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Old August 10, 2013, 04:00 AM   #1
IdahoG36
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Pistol modification question regarding Ruger SR45

I have a question that I wanted to run by the members here.

I am wanting to remove the magazine disconnect from my Ruger SR45. It is a very simple procedure, and I did the same modification to the SR9 that i used to own.

I use this pistol for home defense, and here is my question. If I were to remove the magazine disconnect, and I had to use my SR45 for home defense to shoot an intruder, could removing a safety feature of the gun cause you problems in a court of law afterwards?

I know that the usefulness of a magazine disconnect is debatable, and I personally do not like them. That is why i would like to remove mine.

I just worry that in a court, it could be argued that I was negligent or reckless for removing a safety feature from a firearm. What are your thoughts?
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Old August 10, 2013, 07:19 AM   #2
Spats McGee
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Caveat: I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer.

The short answer: yes, it could.

The longer answer: I'm not aware of any cases where removing a mag disconnect safety have come up in court, but: (1) that doesn't mean it hasn't; and (2) it doesn't mean it couldn't. Given your screen name, I'll assume you're from Idaho, and I don't know enough about ID law to know the nuances of how it could go down in court, but any time you start tinkering with the innards of a pistol, you open the door to a few new issues. IMHO, the real (legal) danger in this is in a scenario where you "didn't mean to shoot" the intruder. In that case, the other side could argue that it was negligent to remove the safety, and that doing so monkeyed with the trigger pull.
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Old August 10, 2013, 05:33 PM   #3
IdahoG36
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Yes I do live in Idaho. My main concern with the issue of removing the magazine disconnect is that I have read so many horror stories involving SD shootings, where the prosecution looks for anything and everything to hang a charge on the defendant.

They may not be able to prove or convince a jury that it was murder, but a negligent homicide or negligent manslaughter charge is a lot easier to hang on a defendant. Usually it involves the idea of "what would a reasonable person have done", and I guess that a reasonable person would not remove a safety feature from a firearm.

Thank you for your reply. I do believe that I will leave the gun as it is.
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Old August 10, 2013, 07:24 PM   #4
johnwilliamson062
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Anything you do could come up in court. The bullets chosen, any modifications to your house, etc, etc.
I agree the likelihood of this modification being important is limited to accidental shootings.
If you mean to shoot someone then what was a safety feature going to change about it? It isn't like this is a time delay feature meant to delay you so you can think about your actions or something.

I only use safeties when in competitions that require them and when bushwhacking where sticks are likely to get in the trigger guard. Not at all worried about it coming up in court UNLESS it results in a negligent discharge causing injury.
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Old August 10, 2013, 08:44 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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The possibility is always there that removal or disabling of a factory safety could be used against you in court, if you are unfortunate enough to be there as a defendant. Is it rebuttable? Sure -- but juries typically are not "gun people" and may not be generally technically or mechanically savvy, so anything beyond "He REMOVED a safety device that was put there BY THE FACTORY!" is likely to be lost.

I prefer not to take the risk. I own a Hi-Power. Even though I don't carry it and I don't have it out as a primary home defense pistol, it IS a pistol and it COULD some day be used for defense. The magazine safety is a huge pain in the neck for me, because I shoot and carry 1911s and they don't have mag safeties. But I won't remove the mag safety from the Hi-Power just because of the remote possibility it could come back to bite me.
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Old August 11, 2013, 06:33 AM   #6
WeedWacker
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I have a SR9c. I have removed the magazine disconnect for two reasons

1: While carrying I have had the misfortune of disarming at home and realizing the magazine release had been pressed and the magazine had partially ejected at some point during the day, probably while in the car.

2: I have had to send the pistol in twice for light strikes and from all I could tell from research on the various forums (grain of salt...) the disconnect interacted with the striker assembly in a way that the practice of dry firing caused the issues with light strikes.

I no longer dry fire with this firearm, but if I intend to rely on it to protect my life I want to remove any possible design flaws that could result in a failure of the firearm to function when I need it.
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Old August 11, 2013, 03:01 PM   #7
vranasaurus
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I wouldn't worry about it in the context of a self defense shooting. In that context you are going to be admitting that you shot the guy and that you intended to do it. While the prosecutor may try and use it against you it really isn't relevant.

However, monkeying with safety features can be a huge issue in a negligence or products liability action. You open yourself up to a great deal of liability that you might not otherwise have.
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Old August 11, 2013, 06:09 PM   #8
Tom Servo
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Quote:
I have read so many horror stories involving SD shootings, where the prosecution looks for anything and everything to hang a charge on the defendant.
If I'm in the position that the prosecution is trying to charge me for my actions during a shooting, I've either done something very wrong, or circumstances are very much against me.

Could removing the magazine safety exacerbate that? Possibly, but so could innumerable other factors.
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