Gun Safety is Infectious
It was a normal Wednesday. I had a call the night before by a female who had the day off and wanted to get some firearm training, possibly leading to a concealed carry permit. We started class in my normal fashion doing some paperwork and talking about places of employment and my house rules. We then came to the point where I check the guns. You know, no live ammunition in the classroom. I have always had people show me that the gun they have with them in class is safe and unloaded and that they have no ammo in their possession. This gives me a chance to see them handle the gun and gives me a clue as to what knowledge or bad habits they might have. I took her and the newly acquired compact semi-auto handgun in the box to the designated safe location for such activity and when she took it out, it had a trigger lock on it. We talked about the lock and the fact that she had kids at home while she was removing the lock. I reminded her of the safe direction as she got the gun out, dropped the magazine, racked the slide and a big shiny 9mm (JHP) hollowpoint flew out of the ejection port and my jaw dropped. Yes, I have seen this before, but to be honest I really did not expect it this time. The look on my face had to be priceless. She said, “I didn’t know that was in there”. So we talked about how it happened. Apparently, someone other than her checked the gun to see if it was loaded. She stated she never keeps one in the chamber in storage, just a full magazine and that is how she stores the firearm. So by not dropping the magazine first, it was loaded with a round and then the trigger lock was installed. When she saw my instructions for the class she knew not to bring any ammo in the classroom, so she took the magazine out of the locked gun and proceeded to come to class with the spare empty magazine.
Gun Safety is Infectious-Infect everyone you know
Remember to teach people to visually and physically inspect the place the round fires from in all guns. This is a primary skill that everyone needs to learn. Guns without slide locks are tougher to be safe with, they just take more care. Also, always check a gun yourself. Do not rely on others as they may not know how to do it properly either (gun stores, gunshows). In addition, it amazes me the number of people who do not know step number one in unloading or clearing a handgun is to remove the ammunition supply. I was very lucky this was a double-action handgun with a long trigger pull and she was not touching the trigger as she cleared her gun as so many students do in my primary classes. I have actually been witness to people clearing the handgun in their automobile before coming into the building for class, and I cringe every time I think about the ND (negligent discharge) not AD (accidental discharge) that could happen in my parking lot. Gun safety is the most important aspect of gun training. It is the foundation of everything we teach. Everyone at one time or another shows another person how to operate a firearm. It could be a spouse or a child, it might be a friend or a stranger. Knowledge is infectious and when it comes to gun safety infect everyone you know.