ONEIDA, NEW YORK — Important lessons can often be learned through very short stories with few details.
Such is the case with an incident that occurred in a Oneida, New York Walmart.
Though the details of the incident are limited, what is known, is that Guthrie J. Hood, 23 (who was authorized by the state of New York to own a handgun, but not to carry it) was walking through the store when the 9mm handgun in his pocket went off, leaving him with a bullet lodged in his foot and charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and fourth-degree possession of a weapon.
The first lesson we’ll find here is adherence to your local laws. Whether we like them or not, the importance of adhering to local laws cannot be overstated when it applies to concealed carry.
In addition to the consequences to the individual breaking the law, the entire firearms community suffers each and every time someone is caught disregarding the local, state, or federal firearms law. It strengthens the anti-gun movement’s false arguments and no one suffers more than those who carry a firearm on a daily basis for personal protection.
Had Mr. Hood complied with the law, not carrying his firearm until he was legally allowed to do so, his firearm would not have been in his pocket and his foot and police record may still be intact.
The second lesson, which is of equal importance is one of safety and training. A negligent discharge of a pocketed firearm can happen for a number of reasons, all of which can be avoided by following some very simple guidelines.
1. Never carry a firearm in your pocket unless it is properly holstered.
2. The only thing in that pocket should be the holstered firearm
3. Keep your hand off your firearm unless there is an immediate need for it.
An unholstered or improperly holstered firearm, another item in the pocket with the firearm, and excessive firearm handling can can all result in negligent discharge resulting in serious injury or death.
If you are new to concealed carry, obtaining proper training from a qualified individual is extremely important. Make the time and save the money to do so. You won’t regret it.
If you’re a concealed carry veteran, remember the training you’ve already received and don’t become lax. Remain vigilant and always seek to improve your skills.