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Only law enforcement should have guns, right?

Reported by

An AR-15 rifle wielded by a Houston police officer mistakenly fired into the floor at the baggage area of Hobby Airport on Thursday night, according to authorities.

The on-duty officer was patrolling the airport when the semi-automatic rifle went off around 8:15 p.m. at the southeast Houston travel hub, Houston police Capt. Jerome Stevens said during a press conference.

He said three airport employees and two civilians were in the baggage area when the rifle fired. No one was hurt, Stevens added.

The rifle just “went off”?

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

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  1. did not have safety on…something got caught on the trigger …
    needs disciplinary action and remedial training at the very least

    • But don’t you know, they are in a combat situation, so definitely need a round in the chamber. Somehow I think it is likely that if is not already, Israeli carry for long guns is going to be the departments new policy.

      • I don’t have a problem with a round chambered, but the safety off and a finger on the trigger are not excusable. I hope he had to change his pants afterwards, since it undoubtedly came as a big surprise….

        • Yeah I’d like to get the run-down on this one. A lot of these guys carry the guns slung cross-body against all the crap they’re carrying on their chest and belt and constantly shifting the gun around to some degree. The AR15 safety is easily rotated from “safe” to “fire” by rubbing up against something and with all the stuff an officer has on his body it’s conceivable the trigger could have been depressed by something.

          This can still be seen as negligence. Training issue plus complacency. But the scenario where an AR is bouncing around in the back of a truck on top of rucks or slung cross-body and the safety gets flipped off is not uncommon at all. There have been documented instances, particularly in the military and particularly during travel, of this happening followed by the rifle firing. All without a person directly F’ing up in that they did not disengage the safety and they did not pull the trigger.

        • Sounds like a plan, if it is policy when a POTUS is speaking in the hanger,
          it is good enough for the citizens in the airport.

        • That actually happened at the bank robbery in Cincinnati. A policemen brought an unloaded AR15 to the gunfight and almost learned the hard way that it was unloaded. He quickly threw it aside and drew his pistol. Find the video and check it out. Training, its all about training. Agree on a standard carry policy and train to it.

    • Fucking moron. It didn’t just go off, keep your booger hook of the trigger you incompetent fuck. Luckily the dipshit didn’t kill anyone. Just went off my ass.

      • Asshole is an appropriate moniker. Your attack is ignorant and inappropriate. Other posts explain a variety of possible scenarios. Negligence yes, counseling yes, but let’s try to be less of an asshole, ok?

    • I disagree. The cop should face the same penalties as would be meted out to an ordinary citizen. “Equal justice under law” should apply to police officers, as well. Presently, it doesn’t. Police have “carve-outs” and receive special (more lenient) treatment from prosecutors and grand juries.

  2. “Only law enforcement should have guns, right?”

    Unfortunately, gun-grabbers will point to this incident and say, “See, even highly trained police and military screw up. That means we should never let civilians, who have far less training and competency, have firearms.”

    • Highly trained? I know civilians who have FAR more training with firearms than most military and police (who have considerably less training on the whole than the public has been led to believe) would ever get outside of SWAT and special forces training.

  3. Why in Zeus’ smelly, hairy, armpits was HPD patrolling baggage claim with a long gun in the first place?

      • Right you are! Just like the Kabuki they call ‘screening’ before you board the plane. All smoke and mirrors just to create employment for more government union workers and piss off the traveling public.

        If you want to get serious about screening, take a look at the Israeli’s. But that’s only if you actually want to solve a problem and we know they (TSA) is only pretending to screen.

    • It was the middle of the night and they thought they could play pretend since there was nobody around. pew pew pe-*BANG* OH SHIT MY EARPRO WASNT IN

    • What, we’ve already forgotten the guy who picked up his luggage, took out and loaded his gun, and started shooting people in baggage claim? I mean, hell, it’s not like it was a decade ago!

  4. Has there been any research to explain how all these guns “Just went off?” Certainly lawyers would be quick to jump in.
    Look at this case. Sarcasm/ Clearly the the safety was engaged, his was finger never near the trigger, the weapon was cleaned before shift, and a full function check was completed/sarcasm. The gun simply “Went off.”
    Surely the Bradys, Giffords, and dingbats in the gun banning racket would demand answers.

  5. IF – and I very much doubt it – he dropped the rifle such that the muzzle impacted the hard floor at roughly a right angle, the rifle COULD possibly fire, even with the safety on, because it has a free-floating firing pin.

