Don’t Fidget With Your Gun, Or You Could Shoot Someone

I apologize for the click-bait title, but it's true. And it's exactly what had happened last month after a concealed carrier was having a difficult time with the positioning of his gun and went to adjust it. The gun fired a round at the ground and a piece ricocheted and hit a little boy putting him in the hospital. Listen to what I'm about to say very carefully:

That's asinine.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's dissect this a bit more to try and figure out what went wrong and how you can avoid something similar from happening to you.

Don't fidget with your concealed carry gun:

Yes, it can be that simple. Hear me, if you can't keep your hands off your gun, you need to do something different. Let me re-word that: Don't touch your gun once it's on your body until it's time to take it off before bed or you need to actually use it. Negligent discharges happen, but we should all try to minimize them as much as possible. The chances of your gun “accidentally” going off when you don't expect it to increase whenever you handle your gun.

It's generally not going to just shoot on its own, the trigger needs to be pressed. That's the main reason why the basic rule for firearms safety, keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire, was thought up by Jeff Cooper. Here's the deal, though, it doesn't just end with your “finger.”

In other words, you need to keep everything away from your trigger to include, clothes, other body parts, pieces of gear, stones, sticks, ammo, fruit, pens, keys, apple pie, broken holsters, and anything else that may accidentally end up “causing your gun to go off.”

Our team recently put together a huge report after studying 300 negligent discharges, that you should read. 

More: When you are out and about, the only time your gun should leave its holster is when you're getting ready to defend yourself with it. Period. To readjust with your gun is just asking for problems. This man somehow hit his trigger with his finger, and I don't see how that's possible unless there wasn't an actual holster being used, or he removed his gun from his holster. Not good either way, which brings me to my next point …

Use a quality holster:

To be honest, you should always use a decent holster, as well, that protects your trigger, stays put, and doesn't need to be adjusted. I'd love to tell you that you should just buy our holster because I'm biased and think everyone would benefit from it, but I'm not even about that right now. All I care about is that you own a holster that doesn't need to be adjusted once it's put on and prevents you from doing anything stupid, like shooting some little kid.

Never grow complacent:

What makes this particular situation even worse, is the fact that this gentleman has 40 years of law enforcement experience, and was a Sheriff for many years. You'd think that after so many years of handling a firearm he'd have a solid understanding of the basic safety rules, and maybe he did. But, complacency can take over at any point in our lives in anything that we do.

How do I know?

I can all but guarantee you that the driver who pissed you off this morning for not putting his turn signal on when he changed lanes used his blinker at some point in his life, like when he first started driving. The difference now, is that he's grown complacent as a driver and doesn't feel as though he needs to let others know that he's turning, when, in fact, he should always signal to others what his intentions are.

Firearms handling is no different. We tend to think, well gee … I've never had a negligent discharge before, chances are pretty good that I know what I'm doing and will never have one. Hmm, what's this thing here on my trigger?


Yeah, that's dramatic, but it is so you get the point. Never grow complacent in your firearms handling. Because, as we can see in this story, these things do happen even to people with decades of gun experience.

The result, as it now seems, is that this retired police officer will be sued for his negligence. It is my sincere hope that we can all learn something from this story. First, don't fidget with your guns. Once they're on your body, they're there until you go to bed at night. Second, make sure you use a good-quality holster that doesn't require you to adjust it once it is on. Finally, never grow complacent with your firearms handling. If you can do this, you'll never have a negligent discharge.

What kind of tips do you have for your fellow concealed carriers that help you stay alert and not grow complacent in your gun handling? Let us know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you'd like to look at the holster pictured at the top, it's this one.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Darkwing on August 4, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Wake up: get a holster with a trigger cover and the problem is solved. Another thing: some people should never carry a gun and I know a lot of them. Most also carry a badge

  2. Bob on August 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    To be ultra safe I treat my CCW double action only 5 shot revolver as a single shot tool – the first shot should count! If I get a second shot, it is my first shot at a second chance, etc., up to four times in succession. I thereby load my 5 shot SW revolver with 4 rounds only, leaving an empty chamber next in line with the cylinder rotation. An “accidental discharge” would have to be the result of a deliberate act which is not accidental . . .

    • Matthew Maruster on August 17, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Bob, are you unsure of your abilities or the mechanical safety of the firearm in general? You are significantly reducing your capacity and increasing your response time for no beneficial trade off.

    • Doug on October 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Bob, If you don’t trust yourself or the gun that much maybe you should reconsider carrying at all. IMO. Handicapping yourself with 4 available shots before a reload is more than I’d be comfortable with and I only carry a gun with less than 6 as a back-up and even then I have at least one reload for that gun on my person. I say, Capacity trumps caliber and placement beats penetration.

  3. Doug on October 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve always heard that “there are 2 types of gun owners, those who have had a ND and those who will have an ND.”
    I recommend that whenever you hear or read a story about a ND, that you take the time to re-read the universal 4 rules of gun safety, (3 if you are only looking at NRA material) and 5 if you listen to me.( I include- Don’t try to catch a falling firearm no matter what.)

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