Single Action Shotgun Danger


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WR Olsen
March 10, 2004, 11:10 AM
After reading this article it seems to me that the officers claim about the shotguns used in his department is unfounded. What do you think?

Dateline: Rochester, NY - 3/10/2004

By Jeffrey Blackwell
Democrat and Chronicle


A city police officer warned department officials about the potential danger of an accidental discharge from the shotguns used by the force 11 months before an unintended blast struck and killed Vernard “Vandy” Davis during a police raid on a city house Jan. 4, 2001.

Officer Emre Arican testified Tuesday in the civil trial against the city of Rochester and Police Sgt. David Gebhardt. He said he had written a memo recommending to Police Chief Robert Duffy that the department replace its Remington shotguns with a brand with a less sensitive trigger.

Arican, an investigator in the department’s Professional Standards Section, said he found three instances of accidental discharges between 1992 and 2000. One case led to an injury.

Davis’ family attorney, Edward Hourihan Jr., asked Arican whether the conditions surrounding the death of Davis were similar to his concerns about the shotgun.

“Yes,” he said.

Gebhardt was carrying a department-issued shotgun during the raid of a suspected drug house. He testified Monday that the shotgun accidentally discharged and struck Davis, 21, in the chest. Davis was unarmed.

Gebhardt also testified that he had disengaged the safety on the shotgun but his finger was never on the trigger. Lawyers for the family and city both said in their opening statements Monday that the shooting was accidental.

What caused the gun to discharge is unknown.

“I can’t respond with any amount of certainty why the shotgun discharged,” Duffy testified Tuesday.

Police records presented to the court state that one of the previous discharges happened when an officer tripped on a step. Another occurred when another person grabbed for the gun and it went off. Those instances were included in Arican’s report to Duffy.

Arican recommended the department purchase new shotguns with longer trigger pulls (double action). The Remington is a single-action and required a shorter pull on the trigger to discharge the weapon.

Arican told the court he believed the department’s use of a single-action shotgun was a danger and liability to the department.

Duffy testified that he reviewed Arican’s memo and passed it to his training and weapons commanders. They concluded that the problem was a training issue rather than a weapon issue.

The department had recently purchased 64 new Remington shotguns. Training officers also had concerns about possible dangers of instructing officers on two different types of shotguns.

Arican’s recommendations were rejected.

City municipal attorney Michele DiGaetano argued in her opening statements Monday that while there were three previous cases when that type of shotgun accidentally discharged, that number was tiny when compared with how often the shotgun was used.

On Tuesday she asked Duffy how many warrants are executed every year by the department’s tactical squad, of which Gebhardt was a member.

“We average between 400 and 700 a year,” he said. “Since 1995 there have been about 3,500 served warrants.”

Duffy said the department has used the same model shotgun since the 1970s.

Testimony in the case is scheduled to resume today.

The jury will decide only whether the city and Gebhardt are liable for Davis’ death. If it does so, a later court hearing would determine damages.

A grand jury decided that Gebhardt did not commit a criminal act, and police investigators also cleared Gebhardt of any professional wrongdoing.




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Diggler
March 10, 2004, 11:27 AM
Well, if the guns were truly going off by themselves, wouldn't there be a lot of cruisers with side windows shattered and holes in the trunks from these guns magically going off by themselves, even when there isn't an officer anywhere near it??

Jim March
March 10, 2004, 11:48 AM
Wait...do they even MAKE a DA shotgun?

:scrutiny:

El Tejon
March 10, 2004, 11:52 AM
Yes, Mossberg among a couple of others, IIRC.

Should read: "Officer warn of finger danger" or better yet "Officers warn of lack of training, Yeehawism and ignorance"!:D

Whose the FTU? Why aren't they training harder? Oh, wait, I know, that's tough and takes time and effort.

Better to buy cool gear to combat ignorance--that'll work!:rolleyes:

Edward429451
March 10, 2004, 12:03 PM
Wait...do they even MAKE a DA shotgun?

StreetSweepers are DAO.

jsalcedo
March 10, 2004, 12:11 PM
What a bunch of friggin liars.

I've been handling remington, winchester, browning and ithaca shotguns for quite some time and not one time ever has one gone off without a
firm yank on the trigger.

These guys are just trying to dodge the legal bullet and blame their atrocious and inept behavior on the gun instead of where it belongs:

The negligent fool with his finger on the trigger!

Diggler
March 10, 2004, 12:18 PM
Those guys remind me of the Simpsons episode where Homer hosted a meeting of firearms owners and they all started having ND's...

Bang... "oops"... Bang... "Sorry about that"... Bang... "That was me..."

:rolleyes:

Big_R
March 10, 2004, 12:22 PM
Is it normal for LEO's executing a warrant to enter a house with safeties off? Seems with Remingtons it could be trained to quickly disengage safety and fire while on target. Just curious.

Ryan

7.62FullMetalJacket
March 10, 2004, 12:34 PM
Well, one more idea......maybe he should not be pointing a 12 bore at somebodies chest. Maybe a little off-COM next time. I am not buying the "gun went off by itself" BS.

Fly320s
March 10, 2004, 12:48 PM
Gebhardt also testified that he had disengaged the safety on the shotgun but his finger was never on the trigger.

I'm afraid to test that with my BS-o-meter. I don't want to break it.

