LA Times: Bob Owens Was Right. Handguns Without External Safeties And “Light Trigger Pulls” Increase the Probability Police Negligent Discharges


You may recall that blogger Bob Owens recently penned a post for Mr. Owens asserted that cops shouldn’t carry GLOCKs. “The underlying problem with these pistols is a short trigger pull and the lack of an external safety,” he wrote. Needless to say, a significant proportion of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia begged to differ with Bob’s “blame the gun for negligent discharges” editorial. Hot on the heels of that debacle, and perhaps not coincidentally, the LA Times has published Rise in accidental gunshots by L.A. County deputies follows new firearm . . .

One sheriff’s deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.

Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room.

Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally injuring deputies. The jump coincides with the department’s move to a new handgun that lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger.

Sheriff’s officials say that the increase in accidental discharges — from 12 in 2012 to 30 last year — occurred because deputies were adjusting to the new gun. They expect the numbers to fall in the years ahead. So far this year, the department has recorded seven accidental discharges, five of which involved the new weapon.

The gun(s) in question: the none-too-wonderful Beretta 92F (with external safety, front, above) and the sublime Smith & Wesson M&P9 (without external safety, in the background above). The official police response to the increased ND’s: more training.

Right answer! Unfortunately, writer Cindy Chang rushes headlong from this factoid to demonize safety-less striker-fired handguns with “light trigger pulls.” Including a shout-out to their former freelance contributor.

. . . the sharp increase in accidental discharges has prompted an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general. Critics say this type of semiautomatic, which is widespread in law enforcement and includes the Glock used by many agencies, is too easy to misfire.

At the New York Police Department, a rookie officer is facing criminal charges, including negligent homicide, in a fatal shooting in a housing project stairwell. An attorney for the officer says he accidentally fired his department-issued Glock.

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was paralyzed when his 3-year-old son shot him with a Glock has sued the gun manufacturer and others, alleging that the light trigger pull and lack of a safety mechanism contributed to the accident.

Bob Owens, editor of, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.

As many commentators pointed out in the previous “GLOCKs are too dangerous for trained cops and, by extension, anyone else” kerfuffle, this line of thinking demonizes guns in general. Not good. For gun rights, that is.

Luckily, Chang redresses the balance with some entirely reasonable reporting on LA cops’ firearms training, including the benefit accrued to female police officers by the Smith & Wesson handgun. In fact, despite the misleading headline and Owens’ quote, the overall article covers the subject – of firearms training – well enough. I wonder what impression non-gun guy readers take away from the piece . . .


  1. avatar Hank says:

    I am my external safety. I’ve never had a negligent discharge of my Glock, but the only negligent discharge I ever witnessed was a guy with a big thumb safety and poor training.

    1. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

      Yup and I’ve installed a 3.5 lbs trigger on my EDC G19

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        From another story on this so-called “problem”:

        “L.A. County sheriff’s deputies learning to shoot the Beretta were taught to rest a finger on the trigger as soon as they took aim. The mantra was ‘on target, on trigger.’ ” (Link to this story):

        So, for years they taught the cops to immediately register their finger onto the trigger as the gun comes up on-target, then they are surprised when ADs/NDs go up after they transition to a pistol that has a significantly shorter and lighter trigger pull.

    2. avatar gjohn says:

      I enjoy learning all i can..I’ve had a gun permit for almost 16 yrs.I carry a Glock and have never had any problems at all.That said,i don’t listen to anyone who says not to carry a certain firearm.If there was a problem with Glocks they wouldn’t still be in business.I think Bob Owens is one of those with an really big ego,ugh,

    3. avatar arsh says:

      You may never have had a negligent discharge, but weekly TTAG is posting about some idiot glock owner who didn’t handle their firearm correctly. And yes the gun didn’t go off on it’s own, but glocks are inherently less safe thanks to the lack of a formal safety with the standard uneducated owner compared to say an XD with a grip safety. This is actually the first article TTAG has defending glocks and it makes me laugh because if they read their own articles they’d realize most negligent discharges they post about prove this theory right.

      1. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

        Whether you like Glocks or not you still can’t blame the firearm for piss poor training/discipline. It’s the same thing the shirt waivers do.

