Skip to comments.Gun safety teacher shot in accident
Posted on 07/10/2003 4:04:58 AM PDT by jalisco555
A student in a gun safety class accidentally shot his instructor in the leg Wednesday while unloading a Glock handgun at the instructor's home in Salina, Onondaga County sheriff's deputies said.
Patrick Sacco, 48, a former Liverpool police officer, suffered the wound to his right leg about 10:45 a.m. in the basement of his home at 110 Tempo Circle, where he was instructing three students on firearms safety.
Gary Kassel, 56, of Syracuse, was unloading the .40-caliber Glock and didn't realize there was still a round in the chamber when he pointed the gun at the cement floor and pulled the trigger "to render the gun safe," deputies said. A bullet ricocheted off the floor and struck Sacco.
Sacco, owner of Verdad Investigations and Protection Institute, refused treatment from medics and was planning to get medical help on his own, deputies said. No charges were filed. The investigation will continue, deputies said.
The students were licensed handgun owners taking a class that would certify them to be armed security guards, Sgt. John D'Eredita said.
At least two Onondaga County law enforcement agencies have had a history of accidental shootings with Glocks since 1992. The county probation department had three in the past eight years, and the sheriff's department had three in the past 11 years.
In the most recent case, a probation officer was unloading her Glock at home last year when it accidentally fired into the floor of her apartment and struck a downstairs neighbor.
The description of the shooting in Sacco's basement typifies Glock accidents, said Joseph Cominolli, a firearms expert and former Syracuse police officer.
Glocks are safe weapons if the handler knows what he or she is doing, Cominolli said. But a common problem is unloading the gun in the wrong order, resulting in a round of ammunition being left in the chamber without the user realizing it, he said.
"He screwed the procedure
up," said Cominolli, who designed and patented a manual safety device that can be added to Glocks. He based his opinion about Sacco's shooting on the description given by deputies. "It's a typical screw-up with the gun."
The correct unloading sequence is to take the magazine out, then pull the slide back to eject a round that might be in the chamber, then look in the chamber to make sure it's empty, Cominolli said. The trigger shouldn't be pulled at all when unloading, he said.
Cominolli questioned why Sacco was using live ammunition if he was teaching the students how to load and unload the gun.
Sacco hung up on a reporter seeking his comment. Kassel could not be reached for comment.
"If you're doing a malfunction drill or teaching someone how to load and unload, with a student you don't use live ammo," Cominolli said. "You don't even do that with cops."
Other than the fact that it ricocheted and hit the instructor, the guy really didn't do anything WRONG per se.
Now, were I an instructor, I'd make sure that I had a barrel full of sand for students to point their weapons into as they unload them (like you see outside EVERY marine armory)
According to one of the range tests I've taken:
Main Entry: 1safe·ty
Inflected Form(s): plural safeties
Etymology: Middle English saufte, from Middle French sauveté, from Old French,
from sauve, feminine of sauf safe
Date: 14th century
1 : A mechanical device which can fail.
translation: the AWB sunset is provoking lots of gun stories lately... and no matter how minor, portrayal of the evils of guns will increase.
fwiw, I carry a SIG because of the decocker.
I've fired a Glock before but I forget.
It's usually a good indicator if there's a bullet in the chamber if the slide's open and you can see in it.
Amen! Amen! And Amen! (Can you say Hallelujah!)
Glocks are certainly exceptionally safe when used within the parameters of their design, but they are by nature not terribly "idiot friendly".
You would think that the concept of "finger off the trigger" would be a no-brainer for ever the most dense idiots, regardless of the weapon in use. Guess not.
Once coming back from hunting, I almost pulled the trigger of my '06 to 'render it safe'. Had the finger on the trigger but thought better. Opened the bolt to find a cartridge! A little thought saved the car and my sanity.
Right.... If you have to pull the trigger to be sure, then you are not sure.
I seem to recall that disassembling many semi-automatic rifles, such as the M1A, require that the hammer be cocked and the safety set in a particular way ( can't remember whether "on" or "off").
The instructions with the Glock call for pulling the trigger, with the pistol pointing in a safe direction, as part of the disassembly procedure, immediately after checking to ensure that there is no round in the chamber. It may be that the striker mechanism must be de-cocked for proper disassembly and assembly.
My Kimber Ultra-Carry specifies that the trigger be pulled, to drop the hammer on an empty chamber, after checking to see that the chamber is empty. There is no warning to point it in a safe direction, though we all know to do that. Disassembly calls for racking the slide, which will re-cock the hammer.
The general rule seems to be that there is no "general rule" and that the user must know the particulars of the firearm they are handling.
All the cops I know would put up quite a fight if you tried to load them into a pistol.
2 : a device to hold cartridges for charging the magazines of some rifles; also : a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm
I've been wrong before, though.
Just looking at this old article about Pat Sacco, the instructor who got shot by a student last year. You wrote "Guns dont wound idiot instructors, idiot instructors wound idiot instructors"...just to let you know that Mr. Sacco was not teaching the class at the time of the shooting. The class was being taught by SCOTT WEIS, an inexperienced instructor who was FIRED from Mr. Sacco's company for not running a safe class (among other things) and the student who shot Mr. Sacco was not certified by Mr. Sacco's company. Oddly enough, after SCOTT WEIS was fired from his position, he opened his own company where he did train the "dumbass student" and SCOTT WEIS did issue a NYS ARMED GUARD CERTIFICATION to said "dumbass student" I know Mr. Sacco personally and I am VERY familiar with the facts of this incident. It's nice to pass judgement when you have ALL OF THE FACTS.......Mr, Sacco has always run a safe and professional training facility and he adheres to the strictest safety principles. Unless you know the man or have attended his classes, you really are out of line. Just my 2 cents.