Milwaukee’s cops don’t have a lot of love for the SIG P320, not after three incidents of department-issued guns discharging without pulling a trigger. Now, the police union is demanding the city replace the guns – like yesterday. What’s more, they claim they’re drafting a lawsuit if the city drags its feet.
There are plenty of reasons the city might not be able to furnish guns – like yesterday. Not the least of which is training the average beat cop how to use a new pistol. Yeah, for aficionados, it’s not too hard. But the average cop today shoots his or her sidearm because they have to, not because they want to.
The news brings back memories of the story The Truth About Guns splashed a few years ago, complete with video, of the original P320s going bang when dropped. That video created a whole storm of controversy and to SIG’s credit, the immediately suspended production and offered voluntary, no-cost upgrades for existing guns.
It’s unknown if Milwaukee PD’s guns were the original, pre-upgrade P320s or not. If they are the upgraded guns, that would create a lot of questions.
Here’s what WISN’s report says:
MILWAUKEE — With three documented cases in two years of a Milwaukee police officer’s gun apparently firing without anyone pulling the trigger, the Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police recommends police departments across the state shelve the controversial firearm out of an abundance of caution.
“Absolutely, it’s always prudent,” FOP Vice President Mark Sette said Tuesday, “If there is an identified problem, or a potential problem, I think it would be incumbent upon agencies to err on the side of caution.”
The focus on Milwaukee police and its standard issued service weapon is growing after an officer’s gun discharged and hit a fellow officer in the leg Saturday evening.
The first two incidents happened in July 2020 and January 2021, as 12 News previously reported in October 2021.
On Monday, Milwaukee Police Association President Andrew Wagner said the local union filed a notice of claim in March 2021, signaling to the city there would be a lawsuit filed if the department did not replace the guns.
Later in the story, there was this:
A 12 WISN News investigation last fall uncovered internal police memos which revealed Milwaukee Police supervisors sought to have the weapons replaced in the days after the first shooting.
In a memo dated July 30, 2020, the department range master, a sergeant, questioned why, in a conference call with officials from Sig Sauer, the gun maker representatives avoided answering directly whether they could guarantee the guns would not fire unless the trigger was pulled.
Time will tell how this works out. In the meantime, remember the golden rule of gun safety: Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.