        1. avatar arsh says:

          As stated a billion times before, Glock’s aren’t directly the problem, most of it lies on their owners. That said clearly the owner base isn’t competent enough to only handle the single trigger “safety” and they should really be doing more to adjust that (like a grip safety). Blaming your stupid owners wont change the fact that it keeps happening. Seatbelts might not be needed but because too many people are too stupid to not crash means we have them. Just because a glock won’t go off without a dumb owner doesnt mean they shouldnt fix their safety system by making it more idiot proof because clearly glock owners arent competent enough to figure it out on their own. XD ND reported on TTAG 0 Glock infinite.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Seatbelts might not be needed but because too many people are too stupid to not crash means we have them.

          That isn’t a proper comparison because there are more automobiles and operators on the road than just one. A handgun would have to be passed around and gripped by a slew of people each day for the comparison to even come close. If the only dangers of a crash came from a sole operator then seatbelts might indeed be superfluous. As it stands, it is not just yourself to be concerned with crashing but also all of those other drivers (and animals like deer) around you crashing into you or forcing you into something else.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          However, we need to understand where we are and where we want to be.

          Let’s suppose (try to withhold your laughter for a moment) that the PotG were uniformly safety-obsessessive-compulsive and trained to the highest standards. Then, of course, there would be no NGs or very nearly no NGs. To the extend that this characterization were true then we wouldn’t have to worry about the “seat-belt” analog for guns.

          Let’s get a little closer to reality. There are plenty of PotG who are under-trained and under-disciplined. Moreover, there are gun owners who we would rather not count among us who aren’t trained at all or don’t have much of any sort of discipline let alone in the 4 rules. These guys are causing NGs and every one of them is reported in the local news. It doesn’t matter that these are few in number relative to the civilian gun inventory, population or any other metric; these incidents scare the hoplophobes. What does scaring the hoplophobes do for the advancement of gun-rights?

          To defend gun-rights we must – ultimately – expand the community of regular gun users. That goal will expand the number of PotG who are under-trained and under-disciplined. We will find that we are working at cross-purposes; on the one hand, increasing the number of newbies and on the other increasing the number of newspaper articles about NGs.

          It is nice to say that we need more thorough training. If that’s our only answer, then what do we tell our prospective new PotG members? Look, young-man/-lady, unless you are willing to pay for lots of professional training and submit yourself to plenty of scrutiny at the range in your gun-handling skills, you won’t be ready to assume the awesome duties of a gun-owner. We have to have a better answer.

          One better answer is choice-of-tool appropriate to the user’s needs. Holster; safety; DA/SA; revolver; perhaps some new technology.

          Another is continued refinement of our training so as to instill best-practice habits from the very beginning. E.g., I’ve modified a blue-gun by installing thumb-tacks in a knock-out cover plate as a trigger-discipline training aid. If – while holding my blue-gun – my finger drifts into the trigger guard it encounters the thumb-tacks. I’ve also installed a rubber catch to hold my finger in an indexed position on the slide.

        4. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          If someone is so undisciplined they can’t keep their finger off the go pedal they need to have multiple safes then I’m glad there are options for them. Arbitrarily labeling all Glock owners as stupid is a little much.

        5. avatar Bob h says:

          +1 I personally don’t like Glocks, but I would bet that no safety striker fired “glock type” guns are the most carried type of handgun in the US. And surprise! There aren’t hundreds of concealed carriers ND’ing themselfs and bystandards on a weekly basis.. it all comes down to training and familiarity with your firearm

        6. avatar Grindstone says:

          That said clearly the owner base isn’t competent enough to only handle the single trigger “safety” and they should really be doing more to adjust that (like a grip safety).

          And now you’ve demonstrated you have zero credibility.

        7. avatar Danilushka says:

          Sure but consider it this way.
          You cannot blame motorcycles for their higher accident rates but rather their operators. But they require more skill and experience from an operator to keep them as safe as autos per capita.
          So for any given, average operator in every day life and circumstance they are less safe and so are Glocks.
          Human nature is the problem not the Glock.
          If you are perfect in your treatment of all firearms all the time and always operate them by the rules and never ever put your finger on the trigger until you are pointing at what you intend to shoot no matter the circumstances or your state of mind, Glocks is as safe as any firearm.
          Some people cannot live up to that and any firearm they handle that fails to account for that is eventually less safe in general than one that has other safeguards they have to by pass to shoot themselves or others in their negligence.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Uh, no. Most of the Glock NDs written about here occur during cleaning. Glock requires a trigger press to take down the gun (unlike some other striker-fired pistols like the M&P which do not). When people do not clear the Glock prior to cleaning, the gun goes boom. It has nothing to do with the “light trigger” or lack of a safety.

