The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 7, 2011, 04:39 PM   #1
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,475
Adding a "fifth" rule to firearm safety

This is reference to an incident that happened in our local Law Enforcement

Read Friendly fire: http://www.newslj.com/ You have to have a subscription for the whole article to come up.

Basicly, a supposed firearm instructor was working on a department firearm, it says doing maintance but not what the maintance was. What happened he pulled an empty magazine out of the to be worked on pistol. Then he removed a loaded magazine from his duty pistol and laid it on the table. He then mistakenly put the loaded magazine in the Maintained pistol and it discharged into the break room next door.

I added a "fifth" rule, Never clean or work on a firearm when ammunition with live ammo in the area.

Normally I don't second guess incidents if I'm not there or am not in the investigation of the incident, but this is different, my step daughter was in the room next door.

I don't know Glocks, maybe they have to have a magazine in the chamber to drop the hammer. But you still have to rack the slide to get it to chamber a round.

Anyway here is a letter I wrote asking for more firearms safety training for the safety involve. I know in the department I worked for, I'd be in quite a bit of trouble. This guy, gets nothing but a new room to work on firearms.

So opinions, does my letter cover my points on this incident?

Quote:
Letter to the Editor: Ref: Gun fired in Law Center Dec. 8th 2011
I address this not to condemn anyone involved but in hopes of preventing future incidents.

I’m a retired police officer from an out of state agency. Part of my duties was a firearms instructor, and was certified by the Alaska Police Standards Council as such. A certification which is still valid as I still instruct both LEOs and Civilians in firearm use and safety.

Some points to consider: There are Four Basic Firearms Safety Rules, which if followed no accidents resulting in injury could occur.

1. All Firearms are treated as being loaded.
2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
3. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
4. Always be aware of your target and background

However, after reading the article, I wish to add another. You never work on any firearm with ammunition in the work area.

I do believe a firearm safety training session should be provided to the officer involved. I’m basing my assessment on the News Letter General article. I wasn’t there.

Several if not all of the above four safety rules (plus my added fifth) were violated.

1. The gun was loaded. You don’t need a round in the chamber to function check a service pistol. According to the article, the officer inserted a magazine into the pistol to function check it. I don’t know what pistol was involved, some require a magazine into the pistol before it can be fired. It is not necessary that a round be chambered for the hammer to fall. I can’t understand from the article how the round got into the chamber. It has to be manually loaded by racking the slide.

2. Had the firearm been pointed in a safe direction, in this case the ceiling, it wouldn’t have endangered anyone in existing rooms (there was no indication anyone was in the adjoining room but I’m not sure if the officer knew this.) A round through the roof would create less danger to others than a round through the wall.

3. Unless the pistol was defective, it could not have fired unless the finger was on the trigger.

4. See #2

5. The rule I added, if the loaded magazine wasn’t in the area, or remained in the officer’s pistol in his duty belt it could not have been accidently inserted in the other pistol.

Again I write this not to condemn anyone, and am thankful no one was injured. I do believe a firearm safety program should be provided. I write this in hopes others, Law enforcement officers and civilians alike, take into heart the Four Rules of Firearm safety, and if you clean or work on firearms, add the fifth rule.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 04:47 PM   #2
chadstrickland
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2011
Location: alabama
Posts: 537
I suppose one day there will be rules for anything that involves common sense.

Glad your daughter is OK man.
__________________
Two weapons that was designed by the same man still in use by the us military 100 years later...1911 and m2...is there anything that comes close.....lol annd maybe perhaps a sig sauer p226 tac ops edition..
chadstrickland is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 04:55 PM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,737
Yesterday, an employee of a LGS around here was cleaning a gun and put a round through the store wall and into the eye of someone next door. Pretty damaging from the news story on the tube.

In front of a bunch of kids too.

PS - the employee was reported to be unloading a Glock when it discharged.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 04:56 PM   #4
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,951
Quote:
I don't know Glocks, maybe they have to have a magazine in the chamber to drop the hammer.
They do not.


