Negligent Discharges

Negligent discharges (NDs) don’t have to happen to you.

Firing a gun when you don’t intend to send a projectile down the barrel is completely avoidable. Whether you call them unintentional or negligent, it’s vital to avoid calling them accidents.

Accidents are unforeseen instances beyond our control. The safe handling of firearms can be achieved with practice, patience, and attentiveness.

Here is a checklist:

  • Be sober.
  • Move slowly.
  • Keep fingers clear of the trigger.
  • Point the muzzle in the safest direction.
  • Verify the load status.
  • Avoid non-essential handling of firearms.

Be Sober.
The use of alcohol is major contributor in the mishandling of firearms that lead to injuries. Alcohol impairs cognitive function and slows reaction time.

Move slowly.
There is a saying, “slow is smooth”. This is how we need to approach handling firearms.

Keep fingers clear of the trigger.
If the firearm is in a functional condition, it should only be capable of firing when the trigger is activated. Fingers should be extended and indexed along the frame, as far away from the trigger and trigger guard as possible. Fingers should only enter the trigger guard when we are intent on shooting with full awareness of our surroundings and the target.

Point the muzzle in the safest direction.
Make an effort to point firearms where the bullet will do the least harm.

Verify the load status.
We need to know if our gun has a round in the chamber or if the chamber is empty. All previous rules still apply to firearms that are verified to have an empty chamber.

Avoid non-essential handling of firearms.
Frequently handling firearms without negative outcomes can instill a false sense of security. That confidence can lead to carelessness. Decreasing the amount of time spent handling firearms effectively reduces the opportunities for mishaps.

Be well. Be safe. Carry Wisely.


-Trevor Mardis

Tuesday, 28 July, 2020

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