      3. avatar seans says:

        How do you explain every ND that the military has with the M9 and M4/M16 which have a manual safety. How is having a grip safety going to prevent someone from having a ND.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          The grip safety probably isn’t the solution to the majority of NGs; however, if it is a solution to a significant minority then its worth considering.

        2. avatar Danilushka says:

          If the military used Glocks, there would be even more because every one of those military NDs required them to by pass more safety procedures than they;d have to by pass with a Glock. The more safety “hoops” to jump though, the fewer people get through them all to an ND. It is human nature and probability. I am not anti-Glock (though I don’t prefer them), but I believe any design that requires more safety procedure and effort on the part of the operator than others will result in more accidents through negligence than others.

    4. avatar int19h says:

      Anecdotes are not data. That’s precisely why we need to collect statistics like these, and base decisions on said statistics. You can’t wave the problem away by saying “well, they should just train more”.

      1. This is not something that needs statistical data like the stock market. If I can unload my GLOCK 19, verify empty chamber, break the trigger in order to field strip it, or dry practice without a negligent discharge, every single time from three years ago through the end of time, the gun is not the problem.
        The trick is not doing it safely 100,000 times, but doing safely once and repeating the process every single time to 100,000 and beyond.

    5. avatar Jon says:

      Largest Sheriff’s Office in the country had 30 NDs in 2014. The LASD has over 7,000 deputies and 30 are dumb asses or approximately .5%. Sounds like a training issue or reassignment to non-firearm carrying duties for those 30.

  2. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

    Maybe they should train their officers to keep their fingers off the bang switch.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Exactly. In each above case if they had not had their finger on the trigger at the moment of the ‘accident’ each would not have happened.

      Though, I suppose a 12# double action trigger ‘might’ have made it harder for the toddler to pull the trigger…that said it should have never have gotten to that point in the first place and really has NOTHING to do with safety of gun itself.

      On the other hand, we’ve seen how ‘safe’ those heavy DA triggers are to bystanders in NY when LEs starting shooting…

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Governmentknowsbest, it’s a little too late for that; they’ve actually been teaching cops to do the opposite. From another story on this so-called “problem”:

        “L.A. County sheriff’s deputies learning to shoot the Beretta were taught to rest a finger on the trigger as soon as they took aim. The mantra was ‘on target, on trigger.’ ” (Link to this story):

        So, for years they taught the cops to immediately register their finger onto the trigger as the gun comes up on-target, then they are surprised when ADs/NDs go up after they transition to a pistol that has a significantly shorter and lighter trigger pull.

    2. avatar Stratajema says:

      Don’t make the false assumption that all officers are trainable.

    3. avatar Danilushka says:

      People make mistakes, especially in while conducting operations.
      Shouldn’t engineers designing machines consider that?
      Most modern designers do in fact.
      We admit the problem is people, but machines need to be designed for the real people using them day in and day out, not the ideal perfect person who never makes a mistake in haste or complacency in 10,000 repititions.

  3. avatar Hu Crs says:

    We know we’re in a bad way when we start taking firearm advice from the LA Times

  4. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    Blaming the Glock for the NYC stairwell shooting seems inconsistent with the fact that (as reported by TTAG) all NYPD handguns feature 12 pound DAO triggers.

    1. avatar Parnell says:

      True. The stairwell shooting was by a rookie, paired with another rookie (bad combo) who had his finger on the trigger and reflexively shot. It’s not the gun, it’s the training and lack of practice that pervades the NYPD. As a kid I used to go to the City Island range with my dad. It was always crowded. Now if I go with my brother-in-law, there’s never a wait for a lane.

    2. avatar Sian says:

      They should be signing up that rookie for a NY SWAT sharpshooter position. If he can centerpunch a guy while panicking in a dark stairwell with a 12lb NY trigger imagine hat he can do with a model-70 and a braced position.

      On second thought let’s not.

  5. avatar ST says:

    The grim, nasty reality is proper training costs money. Money city agencies would rather spend on new furniture for the Chiefs office. Better half the troops shoot themselves then dare allocate 500 rounds of practice per person; cause then you’d have to do without a take home Suburban truck for the command staff.

    As the military illustrates it is easy to ND even a “safer” Beretta 92 if you avoid training your people.

    1. avatar John E> says:

      500 hundred rounds? that’s what I do in a week.

    2. avatar bob says:

      Do they not teach the po-po the 4 rules?

