NY Range Safety Officer Killed by Negligent Discharge During USPSA Competition

From the Associated Press:

A 67-year-old man was killed by an “accidental discharge of a firearm” at a western New York gun club, authorities said.

Deputies were called to the Genesee Conservation League in Penfield at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sgt. Ken Weber told the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester that the man was shot at the club’s indoor range. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not released.

Wayne Cichetti, the president of the club’s board, said in a statement that the man was a member of the club and a certified range officer. Cichetti said the man was serving as a safety officer in a United States Practical Shooting Association competition and was struck with an accidental discharge from a competitor’s gun.

“Since the League’s formation in 1925, safety has always been our most important priority,” Cichetti said. “This is an extremely unfortunate accident and we are grieving the loss of a devoted member and friend.”

comments

  1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    Somebody broke the rules.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      The real question is, is that grounds for a prosecution, and how long a sentence could result?

      1. avatar Lew says:

        Minimum one year, maximum fifteen years in prison (New York Penal Law § 125.15, manslaughter in the second degree if one “recklessly causes the death of another person.”

        1. avatar Debbie W. says:

          That’s right put the shooter in jail who at this point may or may not have been careless. Never mind if someone who attended the gathering was accidentally killed on the way in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, etc. Would it receive receive headlines or is there hypocrisy because the tragedy involved a firearm?

          Rest assured if some polished competitor at such an event wanted to do harm intentionally there would be a never ending pile of bodies. Unfortunately a good man lost his life probably doing what he loved to do like those who have a zest for life and are willing to take a risk instead of laying around withering away in a fetal position.

        2. avatar Dev says:

          Debbie if someone was found negligent in a automobile accident they can be charged too. They don’t even have to be under the influence.

    2. avatar busybeef says:

      Nobody broke any rules.

      That’s why this is an accident, not negligent.

      Competitor dropped his gun while holstering before the timer even went off, gun fell and discharged.

      1. avatar guest says:

        Was it a p320?

        Non drop safe firearm sounds like negligence to me, if it was modified.

        1. avatar PistoleroJesse says:

          USPSA, so likely a double stack 1911 with a pinned gripsafety and a 1# trigger. Still the primary safety should have prevented discharge.

          So likely droped just after made ready and before holstered. I’m betting some one should have done more dry fire to familiarize themselves with their new space gun prior to taking it to a match. True tragedy.

          I could see there being a new rule for open guns having to undergo some kind of evaluation.

      2. avatar Tim says:

        “….dropped his gun….”
        Sounds kinda negligent.

        1. avatar Eat Aball says:

          You’re aware there’s a difference between accident and negligence.

          Negligence is a failure to take the level of care a normal person would. Normal people drop things all the time.

      3. avatar Glen says:

        Doesn’t NY have a firearm roster? To be approved for sale, doesn’t it have to meet a drop test?… hhmmm does that then mean they will pursue the manufacture?…. I noticed the beginning of the article “reported Sgt. Ken Weber told the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester “.

  2. avatar Snakeman says:

    No such thing as a “accidental discharge of a firearm”. It’s called a negligent discharge.

    1. avatar txJM says:

      Funny how USPSA and all these tryhards say the same thing, and then it happens to them and it’s suddenly “accidental”.

      Props to TTAG for keeping the spin going, too.

      1. avatar Ransom says:

        Look up “how to accidentally discharge your pistol properly”.

        1. avatar Ransom says:

          …on YouTube

        2. avatar Paul says:

          Found the video. Mechanical failure, but the weapon was pointed in a safe direction. So . . . lesson to be learned, don’t buy cheap weapons, and keep your weapons in proper working order. A $75 import might look good in the check book, but it won’t look good after it puts a hole where you don’t want a hole.

      2. avatar busybeef says:

        Sounds like you’re salty because you were too slow to classify as a D rank so you need to belittle the other shooters who are trying to be better today than they were yesterday.

        1. avatar Dev says:

          Relax tough guy, he’s right.

      3. avatar VSN says:

        Tryhard? Do conservatives not care about effort anymore?

    2. avatar red wolf says:

      Firing pin could have been possessed by demons and acted on its own.

      Gotta keep an open mind.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        Says the moron whose mommy taught him guns are evil

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          How do you guys have so much time and space in your head to remember which psuedonyms on a site are your nemesis?

        2. avatar Bcb says:

          I think that was a sarcastic comment for everyone wondering.

