Can a Handgun Be Discharged Negligently?

A negligent discharge occurs anytime a firearm is fired without the intent of the owner. Negligent discharges can have potentially lethal consequences, and gun owners can be held responsible for any death or injury that occurs from the use of their guns. Negligent discharges are always a possibility, but there are many things you can do to prevent one from occurring. The firearms safety education professionals from Online Texas LTC, a premier provider of online LTC classes, offer the following advice on how to prevent a negligent discharge with your gun.

Store Your Gun Unloaded

Firearms have mechanical components that aren’t always fail-proof. Most negligent discharges occur when guns are mishandled in a way that causes them to discharge. If your gun is unloaded, you don’t have to worry about a negligent discharge that leads to property damage or a personal injury.

Assume Every Firearm Is Loaded

During your gun safety training, you’ll often be reminded to treat every gun as if it’s loaded. This essential safety rule cannot be repeated often enough. You should also take this one step further by assuming all guns are loaded all the time, even your own. This helps you remember to handle the firearm with care. Remembering to avoid pointing the muzzle at people or objects that could be damaged by a negligent discharge keeps everyone around you safe.

Ensure Proper Off-Body Carry

Off-body carry is one of the most common causes of negligent discharges. This often occurs when someone chooses to improperly store his or her handgun in a purse, backpack, or briefcase. If the trigger is left exposed and the gun is placed in a bag, someone who reaches for the gun may accidentally pull the trigger. Just as your gun needs to be in a holster when carried on your body, the gun also needs to be in a holster or have the trigger guard covered when in a bag.

Use a Holster

Carrying your firearm on your body is important, but you’ll also want to remember that many things can negligently set off a firearm. For instance, strings and objects in your pockets could get caught on the trigger. To prevent this problem, use a holster to keep your gun on your body. A holster protects the delicate trigger system and prevents the safety from being disengaged.

Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger

A negligent discharge can also occur when a person hits the trigger before the gun is aimed at the proper target. Practice holding your handgun properly as much as possible. This helps you develop body memory that instantly puts your finger in the right place. This way, you won’t negligently discharge your weapon if you get startled or trip and fall.

Avoid Handling Your Gun More than Necessary

A gun that’s left alone won’t go off by itself. Treat your firearms with the respect they deserve, and try to avoid taking them out unless you’re about to actively use them or clean them. This also prevents other people from having access to your handgun. For instance, you might not want children or curious visitors in your home to know where you store your firearm.

Whether you already own a firearm or you’re considering purchasing one, it’s essential to know how to use it safely. Online Texas LTC is dedicated to providing the finest firearms training available. Whether you simply need to learn how to handle a gun and shoot safely or you want to take a Texas license to carry online course, Online Texas LTC has what you need. Give us a call today at 512-675-2124.