      Booger hook off the bang switch…’nuff said.

      1. avatar Retired LEO. says:

        A lot of academies & training have been forced to cut back to increase the touchy feely PC training +the amount of criminal law.
        Sort of like the military cutting back and having the training that used to be included in basic be done at company level. Police instructors & armorers are spread even thinner than military, I know one instructor that covers 5 departments. He’s a retired officer and NRA instructor also, makes the side money teaching CCW classes we both do LE for free. For those that think we make fortunes in retirement are welcome to swap with me.

      2. avatar DJ9 says:

        bob, the’ve actually been teaching them the opposite for years.
        From another story on this so-called “problem”:

        “L.A. County sheriff’s deputies learning to shoot the Beretta were taught to rest a finger on the trigger as soon as they took aim. The mantra was ‘on target, on trigger.’ ” (Link to this story):

        So, for years they taught the cops to immediately register their finger onto the trigger as the gun comes up on-target, then they are surprised when ADs/NDs go up after they transition to a pistol that has a significantly shorter and lighter trigger pull.

  6. avatar DJ says:

    I’m personally not a fan of striker fired sidearms without external safeties (but I thought the M&P had an external safety?). The “you have to pull the trigger to disassemble” part is problematic.

    In any case, personal preferences aside, thousands of people carry them every day without incident – so it’s clearly training. I wonder how many rounds the officers fired with their new weapon as part of the transition process.

    1. avatar Alex says:

      Why is that problematic? Drop the magazine, rack the slide (a couple more times just for fun), and then follow procedure to remove the slide.

      No problems if you do it the right way.

    2. avatar John E> says:

      You can get the m&p with an external safety. I like my sig’s with hammers and the decocker. Glocks, never cared for that ugly brick.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      The “you have to pull the trigger to disassemble” part is problematic.

      Yup, DJ, I consider that a design defect because it creates an additional opportunity for an ND. Fortunately, the M&P does not require a trigger press for field stripping.

    4. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I don’t get this argument.

      In the Army I carried a C-7 (M-16A1.5). The basic safety check, performed prior to cleaning (and after being handed a rifle, and pretty much at all other times) was to drop the mag, pull the cocking handle back twice (why twice? because if you forgot to remove the mag, the two rounds flying out of the chamber would remind you), checking the chamber on the second pull, then point the rifle in a safe direction and dry-fire the trigger. This procedure also translates nicely to the Glock – you don’t pull the trigger without ensuring that the gun is unloaded and you only dry-fire in a safe direction. I mean, you don’t clean a loaded gun, right? That makes no sense.

    5. avatar Karl says:

      I’m not sure that firing rounds is the type of training required. It seems that most NDs occur in a stress environment while removing the firearm. Perhaps that should be emphasised in the training not just shooting.

  7. avatar STan says:

    Glocks have a light trigger pull?!?! My G19 trigger feels like a 10 pound pull.

    1. avatar Red In Texas says:

      Learn to feel the reset, and ride the trigger. You’ll notice the 10lb feel goes away instantly.

    2. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

      That’s why I swapped ’em

  8. avatar Roscoe says:

    “I wonder what impression non-gun guy readers take away from the piece”

    It’s of little consequence; non-gun guys (and gals) are unlikely to have enough interest in the topic to comprehensively read the whole thing, and their take away ill likely incorporate the anti-gun tones of ‘guns bad’ so prominently promoted by all the leftists in CA media and government, an the Cool-ad progressive liberal sheeple who dominate so much of the CA body politic.

    Folks of the gun and those well experienced with gun handling and use will probably react with a…’meh!’.

  9. avatar Gordo says:

    It really irritates me that in California I cannot buy an M&P because it’s not on the roster of “safe” handguns but entire police departments are equipped with them. Goes to show the hypocrisy of CA gun laws.

    1. It’s worse than hypocrisy.

    2. avatar BlueBronco says:

      That is why Ronnie Barret has California etc. on his despots list and will not sell .50 BMG rifles nor parts to any agency in those states.

    3. avatar Accur81 says:

      CA gun laws are really more about oppression than hypocrisy.

  10. avatar Rick K says:

    IMHO, the current striker fired handguns aren’t much different than the S&W and Colt service revolvers of old except a longer, perhaps harder pull. ND is a function of having your finger in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  11. avatar Joe R. says:

    Gun safety (gun compatibility and gun happiness) is not why the LATimes ran this story. Get off the shoulder of the road on this argument, and let’s not give the LATimes more pull than it can muster on its own.

