A jailer who works for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department shot himself earlier this week when the gun “accidentally discharged.” According to news reports and item in his bag hit the gun causing it to fire. Something smells fishy to me. Pistols do not go off spontaneously, nor do they go off when something touches them. You have to pull or squeeze the trigger to discharge the firearm. I am told they use .40 S&W Glocks and so there are multiple trigger safeties involved and the only way to get that gun to fire is direct contact on the trigger. Now he could have had something through the trigger guard in the bag, but it would have to shift enough to fully allow the trigger to release the striker and that’s where I’m not convinced. I guess if you were trying to cram a bag into an area and pushing on it in just the right manner the gun might go off, but I still don’t see it happening as reported.
Let’s take a second and see what went wrong here. Many would say a loaded gun, but I don’t see that as an issue. A LEO should have a loaded gun, everyone who legally can for that matter, an unloaded firearm is a paperweight. No, the biggest issue was he did not know what direction the muzzle was pointing and had the bag oriented with the muzzle pointed in his direction. Had the bag been rotated 180 degrees this could not have happened.
So the takeaway from this incident should be to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and there are no instances where a gun spontaneously fires by simply being touched. I hope the officer makes a full recovery and next time has the firearm in a holster or at the very least pointed in a safe direction.