A Photo of the Capitol Building / Photo by Architect of the Capitol via Flickr

A Capitol Hill police officer had a negligent discharge inside of the Cannon House Office building, needless to say, he has been put on suspension. But what is the deal with cops and negligent discharges?

As reported in the New York Post: 

The officer, who was not immediately identified, fired the weapon in the break room of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, US Capitol Police confirmed to The Post.

“The Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the discharge of a USCP weapon inside a break room in the Cannon Office Building,” the agency said in a statement. “The officer has been suspended while OPR investigates the incident.”

A Capitol Police spokesperson declined to indicate whether investigators believe the discharge was accidental or how many shots were fired.

“All part of the investigation,” the spokesperson replied.

Members of the force seem to have a problem when it comes to negligent discharges, and it makes one wonder why we are expected to let these people protect us when they can’t even properly handle a firearm.

Anyone who had been familiar with firearms for a long time knows that you should never have a negligent discharge if you are following proper safety precautions, but for some reason, these episodes are becoming more common not only with the police force but on movie sets too.

Even young and inexperienced shooters don’t have as many negligent discharges as the police despite the fact that they make jokes about these sorts of things. A joke often told in groups of younger firearm enthusiasts is “negligent discharges, everyone gets one” but it’s not meant to be taken seriously, and those that tell those jokes know that. (we hope…)

The youth of the day aside, negligent discharges are a real problem for police forces. Just the other day an officer had a negligent discharge and ended up wounding three fellow officers.

As we reported at the time: 

The officers involved in this incident had just returned to the police station after a day of training at the police range. They were cleaning their police-issued pistols when one officer had unintentionally discharged his firearm.

The round hit the concrete floor of the police station and shattered. Fragments from the round hit 3 separate officers in the legs.

The injuries these officers had obtained were minor and all three were able to walk to the ambulances waiting for them outside.

All three were treated for these injuries and two of the three are already back to work. The fate of the officer who fired the gun has not yet been decided.

This should serve as a pretty powerful reminder that gun safety is no joke. We know a thing or two about cleaning and handling firearms in a safe environment, check out our unloaded series to know more about that, and one of the most important things to do when cleaning a gun is to ensure that the chamber is clear and ensure the magazine is empty.

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