So Steven and I roll up to American Firearms just before 6pm. We’re loaded for bear. Brand new Mossberg HS 410 with 100 rounds of Winchester PDX1 410 ammo (flyings discs and 12 BBs). Two mint Colt 1903s with 150 rounds of .32. ArmaLite AR-24 15C with 200 rounds of 9mm. High-end .22 target pistol and mondo ammo cache. Rock and roll. Sorry, closed. Who knew? Off to the Providence Revolver Club. The shotgun’s out, but Plan B is good enough for me. Uh-oh. Steven gave me a lift. My car keys are at home. On the same ring as . . . the gun locks. No Colts. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Those of you who share our firearms affliction know it’s easy enough to forget stuff; there’s so much of it. But there comes a time when you have to get your shit together and get your game face on. Specifically, when the guns come out. Especially when you’re in the company of convicted criminals . . .
Officials in a central Pennsylvania county say a correctional officer who was guarding an inmate at a hospital has been disciplined after leaving a loaded handgun inside a bathroom.
Mary Sabol, warden of York County Prison, says the officer had been relieved by another officer at York Hospital June 5 and decided to use the restroom in the prisoner’s room before he left. She says he removed his gun from his belt in violation of prison policy and left it in the restroom.
Sabol says the officer called the prison later, and the weapon was recovered within an hour.
The rest of the story at ydr.com is about accountability, or the lack thereof. (C’mon: its a union job.) Still, it’s worth pointing out that our IGOTD violated a primary though little discussed safety rule: maintain gun-specific situational awareness.
From the moment you remove a firearm from its home safe to the moment it returns there, know where it is. At no point should you lose physical or mental sight of the fact that you are responsible for a lethal weapon.
Rhode Island law is extremely helpful in that regard. Unless you have a concealed carry permit, you’re only permitted to take a firearm from your home to the gun range and back. No excursions. So you never really lose focus.
Of course, the law is also a huge PITA. I’d like to go from the range to a restaurant and then home. Maybe even stop at the gun store and pick up some ammo gasp! with the guns in the car.
I reckon I could handle the freedom. I understand that a gun left in a car must be locked, preferably chained to the vehicle. And if the gun’s in the car, automotive safety becomes paramount. I wouldn’t let the car out of my sight. You know; in theory.
But those of you who are not constricted by this kind of law know that with great freedom comes great responsibility. Your first responsibility: keeping an eye on your firearms. The PA screw screwed this one up big time. And what of parents who “accidentally” leave a loaded gun where children can find it? Same thing.