Veteran Detective Chester Kurdyla, 49, wounded himself late Sunday night at the county jail in Morris Township after transporting a prisoner to the lockup, said Rochford.Accident #2
Kurdyla stored his gun when he entered the jail. When he completed his duties at 11:50 p.m., he retrieved the gun, a .40 caliber Glock, and was putting it back in his holster when it discharged, sending a bullet into his right thigh.
On Friday afternoon, 33-year-old Sheriff's Officer Wilman Diaz, also shot himself in the leg. Diaz was in an office adjacent to the front-door security post at the county courthouse in Morristown and was about to turn in his .40 caliber Glock for a bi-annual weapons inspection when it discharged as he removed it from his holster, said authorities.
The article goes on to report that this department is scheduling more firearms safety training for it's officers. Read the whole article here.
This is the perfect opportunity to go over the four rules of handing a firearm. If these officers had followed these four rules, they would be home with their families, bandage free.
Rule #1 - Every firearm is loaded. Notice that I did not say "Treat every firearm as if it were loaded". NO, every firearm is loaded. Do not act like a firearm is loaded, believe it. Until you check personally, visually and by feel, that a firearm is unloaded, it has a round in the chamber and is ready to fire.
Rule #2 - Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy. This is probably the rule I see broken the most at gun shows and shops. Never, ever, cross a person with the barrel of a firearm. Never, ever, cross a part of your own body with the barrel of a firearm. Accidental shootings would not happen if this were followed 100% of the time.
Rule #3 - Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target. Do not place your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire your firearm. Sights on the target means you have the firearm aimed at the target/bad guy/whatever and are ready to fire. You gain no speed by putting your finger on the trigger as you unholster your firearm. (hint, hint to the above officers). Negligent discharges would never happen if this rule was followed 100% of the time.
Rule #4 - Be sure of your target and what is behind it. Be aware of your surroundings. Be sure of your target. Never shoot at sounds or at objects that you can not positively identify. Know what surrounds your target, and what is behind it. Again, be aware of your surroundings whether on a range, in the woods, or in a potentially lethal conflict.
If the officers had followed these four rules, they would not have ended up in the hospital. The fact that there were two incidents in the same department indicates that have a very poor overall philosophy in regards to firearms safety and general handling. For each accident, there had to be dozens of times when safety rules were broken. If you broke a rule at my range, there are plenty of folks that would let you know right away.
If you own a firearm, make these four rules a matter of habit, teach them to your children and loved ones. You teach your kids the rules of the road, teach them the rules of handling firearms.
For more information on firearm safety, go to Fr. Frogs Pad.