If you carry your firearm safely and correctly, you’ll ensure that you are Negligent Discharge-Proof.
Something that gives all concealed carriers and firearms enthusiasts a bad name is a negligent discharge. Few things give the gun-grabbers as much ammunition – pardon the pun – as reports of people injuring themselves or others with a negligent shooting.
People can’t carry guns safely, they’ll say, which is wrong. In fact, it’s relatively easy to safely carry a gun without ever suffering a negligent discharge. Here’s how to make sure that you stay ND-proof.
Treat Every Gun Like A Loaded Gun, And Check The Chamber
Ever hear of or see a news report of a person who was cleaning a loaded gun and negligently fired it or something to that effect? It could happen to anyone, and much easier than one thinks. Often enough, you’ll even see headlines where it happened to a police officer; some cop was cleaning his pistol when it went off.
This happens when a Glock, or firearm of similar design, is taken down for cleaning without checking the chamber. The trigger, you see, has to be pulled with some guns in order to strip it down. Someone merely forgets to check the chamber.
Likewise, a good deal of other negligent discharges occur because the person handling the firearm assumed it wasn’t loaded. As we all know, the first rule of gun safety is to treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
If you’re about to handle a firearm, and don’t intend to discharge a round, don’t rely on assumptions or anyone’s word that it isn’t loaded – check the chamber. It only takes a second.
Wear A Concealed Carry Holster That Covers The Trigger Guard And Keeps It Clear
Another good tip is to invest in a quality concealed carry holster that completely covers the trigger guard. A gun that does not have a manual safety or a grip safety can be fired by pulling the trigger alone. While that normally requires a pull of the finger, there are a number of negligent discharges that have occurred because something entered the trigger guard, snagged the trigger and discharged the pistol.
For instance, a number of minimalist belt slide holsters have caused NDs when the leather softened to the point of curling into the trigger guard. Such holsters are normally safe – though they were primarily designed with a 1911 pistol in mind, rather than more modern firearms with fewer safety devices – but have a sell-by-date.
In other instances, clothing has gotten into holsters, snagged a trigger and caused a ND. Pocket carrying without a pocket holster has as well – something in the pocket or the pocket fabric itself has set off a pocket gun on numerous occasions. One should avoid pocket carry if possible, and employ a pocket holster if they must carry in this fashion.
How can this be resolved? First by making sure the trigger guard is completely covered by a holster. Secondly, by taking pains to ensure nothing gets in the trigger guard except for one’s gun.
Avoid Drop Fires with Holster Retention and Sound Carrying
Another cause of NDs is drop fires, when a firearm is dropped and then discharges a round. This has become somewhat less of a risk in the modern era, as drop safeties have been a common feature on guns for some time now, and in many states are mandatory. Transfer bars and other firing pin safety features, though, don’t always work (any mechanical system is subject to failure at some point) and not every gun has them.
To avoid drops and potential drop fires, there are several strategies one can employ. First is to carry with a good quality holster. A quality holster has adequate holster retention, and doesn’t allow a pistol to travel whilst holstered. A gun that isn’t going anywhere can’t be dropped out of one’s holster. A gun that isn’t properly secured may drop.
Likewise, avoid off-body carry unless it is not possible to carry on the body. Purses, fanny packs, messenger backs and briefcases can be dropped, and there are a number of news reports of purses going “bang!” when dropped. Not only that, but they can also be stolen.
Therefore, to keep a drop fire from happening, carry in a secure holster.
Remember The 4 Rules Of Gun Safety
Lastly, remember the 4 rules of gun safety. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot. Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you don’t want destroyed. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
For instance, don’t put your finger on the trigger and pull unless you intend to fire, or unless you’ve made sure the pistol is clear. Keep it pointed in a safe direction, especially if manually decocking a gun.
If you follow these rules, you should avoid any negligent discharges.