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View Full Version : Leo & f>i advice needed


BikerRN
May 11, 2009, 03:36 PM
I need the advice of LEO's and Firearms Instructors.

Today I was in my local "Big Person Toy Store" (Gunstore) and saw something that bothered me.

Two federal employees, (LEO's), were looking at rifles and talking shop. One was already a Firearms Instructor and was trained at FT. Benning, so I know she knows better. The other one was saying that she is going to Instuctor School shortly.

What bothered me was that at no time did either person check the chamber of the rifles they were handed. The store employee checked them, closed the action and then proceeded to pass them the rifle. This bothers me from a safety standpoint.

The one that was trained at Benning, I know she knows better, as I am quite familiar with the quality of instruction given there to federal LEO's. The one that is going to be an Instructor should've learned firearms safety at FLETC.

Has the standard of safety in federal law enforcement degraded to such a point that the general safety rules no longer apply? I am half tempted to call OIG and lodge a complaint. I don't see this as something to be fired over, but I do see this as something that shouldn't be ignored.

I realize we all make mistakes, but some are less forgivable than others, and to me this is one of them. I don't care if you, the store clerk and Jesus Christ himself checks that chamber, it's still loaded until I check it.

Having recently been to L.F.I. 1 I was very impressed with the no-nonsense approach to safety rules. I have enough info to get O.I.G. started, and it would be easy to determine who they were, although I didn't get any names. When I am handed a firearm in a gunstore, action closed or open makes no matter, I check that firearm to determine if it's loaded or not.

Years ago, when I first started carrying a gun, gun store clerks would hand you the weapon with the action open. Now days, it seems that they all hand you the weapon with the action closed. To me, this is a violation of safety rules, but I can understand why they may do that.

After 100 Bozo's flipping the cylinder shut on your revolvers or running the slide home on your autoloaders I can see why a gun store may want to hand an unknown person a firearm with the action closed. I would think that one of them, already being an agency firearms instructor would know better, and like I said, I'm familiar with the quality of instruction she received. So, I know she knows better.

My problem is, do I call and complain or not. I hate to see the "dumbing down" of firearms training and dumb instructors. I do not feel there is room for error in this matter and I would hate for students of these people to see or hear about poor gun safety by these instructors. Who knows what bad safety habits they are displaying to others? If their students see it, they will think it's OK to do what they do, as the Instructors are doing it.

Like it or not, they made themselves known as F.I.'s and I think they do a disservice to many good F.I's out there by the manners they displayed. They didn't hide who they were, and even boasted about it. So, what's the general advice of the members here, particularly LEO's and F.I.'s?

Biker

Keltyke
May 11, 2009, 04:19 PM
What bothered me was that at no time did either person check the chamber of the rifles they were handed. The store employee checked them, closed the action and then proceeded to pass them the rifle. This bothers me from a safety standpoint.

"Familarity breeds contempt." The employee checked the gun in front of them so why should they? If they saw the employee check it, it's sorta a moot point. They can check or not.

Whenever I'm handed a gun, I ALWAYS check, even if I've just seen the clerk check it 5 seconds before. Perhaps they didn't feel the need.

honkylips
May 11, 2009, 04:31 PM
If you feel a need to say something about this, the time would have been at the store. Let it be.

BlindMansBluff
May 11, 2009, 05:44 PM
Sound like you're being a little Holier than Thou to me. I mean I would check a gun, but I mean that is because I can't see someone else check it, sure they can make a click and a clack with a gun and tell me they checked it but its not unloaded until I "KNOW" it is unloaded.

but, I feel the real reason why you didn't man and and tell them anything at the store and now you want to be a teller-ttell is because now you want to come on boards like this and tell us how cooler you are for always following the rules.

I vote get over it.

BikerRN
May 11, 2009, 06:31 PM
Sound like you're being a little Holier than Thou to me. I mean I would check a gun, but I mean that is because I can't see someone else check it, sure they can make a click and a clack with a gun and tell me they checked it but its not unloaded until I "KNOW" it is unloaded.

but, I feel the real reason why you didn't man and and tell them anything at the store and now you want to be a teller-ttell is because now you want to come on boards like this and tell us how cooler you are for always following the rules.

I vote get over it.

No, I came here to get the advice of certain people that do post in this forum.

You are not one of those people, but I'm willing to let everyone have a chance to give their $0.02, you included.

Now that you've given your $0.02 I know what to think of your opinions and how much weight to give to what you say.

Biker

Jofaba
May 11, 2009, 07:37 PM
It's my belief that if you aren't willing to say something to an offender in person, face to face, that you shouldn't say it behind their back.

If you want to stir a (you know what), you should be willing to take a whiff of the consequence of your actions.

You have no idea how the scene is going to play out behind the curtain of your accusation. What kind of punishment do you really feel that they should receive, and is there a punishment that would be exceed what you think is appropriate?

If you saw a convenience store clerk coughing without covering his mouth, and you called in to complain and the guy ended up getting fired, how would you feel? Is that a just reaction? Would you wish that you reminded the guy, who may be sick and not thinking clearly but needed to come to work to support his wife and kids, that he should be covering his mouth?

scottz0369
May 11, 2009, 07:52 PM
see my next post-my fat fingers hit "enter" before I was done on this one.

mskdgunman
May 11, 2009, 08:00 PM
As both (an LE and a FI) if I saw the weapon being cleared before it was handed to me, I think I would be pretty confident that the weapon was unloaded. Would I still check the chamber? More then likely but thats just me. If they were comfortable that the weapons they were handling were unloaded they must have had a reason. If a clerk (or anybody else) hand me an uncleared weapon, I'll clear it.

