“A North Bend man accused of fatally shooting a childhood friend while showing off a pistol he knew had been recalled has been charged with manslaughter,” komonews.com reports. As Fergie would say, h-h-h-h-hold it. Let’s skip straight to relevant information about the pistol Robert C. Navarro used to kill his friend . . .
Some models of the pistol – a Springfield Armory XD-S – had been recalled by the manufacturer because of a safety concern. Springfield Armory warns that defective pistols could accidentally discharge under “exceptionally rare” conditions.
According to charging papers, Navarro said he was aware of the recall but had not sent his pistol in for repairs. Police say he was worried the repairs would take too long.
Navarro “knew the weapon was defective and placed a greater concern with his own inconvenience over safety,” the investigating officer said in charging papers.
Investigators tested the pistol following the shooting and could not cause it to fire without the trigger being pulled.
Springfield described the problem with the XD-S 3″ model problem this way:
One of our customers reported that his XD-S™ had fired multiple shots unexpectedly and returned this pistol to us for our inspection. Our gunsmith recreated this situation in a test pistol by modifying the components of that pistol and was able to recreate the customer’s claim. Through extensive evaluation and testing of this pistol, we developed an improved engagement among critical components of the pistol to prevent the remote possibility of this unintentional discharge . . .
Our engineers went to work immediately and developed a design solution. Essentially, we redesigned the grip safety and created more positive engagement between the sear and striker. We then conducted extensive successful testing of that solution.
Like most of these recalls, recreating the issue would be nigh on impossible. One hopes the investigators contacted Springfield, rather than simply mucking around with Mr. Navarro’s pistol. In any case, the description of events indicates that the defect probably had nothing to do with the negligent discharge.
“The evidence in this case shows that Robert Navarro retrieved a loaded firearm … pointed it at the chest of Albert Garza, and manipulated the firearm causing it (to) fire the bullet that killed Albert Garza,” the investigating officer said in court papers.
“Manipulated” as in pulled the trigger? One imagines so. Of course, Mr. Garza would still be with us if his “friend” had followed the four safety rules. My point: the fact that Navarro failed to return his pistol is being used against him in a court of law, as evidence – additional evidence – that he was not a responsible gun owner.
This is why you MUST return a gun that you know to have been recalled. As the former owner of a beloved Caracal C and F with Quick Sights, I know well the temptation to hang onto a gun that’s been recalled. But failing to do so puts you squarely in the sights of prosecutors if ANYTHING goes wrong with the gun. Suck it up. Send it in.