A constant refrain at every gun school I’ve ever attended is that no one ever won a fight or a shooting competition for getting back to the holster faster than everyone else. What these instructors mean is that you should be slow and deliberate in re-holstering your handgun, and that if you feel any resistance at all, you should withdraw the gun entirely and then visually see what is obstructing the holster.
Sometimes that might include body parts.
A Maryland man accidentally shot himself in the leg while holstering a pistol earlier this week, according to state police in York County.
The shooting occurred at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday along the 100 block of Pikes Peak Road in Peach Bottom Township, police said.
The victim was identified as a 37-year-old man from Bel Air, according to police.
The victim was “putting his pistol into the holster. His finger was on the the trigger and the pistol discharged. The round hit him in the right calf,” according to a news release from the police.
Why was his finger on the trigger? We’ll probably never know, and it doesn’t really matter to you.
What should matter is how to prevent it from happening to you.
- Make sure your trigger finger is high on the slide of the handgun after you are done shooting.
- Go back to your holster slowly and deliberately.
- If you encounter any resistance at all, STOP.
- Remove the gun from the holster.
- Check for obstructions, from a collapsed holster to a shirt to a jacket toggle to a shell casing (I’ve seen each of these) to anything else.
- Clear any obstructions.
- Resume from step 1.
While this sort of negligent discharge has been known as “Glock Leg” for many years and is most frequent with striker-fired guns without external safeties, keep in mind that it can occur (and has occurred) with nearly any handgun, including 1911s and revolvers.
Be safe out there.