As far as calling and complaining goes I'm not sure what you would accomplish. Were that to happen at my agency, the most I'd get is my boss telling me "hey, some dude called in and said he saw you a gunshow and he didn't like your weapons handling skills. Whats his problem?"

Just the voice of experience. Anonymous tattletail's generally don't get much credibility

scottz0369
May 11, 2009, 08:09 PM
I'm from the school that says that if you follow the 4 safety rules (treat every weapon as if it were loaded, don't point the weapon at anything you're not willing to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, and keep the weapon on safe until you're ready to fire), then there's no need to check the chamber---standing by for flames.

If I JUST SAW the empty chamber and the weapon immediately being handed to me, then I'm probably not going to check it again.

Now, If I come across a weapon just lying there (say an AK-47 whose previous owner is assuming room temperature), then I'm going to open the chamber just to clear it. My assumption is that all weapons are loaded, and the safety rules are in effect.

These rules served me and those in my charge well for over 20 years in the Marine Infantry and as a weapons instructor.

I think that the re-check is more of another layer of safety, but like I said before, if the 4 safety rules are followed, there's no need for a 5th.

Semper Fi

Jofaba
May 11, 2009, 08:18 PM
Now, If I come across a weapon just lying there (say an AK-47 whose previous owner is assuming room temperature), then I'm going to open the chamber just to clear it. My assumption is that all weapons are loaded, and the safety rules are in effect.

I assume this is a Military or SHTF senario. I personally would do a heck of a lot more than just clear the chamber lol. I'd check the ammo, clear the barrel, field strip the weapon and hope that I'm familiar enough with it to spot any problems before I'd ever fire it, and all that would happen only after ensuring that it's not booby trapped. =P

TLeo
May 11, 2009, 08:27 PM
I have to agree with other posts. If they could see the clerk check the chambers and were satisfied, then it's really not up to you or anyone else to chime in or complain later. If he had handed it to them without checking that might be a different matter for someone to mention to the clerk or better ...the owner. When I have looked at rifles or pistols I am right in front of the clerk and watch them check the chambers and can see for myself right then that they are clear. If I don't have a clear view then I will check it myself. JMHO, but I respectfully think you are making too much out of this.

txbirddog
May 11, 2009, 11:17 PM
IF I can SEE the chamber and mag empty, then I may not check but probably will just from habit.

Throw this in the scenario; if you DON'T see it and don't check and there is a ND and it results in tragedy, who is responsible? Bet the plaintiff attorney may try to put some responsibility on you. :confused:

Brit
May 11, 2009, 11:24 PM
If I don't have a clear view then I will check it myself. IMHO, but I respectfully think you are making too much out of this.


That was easy, just copy and paste!

This is why I love my Glocks, you can see it has an empty chamber, from outside! Even feel it in the dark.

ActivShootr
May 11, 2009, 11:48 PM
I'm not a fed but I'm with you. It's not safe unless I check it myself. I too would be po'd if I saw someone who knew better be any less than careful.

BikerRN
May 12, 2009, 12:40 AM
OK, thanks for the replies. :)

I've thought it over, and while the situation may have bothered me, as how I was trained, and even raised as a kid around guns, and yes I am a LEO and know who the supervisors of one of the people involved is, I will let this one go.

It was not a matter of being a "tattle tale" but rather one of complete shock that an F.I. in this agency would not check the chamber herself. To both of their credits though, they showed great muzzle discipline and at no time did their fingers touch the triggers.

I was a little taken aback by the situation, and probably should've said something then but didn't because I didn't want to mess up a sale for this store, which I like A LOT. :)

For those of you that are interested, I made this decision about two hours ago as I was replaying the time in the store over in my mind while I was backing the truck up to the garage. It dawned on me then, the level of muzzle control and finger discipline they displayed. At no time did their fingers touch the triggers of the three rifles they handled, as they were comparing scopes.

There may be more than one way to go around the Barn, they just used a different way, and one that I wouldn't have used as I am kind of "set" in my ways. Take care and stay safe and thanks again.

Biker

FM12
May 14, 2009, 07:59 PM
Wise choice Biker. I almost always check a weapon when handed to me or picked up(reflex). Perhaps they could see the empty chamber from where they were, or had dealt with particular clerk before. Let it go. Be the bigger person here. Nice watching though. I work as a FI in my department and see veteran cops do some stupid things while @ the range.:eek: That's one reason I wear my vest while at the range!:cool:

armedandsafe
May 17, 2009, 03:54 PM
I check every weapon handed to me. Even if the clerk or whoever has shown me the empty chamber, magazine and I've seen his finger go into the champer for a stuck case check.

1. It is the way I was trained and I can then handle the weapon without the distraction of having gone against my training.

2. It lets the clerk / whoever know I am familiar enough with weapons to be safe and he can then relax a bit.

3. I want to demonstrate that I am not one of those "do as I preach, not as I practice" instructors.

Pops

armsmaster270
May 17, 2009, 05:26 PM
Back in the bad old days when you had to raise your hand on the range when you had a malfunction (revolver) and have the rangemaster check your gun for you I had a missfire the Police Rangemaster/FA Instructor took my weapon emptied it checked it and gave it back to me and said to load up and continue. Thats when I pointed to the slug flush with the forcing cone that had been started into the barrel by a squib load. Moral to the story don't trust someone else checking a weapon and do as I say, not as I do does not cut it. Always check. In their position they should be an example.