Could hugging a policeman cause his gun to fire?

I know the title will cause tittering among some, but this pertains to a tragic event just reported by the media:

Personally, I find it inconceivable that such an accidental trigger pull could be set off by the simple pressure of a hug. Most officers that I knew carried weapons in holsters that were basically designed to prevent accidental discharge and unauthorized manipulation of the weapon by someone other than the wearer.

So my question to those of you more familiar with the current crop of handguns most likely carried by police officers, is such a thing even possible? If so, under what circumstances (gun, holster, type of manipulation) might it happen?

The gun would have to be pointed backward and up to hit the heart/lungs of someone directly behind. The trigger would have to be exposed and something in contact for it to be activated.

I think there was some unsafe gun handling involved.

Doesn’t really matter what most officers carry or what most holsters will prevent, all that matters is what this equipment was. And that we don’t know.

I agree with runner pat, the location of the wound makes this sound awfully suspicious. I’ll give the officer the benefit of the doubt and assume that he wasn’t playing with the weapon. At 12:30am with a female involved it’s possible they were doing something more than dancing and the department thought it was nobody’s business what was really going on.

Not what I assumed this thread was about.

Guns don’t accidentally fire when dropped, banged, hugged, left in hot vehicles etc. They do fire when you pull the trigger. That sounds obvious but the public and the media is filled with false reports of guns ‘that just went off’. Guns are remarkably stable until the trigger causes the firing pin to hit the primer.

I don’t know how such a thing can happen based on the story. There has to be more to it. As noted, guns are carried pointed towards the ground so any accidental discharge should have hit the person carrying it in the leg or the ground itself. Any other speculation isn’t worth going through because the story obviously isn’t credible just based on the details that were left out.

There are shoulder holsters that point the weapon backwards, some even point it up and backwards. In every single one I can find a picture of, the trigger is completely contained in the holster. I’m not sure how the trigger would accidentally get pulled.

That’s what prompted my original post and questions. I’ve owned several shoulder holsters myself and they all covered the trigger mechanism. This “accident” sounds pretty suspiciously like horseplay or stupidity (or a combination of the two) to me.

My CZ-52 will fire when decocked. I have a striker-fired junk gun (I think it’s a Davis) that will fire if you breathe on it wrong. If I was irresponsible enough to carry one of these around and something awful happened, I would just be another one of those “false” media reports, I would assume?

Doesn’t the state of California require drop tests on firearm models? It would be interesting to see if they’ve rejected any.

At any rate I believe a more correct statement is modern, unmodified firearms in good working order do not generally go bang until you press the trigger.

If it’s a penile, cap & ball revolver then yes hugging a cop could set it off.


OK, but what about the gun?

Strange, one article says it was in his waistband covered by his shirt and that he was dancing with his wife when the girl came up and hugged him.

No. Absolutely not. There was egregious mishandling or deliberate intent.

Do off duty officers carry loaded weapons?

Some depts. require their officers to carry when off-duty. Others allow it but it’s the officer’s choice.

Is there protocol on whether a round should be chambered?

No idea but it would be utter foolishness to not have a round chambered. Imagine having to draw from concealment and taking the extra time to rack the slide before firing.
An extra split second is an eternity in a gunfight.

A gun should be carried with a round chambered, else it is useless.

It is only in the movies where they cock the gun right before using it. In some movies they will do it multiple times in the same scene for no apparent reason, which means the gun is ejecting perfectly good unused rounds.

Yes, that’s what guns are supposed to be like, but some poorly made ones do go off at a bump. I recall a news story some years ago about a Chinese made rifle that would sometimes fire if someone jarred it; it was in the news because the NRA wanted importation of it to be allowed, while others were trying to ban it as unsafe.

Hmm I always thought the safety of an empty chamber won over the time needed to chamber. When on patrol, they’re not likely to need the gun in a hurry, are they? Shooting should also be a last resort.

A poorly made (or worn) holster can actually pull the trigger if its moved the wrong way. With no more detail than the AP story provides there’s no way to know what happened but the story as presented is not impossible.