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Old March 7, 2012, 01:12 AM   #1
RobertSB701
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State Prosecutor Gonna Hang Me on This?

I live in the "guns kill people" state of Illinois. Being optimistic about some form of concealed-carry passing, I have been auditioning some pistols. I own a Glock G-21SF so naturally I gave the gave the G-26, and G-27 a test drive. Both are on the top of my list. My problem lies in what I'd like to do to either pistol. I performed the typical (yes I messed w/ Perfection) rubbing on rough edges of my Glock's inner workings resulting in a smoother trigger. I would like to do the same to either carry pistol along with installing NY1 trigger spring for a preferred heavier, more consistent pull. I tried the NY1 spring in my G-21SF and liked the resulting trigger. My concern is how either or both would/could be handled by a prosecuting attorney. Would either/both be labeled as "crazy - half-cocked-un-safe-gun-tampering"? The NY1 trigger spring is a Glock factory part but not sure if that even matters. I could probably be talked into leaving Glock innards as Gaston wanted them, but the NY1 trigger spring would be a deal killer for a Glock CCW. I would appreciate your input.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:29 AM   #2
arentol
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I wouldn't worry about that too much. Have you ever heard of that kind of thing getting someone in trouble? Of course not because that stuff doesn't happen, or virtually never happens. If you find yourself in that situation (prosecuted for what you believed to be justified self defense), that minor an issue will not make any difference, if it is brought up at all, which it probably won't be.

Besides, all your lawyer has to do if the prosecutor start looking down that path is subpoena (or just hint he will) the local precincts armorer who will either have to perjure himself or admit he has smoothed parts on guns and replaced springs himself. That will get that whole thing shot down in a no time and it will never be mentioned in court.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:33 AM   #3
JohnKSa
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The NY1 was developed by Glock for the NYPD because the NYPD felt that the trigger would be safer with that modification.

It would be hard (and stupid) for a prosecutor to try to argue that what's safer for the NYPD isn't also safer for you.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:36 AM   #4
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Of course not because that stuff doesn't happen, or virtually never happens.
None of us will be there to defend the OP in court if your hunch is incorrect. Anything can happen.

That said, we're not talking about lowering the trigger pull below manufacturer specs. The situation at hand involves a modification that increases the trigger pull, and one that has been used (and was inspired) by law enforcement.

There are no guarantees, but I really don't see you making a hypothetical case worse by doing so.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:37 AM   #5
C0untZer0
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State Prosecutor Gonna Hang Me on This?
Are planning on shooting someone?

So far my odds of having to shoot someone on any given day have been better than 17,155 to 1
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:18 AM   #6
RobertSB701
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Are planning on shooting someone?

No, sorry I didn't explain that. This is what I like to call a "hypothetical situation".
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:50 AM   #7
Bartholomew Roberts
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If you are in a situation where a prosecutor is pointing the finger at you in court, he is likely to use every trick he can to make you look bad. If you look at the Larry Hickey case, they used the fact that he had extensive firearms training to try and make him look like a paranoid nutjob itching for a chance to shoot someone, rather than look at him as someone who went the extra mile to be responsible and learn how to exercise his responsibility - and that was in Arizona.

So I think it is possible a trigger modification could come up as an issue if you go to court. However, as others have pointed out, there are very good reasons to use the NY1 spring. As long as you can present a good coherent explanation for why the trigger was modified and how it increased your safety or control of the weapon, I think you'd be in good shape. Having the work done by a Glock-certified armorer certainly wouldn't hurt either.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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Most of us prepare for worst-case scanarios, and we should include possible murder prosecutions in our List of Worst-Case scenarios. Your local prosecutor may or may not use every trick in the book to hang you, but you need to prepare as though he absolutely will.

With that said, there are very good reasons to use that spring, and you've already shown that you can articulate a reason for doing so:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSB701
. . . . I performed the typical (yes I messed w/ Perfection) rubbing on rough edges of my Glock's inner workings resulting in a smoother trigger. I would like to do the same to either carry pistol along with installing NY1 trigger spring for a preferred heavier, more consistent pull. I tried the NY1 spring in my G-21SF and liked the resulting trigger. . . . .
Now just put some thought into why you prefer the heavier, more consistent trigger pull. At the risk of sounding like a lawyer (), you'll need to figure out how to make a jury (which may not be very gun-savvy), understand that your modifications make you a safer shooter, not a more dangerous one. There's always a risk when a CC'er starts monkeying around with his equipment, either in the gun, or his ammo. The major difference with gun modifications as compared to ammo (read "handloads"), from a trial perspective, is that the gun is not destroyed in the shooting, so it will be available for testing by the State's, and your, experts. The usual pitfall in pistol modifications is when someone lightens the trigger pull, then wants to claim that the shooting was accidental. The pitfall here is that, should you ever try to claim that a shooting was an accident, a heavier trigger is easily portrayed as making an accident even more unlikely. Other than that, I don't really see a problem with making mods for a heavier, more consistent trigger pull.