      2. avatar Country Boy says:

        Could have been a ricochet……… it doesn’t give much details in the article.

    3. avatar Gene says:

      Yes there is accidental discharge through gun failure. I’ve experienced it first hand.

      1. avatar Bobski says:

        But this isn’t fatal if the gun isn’t pointed at anyone. Accidental discharge, but still injury by negligence.

    4. avatar busybeef says:

      Wrong. Get your facts before spouting off on the internet.

      There is a clear difference between negligence and an accident.

      1. avatar Angry Dad says:

        No there isn’t – one lawyer’s opinion who aced torts a long time ago. If they are not intentional acts to bring about the event, they are accidental. Whether they are worthy of liability depends on whether they were negligent, that is, where a duty of care existed and was breached, and whether the harm was foreseeable and caused, by the defendant (and as well whether the harm was “proximately” caused by the actions, in other words, it may have been “but for” caused but so remote per the law as to not be appropriate to find liability; for example, shooter drove to range in Chevy, without which he wouldn’t have been there to shoot, is Chevy liable? Obviously not – see famous case LIRR v. Palsgraf, Cardozo, J.). These are all accidents, the question is whether there’s a sufficient reason to hold someone liable, for, on the spectrum, negligence, gross negligence, reckless or wanton or willful misconduct, or at the most extreme, a criminal act (and even there you have a range from involuntary manslaughter to voluntary manslaughter to the various stages of murder).

        1. avatar Heartland Patriot says:

          I see the problem. You are defining the terms “accidental” and “negligent” from a legal standpoint. Others on here are defining those terms from a shooting safety standpoint. In that case, an accidental discharge happens when the person does everything correctly by the “Four Rules of Safe Gun Handling”, but something happens like a broken part in the gun that no one could foresee. A negligent discharge happens when someone breaks one or more of the “Four Rules”.

        2. avatar Hush says:

          I think the man who owned the gun that discharged and killed the range officer should be interested in the comments by “Angry Dad”. I would think, at this time, the gun owner would be far more interested in the legal definitions. Accidental does not necessarily mean a person was negligent to the point of liability. E. g., if the gun had a drop safety that failed, is the owner liable? Is the gun manufacturer liable?

        3. avatar Ken says:

          Agree wholeheartedly. As firearms people, we shoot ourselves in the foot (so to speak, no pun intended) by using the word negligent rather than unintentional. And yes, it IS possible to have an “accidental” discharge and NOT be negligent. We set ourselves up for the adverse jury result when we universally use the word negligent.

        4. avatar Tarzan says:

          I have to believe a lot of the answers will be in any waiver that an official, and competitor sign to compete/attend, the match. It’s likely there is a civil suit, and the league has insurance coverage for its matches. A firearm can be pointed in a safe direction, and when it slips or drops from a persons hand, and falls onto the ground, it’s physics that will determine where the barrel ends up pointing, when the firearm discharges. It seems there is a whole bunch riding on the examination of the firearm that discharged, and killed the man. Handguns are not supposed to discharge when dropped. So either something broke or malfunctioned, or the firearm was deliberately adjusted, to bypass the drop safety feature. There will likely be multiple entities paying a settlement.

    5. avatar K80 says:

      Wtf is wrong with you?
      I’m sure the weight of the law will
      Be looking to charge someone.
      Do POTG need to be so accusatory?
      It’s like some people can’t wait to
      Level accusations and guilt
      With practically no information.
      Just like our fucking enemies
      Do. People like you are why
      A couple grand a year seems like a reasonable
      Expense to be able to shoot at a private range.

  3. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

    I’ll wait until I actually have some information about the incident before I engage in armchair quarterbacking.

    1. avatar red wolf says:

      No one cares about your opinion either way.

      1. avatar Void says:

        Irony the post

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Me too, but barring a ricochet, how can you muzzle sweep the RSO in USPSA?
      I didn’t think it was possible.

      You overrun a target, run backwards, and the RSO moves in front of you?

      1. avatar busybeef says:

        You can drop a gun while holstering.

  4. avatar Tired of the bs says:

    No matter the story that sucks. RIP

  5. avatar Crimson Fudd says:

    Define an “Accident”?

    Everytime I have ever heard of a gun going off when it wasn’t supposed to it was somebody doing something against the rules, behaving stupidly, mixing drink and shooting, or maybe an antique gun or a sloppy job of home gunsmithing.

