Skip to comments.Campbell mayor seeks probe of gun discharges
Posted on 05/01/2012 9:51:00 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Mayor Bill VanSuch has asked the Campbell Police Department to investigate how a handgun discharged in the police chiefs office.
The incident happened April 17 as Chief Gus Sarigianopoulos was checking the gun to see if it was loaded.
Van Such said he intended to ask a detective-sergeant to investigate, and he is asking the chief to cooperate.
In a letter to VanSuch dated Thursday, Sarigianopoulos said he was attempting to clear the gun, which was pointed down toward the floor, when it discharged.
The police department had recently acquired the Vietnam-era handgun from state-government surplus.
The gun, one of three the department acquired about six weeks ago, is a single-action Colt 1911 .45-caliber semiautomatic, said Officer Dave Smith, a firearms instructor for the department.
Smith said that though it is an older gun, it is still a good model that could be used an officers service gun.
He also said the department can benefit from training with the single- action guns, because its officers are more familiar with the double-action Glocks they use now.
It benefits the department because if they come across one on the streets, they know how to clear it, he said.
The department was also asked in October to account for an accidental discharge while the chief and other officers were on a call.
(Excerpt) Read more at vindy.com ...
I'll bet there's a citizen who's been trying to get that gun back for years.
That's a very common mistake, pull the slide back, check the chamber and see its empty, release the slide (now it just became loaded) then pull the magazine.
Happened to me once at home when I was showing a handgun to a friend. Fortunately my friend did what he was supposed to do, pull the slide, recheck the chamber and lo and behold, there's a cartridge in there. Scared the living crap out of me, and yes, that was a learning experience....... I still cringe when I think about it.
OK, let me be the first to say... WTF does the mayor need an invesitgation for? The chief screwed up. I’ll bet that won’t happen again. End of story.
The mayor just wants to get reelected, and starting an investigation over this just panders to the gun grabbers who are probably outraged that a policeman used and fired a gun, even if by accident.
I always check a firearm someone has “cleared” in my presense. Thanks for reminding me why I do it.
The best description on FR was that the booger hooker was on the bang switch. EOR, Mayor.
At least it was pointed at the floor.
INSTRUCTIONS: "To clear weapon, fire chambered round; repeat until empty."
You will be hard pressed to do so without installing miss fitted parts. When the hammer is down and resting on the firing pin, the firing pin does not rest on the primer of a chambered round as it is too short to protrude past the breech face. Further, the firing pin is held to the rear, away from the primer by a spring. Unless the hammer strikes the firing pin with enough energy to overcome the spring and inertia, the pistol will not fire. Such energy can not be developed when the hammer is at rest on the firing pin stop. In short, dropping won't discharge the 1911 pistol when the hammer is down.
That's a he*lluva way to handle any automatic when showing it to a friend, handing it back and forth with the slide closed!!!
If this is your habit, you ought to cringe. Your "friend" should never have to pull the slide to examine its safe condition or you are not a friend. The piece should be cleared of any magazine or ammo in the barrel, slide locked open, inspected by you, and only then handed to him for his/her inspection and responsibility for safe handling.
For those who might not already know, here is the procedure. With the piece always pointed in a safe direction, and never placing your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot it; and assuming a priori it is loaded; then:
(1) Eject the magazine, placing it out of the way.
(2) Holding the piece in the right hand, right thumb on the slide catch, rack the slide back and engage the slide catch to keep the slide securely open when the left hand is removed from the slide.
(3) Through the ejection port, examine the rear of the barrel to insure there is no round still lodged in the barrel and to simultaneously doublecheck the magazine channel to see that it is clear.
(4) With the slide securely open, hand the piece to the other person, muzzle pointed somewhere between horizontal and skyward.
(5) The other person receives the piece, examines the open chamber again to ensure there is no magazine in the piece and no round lodged in the barrel.
(6) The person receiving the piece may then close the slide by holding the piece in the right hand; restraining the slide with the left hand to back the slide off the slide catch thus disengaging it; then easing the slide back into battery (the full closed position), such that it does not slam shut when the slide catch is disengaged.
(7) The hammer may then be lowered, using the left hand to gently restrain the hammer motion to avid damaging the firing pin or the pin spring by keeping the hammer from snapping.
(8) Engage the mechanical safety
(9) Replace the magazine
(10) Examine or manipulate the piece with continuing assumption that the piece is loaded and ready to fire.
Good gun manners and safe handling protocol requires that if the piece is to be handed back to the first person, that this whole process be again repeated in every detail.
The piece has been prepared for safe transfer, safely transferred to the other person, examined for absence of any ammunition, returned to carry state, and fit for further manipulation or use.
A very similar procedure would be used in the handling of revolvers, single shot pistols, or long guns.
Never rely on a safety in handing guns around!
(Extra detail: If this is happening at a firing range, and if someone is to go down range, then prepare the piece by going through steps (1) through (3) above, lay the piece down on the bench, and step full away from the firing line. If there are several people using the range, the range officer will inspect all uncased firearms that they are cleared before anyone is permitted downrange. No uncasing or handling of uncased firearms at all while anyone is downrange.)
Furthermore, in handling a weapon the first time you own it, ALWAYS confirm that the barrel is open -- that there is no dud bullet lodged partway down the barrel (especially for guns not known to have been examined by a gunsmith)!!!
Hope this is taken as a positive, constructive, safe, and helpful critique.
Respectfully but not regretfully --
LOL, I thought of the same thing!
Beats the hell out of a .45 cal hole in the metatarsals.
Isn't it a common policy for any on-duty discharge of an officer's gun will be investtigated (however much needed) and a report submitted? This is going to be fun for the Chief, going forward, eh? Just procedure, probably
That’s the assumption under which I am working. Never had a hole in the metatarsals, but my calculations have it way down on the pleasure scale.
What you say is correct, but it is indeed possible.