    Not that dropping the rifle would make him innocent of incompetence. He needs mandatory re-training and 2 weeks unpaid suspension to make sure he remembers that training.

    • I advocate for two weeks of unpaid training!

      We certainly do not want to reward that moron with two weeks of unpaid vacation (which a lot of people would be happy to take — I certainly have in the past).

    • Maybe he is one of those guys who doesn’t use their sling and forgets to do simple things like put a mag into his gun:

        • I might argue that a mag that drops out while you’re fooling with the sling you don’t know how to use isn’t what you would call “in”.

          Push-pull, not slap and go.

        • Why did he have the safety off?
          I would have preference to hire Veterans especially combat Veterans. They have seen the blood shed and gore. They have no desire to pay Stallone, or itchign to pull the trigger.

        • The vast majority of vets were REMFs. The you have the Navy/CG/AF ultraREMFs. Either category received diddly squat for firearms training from Sam.

        • I don’t agree. I think what you are seeing as a magazine is background objects. When he enters the frame at 1:39 the gun appears magazine less. I don’t see in the video any magazine falling out of the gun. In subsequent frames there is no magazine on the ground.

          He says F#$K because he realized he did not load his gun.

          Training issue.

  6. No one was hurt? A .223 or 5.56 RIFLE bullet shattered against the floor and no one was hurt? Was the bullet made of Nerf?

    I call BS. Sounds like a story to give support to the anti-self-defense crowd.

    • Dude, it was just a .223. Had it been a 6.5 Creedmoor it would have killed everyone in the airport and many people on arriving flights

  7. “An AR-15 rifle… mistakenly fired into the floor…”

    “…the semi-automatic rifle went off…”

    Wow. It must be hainted. Way scary. That rifle should be destroyed before it can kill [the floor] again!


    And, yes, I totally agree with uncommon_sense: it will probably be used against us reg’lar folks.

    “…three airport employees and two civilians…”

    My math says 5 civilians (+ the cop, = 6).

  8. “An AR-15 rifle wielded by a Houston police officer mistakenly fired into the floor”

    The poor floor was just turning itself around and was on its way to becoming a ceiling.

    • Dang it, Ralph. You MUST start putting “Spew Alerts” on your comments! I can’t afford another ruined monitor, not for the 7th time… You must be some hella fun at a party!!!

      • A Cincinnati cop went to a gun fight with his rifle, tried to fire only to find out the rifle was not loaded. Typical idiot cop.

  9. “It just went off” is just another version of the “mistakes were made” comments bureaucrats make when they don’t want to assign responsibility for something stupid happening. Of course we all know that firearms don’t “just” go off but the point is it was a cop that did it and this is just a way of admitting that something happened without assigning blame.

    • Like how Twitter, Facebook and Google respond to congress?

      The code we wrote mistakenly censors people who are not leftists. The code we wrote must have went rogue for months or years. Sure, the people who wrote the code are leftists, but that plays no part in how the code behaves. True, the rules are selectively enforced for leftists by our leftists employees, but that has nothing to do with the code we wrote. It’s all one big misunderstanding. Two weeks of employee training will fix all the issues. Don’t worry.

  10. Out of thousounds of cops on duty every day in the nation one negligently discharged his AR on the floor…Just by seeing the headline I already knew the kind of comments I’ll find here from the usual folks. “cops are civilians” who really gives a ****, nobody is saying they are military either, it’s just words used by the media to categorize different parties involved. Many LE agencies have to hire less than ideal candidates because not enough people want to do this job and can pass the hiring process, this includes people who lack the maturity, people who are not great in defensive tactics or use of firearms, etc. There is not enough training unless you go on your own time and dime. Law Enforcement is one of the most scrutinized profession. If you discharged your gun in your workplace (causing no injury or casualty) there are good chances it would not make the news on a big msm or on a specialized media such as TTAG, just local news and that’s not even sure. This officer needs training and maybe to get more sleep. Now if all the experts who criticize cops on every single article about cops on TTAG could apply, the profession can use your sharpness.

    • Harry,

      I am an equal opportunity criticizer. I don’t care if this person was a police officer or not, careless handling is careless handling and requires ridicule — as an incentive to implement safe handling I might add.

      This event is also a teachable moment and a reminder for the rest of us and bears repeating.

    • Harry,

      I also want to point out that the primary angst here is how government employees (police officer in this case) get a “stern talk” when such events happen — versus the rest of us who get fined and/or jailed for doing the same thing. In other words our collective anger is primarily over the double standard for government employees versus the working class.

