The next time someone casually and carelessly waves around the muzzle of a gun they are examining at a gun store or gun show, with their finger on the trigger, you might gently encourage them to exercise proper muzzle control and keep their finger off the trigger until and unless they’ve verified it’s unloaded and it’s pointed in a safe direction.

I’ve done this before, particularly at gun shows, and even a store or three over the years.


Because negligent discharges happen.

And while you wouldn’t be justified drawing down on someone casually waving a gun in your direction in a gun store, you can take your body and your money elsewhere if the problem continues.  No gun purchase is worth risking your life.

Here’s one that happened a few years ago in Bloomington, IL.  One “avid” shooter examines a used Ruger Mini-14, fondles the trigger and KA-BOOM!  The round goes through a wooden post, through one man’s chest and into a second man.  Debris also injures a third man.

The guy renting the table closed his business about the time the lawsuit was settled.  He’s lucky it wasn’t worse.

Failing to encourage proper gun safety for those who don’t know any better or who are contemptuous of safety can have disastrous consequences.

Check out this video.  Any one of those four people “downrange” came close to taking a slug.  All because some cop ASS-U-MEd the gun was unloaded.

The money shot is around :47 and they’ve edited it to cut out the gore.



The three rules of gun safety, per the NRA:

     1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

    2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

    3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

5 thoughts on “GUN STORE GUN SAFETY: The three rules *always* apply”
  1. I have been reading about this on some gun forums and am amazed at the number of people that lay the blame on the store and the clerk. While I don’t consider either of them blameless, the ultimate responsibility is on the person who pulled the trigger. This is why you must always clear the firearm yourself. No sympathy for “Mr. Nine Fingers.” Jim.

    1. I see what you mean, but the store, I feel, did have a responsibility themselves to make absolutely sure any gun they have on display is clear and that there are no sleeper rounds. If the officer would have followed the rules of gun safety of course this could have been avoided. But I still say the store is as much responsible for this as is the officer. Just suppose if the gun happened to have been pointing at someone’s head.

  2. LOL.

    The buck stops with the guy who pulled the trigger.

    We’ve all had close calls with NDs – Negligent Discharges. Some closer than others.

    At Guns Save Life meetings, we have lots of guns around. In almost twenty years there, I’ve been handed two “unloaded” guns that were loaded. One was a .25 auto by a guy who has time and experience around guns to make me look like a wet behind the ears infant.

    At one of our GSL Defense Training courses, a guest instructor offered me his fancy Sig piston-driven AR that had been highly customized with what he said was a great trigger. “Try the trigger!” he said. We were at the hotel.

    I looked the gun over and eased the action open and saw a bright and shiny nickel-plated cartridge looking back at me. That was one of my close calls.

    Oh, and yes, it had a really nice trigger after my adrenaline rush faded. I had almost put my finger on the trigger before I thought to myself, “You know, I should double check that this is really unloaded.”


  3. OK – I never hand someone a firearm without checking it clear myself and I also require the person receiving the gun to check it themselves. I learned this in the Navy – we also had to announce “weapon is clear”.
    At the same time, I don’t accept a weapon until the person giving it to me checks it first.
    Same goes for my own safe – although I’ve found myself getting a little complacent with my carry piece lately. This video has served as good reinforcement. Thanks.

  4. Haven’t had any oopsies since i was a dumbass teen many years ago. You can’t be sloppy about safety around guns. Oh yeah, trust nobody.

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