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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Cops Shouldn't Have Guns--They Don't Always Secure Their Firearms

The Las Vegas Sun reports on a negligent (reckless?) discharge of a police rifle at an elementary school in Chino, CA, which injured three students. From the article:

Police policy was not followed leading up to a school assembly where a student pulled the trigger of an assault rifle mounted on a police motorcycle and three children were injured by bullet fragments, authorities said. 
Department rules state the rifle chamber should be empty when it is mounted, Police Chief Miles Pruitt said in a statement late Thursday. 
"The preliminary investigation has shown that the established safeguards and procedures were not followed," Pruitt said. "It is unfortunate that this event occurred and I will make every effort to ensure it does not happen again." 
The AR-15 was locked to the side of the motorcycle that was on display at Newman Elementary School on Wednesday during an anti-drug program when a student managed to fire it, Chino police spokeswoman Tamrin Olden said.
The article noted that there was no information on whether the officer was near the motorcycle at the time of the incident.

A few issues here. First, obviously, a round shouldn't have been chambered in the rifle. The officer's primary weapon is his/her handgun--there is no reason his/her secondary weapon should have also been ready to fire. Second, and this may be speculation on my part, but why wasn't the safety engaged? Third, why wasn't the trigger covered by the locking mount? Fourth, why was the officer allowing children to touch his/her (loaded) rifle without supervision?

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