Whether or not the gun is known to be loaded, you still never touch the trigger unless and until you have picked out the safest place in the area for a bullet to land, and have pointed the gun in that direction. (That's what "until you are ready to shoot" and "be sure of your target" actually mean!)

If the department would frown on live rounds going into the ceiling, and if the armorer's squad mates would frown on live rounds crashing through the wall and landing in the break room, then the department needs to install a safe backstop in the gun handling area. A bucket of sand would do it, and wouldn't break the budget. If you want to be fancy, make it a Safe Directions product of some sort. Slap a target on it and remind everyone involved that they don't touch the trigger, regardless of the reason, unless the gun is pointed at a target.

Glad your daughter is okay.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 04:59 PM   #5
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
I'm with you Kraig.

Even if he picked up the magazine and inserted it with the slide locked back. He would still have to release the slide stop and then pull the trigger.

Like you say, we weren't there and there are no witnesses.

However, it sounds to me like another uncleared firearm having its trigger pulled to me.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:05 PM   #6
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 5,637
Fine with me and;

He already violated the four "basic" rules and adding another won't make much difference. In the past, I have seen 14, 11, 10, 7 and of course the four that you have listed. We teach the basic four as the more you add, the more folks tend to forget. I saw a video where Jeff Cooper stated that if you follow these four, you will never get in trouble. I thought that was questionable but you really only need one and that is muzzle control ......

We routinely review past shooting/hunting accidents, in the unpredictalbe hunting enviremoment and all were caused by not following the four basic rules.

Most of the time I'm doing gun work on my bench, there is no live ammo on my bench but fairly close by. There are times when I function check but do those with "Dummy" ammo. The rare times that live ammo is on the bench, a little bell goes off in my head and I stop to separate the two. ....

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:10 PM   #7
TeamSinglestack
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Posts: 166
/shrug

You can make 30 rules, or 100, and folks will STILL negligently discharge firearms.

It's not about the rules, it's about the discipline needed to abide by them.
TeamSinglestack is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:13 PM   #8
UtopiaTexasG19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: S.E. Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 743
Don't take for granted it would be safer to shoot into the ceiling. It might be a multi-storied building, and if older, not have concrete between the floors.
UtopiaTexasG19 is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:19 PM   #9
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,899
Sorry, but I give the "5th" rule a thumbs down. Here's why. I work on many of my guns. I have limited space in which to do this. I have ammo cans filled with ammo in the area in which I work on my guns. Also, when I take a loaded magazine out of a gun, I leave that magazine near by. Why not? I always check the chamber of every gun as soon as I begin to handle it and right before I put it away. And, as others have said - always have the muzzle pointing in a safe direction, always keeping your finger off the trigger unless you check the chamber. Whether the loaded magazine is one foot from the gun or 70 feet from the gun makes no difference. That's not what matters. Checking chambers OFTEN and at the appropriate times is what matters.

Last edited by Skans; December 7, 2011 at 05:43 PM.
Skans is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:24 PM   #10
aarondhgraham
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 7,117
I'm with Skans and the others,,,

Strict adherence to Rule #1 makes a 5th rule unnecessary.

As a professional educator I say,,,
Keep the rules few and simple.

Aarond
__________________
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:30 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I understand your rationale and agree with the intent but I also agree with the others that if you can't follow the first four whatever comes after them will not be relevant either.

The complacency that some exhibit around such deadly devices is astounding to me. I have a Glock and it FREAKS ME OUT to pull the trigger to function check or disassemble the gun. Not "freaks me out" like I think it shouldn't be neccesary or the design is flawed but like every time I go to do it I go "WHOA! WHOA! You are about to pull the trigger on a firearm! Are you REALLY sure it's unloaded!"

I never pull the trigger without identifying the removed magazine, ejecting the round, visually verifying empty chamber with the slide locked back, dropping the slide, reopening it enough to visually verify the empty chamber AGAIN and then visually and physically checking the loaded chamber indicator.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 7, 2011 at 05:36 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:33 PM   #12
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondhgrahm
Strict adherence to Rule #1 makes a 5th rule unnecessary.
As an aside, for me personally, if I don't obey rule one I could very likely have an AD. The reason being that all of my firearms are loaded. Yes, all of them, chambers loaded.