From a possible trial perspective, I would simply add one more bit of caution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arentol
. . . .Besides, all your lawyer has to do if the prosecutor start looking down that path is subpoena (or just hint he will) the local precincts armorer who will either have to perjure himself or admit he has smoothed parts on guns and replaced springs himself. That will get that whole thing shot down in a no time and it will never be mentioned in court.
This is in no way a bad idea, but I would not count on it. If your lawyer tries to subpoena the police armorer, the prosecutor will likely object on relevance grounds. If he wins that argument, it won't matter what the armorer does, because he won't get to talk about it at trial. OTOH, if the armorer does the same thing that NY does, and you've installed a spring developed (or inspired, as Tom put it) by the NYPD, your lawyer has a decent shot of beating the PA on relevance.
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Old March 7, 2012, 01:25 PM   #9
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I think the main factor is going to be where you live, as someone who lives in Cook County, CC or no CC I fully expect to be treated like a gang banger even in a lawful DGU. If you live down in Champaign or Peoria the experience may be very very different. Get the name of a good lawyer and keep it handy, if you ever have to use your gun remember rule #1 after a DGU is to keep your lips zipped until you can talk to your lawyer. If you are really that concerned over modifications to your weapon I would pick an attorney to have on stand by and pose the question to them.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:56 PM   #10
RobertSB701
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As luck would have it I am residing in Cook County. I appreciate all the thought that went into your responses, it definitely gives me some great incite into potential scenarios. Even though it takes about 10 minutes I feel that its probably best to have a certified Glock Armorer install the NY1 trigger spring for me. I'll make a copy of receipt and lock it up w/ other important paper work in security box. I'll probably forgo any polishing or internals. Thanks again! I appreciate the advise!
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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If you used the gun in self-defense, trigger pull is irrelevant. After all, you're claiming you intended to pull the trigger. If you claim it was accidental, then trigger pull can be very relevant. Of course, the fact you're pointing a loaded gun at someone you claim you did not mean to shoot speaks volumes as well.

One of the worst things to happen is to claim self-defense but then claim you didn't mean to pull the trigger. Entirely inconsistent, but I've seen that more than once.
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Old March 8, 2012, 09:07 AM   #12
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You could always simply state the gun is just the way you received it. You have no idea if someone else did anything. You never took it apart so how could you be expected to know a thing like that. Except.....you posted what you intend to do all over the internet along with your own suspicions that it could spell legal trouble.

I see no real possibility that the common .25 cent trigger job and a NY1 trigger could be used against someone, but proceed at your own risk.
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Old March 8, 2012, 11:44 AM   #13
maestro pistolero
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I worry first about not making any tragic mistakes, and for me that means having a trigger that I can control. 4 lbs is my lower limit for a carry gun, but most of them break at between 4.5. and 5.5 pounds. But a really crisp 7 lb trigger on a 1911 doesn't necessarily suck, either.

As pointed out, unless you make a terrible mistake, and claim an accidental discharge, you are probably fine in the range of trigger weights I described, IF they are controllable for YOU.

Massad Ayoob has strong feelings about this issue that are somewhat at odds with mine. His writings on this subject are well-worth your consideration, as he has a lifetime of experience as an expert witness in defensive shooting cases.
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Old March 8, 2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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If you used the gun in self-defense, trigger pull is irrelevant. After all, you're claiming you intended to pull the trigger.
It's not irrelevant if the prosecutor attempts to prove that your claim of intent is inaccurate. That's one of the reasons that going to significantly lighter triggers can carry potential risk. If the prosecutor can "prove" that you didn't fire intentionally then he's also, by default, proved that you didn't fire in self-defense since self-defense is an intentional act, not an unintentional one. If your claim of self-defense is not supported by the evidence then you shot someone without justification. That's a bad thing.

However, in this case, the OP is actually talking about making the trigger heavier, so he's unlikely to run into problems, in my opinion.
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Old March 9, 2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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If the prosecutor can "prove" that you didn't fire intentionally then he's also, by default, proved that you didn't fire in self-defense since self-defense is an intentional act, not an unintentional one.
But then it's an "accidental" shooting and, at the very least, knocks down the charge from murder to negligent/reckless homicide. I've never heard of a prosecutor charging on such a theory and the defense claiming I shot him/her intentionally but to defend myself. In my neck of the woods, that would earn the defendant an amended charge at trial and a murder instruction.

So, I really don't think this is very realistic but I cannot categorically say it's impossible.
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:24 PM   #16
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Right. I'm not claiming it's likely, just pointing out that because the potential exists it's not quite accurate to say that trigger pull is irrelevant. It could be relevant under the proper circumstances.
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Old March 12, 2012, 01:57 PM   #17
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Is the prosecutor going to disassemble the firearm and recognize the parts are not factory?
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Old March 12, 2012, 02:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Is the prosecutor going to disassemble the firearm and recognize the parts are not factory?
No, but the Firearms and Tool Mark Examiner to whom it will be sent when taken as evidence following an incident probably will.
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Old March 12, 2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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"Is the prosecutor going to disassemble the firearm and recognize the parts are not factory?"

Yes, as soon as a google search turns up this thread.
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