      • That and the horrible reporting. “An AR-15 rifle… …mistakenly fired into the floor.” How absolutely stupid must this reporter be. That line was worse than the usual “it just went off” crap (which also made an appearance). The author has assigned not only action to an inanimate object, but also sentience. It CHOSE (poorly) to shoot the ground.

    • I don’t criticize cops on here; however, this dude needs to lose his job. The rifle didn’t “go off” and it wasn’t “accidental”. This was a negligent discharge and the officer should lose his position, at a minimum. Having little to no training is not an excuse, being an idiot who was hired because of constraints on the department is a ridiculous argument. If you don’t have the capabilities, knowledge, training to perform your duties then you should look for a new line of work … or in this case, be forced into a new line of work.

      • What can you do about the “participation reward generation” hiring the wrong people because government wants more enforcers?

    • Let me add one additional reason less than ideal candidates are hired is because of the pay. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. When starting pay is $12 or $13 per hour, candidate quality will be poor. Heck, you can make double that with the TSA.

    • Words matter. Semantics matter. Yes, it is annoying/redundant/repetitive to hear “cops are civilians” but they are. They should be referred to as such and they should not be placed into a different “bucket”.

      I get if you’re a cop and it’s wearing on you but guess what. Their job SHOULD be highly scrutinized. They are the agents that act on the behalf of government. (Do you not care of the doctors and bankers and auditors that are highly scrutinized?)

      On your comment about getting people that pass the hiring process, that raises two root issues to me; why don’t people want to be cops for the current going rate and what is in the hiring process that disqualifies people who want it?

      As other people have said, it’s the double standard. If you or me ND’d in an airport we’d be in federal prison. F*** this guy and their excuses.

    • Slow down there, officer friendly.
      “The profession” doesn’t want sharpness. They want people who can shut up and follow orders without thinking. Remember, the police actually won a case in court stating that they can discriminate against smart people who score too highly on aptitude tests – jordan v new london.

      • Don’t know if they still do this, but a couple of years ago Austin’s minimum educational standards for a new officer didn’t include a HS graduation. All that was needed was evidence of having “attended” HS which meant that someone who dropped out at age 14 or 15 could still be hired as a cop. This was done in the name of “diversity” don’t you know. Austin obviously didn’t think it was necessary for their new cops to actually be able to read and understand the laws they were hired to enforce.

    • This officer is a high speed low drag military operator who is above any reproach as all our government employees are true heroes fighting against evil capitalists residing in the private sector everyday.
      Ahhh…..the wonders of National Socialism!

    • They think they are military running around calling everyone civilians like they aren’t .
      Police departments hire the dumbest motherfuckers who can still fill out paperwork and testilie on command. Every bullet they fire is account able to them just like they do to us the CONSTITUTION doesn’t allow separate rules for them. Only a copsucker would argue otherwise.

    • Thank you, Officer Harry, for your diatribe.

      Yes, LEO’s are civilians — and no it is not just the media who pretend otherwise, that nonsense started with police departments complaining about “civilian oversight” (because obviously no “civilian” can understand what LEOs do) and “civilians with guns” (OMG How Dare They).

      You are right that a non-professional having an accidental discharge MIGHT NOT make the national news — but of course this Gross Negligence didn’t make the national news either – just a mention in firearms media. No one injured was just a matter of luck, but with or without anyone injured do you really think a Negligent Discharge by a “civilian” in an airport would have gone without news coverage?

      Police are held to a higher standard — or they should be — that is part of the price they pay for all the special privileges that go along with their responsibilities. No one else gets to commit “Brandishing” or “Menacing” or “Terroristic Threatening” or “Assault” as a routine part of dealing with the public but each of those are the charges any “civilian” would face for simply unholstering a gun under the same circumstances that LEOs do on a regular basis. We expect LEOs to be especially well trained in firearms safety because we know that they will regularly be handling firearms in situations where they have neither need or reason to fire those weapons. So yes, when one of these supposedly highly trained and specially privileged people does something grossly stupid it IS newsworthy, both because it is unusual and because it is important for the public to know.

      And yes, you are right that some police departments hire people who are not competent and will never be competent, usually because they have a “need” to fill their ranks with specific demographics — and your unswerving support for such incompetents simply because they wear a uniform that looks like yours is a big part of why the public has less and less respect for that uniform.

  11. This is how easy it would have been to get it right, Mr. Jordan / Capt. Stevens:

    A Houston police officer negligently fired his AR-15 rifle into the floor of the baggage area of Hobby Airport on Thursday night, according to authorities.

