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Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Moises Zambrana

Important gun fact: despite what you may read in media reports, they don’t just “go off.” Ever. It takes some kind of positive action to make one go bang. An action like pulling the trigger. They’re pretty much designed that way. Go figure. And those reports about guns firing when they’re dropped? Don’t believe ’em. What they leave out is the dropper hitting the bang switch when they try to catch a falling firearm. So if you carry a gun and want a surefire failsafe way of keeping your piece from launching lead when you don’t want it to, there’s a very simple, foolproof method that works every time it’s tried. Leave it in your holster. As in don’t touch the damned thing unless you have to actually defend yourself. Moises Zambrana has finally learned that lesson. Unfortunately, it’s come too late for Hannah Grace Kelly. . .

There were about forty people at the Grace Connection Church yesterday where Kelly’s father is the pastor according to

Investigators say Moises Zambrana, who works the sound system at the church, was showing his gun to two young men when the weapon went off.

“Mr. Zambrana, who has all the proper permits to carry a gun, took the two men into a nearby closet to show them how the safety features work,” said Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Cecilia Barreda. “The gun discharged went through a wall and struck the girl in the head.”

Kellly is in critical condition according to the latest report. All because someone – maybe all three – in that closet was clueless about how to safely handle a gun. But had the gun been left on Zambrana’s hip where it belonged, Kelly wouldn’t be fighting for her life right now. And Zambrana wouldn’t be looking at a lifetime of regret and possible jail time. Never mind the loss of his gun rights. It’s a tough and tragic way to learn a simple lesson.


  1. avatar Bob says:

    Clueless morons like Zambrana just give ammunition to the anti-self defense crowd. Too bad the bullet didn’t land in his head instead of Kelly’s.

    1. avatar ready, fire,aim says:


      1. avatar Frank west says:

        The man is a complete fool.
        Never carry a weapon with a round in the chamber.
        Especially in Church, you dam moron.
        Why are you bringing a gun to church anyway!!! Jerk
        Also, Do not conduct business on the Lord’s Day. That day is for worship. Guys like this are to stupid to have a gun.
        He should be charged with negligence indangerment and sent to prison. If the poor girl dies. He shoudl be charge with negligant homocide. Which reminds me of the fools that buy shoulder holsters that point the gun at the person behind you. All holsters should point the gun at the floor, that way if it goes off you will only shoot yourself in the foot and not the person behind you wanting in line at Whalmart??? What dam morons

    2. avatar Amy says:

      That’s just plain mean to say something to one of the nicest guys ive ever met. You guys even know he’s sorry and you need to just CHILL and remember all of your accidentts in your life.

  2. avatar grey says:

    news reports that the magazine was removed, but chamber not cleared.

    1. avatar Anonymouse says:

      And people wonder why the CA legislature was able to pass a magazine-disconnect-safety and load-chamber-indicator requirement…

  3. avatar Joe nobody says:

    Thats just creepy, he was showing two young men his glock inside of a closet. If you keep it in your pants and it ends in -ock you probably shouldnt wave it around in public

    1. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

      It wasn’t a Glock. It was a Ruger. DUH.

  4. The explains it all; GLOCK, is garbage they do discharge when they are not supposed to.

    1. avatar mdv says:

      FLAME DELETED Not that I’m a fan of Glock, which I’m not particularly, but I know that they are safe to handle… FLAME DELETED Guns don’t just go off. FUCKING EVER! The only instance I can imagine a gun going off, by itself, is during a cook off. Usually this has to be a fully automatic weapon system that fires from a closed bolt position. FLAME DELETED

    2. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      Saying Glock is garbage is like saying Marisa Miller is ugly. Some people might think so, but they obviously don’t know what they’re talking about.

    3. avatar Ron says:

      I agree.
      You are absolutely correct.
      Glocks do discharge when they are not suppose to.

      Oops! You forgot to mention the shooters pressing the triggers when they are not suppose to.

    4. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

      Guess it’s explained wrong, considering the firearm Zambrana discharged was a Ruger.

