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Oh, Florida Man, what have you done to yourself this time?

A 26-year-old Palm Harbor man was injured in an accidental shooting at the Oldsmar AMC movie theater Friday afternoon.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the 3128 Tampa Road theater just before 2 p.m. March 10. When they arrived, they learned that Nathan A. Schrage had accidentally shot himself while in the restroom.

Deputies say Schrage went into the bathroom and put the gun from his concealed holster on the toilet paper dispenser. “Schrage attempted to place is firearm back into his holster when the firearm accidentally discharged, causing injury to his left hand,” an email from the sheriff’s office said.

Schrage has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the agency noted.

No one else was in the restroom when the gun went off, deputies say.

You’ll note the article’s passive tense. It was an “accident,” and the gun “went off.” Of its own free will, apparently.

I blame Skynet.

skynet

The reality, of course, is that the incident was a negligent discharge caused by poor gun-handling.

Odds are close to 100% that he was using a cheap holster with poor retention (Alien Gear, Crossbreed, Fobus etc) and knew that without the pressure of the gun being pressed up against his body that the firearm was likely going to fall on the floor, so he unwisely decided to take the the gun out of the holster instead of taking the entire holster off with the gun inside it.

Cheap holsters are rarely blamed for negligent discharges, but in those incidents where we are able to positively identify the holster involved, poor construction, design, or worn materials have often played a role in either:

  • people not trusting their holsters to retain their gun (which apparently happened here).
  • people attempting to reposition/catch guns that have shifted/are falling out of holsters because of retention issues.
  • holsters with weak mouths force people to cant their guns towards the body as they attempt to “fish” to open it up.
  • questionable designs (Serpa) lead to bad outcomes (Tex Grebner), and some holsters being banned outright by some instructors and shooting schools.

I’ve been to a lot of classes, and more importantly, regularly talk to instructors who watch guns and gear fail when placed under any appreciable level of stress at all. It amazes them just as it does me that people will spend $500-$1000 on a defensive pistol to save their lives, and then put that critical piece of lifesaving equipment in a substandard holster that doesn’t provide a decent level of retention (unload your gun, put it in the holster, and turn it upside down. If it falls, throw out the holster), and/or poorly designed so that it doesn’t hold the gun tight to the body so that it both prints and becomes uncomfortable to wear for any length of time.

When investing in a defensive firearm, plan on spending a minimum of $70 on a decent holster, and that price can quickly skyrocket depending on the bells and whistles and materials chosen.