While the report claims this the shooter claims it was a prank gone wrong. It sounds more like homicide to me. Not sure which level.

It seems that the owner of a gun store bought a replica BB gun (airsoft?) and put it in the display case. He then claims he accidently picked up the wrong gun, pointed it at an employee as a prank and pulled the trigger.

The firearm was loaded and he killed the employee.

Any prank that starts with a firearm is a bad idea. Any prank that starts with a replica firearm in a situation where it is likely to be perceived as a real gun is a bad idea. Any prank that violates the four safety rules is a bad idea.

What the hell was going on that there was a firearm in a display case with a live round? At all of my LGS, even the ones I don’t like, nothing goes back in the case until it has been cleared. My LGS takes the firearm out of the case, clears the weapon, shows me that it is clear, passes it to me, I clear the weapon. We continue to follow the four rules. We follow the same procedure handing it back and it doesn’t go back into the case until it has been cleared and wiped down.

But OSHA is treating this as a safety violation: “The business failed to furnish a place of employment which is free of recognized hazards which may cause death or serious physical harm.”

Documents: OSHA fines SC gun store after employee killed during ‘prank’ gone wrong

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By awa

9 thoughts on “It’s the four rules, not the four suggestions”
    1. I consider it to be a homicide. I’m just not sure if it was accidental or intentional. Certainly not justified.

      1) Fake gun put into display case
      2) Real gun put into display case with live ammo
      3) Real gun has a round chambered.
      4) Picks up real gun and thinks it is the fake gun. I don’t do replica firearms so I don’t really know how much weight difference there would be.
      5) Points “fake” gun at employee.
      6) Pulls trigger.

      So many things require some level of intentional action that I’m sure there is more to the story.

  1. It is a homicide. (IANAL warning in full effect.)
    Is there a dead body? Yes. Did that person die from a disease, heart attack, or other natural cause? No. Did they die from an accident precipitated through the action of another person? Yes.
    What level (first degree, negligent, whatever…) is the question.
    Now, could this really be an accident? Yes, it is possible. For example, several manufacturers make .177 cal air guns that are identical in size to the real deal. Ex: https://www.amazon.com/Colt-1911-A1-air-pistol/dp/B0007M8FO4/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=1911+air+pistol&qid=1658327640&sprefix=1911+airgun%2Caps%2C192&sr=8-3. Even the weight is in the ballpark.
    So, in order for this to be an accident, several things must have happened.
    1. The shop owner was stupid enough to put an air pistol that is visually identical to the real deal in the display case. (or an employee).
    2. Someone who has access to the guns in the shop a.) put a live round into the gun (stupid), and b.) put that gun back in the case without confirming it was clear.
    3. The shop owner picked up a gun from the case, and did not automatically clear it. (Seriously, that is a habit that should have been drilled into him before they purchased their first gun.)
    4. Then they ignored the four laws of gun safety.
    Accident? Not impossible. Total negligence? Absolutely. There were too many layers of safety that were ignored. That is the very definition of negligence.

  2. I’ve never, in fifty-three years of buying guns, shopping guns, been in a gun store that had ammunition and guns out at the same time. There is no conceivable reason for both to be out, on a sales counter, at the same time. None.

    1. I have seen my LGS’s handling of ammunition and firearms. If you are buying ammo and a gun they are never in control of the customer until the purchase is complete. At that point the ammo is in a bag and the bag is handed to the customer. If the customer picks up ammo from the shelves, brings it to the counter and then wants to look at a gun, they will just quietly pick up the ammo and move it over to the register.

      It doesn’t normally register. Just that one thing that keeps a stupid where a customer just wants to make sure the round chambers.

      And then that didn’t happen.

      Seems I’ve been buying guns for too long from them. When I’m purchasing firearms and ammo both we’ll sometimes have both on the display case at the same time. But he knows me and the most I’ve ever done is move the ammo away from the firearm.

  3. This reads more like a Columbo plot for a murder than a series of accidents resulting in Alec Baldwining an employee. To ensure that he never escapes ridicule even though he avoided jail I propose that “Alec Baldwin” become a verb describing negligently shooting an innocent party with a supposedly “safe” gun

  4. OSHA is right to investigate and call it what they did — within their scope and jurisdiction that’s a correct answer.
    Meanwhile, quite separately, the local DA should consider bringing negligent homicide charges. (That assumes nothing more serious applies, which would be my guess based on what’s described here.) The idiots in question may try the Alec Baldwin defense, of course.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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