    Always a human screwup that need not have happened.

    1. avatar RCC says:

      Crimson
      Most incidents are caused by people but
      I’ve seen 3 situations where mechanical failures cause guns (including an M60) to fire as they were loaded. As all were pointed down range at the time there was no problem aside from the unexpected noise.

    2. avatar busybeef says:

      Drop a gun and it discharges.
      That’s an accident.

      1. avatar Angry Dad says:

        Not if it’s a Glock, it’s expected. Not so for God’s Own Favorite Gun, a 1911 (JMB wasn’t middle-names “Moses” for nothing).

        1. avatar Ragnar says:

          I have seen many Glocks dropped, not one has ever discharged a round. The only NDs I have seen from a Glock is from a finger on the trigger.

  6. avatar Randy Jones says:

    Accidental shooting caused by negligence.
    No matter how you look at this, one of the four basic rules were broken. Probably not on purpose, I doubt this was intention. But it should be a reminder to all of us to stay alert to what is happening around us. There are five million (or more) new gun owners, some of which will be at the range with us. We need to stay alert and watchful. A range safety officer can get overloaded at times. Right or wrong doesn’t matter, it can happen. Just as we want to be our own first line of defense, we need to practice the same alertness on the range.

    1. avatar busybeef says:

      Of course you have all the facts because you were there, right?

  7. avatar Ammosexual says:

    Did the gun have a catastrophic failure and somehow through freak chance cause injury through an out of battery detonation or similar?

    If not, this is not an ‘accidental’ discharge, it’s a negligent one. Words mean things, and incorrect usage implies either ignorance or willful deception on the part of the author.

    1. avatar joeyj says:

      Regardless of why/how it went “bang”, it was pointed at something that presumably was not desired to be destroyed. One of the four most basic gun safely points was broken. Carelessness personified.

      1. avatar Angry Dad says:

        Pointed by whom, the Earth? Your comment makes little sense when the gun is mis-holstered and dropped and fired when it hits the ground.

      2. avatar Hush says:

        The 4 rules of gun safety are relative to a person “pointing”, etc. The article said this gun was dropped which leads one to believe at that point the gun was out of the owner’s control. So who or what actually did the pointing?

    2. avatar busybeef says:

      Yes. The gun fell while the competitor was holstering; under the supervision of the range officer.

      It discharged upon impact.

  8. avatar Ferg in Tahoe says:

    Condolences and Godspeed.

    1. avatar RayS says:

      I used to compete in IDPA, and considering the controls and safety measures, I can’t think of how this can happen.

      1. avatar busybeef says:

        Dropped gun after making ready while holstering; under the supervision of the RO; before the buzzer.

        I just got my IDPA RSO certification and this spooks me.

        1. avatar binder says:

          Did he drop and grab, or did it discharge after hitting the ground? If he was experienced, I truly hope it was not the former.

  9. avatar Stay away from the public ranges.... full of morons with guns says:

    Two morons found each other…..
    One reason to stay away from public ranges … anything from terrorists to morons frequenting those places…

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Why would you disparage the victim here? How do you know he did anything wrong?

    2. avatar busybeef says:

      The only moron here is you.

      1 – private range
      2 – private competition
      3 – experienced competitor under supervision of experienced RO

      Gun fell while holstering and discharged.

      Your lack of empathy here is revolting.

      The competitors life is ruined; the ROs family is distraught and everyone who witnessed this accident is scarred for life.

      But you’ll keep being a know it all internet tough guy from the comfort of your rascal scooter.

  10. avatar Peter says:

    I knew the gentleman who was shot, he was definitely not a moron, I probably knew the person who had the discharge, wasn’t there at the time, but the USPSA squad involved had very experienced shooters on it, again a tragedy for all involved but calling these people morons just proves you are one.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      And one of your “very experienced shooters” allowed his muzzle to flag someone else while he pulled the trigger. So he’s either a moron who broke at least 2 of the 4 (remarkably simple) rules of gun safety, or he’s a deliberate murderer.

    2. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

      If you find out the details it would be helpful so as not to duplicate it during our matches.
      Condolences on this as well.

    3. avatar painlessbob says:

      Dropping a firearm is negligent. At the very least, it violates the muzzle rule of gun safety. The trigger rule is sometimes violated, too. Depending on a “drop safety” is about as unsafe/negligent as depending on any other mechanical safety on a firearm. (Go ahead, chamber a round on a popular shotgun, apply your trigger-guard safety, place muzzle in mouth, and try to pull trigger.)