  12. avatar mdc says:

    Just give them Decocker versions and be done with it. The Smiths Gen 3s were the right tool. Actually CZs Duty pistol should work.

  13. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Dig deeper, NG are the result of slack training but I submit its about the price point of the Glock as well. Glocks marketing, lower cost, and used pricing placed these weapons in law enforcements hands as well.

    Higher mag capacity, light trigger, and when in doubt shoot it out, all contribute to NG and higher incident of citizen being shot.

  14. If you run around with your finger on the trigger, you’re doing it wrong. So let’s put a device on the gun that keeps it from firing when you wrongly run around with your finger pressing the trigger.
    If it is the gun’s fault, why don’t they just have single action only revolvers?
    Bob is right. But it isn’t the gun stupid. It is the stupid with the gun.

    1. avatar William says:

      Because they’d buy them without transfer bars to save money and load six instead of five.

  15. avatar NDS says:

    SLMPD “fixed” this by issuing DAO Beretta 92’s and it is the singularly worst crap I have ever shot.

    Luckily the St. Louis police aren’t allowed to defend themselves lest they have their lives destroyed or freedom taken, so it’s nbd

  16. avatar ThomasR says:

    Don’t be such a hater. “None too wonderful Beretta 92F”. ?

    I qualified as expert with that particular model when carrying it as private gate security at a military base. Never failed to feed, never failed to eject, always went bang when squeezing the trigger.

    Oh, that heavy DA first shot and light SA subsequent shots? Just took some extra training, no biggy.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Never failed to feed, never failed to eject, always went bang when squeezing the trigger.

      That’s been my personal experience. 92s make every single 1911 I have ever had personal experience with look sick, yet there are legions of JMBheads who diss them. Personally, I think in many cases it’s defensiveness.

      Mileages varying from person to person, I personally don’t like the DA/SA, but the answer to THAT for me (YMMV) was to go with a CZ with safety.

  17. avatar Will P. says:

    +1 for Beretta 92. I have shot Glocks and S&Ws and always go back to my Beretta 92FS it just shoots better to me. While the FS does have an external safety(which I actually prefer) I carry most of the time hammer down and safety off, so the first round is DA, and all after are SA. But for those opposed to external safeties there is the G model that has no safety just a decocker.

    1. avatar RenegadeDave says:


      Safety won’t engage unless hammer is locked back. Decocker models available.

      1. avatar Will P. says:

        I like the ability to put the safety on with the hammer down. I’m not a fan of passive safeties like mag disconnects, but for some reason I like the ability to click on a safety when I’m not using/carrying the gun. I guess it just comes from the way I was always taught growing up hunting, you always carry your rifle/shotgun with the safety on. If you are used to it, it’s not any slower on a snap shot, there are a many a dead birds, squirrels, deer, and cotton mouth that attest to that.

  18. avatar JD says:

    None of the guns went boom without the trigger being pulled. What is so hard about keeping your finger off the trigger? All an external saftey is going to do is reinforce poor handling. If an officer can’t learn proper safe use then they shouldn’t be on the force.

    1. avatar arsh says:

      Glocks could also just add a grip safety like XDs which interfere with handling zero and make it so you have to hold it to fire for it to fire.

    2. avatar DJ9 says:

      JD, what is so hard about keeping their finger off the trigger, is that they’ve been teaching them to do the exact opposite for years. From another story on this so-called “problem”:

      “L.A. County sheriff’s deputies learning to shoot the Beretta were taught to rest a finger on the trigger as soon as they took aim. The mantra was ‘on target, on trigger.’ ” (Link to this story):

      So, for years they taught the cops to immediately register their finger onto the trigger as the gun comes up on-target, then they are surprised when ADs/NDs go up after they transition to a pistol that has a significantly shorter and lighter trigger pull.

  19. avatar arsh says:

    I have to disagree with TTAG because TTAG is constantly pointing out that Glocks are the main offender in negligent discharge cases. Yes it’s always an idiot owners fault but what do they own, glocks, and why do they have problems, because there is no formal safety.