Obviously, the lawyers are going after the deep pockets.... Remington's.

Much easier to sue the evil gun manufacturer rather than a 'trustworthy' police officer or city.

Fastlane
March 10, 2004, 12:57 PM
The Remington 870 Police have a 7.5 pound trigger pull. Don't see how you could have a ND without your finger on the trigger.

mete
March 10, 2004, 02:24 PM
Typical shotguns have cross bolt safeties that only block the trigger . They do not block the sear, hammer ,or firing pin. In old worn guns therefore a bump to the gun can dislodge the sear and fir the gun. That's happened to many a 97 winchester......But in this case the odds are that he had his finger on the trigger when he shouldn't have and he didn't have the safety engaged, and he pointed it at someone. Three dumbs!! ...BTW there was a post I think on this forum recently - a video showing a cop having a ND with a Beretta, heavy trigger, double action . Training, did anyone ever hear of it ??

keyhole
March 10, 2004, 02:30 PM
I remember an officer who had an AD during a bank alarm. Was outside, so just a tree damaged, ( bunny huggers get BACK!). Anyway, after the gun was checked out, it was figured that he had pulled thr trigger, as the gun itself was fine. Remington 870, Good gun.

Grey54956
March 10, 2004, 06:45 PM
You would think that if the 870 had a problem with accidental discharges, we would hear about a lot more 870 related hunting accidents. Gawd, it seems like every hunter I know has at least one of these. It's one of Remington's most popular guns of all time.

sm
March 10, 2004, 06:56 PM
<Using trigger finger points at head, if finger off trigger - gun won't go BANG - inside head are 4 Rules - if all obeyed ALL the time stuff won't happen>

What - something like 6 million 870's been sold since the early '50's.

Used in Military, LEO and civilian use. Not to mention the pumps mfg. by the other big 3 of 4 gun companies.

News Flash: Put your hand on a Hot burner on a stove and you will get burned.

Not a "Stove" problem. Operator error, training error...some stuff never changes no matter what the "spin" might try to convey otherwise.

Cosmoline
March 10, 2004, 07:12 PM
"Gebhardt was carrying a department-issued shotgun during the raid of a suspected drug house. He testified Monday that the shotgun accidentally discharged and struck Davis, 21, in the chest. Davis was unarmed. "

I'm reminded of a scene from "Training Day."

Jim K
March 10, 2004, 08:00 PM
I'm with Jim March. Aside from the Streetsweeper, what shotguns are double action in the sense that the trigger both cocks the hammer and releases it? I don't know of any except in the imagination of the "expert" mentioned above.

Jim

CannibalCrowley
March 10, 2004, 08:16 PM
Regardless of the sensitivity of the weapon, why did he have the weapon pointed at his chest? I think we all know who's at fault here.

ddc
March 10, 2004, 09:32 PM
The mossberg website has several models with what they call "double action style" triggers.

I seem to remember a write up on these in one of the gun rags but I can't remember which one; sorry 'bout that.....

Here's a link if you're interested:http://www.mossberg.com/pcatalog/Specpurp.htm

El Tejon
March 10, 2004, 09:34 PM
Mossberg. Mossberg. Mossberg. Like I said earlier, Mossberg.:uhoh:

Stand_Watie
March 11, 2004, 02:26 AM
Mete

BTW there was a post I think on this forum recently - a video showing a cop having a ND with a Beretta, heavy trigger, double action . Training, did anyone ever hear of it ??

When it occurs like that with a heavy d/a trigger you have to wonder how many times prior to that the officer had had their weapon pointed at someone with the finger on the trigger, perhaps partly depressed, without a ND?

Kind of like the kid that tells her parents she got pregnant the only time she had sex - definitely possible, but how likely?

para.2
March 11, 2004, 11:08 AM
But I had a Captain about 10 years ago, when I was in the Army, named Dave Gebhart. He (was asked to) resigned his commission and went to become a cop in upstate NY.
Idiot got us lost on a company road march, using a GPS unit!!! Wouldn't listen to his NCO's, using map&compass, telling him where we were, insisted he was a "land-nav god":rolleyes: (OK technically we weren't lost, he seemed to be the only one who didn't know where we were, but he turned a 9 mile road march into a 15 mile hump.) He left the Army shortly after that.
As I say, don't know that it's the same guy, but it fits...:scrutiny:

Majic
March 11, 2004, 02:39 PM
BTW there was a post I think on this forum recently - a video showing a cop having a ND with a Beretta, heavy trigger, double action . Training, did anyone ever hear of it ??
The video of the female officer almost shooting her partner who had the suspect on the ground and putting on the cuffs.
This officer with the shotgun sounds like another candidate for the Barney Fife school of gun tactics.

Roadkill Coyote
March 11, 2004, 04:14 PM
It would appear that the department in question finds themselves hoist on their own petard. They admit to reveiwing the problem previously, and concluded that it was a training issue. Duffy testified that he reviewed Arican’s memo and passed it to his training and weapons commanders. They concluded that the problem was a training issue rather than a weapon issue. Then it happened again. So if it was still a finger on the trigger problem, they didn't correct a training problem that they had previously acknowledged. But they already said that the shotgun wasn't the problem. Like the oracle in the Matrix said "it is a pickle"...

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