  11. avatar Shwiggie says:

    This is as good a place as any to repeat: 1) always treat the gun like it’s loaded, 2) don’t point it at what you aren’t shooting, 3) know the target and what’s in front of and behind it, 4) keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to shoot.

    This is what every shooter’s meeting before a competition is designed to mitigate, but it can never a sure thing as long as human beings are involved. What a shame. Prayers to those involved and their families, and remember the four rules.

    1. avatar red wolf says:

      Yeah, the people reading this aren’t likely to be twelve year olds, so the paternalistic condescension is uncalled for. You ain’t the boss.

    2. avatar Angry Dad says:

      No offense, those are great rules and I entirely agree that they always apply and you should always follow them, but nothing that happened here violated any of those rules if the accepted story is true that the gun was dropped while holstering and didn’t go off till it hit the ground.

      1. avatar painlessbob says:

        Dropping a gun (if that’s “all” that happened) sure as hell is negligent. Quick, where’s muzzle pointed once it leaves your hand, holster, case, or scabbard? That’s why dropping a gun earns a DQ.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Dropping a gun (if that’s “all” that happened) sure as hell is negligent.”

          *Sigh*

          There’s a concept known as ‘acceptable risk’ for an activity. Corner workers at racetracks understand this. Shit happens.

          Unless I’m mistaken, we’re talking New York state, here. Is the DA there the type out for a conviction just because a gun was involved, or is he/she/(other) willing to say prosecuting this is pointless, what’s done is done?

          That question matters a great deal to the event participant…

  12. avatar MB (the real MB) says:

    I feel for the man who lost his life and also the negligent competitor. Both families will suffer immensely. That being said I try to avoid all competitions and had been asked to be a range officer on a few occasions. I respectfully decline. Also I kind of avoid ranges where guys dressed in complete camo outfits show up, I usually pack up and leave because I find that they tend to ignore the rules more than anybody else. For the most part I have found most gun owners and shooters to be good honest hard-working and caring people and this is an unfortunate result of breaking up the rules that are in place for everybody’s safety. since bullet resistant vests are now common and relatively inexpensive expect to see them as part of range officers equipment from now on.

    1. avatar Angry Dad says:

      Dude, I don’t know the facts here at all, but I think one can reasonably estimate that if the bullet came from the ground up the chances of a bullet proof vest protecting you is at best 50-50, and the ordinary thing you would wear a vest to protect you from would give you a much higher survival rate than that. Not to go all CSI on you, but I can see the vertically (or nearly so) bullet penetrating through a very low point in the body traveling all the way through the body internally and exiting around the shoulder still heading for the clouds, none of which would have been prevented by a bullet proof vest. Not that it’s not a good idea, but if somebody drops a gun and it goes off all normal bets are way off.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      This has been bugging me for a while, MB. How do we know you’re the real MB? All we have is your word for it.

      You got some kind of ID?

  13. avatar Larry says:

    Saw it come over the fire wire, first O/S called it a 9-8 -0 , which means obvious death . My guess would be head shot , they would work almost anything else , just my educated guess .

  14. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    Condolences! Cant wait to see what Doomberg does with this.

  15. avatar Miner49er says:

    I heard the range officer was actually a Q anon investigator who had discovered significant vote fraud.

    Evidently, Obama/Biden had sent their Seth rich kill team to take this man out before he could reveal the depth of the conspiracy.

    Attorney General Barr must investigate immediately!

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Try to have a tiny bit of respect for the deceased man.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        He has no respect for himself. Why would he respect anybody else?

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      An honest and accomplished man dies and you see it as an opportunity to show us how clever and witty you can be. So sad.

    3. avatar Carl B. says:

      Miner49er = typical s**t-for-brains liberal.

    4. avatar napresto says:

      And so we see a classic example of the left: completely lacking in empathy or understanding for anyone but themselves, smug and condescending in supposed victory, wailing and incoherent in loss, making light of tragedy to score cheap political points, and also – always – wrong. Go away, and be ashamed of yourself.

      1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

        Take it for what it’s worth as I am not a literary expert by any means, but that’s one of the better written comments I have ever read on here. I appreciate both the subject and concise style it was written.

        Poor stupid leftist. I’d likely despise them if I didn’t simply pity their lack of rationality.

