to anyone, and much easier than you’d think. Often enough, you’ll even see headlines where it happened to a police officer; some cop was cleaning his pistol when it “went off.”
This happens when a GLOCK, or other firearm of similar design, is taken down for cleaning without checking the chamber. The trigger, you see, has to be pulled in some guns in order to strip it down. Someone forgets to check the chamber first and…bang.
Likewise, a good deal of other negligent discharges occur because the person handling the firearm assumed it wasn’t loaded. As we all know, the first rule of gun safety is to treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
If you’re about to handle a firearm and don’t intend to discharge a round, don’t rely on assumptions or anyone’s word that it isn’t loaded – check the chamber. It only takes a second.
Wear A Concealed Carry Holster That Covers The Gun’s Trigger Guard And Keep It Clear
Another good tip is to invest in a quality concealed carry holster that completely covers the trigger guard. A gun that doesn’t have a manual safety or a grip safety can be fired simply by pulling the trigger. While that normally requires a finger pull, there are a number of negligent discharges that have occurred because something entered the trigger guard, snagged the trigger and discharged the pistol.
For instance, a number of minimalist belt slide holsters have caused NDs when the leather softened to the point of curling into the trigger guard. Such holsters are normally safe – though they were primarily designed with a 1911 pistol in mind, rather than more modern firearms with fewer safety devices. But they have a sell-by-date.
In other instances, clothing has gotten in holsters, snagged a trigger and caused a ND. Pocket carrying without a pocket holster has, too – something in the pocket or the pocket fabric itself has touched off a pocket gun on numerous occasions. One should avoid pocket carry if possible, and employ a pocket holster if they must carry in this fashion.
How can this be resolved? First by making sure the trigger guard is completely covered by a holster. Secondly, by taking pains to ensure nothing can get in the trigger guard except for the gun.
In fact, Concealed Nation fans, you can even order a special Concealed Nation Holster from Alien Gear, featuring the Concealed Nation logo, blue neoprene backer and orange spacers in line with Concealed Nation’s color scheme.
Avoid Drop Fires with Holster Retention and Sound Carrying
Another cause of negligent firing is drop fires, when a firearm is dropped and discharges a round. This has become somewhat less of a risk in the modern era, as drop safeties have been a common feature on guns for some time now, and in many states are mandatory. Transfer bars and other firing pin safety features, though, don’t always work (any mechanical system is subject to failure at some point) and not every gun has them.
To avoid drops and potential drop fires, there are several strategies one can employ. First is to carry with a good quality holster. One with adequate retention that doesn’t allow a pistol to travel while holstered. A gun that isn’t going anywhere can’t be dropped from a holster. A gun that isn’t properly secured may.
Likewise, avoid off-body carry unless it’s not possible to carry on body. Purses, fanny packs, messenger backs and briefcases can all be dropped, and there are a number of news reports of purses going “bang” when dropped. Not only that, but they can also be stolen.
Therefore, to avoid a drop fire, carry in a secure holster.
Remember The Four Rules Of Gun Safety
Lastly, follow the four rules of gun safety. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot. Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you don’t want to destroy. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
For instance, don’t put your finger on the trigger and pull unless you intend to fire, or unless you’ve made sure the pistol is clear. Keep it pointed in a safe direction, especially if manually decocking a gun.
If you follow these rules, you should avoid any negligent discharges.
This post originally appeared at concealednation.org and is preprinted here with permission.