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And you thought hanging around your friendly neighborhood gun store, shooting the bull about the latest and greatest wondergun, was a fun way to pass some time away from the ball and chain. And it definitely can be. But as we’ve mentioned before, not all gun stores are filled with sticklers for safe gun-handling procedures. Just because a guy’s behind the counter doesn’t mean he knows the four rules from a hole in the ground. Or one in your head. If lasering involved real lasers, the interior of some retailers would look like a fourth of July fireworks display. But that’s OK…all those heaters being waived around by customers – and sometimes sales staff, too – are safe, unloaded guns for sale, right? Well…

That’s the problem. There’s just no way to know for sure. Hence the rule, every gun is always loaded. And one of them was very much loaded the other day when a customer at the aptly named One Shot Firearms in Wenatchee, Washington shot himself in the hand.

Wenatchee Police Sgt. Ken Britt said the accident happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday when the customer was examining a loaded gun that an employee had been wearing.

Yep, the counter dude (dudette?) handed the customer his loaded carry piece to check out. Too bad neither of them knew how to clear a gun safely. Not when handing it off or when taking it from someone else. Then the perceptive patron managed to put his hand in front of the little hole. And pulled that curvy thing in the circle.

You know all that talk about situational awareness? It pretty much applies in a gun store just as much as it does on the street. Maybe more.

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  1. From the story “No other details were available.” So no word on whether he pointed it at his hand a pulled the trigger or if the gun just “went off” like they do whenever the NYT or the Chicago Tribune tell the story.

  2. It seems as if there is a disproportionate number of self-inflicted gunshot wounds to hands. Has anyone else noticed this? And why the heck would anyone point a gun at his own hand and pull the trigger anyway?

    • I thought one of minor (im)perfections of Glock patterns was that you had to pull the trigger to disassemble it.

      • I believe the owner’s manual says to clear the firearm (drop the mag, retract the slide and verify the empty chamber), pull the trigger, then disassemble. You definitely need to pull the trigger on the XD to get the slide to come forward off the frame (don’t know about the XDM).

  3. Sort of counters the argument against private sales. I never feel comfortable in gun stores and especially those that have multiple counters in different locations. Even the preferred sole proprietor shop makes me wary if a second or third customer comes in. Then my attention is divided between what I’m inspecting and what the others are doing.

  4. I have been pouring hot water into instant coffee cups for about 50 years but this week I poured the water into the plastic coffee container for the first time ever. I know the staff at One-shot and I bet it was the first time in many, many decades that he handed over a loaded weapon. A moment’s inattention. It’s called being human and the safest of us can make a slip up every 40 years or so, and that will never change no matter how perfect we think we are. That will be the safest gun shop in the USA from now on.

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