  16. avatar merkureal says:

    I don’t get why some people on here have to be nasty. You know who you are.

    Seems to me this forum is a community of more or less like-minded people. Thus you’d think people would bring a modicum of goodwill regarding the remaining differences of opinion. (If they are even differences. I don’t see a lot actual clashes of views.)

    People are talking past one another, failing to take note that someone is bringing another–but not an opposed–viewpoint to the situation.

    It may be reasonable to believe that catastrophic gun failures can happen and yet culpable negligence also be a factor in someone getting shot.

    Compassion for both families, as someone has already said, is certainly in order–and I would think the perpetrator is already beating himself up over his probable responsibility in carelessly violating one or more of the four basic safety rules.

    1. avatar napresto says:

      This is exactly the kind of accident or mistake that terrifies me, whether with guns, cars, or anything else: a tiny, momentary error, the result of human imperfection, not malice – maybe not even negligence – that yet causes enormous, unrepairable harm. These moments happen out of nowhere, happen in an instant, and on the other side, lives are ruined. Awful.

  17. avatar P-Dog says:

    I can only see a few ways this could be classified as an accidental discharge.

    1) If there was some manufacturer defect where it’s possible to have some discharge (ie first gen Sig P320 being dropped in a certain way)

    2) If the competitor bought a used gun and there were modifications that made the gun unsafe that was not caught during initial inspection

    3) — And this is “iffy” if it’s accidental — if the competitor made modifications to his own gun that would cause it to be unsafe. I’ve heard of many USPSA dudes who strive to shave a few milliseconds off their time, and it’s possible they may do something bonkers like polishing their sear beyond safety.

    Maybe there’s something else I’m not seeing here, but generally speaking all else is negligence, not accident.

    1. avatar busybeef says:

      Dropped gun.

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        You keep saying that, as if it was some sort of mantra intended to absolve everyone up and down the chain of events that led to this death of any responsibility.

        It doesn’t work that way.

        Sure, the man did not INTEND to drop his pistol, nor did he INTEND for to fire, nor did he INTEND for the bullet to fly in a path that took it through a vital organ of the man shot. Nevertheless, he DID drop it. Nevertheless, it DID fire. Nevertheless, a man IS dead.

        Now, we HAVE to know WHY this particular gun fired. If, as is obvious, there was human failing of SOME sort, at SOME point, we must know what it WAS to stop it from happening again.

        Seriously, how many times have you dropped a handgun, or seen someone else drop a handgun? What was the result? Virtually always, it’s embarrassment, a few catcalls and snickering, maybe a broken part or chipped grip–not a discharge, and not a death. There was a SERIOUS failure, here. Why this one time?

        1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          Because sometimes feces happens.

        2. avatar John in AK says:

          Yeah, they do. . . and it takes a human being to cause them. It’s a ’cause-and-effect’ thing.

  18. avatar busybeef says:

    Lot of billy bad asses posting above with no clue what actually happened.

    I’m a member of the club, I was arriving for my 11 am slot to shoot at this competition when it happened.

    Competitor loaded and made ready under supervision of the RO. Dropped the gun as he was holstering.

    Gun fell, went off, killed RO.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Thanks for the information, and of course, we should all share our condolences to the family of the deceased.
      I’m not surprised that, if something can go wrong, this is where it goes wrong. Holstering is the most dangerous part of any competition or course. And by that I mean it is where most of us see errors. If someone is going to shoot themselves or others, that’s usually where it happens. I really try and drill myself and my students that (1) the grip doesn’t change until the muzzle is well inside the holster. (2) You have to see the bottom of the holster, and (3) you have to watch your muzzle enter it. Not following this practice is extremely common, probably more common than the correct practice. And things can go wrong. Humans sometimes get things wrong. This kind of event is extremely rare in the shooting sports.
      I am not unfamiliar with USPSA rules. I am surprised that the firearm would discharge when dropped from what I assume was well below shoulder height.

    2. avatar Angry Dad says:

      And so you must know the one missing important salient fact that every single commentor at least above on this list has ignored which is what effing gun was it? Glock? 1911? Browning hi power? Whatever. What gun was it?

      1. avatar Montana Actual says:

        Does it really matter?

        1. avatar binder says:

          Well it went off when dropped. A lot of competition guns are not the safest thing in the world. My CZ and 1911 do not have firing pin blocks. I will NEVER mess with the sear nor have them with the hammer down with a loaded chamber.