If anyone tries it, I guarantee you'll obey rule #1, or else you'll wish you had.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:35 PM   #13
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
I really enjoy firearms. At the same time, they do scare me a little. I treat them gingerly and I always assume a gun is loaded, even after I have emptied it and checked it thrice. A little fear is a healthy thing. Some people will say it's just an object, nothing to fear, but I guess i just have it lodged in my subconscious. And I grew up the kid of a cop/FFL and was constantly around firearms- shot my first M60 when I was 12.

I feel the same way about cars. Well, not quite. I don't care for cars beyond their ability to get me between two points. But I do consider them exceedingly dangerous and drive as carefully as I may, to the general unhappiness of all those passing motorists. A car is a deadly, deadly weapon.

If you assume that both a car and a gun can kill you a moments notice and treat them with that respect, you'll never have a ND. Maybe an AD, not an ND. I have never had an ND and I have never had an accident on the road (I I have put 350,000+ miles combined on 4 different cars).

Rule #1 is the key.
SwampYankee is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:40 PM   #14
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,951
It's not about Rule One. It's about the other three rules, which idiots throw out the window as soon as they've checked, double checked, and done whatever dance to the moon gods they think is necessary to get the gun unloaded and keep it that way.

If you throw out 75% of your multiple, redundant layers of safety, eventually you'll shoot someone or something you shouldn't have shot.

And then you'll go online and claim it was just "one moment's inattention" and "just ONE little mistake" that bit you... when in fact it was a lifetime of overconfident but stupid gunhandling that did you in.

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/ccm...r-three-rules/

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 05:49 PM   #15
jon_in_wv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2004
Posts: 664
At a LGS the owner was inspecting a customers 1911. He racked the slide several times without looking in the chamber and assumed the weapon was clear. He pulled the trigger and unleashed a 230gr FMJ into the shop wall which ricocheted off the wall and struck one of his employees in the stomach.

He has a nasty scar but he is alive. At least the owner had it pointed in a "safe" direction rather than pointed directly at him. The results may have been even worse.
__________________
Why has INTEGRITY become such a rare commodity?
jon_in_wv is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 06:26 PM   #16
cambeul41
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 101
I like Steve Wenger's 5th rule. http://www.spw-duf.info/safety.html
5. Maintain control of your gun.
Arizona Attorneys Michael Anthony and Robert Brown have researched civil litigation involving firearms and found that most successful lawsuits against gun owners involve incidents where someone other than the owner has accessed and misused the gun.

As a result, I have accepted their suggestion and now teach this fifth basic rule of firearms safety.

Make sure that you keep the gun within your control when you carry it. Guns in purses and other means of off-body carry are difficult to control, as are guns being shown to friends, stashed between couch cushions, placed in desk drawers, etc.

When you must store a gun that you are not carrying, take reasonable steps to limit access by unauthorized users. If you must simply disable it with a lock, a cable lock is preferable to a trigger lock - most trigger locks violate Rule Three.

A caveat to this rule concerns dropped guns. Modern handguns are designed not to fire when dropped and people have shot themselves trying to catch guns that have slipped from their hands. If you do momentarily lose control of a firearm, let it fall to the ground.
cambeul41 is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 06:31 PM   #17
Patriot86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2010
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,293
I like my rule#5 better, NEVER dry fire a gun without double checking the chamber visually at least twice. I keep ammo around my gun cleaning desk all the time, loaded magazines too so I can manually test how it cycles after a good cleaning but the double check rule (knock on wood) has not failed me yet.
Patriot86 is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 06:49 PM   #18
Crunchy Frog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2008
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 395
Autoloaders with a "magazine disconnect" require that a magazine be inserted before the action will operate. As a result, you'd have to insert a magazine to function check the gun or to drop the hammer or striker (assuming of course it did not have a decocker).

Some refer to this device as a "magazine safety" but this is one example of who this can make the gun less safe.