  5. Glocks have been known to discharge when dropped that is their major flaw. No need to use foul language, the story also states in different articles that he in-fact was pulling the trigger. So then as it usually is he pulled the trigger and did not think.

    1. avatar Anonymouse says:

      No they don’t. Any automatic or double-action revolver sold new in California has to pass a pretty significant drop test: 3 samples, 1 meter drop, on basically every side (back, front, vertical, sideways, etc…). Not to mention the huge liability headaches a manufacturer would have these days if they made a non-drop-safe pistol.

      Which means that a modern pistol when dropped effectively only goes off if you try to catch it…

    2. avatar Stephen says:

      Absolutely Physically Impossible.

    3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      Glocks have a drop safety and the trigger safety requires a finger INSIDE the trigger guard. Trust me – I have tried to make mine go off to test it. No, this dickhead failed to clear the chamber.

    4. avatar Chas says:

      “Glocks have been known to discharge when dropped…”

      Please cite specifics on this: Date/Time/Place/etc.

      1. avatar Darren says:

        Come on guys, you know they always go off when they’re dropped. It’s because them Glocks don’t have any metal in ’em.

    5. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

      What about Rugers? Considering it was a RUGER that Zambrana had. NOT A GLOCK.

  6. avatar Ropingdown says:

    The result of carrying round-chambered in nonthreatening circumstances is trouble during administrative handling. Only especially foolish people show someone their pistol or handle it unnecessarily if they carry chamber loaded. Nearly all Glocks since (?) 1996 have a chamber-loaded feature on the extractor and it should be checked every single time the pistol is drawn for administrative purposes. Then the chamber should be cleared if further action is intended, such as a demonstration or hand-off. This isn’t complicated. It isn’t news. Glocks do not go off by themselves, even if dropped. Rumor-mongering that they do is just revanchist politicking by the non-Glock tribes.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    Rule 5:

    If you carry a gun keep it in the holster until you need or are securing it. All other times keep your hands off.

  8. avatar Aharon says:

    I hope Hanna recovers. A gun discharged in a church with the bullet hitting the pastor’s daughter in the head is the perfect propaganda day event for many on the far left.

  9. avatar mp says:


    I really do think there should be some mandatory minimum training required to carry (not to buy, own or keep at home but CCW). Where did this happen and what is the requirement I wonder?

    Here in Ohio it is 12 hours of instruction and then you must qualify on the range. I have been shooting for awhile but still thought it was time well spent (I think this can probably vary widely depending on the instructor, range etc..)

    I went with a friend who has a tremor- could not qualify on the range and he was (appropriately) DENIED a permit (after 12 hours of class time and 125 bucks).

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Glad to hear it. Sensible regulations, rather than just do anything you want.

      I see why some people are passionate for owning/using guns and I agree with that. But people die through accidents like this, just like they die if they are “unarmed/undefended” and a criminal appears. It isn`t clear cut that one way is better than the other.

    2. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      I’m totally with you on mandatory training for CCW and suggested this myself in one of my posts, but just wait, in moments there will likely be vigorous objections about how requiring training violates 2A, etc. etc. The problem is that every time something like this happens, we get more undecided people deciding that CCW is a bad idea. This is why many uninformed citizens have no problems with the police carrying weapons, but for the rest of us, that is a no-no. The simple belief among many people is that cops have training while the rest of us don’t, therefore it is dangerous for us to carry guns, but not for cops to do the same. While this is in many cases complete nonsense, unfortunately, tragedies such as this one do nothing to help our cause.

      I think that as a community, we should do what others have – essentially become self-policing. Some states require the NRA Basic Pistol or Home Safety courses as requirements before granting a CCW – why not push for this to become a national initiative – the key here is to use a recognized course or curriculum like the NRA’s rather than letting the states define their own (which could be used to unconstitutionally prevent use from keeping and bearing arms).

  10. avatar MustangMD says:

    It appears he was a cop –

    I’m sure he feels terrible about what happened, but there is no excusing that kind of stupid, especially from a trained law enforcement professional.