        2. avatar warfab says:

          Sounds like it might have been a CZ Shadow.

    3. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Man that is terrible.

      I hope nobody overreacts and tries to sue or anything crazy. I don’t even know…

      Please please please, slow down when holstering. That’s all I can say.

      Do we know anything else?

    4. avatar binder says:

      I have seen people holstering in match. How fast was he going? Lot of people think it is a race to get the gun holstered. Usually the same dumb asses who tweak the hell of of their gun.

      What gun, 70 series 1911? 75 shadow? Something else without a firing pin block? Was the hammer in contact with the firing pin. I had RO who would not let me fired from the half cock so I shot single action. How light in the firing pin spring? Did it have an extended firing pin?

      Some firearms are not as forgiving as others. That, combined with “experience” will get you comfortable when you should not be.

      1. avatar rt66paul says:

        If we are talking about a timed match, it very well could have been negligent, since he might have been in a hurry to holster said weapon. Was it a new holster? Was the gun tuned to have a lighter trigger? These things happen and in the spirit of winning, many will take it to the limit in order to have an “edge”.
        I am not blaming the man for doing these things, I am questioning the justifications used for this type of competition.
        My prayers are with both men and their families – an accident is an accident. One man lost his life and another will be beating himself up over it for the rest of his life

        1. avatar busybeef says:

          He made the gun ready under the supervision of the RO and went to holster it in preparation to shoot the stage.

          No buzzer went off. No timer was running.

        2. avatar binder says:

          “He made the gun ready under the supervision of the RO and went to holster it in preparation to shoot the stage. No buzzer went off. No timer was running.”

          And yet a lot of shooters become “comfortable” about holstering and will move way faster than they need to. A pistol does is not dropped when holstering UNLESS YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATENTION. As fast as a lot of shooters holster their weapons there is no chance to the RSO to even say anything. Best RSO I ever had expected at least 5 seconds between slide release and to holstering your gun.

  19. avatar Gregory Peter DuPont says:

    It can and does happen on rare occasions. At times,due to negligent/careless/ignorant handling or use. Others, Simple Bad Luck.
    I prevented the latter yesterday afternoon. An old friend (my barber)who is still a member of a club I haven’t been for 7 years now invited me to shoot as a guest in the last hour of daylight at the outdoor range. He wanted some help in working a rifle of a type he hadn’t had before but (like a lot of people lately) felt the need to” buy while he could” around the start of the Covid 19 shutdowns.. I helped him to learn the rifles controls , manual of arms and procedures. Helped him download and print a manual (which wasn’t included when he got it). Set him up on his bench and went on to the pistol/handgun side to work my daily carry and work guns. After an hour and change of pleasantly pinching paper we policed our respective areas and prepared to leave. I asked if we could still use a room in the club for a quick gun cleaning. We went in , I did a quick disassembly and cleaning of my piece ,and found him mystified by the bolt removal of his rifle. Magazine was NOT in the well . I said ” no sweat Robbie-place it on the bench and step to your left. He did, I took my place at the workbench, pointed the muzzle of his AR build in a safe direction. Took it off safe. Ran back the bolt. And had a single round of M855 pop out of the ejection port. His exclamation:” What was THAT?! Oh CRAP!”….yeah I managed to counsel and instruct him further without going Reception Station on him.. ironically,he’s been a member for years, favors the rifles and shotguns associated with ” Fudds” without actually acting like the stereotype. And is big on certification for Hunter Safety,NRA Basic Firearms Handling etc (no I am not banging on the NRA but Wayne still had to be flushed).. hopefully he learned. Could have really been bad, especially if he had an ND someplace like his house (crowded)or on the ride back (my car was the one we used.
    No I am not going to break his [email protected] on it.

  20. avatar BluesMike says:

    To really understand this dropped-gun thing, I’d like to know what kind of gun it was and what modifications it had. Also, I’d be interested in what division the shooter was in.

  21. avatar Jimmy James says:

    Tragic. Ive been at 2 USPSA matches where a competitor shot himself in the leg while holstering a loaded weapon. Was at one match where an RO shot the stage, unloading to show clear and a round exploded during extraction and ejection. Assumed to have been the primer hitting the ejector or the other way around. Required stitches. At another match where everyone was getting gear out of their vehicles and going to and from registration. Old dude in violation of range rules was “dry firing” his gun. Thank god it was pointed at the ground when an “empty” chamber went off instead of the trunk of his car just above the gas tank. All these incidents happened over a period of 15 years. Be careful out there folks!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I’ve seen that where a round goes off with the action partially open. A not badly cut thumb was the result of that. It was likely an out of standard primer contacting metal when it wasn’t supposed to. That was our guesses at the time.

