Dry fire turns deadly after basic gun safety rules ignored

Dry fire turns deadly after basic gun safety rules ignored

Dry fire drills can be incredibly useful for your training. I’ve used it to identify issues with my trigger pull in the past and still use it to maintain skill as best I can when ammo prices make regular training cost prohibitive.


But I’m also pretty paranoid when doing it. I check the chamber often and don’t even let any magazine go into the weapon. I’m terrified of a negligent discharge while doing so.

Stories like this are why.

 A 25-year-old Lake Worth Beach man died Saturday evening after a friend shot him, mistakenly believing that a handgun was unloaded, West Palm Beach police reported Monday.

Investigators say the shooting occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on the 4200 block of San Marino Boulevard at the Emerald Isle apartments along Military Trail.

Witnesses said another 25-year-old man admitted to loading a handgun and charging the weapon, but forgot it was loaded and thought he was “dry-firing” when the gun discharged and struck his friend.

The shooting victim walked out of the apartment and down the stairs before collapsing. No charges had been filed as of midday Monday, but the investigation remains open, police said.

Now, first, let’s understand that what seems to have happened here wasn’t someone who was trying to engage in gun training by using dry fire. There were a number of people in the room when he did this, which suggests he was goofing off or showing off.

He also apparently pointed the gun at someone. The victim was apparently in the room, so it looks like he broke one of the fundamental rules of gun handling.

Even in my dry fire practice, I point the weapon well away from where I know people are–I generally point downward as well, since even a negligent discharge will be more likely to go into the dirt than a neighbor. It seems this individual not only didn’t think of it that way. He figured “unloaded is safe” and pointed it at his buddy, apparently.


Now, that buddy is dead.

Look, I’m not going to say that dry fire is a bad practice. It’s not and it’s incredibly useful. However, since it involves a firearm, you can’t act like a moron when you do it.

Yes, I’m paranoid about whether or not the chamber is empty. I never assume it is. If I put the gun down for an instant, I’m rechecking the chamber to make sure it’s clear and there’s no magazine in the weapon. Other people do other things to maintain safety.

What happened here looks like someone who wasn’t training, had no interest in using dry fire as a tool to help increase or maintain weapon proficiency, and didn’t seem to even think about the inherent risks involved in handling a firearm.

As a result, someone is dead.

Right now, he hasn’t been charged with anything, but I suspect that he may be. If so, he is likely going to prison. I won’t lose sleep over it, either, because his negligence apparently led to the death of an innocent person.

Don’t be that guy.

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