I won't mention how a lost or damaged magazine would render the operator defenseless. I suppose that is "safe" for the attacker but not so "safe" for the operator.

In the final analysis the only reliable "safety" resides between the ears of the responsible gun owner.
Crunchy Frog is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 07:38 PM   #19
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
Quote:
It's not about Rule One.
I disagree. Yep, I think you are flat-out wrong.

If you follow rule #1, the other rules must follow. MUST. FOLLOW.

If I assume the gun is loaded I will always keep it pointed in a safe direction. I will keep my finger off the trigger. I will make sure that if I do point it somewhere, I am aware of my target and my background.

Obviously, if you are a dope and do not understand what a loaded gun entails, Rule #1 is pointless. But if you are a dope, all rules are pointless. I'm not advocating dumping the other 3 rules but if you truly understand what a loaded gun can do, Rule #1 is all you need.

The other 3 rules work really well with my 10, 8 and 6 year old. If an adult needs the other 3 to understand what a gun is, you've got bigger problems.
SwampYankee is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 07:46 PM   #20
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,951
SwampYankee,

That's the same song, second verse.

Check how many posts (in this thread and others) say something like, "Double check!!" as if the simple checking to be sure it's unloaded is all that's required before they then point the gun at something stupid and pull the trigger.

It doesn't matter how many times you've checked it, or how thoroughly: the other three rules still apply.

People treat Rule One as if it means "All guns are loaded (until you've checked the gun, then you can do something stupid with it)." That's not what it means, as a certain number of numbnuts find out all on their own every year.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 08:05 PM   #21
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
Pax,

I think this is one of those "failure to communicate" issues.

You are really missing my point. I am not saying that it is safe to point the gun after checking it is clear.

I am saying that IT IS NEVER SAFE TO ASSUME A GUN IS NOT LOADED.

I don't care about other peoples posts. I assume that even after I have checked a gun it is still a potential danger, even when I KNOW it is not loaded. It is a habit. It keeps me from shooting people or things. Sometimes what you KNOW and what is ACTUAL don't happen to coincide. Years of experience have taught me to constantly question my certainties.

Quote:
All guns are loaded (until you've checked the gun, then you can do something stupid with it)
This may be what other people think but it is not what the rule states. I'm a pretty technical guy. I follow rules to the letter. I do not employ my "interpretation" if I don't have to.

Always assume a gun is loaded. Pretty simple. If you do anything else, you're not following the rule. Even after checking thrice that a gun is unloaded, I follow that rule. The other rules are backup for stupid people.

Once again, I grew up with guns. I learned this lesson at the age of 9. It is sacrosanct.

Maybe you should be arguing that people that alter rule #1 are the problem?
SwampYankee is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 08:07 PM   #22
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,951
SwampYankee,

I tried that, for years.

The rules overlap and are redundant for a reason. For whatever reason, they DO **** up Rule One on a depressingly regular basis. The least we can do is talk them into following the others.

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 08:12 PM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I agree with SwampYankee. It's not about ignoring the other 3 if you make sure that it's really, really, really not loaded.... it's about the other 3 being AUTOMATIC if you UNDERSTAND #1.

The fact that I check, double check and then triple check that the gun is, in fact, NOT loaded, doesn't change the way I handle the gun afterwords, except to the extent that if I thought it might be loaded I wouldn't actually pull the trigger to begin disassembly, for example.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 08:27 PM   #24
Kevin Rohrer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2010
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 507
THere is no need for a 5th rule as 1-3 cover the problem quite well.

DVC
__________________
Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA--Life, Varmint Hunters' Assn., ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

"Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!" --Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
Kevin Rohrer is offline  
Old December 7, 2011, 08:40 PM   #25
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,126
First, I'm glad that your step daughter is OK, kraigwy.

That said, I have conflicting thoughts about a Rule #5. On the one hand, if the guy doing the work had followed Rules #1-#4, he wouldn't need Rule #5. And I agree that fewer rules are easier for most folks to follow than many. On the other, making the workshop an ammo-free zone would seem like a good idea.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14628 seconds with 9 queries