Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge of the Day: PA Hunter ND Two-fer Edition

“The [Pennsylvania] Game Commission said Wednesday that a 52-year-old Tamaqua man told investigators he was unloading his rifle when the weapon accidentally fired,” reports. Clearly, he didn’t train his weapon to stay safe during the unloading process. Either that or he didn’t keep his finger off the trigger. Worse, our hapless hunter failed to keep his weapon pointed in a safe direction. “The state Game Commission says the bullet passed through a 14-year-old girl’s left knee and entered the abdomen of a 15-year-old boy Tuesday night in a wooded area behind Tamaqua Area High School . . . The Game Commission says it’s too early to say if he’ll face charges.” Yeah, take your time with that. Or not.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    Was it a Remington?

    1. avatar Don says:

      Not funny, but perhaps ironic…. that was the first question to cross my mind as well.

      He DID do something wrong, failure of muzzle control. The ND may have been due to a malfunction though.

      1. avatar Pyrotek85 says:

        Yep, that’s why you follow all the rules, they’re meant to be redundant. Malfunction or not, there wouldn’t have been a problem if he had proper muzzle control.

      2. avatar Kevin says:

        It may have been poor discipline, or, if he has a remington with the bad trigger, he could have done everything right & still have a unplanned discharge.

        1. avatar Derek says:

          If he did everything right no one would have been shot, even with a bad trigger.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:


          Except, you know, pointing the gun at someone. Bad trigger or not, that part is 100% on him.

          Kind of failed on the “What’s behind it,” too, since he got two for one.

        3. avatar Taylor S says:

          In the UNLIKELY event that the user pointed it down, the bullet ricocheted off of something and struck someone? That would be the one you are talking about. Where you think you do everything right JUST IN CASE something bad happens and then somehow it still hits someone. It’s a RARE event but it DOES happen. And there’s no way to predict the angles 100% exactly if the firearm DOES discharge at an awkward angle. Once the bullet strikes something and changes mid-flight? There’s no telling what will happen unfortunately.

  2. avatar Jake says:

    1) Always treat all firearms as though they are loaded.

    2) Never let the muzzle cover something unless you are prepared to destroy it.

    3) Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you have made a conscious decision to fire.

    4) Know your target, its composition, what is behind it, and what is in front of it.

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yeah… I mean, why bother taking the half second to point the gun away from two children? Much easier to just take your chances, right?? You’ll probably only maim them anyway.

  4. avatar Don Davis says:

    “Baaaaad rifle … jealous of his two children, of course!

  5. avatar ropingdown says:

    The photo seems to show an old Steyr double set-trigger. No?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Double set trigger, yes. Looks like a mauser bolt, too.

  6. avatar Derek says:

    He shouldn’t be charged with anything.
    However, My “eye for an eye” law now requires the girl has to shoot him in his knee, then after that the boy has to shoot him in the stomach.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Call that “Derek’s Sharia” law then?

    2. avatar gregory says:

      An eye for an eye sounds good to me.

  7. avatar BenP says:

    This reminds me of something that happened to my uncle but with no injuries. He was using an old sporterized 1903 Springfield that his father in law gave him. After a day of hunting we were all unloading (me, my uncle, my father, and my brother). Myuncle had to work the bolt because it didn’t have a dropfloor plat or any thing when it simply just went off. We ended up finding a foot long trench the bullet had dug. Scared the ever loving shit out of all of us. Turns out the trigger sear (or what ever it was called ) had broke. Morel of the story muzzle discipline is a good habit. Also maintenance past just keeping the barrel clean is a good thing.

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      Morel of the story muzzle discipline is a good habit.

      That’s the moral. The morel of the story is that mushroom hunting is safer.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Based on his two-innocent-victims-for-the-price-of-one trick shot, the hunter was just hired as a firearms instructor by the NYPD.

    1. avatar Piet Padkos says:

      Trick shot you say?

      Let’s get KJW to see if she can re-enact it!
      Hell, let’s make it an event. Bbq, bring the kids!

      We’ll be needing some kids.

      1. avatar Pieslapper says:

        Might have been one of those steerable bullets like the one that got JFK

  9. avatar Christopher Hall says:

    It doesn’t say range. They may have been out of sight.

  10. avatar Paul says:

    I’m not sure about the rush to judgement here. These two kids were in the woods after dark. Could be he considered the woods a good aim point to clean his weapon. It might have been better if it was pointed to the ground, but if you look at the aerial photos of Tamaqua Area High School, there’s a lot of woods surrounding it most of which is dense and may have nothing behind it for quite a ways.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Bullets have been known to travel further than “quite a ways”…

      That fully qualifies as negligent.

  11. avatar jug says:

    Nothing but a dipstick!

    Hang him up by the gonads and use him for target practice, for beginners yet!

  12. avatar GS650G says:

    Handling a loaded rifle with the barrel pointed at someone is his fault. Not the trigger, the bullet or anything else.

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Yup. Even if you don’t know someone is there, and even if you’re in a stairwell.

  13. avatar Cameron b says:

    I’m wondering, does a passive ND story like this help Us or the Antis? To me it seems that guns “going off” is a tactic to make firearms apear uncontrollable and homicidal.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      The rifle could just be sitting on a bench and the Antis would begin to cry because children were around it. I am sure MDA is drooling on this one.

  14. avatar ropingdown says:

    It is incidents like this that make me terrified to hunt in PA, while enjoying it completely in Scandinavia. There need to be consequences. I’m reminded of the hunter in Maine a few years ago who missed a deer but bagged a person in their own backyard. No consequences. “An accident.” Really? No. Reckless disregard for the lives of others. Signed yours truly, ropingFudd.

  15. avatar John says:

    If rifle discharged while standing so how is it possible for the bullet to pass through a knee then stomach. Anyone wonders what the teens were up to? Or, was the girl twice as tall as the boy?

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