  22. avatar Tim U says:

    And this is why I always have medical supplies on me at any of these types of matches or events. Or am shooting around members of the general public at a range facility somewhere

    1. avatar busybeef says:

      Medical supplies wouldn’t have done a thing. He died instantly.

  23. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

    I see that the TactiCoolFools have been bloviating without having any idea what actually happened. They ignore reality.

    Guns are machines.
    Machines sometimes malfunction.
    Let us examine this case from the perspective of the four rules of gun safety.

    1 Treat every gun as if it was loaded.
    The shooter followed this rule. He was loading and making ready to shoot the stage. His gun was supposed to be loaded. He was placing his gun in his holster.

    2. Don’t point a gun at anyone or anything that you are not willing to kill or destroy.

    The shooter didn’t point the gun at anyone or anything. He didn’t even make a mistake by pointing it at himself as he was holstering his pistol. He wasn’t giving himself a case of Glock Walk or Glock Cock as sometimes occurs. He dropped the gun.

    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

    The shooter didn’t have his finger on the trigger. He had dropped the gun.

    4. Be aware of your target and what is beyond it.
    The shooter was not aiming the gun because he had dropped it.

    The bottom line here is that the gun discharged when it was dropped. I don’t know what type of gun it was. However; I strongly suspect that it was a modern, striker fired, semiautomatic pistol with no manual safety. These pistols ordinarily do not discharge when they are dropped because of the various mechanisms that are supposed to block the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. Guess what? These systems do on rare occasions fail. That is why there are so many of us Elmer Fudds who favor Colt 1911 style pistols, Baretta 92s or Third generation Smith and Wesson pistols. The later two types of pistols are absolutely incapable of firing when the safety is engaged because the firing pin is rotated out of alignment with the chamber. The only possible way an accidental discharge to occur is to subject the firearm to enough heat to cause the cartridge to cook off.

    The above mentioned advantages of the pistols that I favor not withstanding, I understand and respect the preferences of other people to carry out shoot the types of guns that they prefer. Given the various safety systems that are supposed to prevent accidental discharges, their preferences are not irresponsible. However; I expect these same people to respect my right to prefer other types of pistols.

    1. avatar binder says:

      Series 70s can easily discharge if the firing mechanism is modified. A lighted main and firing pin spring combined with extended ping can be deadly with a dropped gun. Combine that with soft primers (need those on my 625) and you make it even worse.

    2. avatar painlessbob says:

      Anyone who drops a gun is immediately violating at least one, and often two of the four safety rules. Competitor violated Rule #2 big time. Gun was obviously pointing at something the competitor did want to destroy. Rule #3 is violated when something hits the trigger of a dropped gun.

      Our lesson from this incident is preventing dropped guns. Many good suggestions have been offered here by others.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Physics violated the rules, not the competitor.

  24. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    Assume that every gun is loaded.
    Don’t point a muzzle at anything/anyone you don’t want to shoot.
    Keep your finger out of the trigger guard.

    There are other safety rules, but you would have to BREAK ALL THREE of these rules to accidently/negligently shoot someone.

  25. avatar Hannibal says:

    “went off when dropped” is commonly said but often wrong. Is it conceivable? Sure. We know that some guns have failed drop-safe tests. But it’s also conceivable that a witness got it wrong, as often happens. The much more common issue is that someone negligently fires the gun and THEN drops it, leading to people believing the drop caused the shot.

  26. avatar Joemomma says:

    Lots of competition guns don’t have firing pin blocks including my CZ czechmate. That being said you are supposed to have the safety engaged when “make ready” before holstering. The shadow should have had the hammer down before holstering. There definitely was a mistake made

    1. avatar rad says:

      CZs will still discharge even with the hammer down.

    2. avatar Binder says:

      Shadow should be in “half cock” if running double action. Having it fully down is not the best idea. 1911 are the same way but fully back. I just cringe when people have a 1911 chambered with the hammer down for “safety”

  27. avatar Kyle says:

    Always amazes me how we have to find someone to blame. Nothing can be an accident, nothing just happens. We are the all powerful humans who can write four rules and therefore nothing unforeseen can possibly ever happen.

