Mount Pleasant Police received a phone call late Sunday afternoon from the head of security at Seacoast Church saying there had been a negligent discharge (ND) inside the church just before 3:00 p.m.
According to the churches’ head of security, he’d just been informed of the ND by one of the volunteer security team members.
When an officer was sent to investigate, he was told the security team had been holding training. The team member involved had taken off the 9mm handgun he carries while on duty at the church in order to participate in the training.
He’d placed the handgun down with the slide locked back and the magazine out of the pistol (condition 4).
After he’d completed the training, he then began to re-holster his weapon.
According to the security team member, he normally does not carry with a round in the chamber. For his usual holstering routine, he inserts a magazine with the slide forward, then then dry fires the pistol.
This time however, he inserted the magazine (condition 3,) and released the slide (conditions 1&2.)
As bad training scars tend to encourage, the security team member then continued with his routine, pulling the trigger, but thankfully firing in a relatively safe direction, the floor.
While the team member was in a second-floor classroom, the floor was concrete and there was no penetration passed the carpet. No one was injured.
According to the police report, the team member is licensed to carry a gun on the premises of Seacoast Church by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
While it may be easy to disparage someone who had a momentary lack of judgment, it’s important to understand that this could happen to anyone.
Without constant vigilance, gun safety tends to take a back seat, and NDs become only something that could happen to someone else.
Often, the more experienced shooters are the biggest offenders of breaking the firearm safety rules.
Familiarity leads to complacency, and complacency kills. If you have been a long-time shooter, you are at risk of an ND. Stay on point so you don’t have to learn a lesson the hard way, like the security team member did.
Also, there is no good reason to carry a defense firearm without a round in the chamber. Among other reasons, mental lapses like the one in this article are easy traps.
However, if you will not carry any other way, here is an article by Josh Gillem on How to Train if You Don’t Carry With a Round in the Chamber.
Read here for an article on carrying at church.
Have you re-evaluated your holstering, loading, and unloading procedures? Are they safe? Leave a comment below to let me know.