This is a story for the true believers out there of the type of american dream where you can just sue someone for something that’s your fault.
A former police officer, Darrell Smith, was visiting a gun shop in Kentucky when he asked the employee behind the counter if he could check out a .380 pistol that he had his eye on. The employee hands him the pistol and with a rack of the slide, the Smith unknowingly chambers a live round and pulls the trigger, sending the bullet in the direction of his fingers.
Now, I can’t say for sure how a live round got into the firearm. And I’m not saying that the employee shouldn’t have set the firearm on the counter with the slide locked back, but what I am saying is that the former officer failed to abide by the 4 rules of firearm safety.
Here are some things that I would like to touch on that he did wrong:
- Anytime you are handed a firearm or pick up a firearm, you should be checking the chamber. Even if you set a firearm down that you just cleared, and then pick it up again in 10 seconds, you should be checking that chamber again.
- His fingers were in front of the muzzle. Unless he didn’t want them anymore, they shouldn’t have been there.
- He pulled the trigger while the firearm was not pointed in a safe direction. If it were tilted up a little more, he could have very well hit the people next to him.
- When he sets the firearm back down on the counter (after he shoots his hand), he points it directly at the employee. And, it looks as though the slide is in full battery, meaning that a new round is likely chambered.
- He got the floor all bloody.
Smith’s attorney had this to say about the incident and lawsuit; “He’s permanently disfigured. He went through a lot of pain and suffering. He’s gone through several surgeries. He’s got a lot of medical bills that have to be paid. It ended his career and he’s going to have a lot of lost income.”
So, he’s suing for negligence on the part of the gun shop employee for not safety-checking the firearm prior to giving it to Smith.
Call me a hard a$$, but this is a money-making way for Smith not to own up to his own negligence. If I shot my fingers off in a gun shop with one of their guns, that is no one’s fault but my own. Long story short, I wouldn’t be suing for something that I should have had complete control of.
Safety-check EVERY TIME.