    If the DA wishes to file charges, he can easily do so. The courts can do what the courts do. And all the little armchair lawyers can determine if the law was adequately applied.

    Accidents can happen. We used to know that, maybe someday we’ll discover that…again.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      I understand your sentiment, but it is misplaced.

      This was not an ‘Act of God,’ a completely unpredictable random event beyond the control of humanity, such as a meteor, typhoon or hurricane. It was a failure of some component of a mechanical device, a failure of some aspect of the device’s design or engineering or manufacturing process, a failure in maintenance or repair or modification by a human agent, or a failure to maintain affirmative control of the device by the person to which it was entrusted, whether by negligence, lack of training, momentary distraction, or poor technique. It might be a case of the user selecting an improper tool for the task, an obsolete and dangerous design that should never be allowed outside of a museum. All down the line, some human being was involved–not God. Therefore, there IS ‘somebody’ on which to place responsibility, some human being that did something to cause this death, not chance, or luck, or Evil Sendings, and it was not an ‘accident.’

      ‘Blame’ isn’t exactly the right word; ‘Responsibility’ or ‘causation’ might be better choices. If we can determine what went wrong, and at which point–during design, during manufacturing, during maintenance or modification, during selection by the user, during actual use–we can possibly prevent another man’s useless, senseless death.

  28. avatar rt66paul says:

    I certainly hope that the law exonerates this man. It was not intentional, it was an accident. Sometimes it is just an accident. What good will it do to put a man in jail for an accident and take away his gun rights?
    There are many dangerous sports and accidents can happen. I don’t see them putting drivers of cars and trucks get put in jail for killing a motorcyclist, unless they can prove intent or impairment. An accident in skydiving doesn’t include jailing the pilot of the plane.
    It was an honest accident, maybe the law should leave it alone.

  29. avatar Bob uruncle says:

    We are competing with guns. While no less a tragedy, we need to keep in mind that all activities have risks, and that ultimately at the end of the day, the number of injuries, let alone deaths that occur at these types of events are the envy of many other more common sporting events.

    I hope the family can come to cope with the loss suffered by someone who was ultimately doing what I assumed they loved. I’m honestly more concerned with the competitor who dropped the gun. I hope he is receiving counseling and not simply dealing with it alone. The last thing we need is another death on top of the accident that already occurred.

    1. avatar busybeef says:

      I can’t even imagine what the shooter is going through.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Do you know the gun model? Thanks

  30. avatar Joseph says:

    Wouldn’t want any of you crybabies on a jury. Announcing guilty before you even know the fucking facts. Many of the assholes on this site are worse than the old widow women on Fuckbook.

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  32. avatar Queeg says:

    Maybe it is fake news, no one seems to know what kind of gun it was, so therefore didn’t happen, RO died of self in flicked gunshot. Why are we so afraid of naming the real culprit? The gun it self. Nice to know so a follow up on the problem can prevent further issues.

  33. avatar Steve Sherridon says:

    Condolences to the family of the deceased….
    Recently on inspection of my M and P 2.0 that has gone 20k rounds with an Apex tactical kit (including Apex safety block plunger) I found that the striker/firing pin pushed past the safety block plunger with a light push of my pinky! Without knowing, my gun was not drop safe at all! I spoke to Apex and they said “Yeah that can happen after 20k rounds- the striker needs to be replaced as the corner of the striker that is blocked by the safety plunger has rubbed away….”
    Lesson learned: On a striker fired pistol- regularly check the striker cannot be manually pushed past the safety block plunger……….

  34. avatar Spad_ says:

    Steve Sherridon, Thanks for the reply, a positive note that is much in need.

  35. avatar Retro says:

    The competitor made a mistake when holstering, not surprisingly, humans make mistakes. Even on things they’ve done thousands of times, even when being aware and careful. Mechanical devices fail, not as often as humans, but they still fail. And as I learned as a young engineer, “shit happens”. This is a one in a million or maybe even 100 of millions event – (probability of dropping the gun while holstering) x (probability of gun firing when impacting ground) x (probability of pointing at RO when impacting ground) x (probability of a single handgun round resulting in immediate death).

    The evidence of how rare this type of event is that in the history of the competitive handgun sports, deaths similar to this have happened only a handful of times.

  36. avatar Queeg says:

    Still would like to know what the handgun was? Secret?

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