    1. His Facebook page indicates he works for the Pinellas County Schools. From the photo, it appears he’s a security officer for them.

    2. avatar Bruce W. Krafft says:

      Actually it looks like he’s a mall ninja, not a cop. Go through his profile pics and you’ll see a couple of him in uniform.

      1. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

        I am not a big fan of the perjorative “mall ninja”, but yes, he’s a security officer, licensed under 493 Florida Statutes.

    3. avatar Tom says:

      I have known cops and security officers to put a round through buildings.

    4. avatar Aharon says:

      The man’s anniversary is on Feb 16th. If his pastor married them it is possibly going to be a strange one.

    5. avatar Frank west says:

      This cop needs to carry 1911’s but never with a round in the chamber

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Carrying with a round in the chamber is not the problem. The problem is poor judgment and weapons handling.

      2. avatar Frank west says:

        There is no sensible reason to carry with a round in the chamber, unless you are a cop on duty.

        1. avatar Jake says:

          That’s totally combat effective. Take a hangun, clear it. Drop the mag, lock the slide back, visually & physically check the chamber. Now holster it.
          Draw it and pointed on a fixed object across the room and dry fire. Now try it again but rack the slide first. Do you see all of the extra manipulation it takes and the longer it takes to get on target and dry fire? Not to mention that there’s a possibility that the first round could feed incorrectly or the slide could be out of battery.

          I’m not saying carry your gun around on fire (or semi). 98% of handgun safetys are easily deactivated on the draw. To me, not carrying a round in the chamber (on a carry gun) is unsafe.

        2. avatar K. Johns says:

          That is a stupid statement. There are sensible reasons to carry a firearm with a round in the chamber, not least of which is that you can be killed in the time it takes to chamber a round if faced by a bad guy who has a ready to fire weapon in his hand. Having a round in the chamber does not make a firearm dangerous. Incorrect handing of a firearm that has a round in the chamber is what makes it dangerous.

        3. avatar Frank west says:

          If I knew someone in my church was carrying a loaded firearm, I would stop attending that church. Leave your gun home when going to church.
          If the gun was ever required in a church setting, it would be too dangerious to use because there are too many people around! You can;t be firing at some attacker with houndreds of innocent people around!!

        4. avatar Scott says:

          Agreed. You can never get casual with a weapon, though. There is only one proper way to clear any given weapon. It must be habit to consciously do so before you point it at anything that you do not intend to kill.

        5. avatar mark merkel says:

          good point …………….. lots of bad people will let you load while they wait. what planet do you live in?

    6. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

      In the State of Florida, a security officer is NOT a cop. A cop is a law enforcement officer, certified by the State under 943 Florida Statutes. A security officer is LICENSED by the State under 493 Florida Statutes.

      BIG difference, both in training and statutory authority.

  11. avatar mp says:


    Picking jaw up off floor

  12. avatar mp says:

    It’s a totally personal decision on my part (and no offense to those who do ) but I would never carry a glock (striker fired pistol) or a 1911. I’ve made the decision that I want to carry with one in the chamber and the only way I’m comfortable with that is DA/SA (Sig 226) or DAO(PF-9). Bad/stupid things can and do happen and for me personally this setup works better. Also no safetys/swithces,mag disconnects etc…

    just my 2 cents

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Gives me an idea for a post I partially wrote and then decided not to on why I don’t like striker fired guns. Good to see that at least one person here would not think I’m off my rocker. I may go ahead with it.

      1. avatar Tom says:

        I prefer DA/SA guns like a Walther PP myself, but I am sort of old school.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Striker-fired, DA/SA, DAO, single-action, none of that matters if you pull the trigger when you shouldn’t, or generally don’t properly handle your guns. I personally am not a fan of the Glock, but it’s mainly a matter of personal taste. I like having the grip safety on the XDm, but I know the primary safety on any gun is the one that resides between the ears of the person holding it.

    3. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

      How about a Ruger? Because that’s the pistol which actually discharged.