    I’d like to see cops test XD’s as mandatory with stats for a while. With the grip safety there is no “accidental discharge” an XD cannot fire unless held in the firing position which means no accidents. If a cop “accidentally” shoots he meant to, none of this blame the gun crap that glocks have 24/7

    1. avatar CM says:

      there’s no such thing as an “accidental discharge”. Negligent discharge. And I have had an ND with my XD, even though it has an external grip safety. I was tired, I was distracted and when I went to clear my firearm I had a full grip high on the back strap fully engaging said safety. I violated rule #3 due to the aforementioned distraction and put a round into my get home bag in the trunk of my car. fortunately rule#2 minimized the damage and only my pride was wounded. External safeties are a feature, and you can still have an ND with them.

    2. No argument from me. Glocks are inherently less safe, however, they are more useful in a defense situation. There is a balance between safety and readiness. I choose to be more ready and depend on my knowledge of what is in my holster for the safe aspect. DRAWPOINTSHOOT!!! Done.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      TTAG is constantly pointing out that Glocks are the main offender in negligent discharge cases.

      No, the NDs have nothing to do with a safety or a light trigger. Some have to do with cleaning, which requires a trigger press — and if some moron doesn’t clear the gun first, there is that nasty, unexpected boom. Some have to do with idiots running around with their fingers on the trigger.

      Rule #3 (Jeff Cooper’s “Golden Rule:” Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.

      Violate that rule at your peril — with any gun.

  20. I am not a firearms instructor, not professionally anyway. But when I have a noob, or a class of them, the first thing I am going to ask is “What is the most important part of the firearm?” I will get all kinds of answers like the trigger, the barrel, the safety, the bullets. Then I will say “the trigger guard”. Why is it there? It must have a purpose. Some people act like it is there to keep your finger ON the trigger. Some people might think it is there to protect your trigger finger from a knife wielding attacker. The reason for the trigger guard is to prevent negligent discharges when holstering, carrying or if you drop the gun. The trigger guard IS a safety, but only if treated as such. Rule 4: (my number 1) do not touch the trigger until sights are on the target and you are ready to fire.

  21. avatar Ken says:

    Glocks are the main offender because there are more of them in use than any other gun. It is not a gun problem at all but a training problem.

  22. avatar ReadMore says:

    Would you carry a double action revolver everywhere in single action? What is the fundamental difference between a glock and a cocked .38spl? Yeah, some people might claim bravado because the “only safety they need is between their ears” but the fact is that the risks DO go up if the trigger pull lighter. Striker guns without safeties just have potential for NDs. It least on a 1911, you have an option to be safer.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Cocked DA revolvers have a trigger of about two pounds. Glocks have a trigger of about 5.5 pounds. So no, there is no comparison.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        – As Ralph points, out the trigger pull is double on the Glock compared to a cocked revolver.

        – The pull length on the Glock is much more than on the cocked revolver.

        – The Glock can’t go off from smacking the non-existent hammer.

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        So, there’s a difference, a difference that matters in terms of safety, between a 5.5 lb pull and a 2 lb pull? You’d be unwilling to carry a cocked revolver? Why? Can’t you just rely on “keep your finger off the trigger, moron?”

        Why is the dividing line there, rather than somewhere between gun-with-safety-lever and gun-without-safety-lever?

        Honestly the position is not logically coherent. NO ONE bitches about drop safeties and goes around yelling, “Just don’t drop your gun, idiot!” But snag something in your safety-leverless Glock’s trigger guard and it can’t possibly be an inherently more hazardous design, oh no.

      3. avatar Gunr says:

        I can’t imagine someone carrying a DA revolver with the hammer cocked. Accident waiting to happen!

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Which is precisely the point.

    2. avatar RenegadeDave says:

      I really don’t think this is a good analogy.

      Glocks are about as safe as a DA revolver with the hammer down.

  23. avatar Some Dude says:

    Attention Police Officers: Guns are dangerous. This has apparently just been discovered by the press. So remember: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, don’t point your gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy, be sure your target is a target before you point a gun at it and remember that your gun is definitely loaded.

    It’s completely idiotic to beat on cops generically about gun safety specifically. As far as I can tell the nation’s police draw their guns a collective thousands of times a day and ND a collective few times a year. For all the shit I give them about who and when they shoot they’re actually doing really well on the gun safety thing. They very nearly always shoot on purpose when they shoot. I suggest this is one area where people climb down out of the cop-ass just a tad because as far as the data points, it’s a non-issue.

  24. avatar MarkPA says:

    The first thing that struck me from this article is the transparency of the debate.

    Imagine a world where only the police were armed. There would be NGs. They would all be thoroughly investigated by Internal Affairs and the conclusions reported to the agency chief. The Chief’s determination would be published in a short snippet on the 16th page of the local mainstream media – hard-copy edition. “The gun went off; officer retired to normal duty”.

