A very interesting story hit the headlines Sunday evening stating:
A woman celebrating the weekend before her 25th birthday was fatally shot Sunday when she hugged an off-duty police officer while dancing at a party, causing the officer’s service weapon to fire, according to police and her mother. ~ ABCnews
I’ve thought and pondered this event, and sure wish I knew more about the details. What type of holster? What type of pistol? What led to the discharge?
Responsible gun owners know that guns will not discharge without the trigger being pulled. There are way too many safeties installed on modern firearms. Yet, with poor equipment, perhaps your holster could “pull the trigger’ for you (see article). But proper responsible maintenance would prevent this fluke. So I suppose the question is, “What, or who, pulled that trigger?”.
Another news story describes the pistol as: “A department-issued, 40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol, was in a holster worn inside the officer’s waistband and was covered by his shirt.” (Detroit Free Press) This still doesn’t answer many questions, even the pistol make or model. For all we know “Smith & Wesson” could refer to the .40 S&W caliber and not Manufacture of the pistol.
I’m also not understanding how an IWB (inside the waistband) holster would point in a dangerous direction where, if it where discharged, would strike another person in the heart. How was it not pointed in a downward direction?
Critics have complained about the “need to chamber a round at a party”. But I disagree with this. Modern firearms can be dropped, thrown, beaten, and abused without a discharge. One never knows what type of situation you might need your weapon for and you cannot expect to be able to rack the slide in a defensive situation. Furthermore, unless someone fooled around with the mechanics the trigger needed to be actuated to discharge.
Until we know all the details we can only speculate, but use this as a reminder to inspect your own equipment, carry in a quality holster that fully (and safely) encloses the trigger guard, and stay safe.