  13. avatar Steve Bonning says:

    Remember another point; he was showing his weapon to a 20 year old; a person NOT old enough to purchase his weapon. So not only did he break all the safety rules, I would question his ability to use any common sense by examining a weapon in a church with an underage person. Did he do ANYTHING correct? Some legal charges should be forthcoming.

  14. avatar Chas says:

    I have heard some people say that he needs a safety course.

    NO amount of safety training can FIX STUPID.

  15. avatar Ben Eli says:

    Incidences like this have changed how I talk shop with people I know. All that and an incident I had a week ago.

    I was at someone’s house and the subject of guns came up. I’ve known the guy for a while but I didn’t know he carried. I asked what he carried and he whipped it out. He unloaded the weapon, and kept the cylinder open while he held it, but I was still uneasy. From now on I’m a little more careful about talking to guys about their carry pieces.

  16. avatar Ron says:

    A very good friend was showing a mutual friend how there is no need to worry about carrying a 1911 cocked and locked ( this is true).
    He was explaining how even with the gun cocked and unlocked it will not fire unless both grip safety and trigger are utilized simultaneously (again true), which he did, discharging the gun.
    Fortunately no one was harmed.

    This frend is a cardiologist, avid firearms collector, hunter and CHL holder, whom I have shot with on many, many occasions. He is neither stupid nor careless.
    But on this occasion he made one of the worst mistakes a person can make.
    He assumed.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      Basically, if you violate one of the three rules (assume it’s loaded, don’t point it at anything you don’t want shot, and keep finger off the trigger until you have a sight picture), the gun is not going to go off.

      If you can’t remember and follow these three rules all the time, then you are officially TSTOAG (Too Stupid to Own a Gun), which should be a legal designation to deny the careless or simply the stupid the ability to carry a gun.

    2. avatar Scott says:

      Mechanical safety’s fail. That’s why we have common sense, training, and intelligence. If they all fail, you’re S.O.L. A guy during Desert Storm was showing a Brit how an M 1911 would not go off from the half cock position. He explained that if you have one drawn at you, all you need to do is push the end of the barrel with the palm of your hand to force it into half cock and it will give you time to disarm the guy. He demonstrated and pulled the trigger. I believe the armorer said the sear was worn. Luckily, he only blew a hole in his hand.

  17. avatar Bob Aldridge says:

    Dan Zimmerman, the author of this article, hit it on the head. Most people have gone on and on about the idiot not clearing the gun properly (true), but the fundamental problem was taking it out of the holster in the first place. A carry gun should stay in the holster, unless attacked by someone bent on inflicting serious bodily injury

    Don’t play “Show and Tell.”
    It is not cool. It is both stupid and dangerous.

  18. avatar Darren says:

    The pistol in the picture looks like a Ruger SR9. In a Serpa holster.

  19. avatar ST says:

    This goes beyond showing the weapon.The mistake happened long before this guy touched his Glock.

    Why on earth was the guy even telling his friends he was ARMED to begin with?
    What purpose does it serve to inform another person who isn’t a member of Law Enforcement that you pack heat? In some circumstances you shouldn’t even tell the *cops* you are armed.I seek to strenuously avoid telling anyone about my firearm, and when asked about whether or not I carry I am intentionally evasive. I do not care if you are a Delta Force operative with 10,000 rounds under your belt, you ask me if Im armed all you will get in response is a noncomittal shrug. As far as I am concerned I protect my CCW status like a classified military document, and for the same reasons;loose lips really can sink ships. The guy or gal you play ‘show and tell’ with on Sunday can plot to rob your home with their criminal pals on Monday in an extreme example.

    Or in this instance, the gun owner flubs the field strip procedure and nearly kills someone.Most of you guys out there already understand what comes next, but ill post it anyway;The momentum toward states recognizing our 2nd Amendment rights will stop cold and reverse the other way at lightspeed the day a child is shot because some negligent imbecile let one go in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  20. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    This is disturbing. I may never touch an unholstered weapon around other people (outside of a range) again.