    What would society learn?

    Return to the real world of 21st century America. Every ND appearing anywhere in on the internet is subjected to the scrutiny of thousands of qualified commentators many of whom are very highly skilled trainers of police and proficient users. The merits and demerits of each alternative mechanical and training alternative is debated – in fact flogged – until every bit of truth and falsehood is identified.

    The culprits in NDs are excoriated by photos and narratives in The Negligent Discharge of the Day; comparable to a public crucification in serving as a warning to those who might follow in his footsteps.

    Which do we – as Americans – prefer:
    – opacity in the gun debate; or,
    – transparency of gun safety.

  25. avatar scooter says:

    Four rules. Done. Moving on.

    1. avatar JohnF says:

      Sorry, that’s just wrong. I have spent some time in the safety business and that is like saying “Give a pilot a checklist and all air travel will be safe. Done. Move on.” The four rules are essential, but they are procedural. System safety looks at everything from beginning to end: design, manufacture, training, common use, uncommon use, etc.

      And how can anyone argue that a gun with a shorter, lighter trigger pull is not somewhat more hazardous to handle than one with a longer, heavier pull? Would you be OK with one pound triggers on police guns? The same four rules would apply, but you would see NDs spike like crazy.

      No one is saying strikers are “unsafe” or that no one should use them. They are just saying they require greater adherence to the four rules. If a population of users continually shows they are having too many NDs with a certain type gun, then maybe the requirements of handling that gun safely exceed what we can expect from that population. This is System Safety 101, safety the way safety pros do it.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Very well and professionally put.

  26. avatar Joey Madds says:

    Most cops are not gun guys. (At leat the ones I know) this makes them view their firearm as just another tool on there belt. They never take the time to learn the gun intimately like the avarage gun owing citizen in this country does. The lack of passion leads to a lack of familiarity with their firearm. Lack of familirity leads to bumbling carelessness. It souldn’t take a hundred hours and thounds of rounds of live fire to burn the proper stepts for handling a firearm into muscle memory. Dry fire exercises alone can go a long way to help avoid a (just plain idioic) ND.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Most cops are really not that interested or good with guns. Sorry.

  27. avatar Swarf says:

    “More training.”

    Here’s your more training: Keep your finger off the trigger, shithead.

    1. avatar Tommy G says:

      Locks also have a history of going off WITHOUT putting your finger on the trigger. I seen several reports of people getting there shirt or jacket inside the trigger guard and shooting themselves in the leg. See this video (which if I remember correctly I saw for the first time here on tag)

      1. avatar Retired LEO. says:

        Had it happen with a tiebreaker with string, no longer carry ta Glock with Blackhawk.only holsters that I can use a glokblock & thumbbreak

  28. avatar Retired LEO. says:

    M&P’s are available with thumb safety & no mag safety in. 40 for sure as I have one. It would help if Glock stopped advertising Safe Action Pistol, It does make a lot of people new to firearms think that bang switch rule is unnecessary. That is based on people coming in for first time CCW classes among a few instructors. Most made the decision to purchase Glock based on 1 of 3 things; LE use, gun clerk suggested or used trade-in price. Last 2 were major determiners.

    For 1st time purchasers I suggest either an FNP, X or an XD simply because they fit 99% of them & force the hand into a higher grip, just my experience with first timers, to each his own.

    Also remember the more a weapon is fired the springs tend to lighten amount it takes to pull. Called break-in period, if you’re buying a used any brand have a gun Smith or armorers install new recoil & trigger springs at a minimum.

  29. avatar daniel l says:

    Ummm glocks never ever have to be cleaned. If people are too dumb to clear the weapon before cleaning, just put in the glock manual that the gun needs new night sightz and cleaning once a decade, from a licensed glock gunsmith lol

  30. avatar GA Koenig says:

    COMMENT DELETED – Turning this into a separate post.


  31. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Lets stop arguing about if the GLOCK is “safe” enough for the police to use and agree on better alternatives. I would love to see ca cops walking around with S&W model 10 revolvers on their hip and an Ithaca 37 in the car.

    1. avatar Retired LEO. says:

      Model 64 or 66 or a model 28. I know agencies that still have Ithacas in the trunks. Better than any current 870 out there.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        Those guns would actually work for the cops on a day to day basis.