    The on-duty officer was patrolling the airport when he fired the semi-automatic rifle at about 8:15 p.m. at the southeast Houston travel hub, Houston police Capt. Jerome Stevens said during a press conference.

    He said there were six people present in the baggage area: the officer, three airport employees, and two others.

  12. Sooo….Was the artificial intelligence switch turned On or OFF at the time “it just went off”?

    • 25 years in gen pop at the state pen would be better. 5 years for each citizen he recklessly endangered.

  13. Human error is part of everything we do and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to demonize people or tools. The press routinely does the same thing with SUV’s- “SUV kills 6, news at 11…”. Modern day Leftist/socialists, like the NAZI party before them, use propaganda to remove the threat of armed resistance to their plans. Their stance on cutting up healthy babies in the womb, minimal time for violent gang related gun crimes in Chicago, and protecting violent criminal illegals proves that their assault on the right to self defense has nothing to do with “saving lives”. Take away that argument and the only logical endgame for them is government monopoly on the use of force. Notice how the left loves brutal dictators- they want to do the same thing here.

  14. “He said three airport employees and two civilians(sic) were in the baggage area when the rifle fired”

    Cops are civilians. Taxpayers are citizens.

    This government employee should be facing 5 counts of reckless endangerment. Give him a felony enhancement on each since it happened while he was operating under the color of authority.

    Have him serve all five sentences consecutively.

  15. …Obviously, The P/O DOESN’T need to be carrying a patrol rifle for community policing…STOP ✋ the Paramilitarization of local/city/state Law Enforcement! He’s NOT F****** Patrolling a DMZ! It does NOTHING good for the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights, for Freedom and Liberty 🗽, or the U.S. Citizenry….

  16. Wow talk about failures.

    An officer carrying in an airport should have the rifle safed, with an empty chamber.

    So he had a loaded chamber, and off safe, AND somehow pulled the trigger accidentally.

  17. Remedial training needed to reenforce the thought keep ones bugger hook off the bang switch unless one is intending to shoot the firearm .

  18. avatar el Possum Guapo ' the Ballistic Buddhist' Herr Standartenfuher"they think we're making pizza'", Oberst von Burn

    Russian police types pack around machine gunz and we never hear of this sht happening over there. Why’s thatt?

  19. Why is a round chambered?

    Totally unecessary!

    Anyone who’s ever handled an AR -15 knows how fast and easy it is to bring the gun into action. Walking around with a Hot AR in hand is just asking for trouble.

    Even Military protocols forbid this unless immediate and likely hostilities are anticipated – in which case, the weapon is now carried at port arms, or a direct aim to the target threat is now authorized.

    Just a stupid cop perfecting his ignorance.
    Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

    This is the kind of cop that shoots yorkies during routine traffic stops….

  20. Maybe they should sling their arms over their backs—unless they’re actually wanting to be “carrying it in a manner calculated to cause alarm.”

    Good for the goose, good for the gander.

  21. Only those so-called “Trained Professionals” should be armed. Does “Trained Professional” include such police officers, I wonder?

  22. Saw a post quoting a LEO saying most avid gun users are more familiar and safer with their weapons since they use them all the time. Lots of LEOs qualify, shooting twice a year, hardly enough to stay proficient. Just can’t buy the the gun just ‘going off story’. Maybe he went to training class with the FBI agent who discharged his pistol in a nightclub doing a backflip and then tried to walk away.

  23. The local range has five holes in the lobby floor from NDs, three of them are from LEOs. Face it, cops are not very well trained on their weapons, nor do they follow the same kind of procedures most competent non-LEO shooters follow. Mainly keep you finger off the trigger until you have a legitimate target in your sights.

  24. When you’re constantly in possession of guns shit happens. As long as LEO understands that and concept applies to all gun owners when mistakes happen I think they should be cut some slack. In my 65 years it hasen’t happened to me yet but I’ve seen accidental discharges happen on a number of occasions to others. The only perfect individule to ever walk the face of the earth died on a cross 2018+ years ago.

  25. Strange, I spent 2 consecutive years in Vietnam, in the air or in the field daily, though I didn’t carry a M-16, but an M3A1 “grease gun” with a 30 round mag, OPEN bolt and NO safety….other than the bolt cover, I never had an “accidental fire” situation during those two years! I also never saw any of the M-16s carried by my Vietnamese counterparts fire “accidentally”! If so my Vietnamese Sergeant Major would have put his size 6 boot up their posterior!

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