    I have on occasion shown my firearm to others but only after dropping the mag and racking the slide one-two-three times and then opening the action and showing them the empty chamber. Still, I only need to forget that one time…

  21. avatar Frank west says:

    Showing off guns in CHURCH, this world is going to hell!

    1. avatar Olu says:

      Well, most evangelicals will not agree with you. They need their guns to ensure that when Christ returned to Earth, he is not crucified again. Dumbos, all of them!

  22. avatar Greg says:

    In the military, they drilled us so intensely on weapon safety that I would never dream about pulling a trigger ‘for fun’, and for ‘dry firing’ only at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Maybe demand that all gun buyers to complete a weekend of weapon safety drills beforehand.

  23. avatar nogods says:

    Important gun fact: despite what you may read in media reports, they don’t just “go off.” Ever.

    Overstatements never bode well for credibility. Detroit would have you believe the same thing about cars – they never have a mechanical defect that contributes to an accident.

    Cigarettes don’t cause cancer. Guns can’t be defective. Really honey, it is my first time. They all belong in the same myth basket. Facts be damn, it sounds so cool and authoritative to say “they don’t just “go off.” Ever.”

    1. avatar Frank west says:

      No one should be handling and showing guns in a church environment, it is just not the place for it. In fact, no one should be fooling with guns around any large gathering of people, period! Very very poor judgment that resulted in Death!

      1. avatar Scott says:

        So you are saying, “nobody should be fooling with guns around any large gathering of people, period!!!” My response to that is merely, Gun Shows?????? Are you stupid? The point no gods is making is merely the fact that adding infinitism to a statement is almost always inherently wrong.

  24. I don’t get it. What is Zambrana’s background/occupation and why is he dressed like a cop in the picture?

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      It might be because he works as security at the church as well. I run the sound system at my church and I keep an eye on the doors and along the outer walkways. When I user/greet people, during the service I make rounds in the parking lot and adjacent properties.

      While I don’t necessarily gear up like he does, I do CC. I’m not the only one.

  25. avatar Eric says:

    Never suppose to take firearms to churches, schools, bars, hospitals and countless other places. It’s against CHL licensing in most states.

    NEVER hand a gun to someone without clearing and visually checking for live rounds.

    NEVER take a gun handed to you without checking and clearing the gun. It doesn’t matter if you watch the other person do it in front of you. You always do it yourself !!

    Senseless killing… did not have to happen….100% avoidable if the 3 people had followed common sense CHL training. I doubt Moises Zambrana practices with the gun…because he would never have done what he did.

  26. avatar Eric says:

    Several states require NO TRAINING…just fill the form out, pay $10 and get your CHL. Texas requires a full day of training and followup training/certification. I will stop carrying if I don’t practice at the range. You have to be comfortable or else you risk your life and those around you.

    100% avoidable accident.

  27. avatar Scott says:

    I agree that the gun owner was a complete idiot for not properly clearing his weapon before handling it. Please don’t portray your ignorant opinion as fact, though. Having handled firearms for more than 20 years, I can tell you without a doubt than a dropped weapon can discharge. I don’t believe this had anything to do with this case, however. Stick to the facts.

  28. avatar Bob Chessman says:

    Sad thing is, Moises Zambrana surely didn’t think when he got up that Sunday morning that he’d snuff out a life by his carelessness. I carry a firearm with me everywhere. I never take my gun out to show anyone, anywhere and at any time. My weapon is meant to protect my life and those around me and if I take it out, it’s for that purpose only.

  29. avatar Amy says:

    You guys i know this guy personaly and he is a great guy. im sure he’s out there wishing that he could erase his mistakes while ur out here making him feel even worse. This guy is one of the nicest guys ive ever met in my short existince. it was a genuine accident and hes sorry. when will you guys ever understand?

    1. avatar Chuck says:

      Funny, the nicest people I know have never shot anyone in the head.

  30. avatar Lime Green Medic says:

    The most delicious irony here is that the pistol Zambrana discharge was a Ruger, NOT A GLOCK.


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