    2. avatar J says:

      S. CROCK

      How about you lead the way or STFU about what other people include officers should carry!!!!!

      1. avatar S.CROCK says:

        I would gladly OC a model 10 but these negligent officers would shoot me. And hey I’m only thinking officer safety when I recommended those options that worked for so many years. If they are to irresponsible to handle the 5.5ish pound trigger pull and they are able to keep their job then the heavy DA pull on the model 10 is a good option.

        Have a good day.

  32. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    I dunno. Perhaps officers with ND issues should be required to carry a .38 Special revolver and keep their bullet in their pocket…

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I would not give them a real gun.

  33. avatar Silver says:

    Stopped reading at LA Times. I had my fill of comedy today.

  34. avatar CoolHand says:

    Bob Owens is an idiot from NY who has never fully grasped what it is like to live in a free state.

    His cowed slave state mentality shows though in the assumptions he makes in his writing, even though I doubt he knows it’s happening.

    He does People of the Gun and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms a disservice every time he publishes an article, specially when it’s in a liberal rag like the LA Times.

    Bob’s the blogger version of that former gun dealer that writes for Mom’s Wishing for Some Action, only Bob doesn’t realize what he’s doing.

  35. avatar 2Asux says:

    Phhuuuulllllease! With enough training, everyone would drive properly, there would be statistically negligible mechanical failures, and we would not need any of the dozens of safety features in new cars (because everyone DOES NOT drive properly).

    However, thought one line of argument in the article somehow seemed to lead to the conclusion that having a manual safety would address the finger in the trigger guard problem. Manual safeties will never help keep one’s finger off the trigger. And once the first round is fired, everyone’s finger will remain on the trigger during follow-through to the next round. Even Jerry M. cannot manage his rapid shooting if he brings the trigger finger alongside the frame between shots.

  36. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I am a fan of real safeties. And that’s all got…

  37. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Bob Owens, editor of, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.
    We could issue the cops toy guns, then at least the dogs would be safe.

  38. avatar Jon says:

    Largest Sheriff’s Office in the country had 30 NDs in 2014. The LASD has over 7,000 deputies and 30 are dumb asses or approximately .5%. Sounds like a training issue or reassignment to non-firearm carrying duties for those 30.

    1. avatar ihatetrees says:

      I wonder how LA law enforcement deals with (otherwise law abiding) non-LEO citizen NDs? Are people charged? Do they get their firearms taken?

      Some jurisdictions in the People’s Republic of NY have charged non-LEOs with FELONIES for NDs. You have to lawyer up and threaten to go to trial to avoid losing your firearms rights for good. Even then, you can probably wave your NY State pistol permit goodbye.

      1. avatar Jon says:

        IDK about California, but in Texas it would be an accident unless a third party was injured and recklessness was involved, than that might lead to something if the injured person wanted to press it. It is really up to the injured person if there is one in the ND otherwise chalked up as a ND. If a death is involved could go to involuntary manslaughter I guess.

  39. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘The gun(s) in question: the none-too-wonderful Beretta 92F…’

    I think I may have found the problem. Apparently the LA County deputies are running around with 30 year old pistols. Perhaps they should be checked out by a qualified gunsmith to make sure they’re in proper working order?

  40. avatar Dave says:

    Glocks, and other pistols that copy the Glock action, are as safe as they can possibly be. They can not fire on their own, they are drop safe, and they are sear failure safe. By definition, it is a “safe” handgun.

    An example of an actual unsafe pistol would be a pre-recall XDs. Yes, the one with the super safe grip safety.

    Manual/external safeties do not make a pistol “more” safe. They are nothing more than tacked on doodads that attempt to counter unsafe PEOPLE who handle the pistol. PEOPLE are unsafe, and external safeties are designed to mitigate that. It’s essentially a bandaid for poor firearms handling.

  41. avatar Tim says:

    I don’t understand your need to make this a binary issue. Either Glock Brand and non-Glock brand Glocks are more dangerous or officer training sucks. The real answer is both of these are true. I’m sorry Glock style pistols give less margin or error for handling compared to other designs. I own and carry pistols of this type, and if I have an ND, it is my fault, but let’s be honest, bolstering my PPQ, especially when their are cover garments around is one of the most dangerous tasks I do regularly.

    Cops can be responsible for their negligence and we can admit that Glocks present safety issues not found on some other pistol designs. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own a Glock, just be aware that an idiot is much more likely to unintentionally fire a Glock than Beretta 92.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email