Woman Shot in Face While “Teaching” Roommate About Guns

Woman Shot in Face While

There is simply no excuse for this.

A woman was attempting to teach her roommate about guns in their apartment when it was negligently fired and the round hit her in the face. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

According to investigators, “The roommate said she had never held a gun before and didn’t realize it was loaded” and “she didn’t know the gun was loaded when it accidentally went off”.

This is all on the woman doing the “teaching”.

The four universal gun safety rules are not hard and you actually have to violate more than one of them at a time for someone to get hurt. Guns don’t accidentally go off. Someone or something has to pull the trigger on a loaded chamber.

In this case, it appears that the first three safety rules were grossly violated. First of all, anytime you pick up your gun, unless you are knowingly holstering it loaded, you always check to be sure that it is unloaded. That always included removing the magazine and locking open the slide and visually checking for an empty chamber. For a revolver that means simply opening the cylinder and looking for 5 or 6 empty chambers.

Second, never point the muzzle at anything you don’t intend to shoot. Since the woman was shot in the face, she allowed that gun to be pointed at her head. That’s on her. The roommate didn’t know any better. Well, now she does.

Third, no one’s fingers ever touch the trigger or even go into the trigger guard until the gun is on target and the decision is made to shoot. The only exception to this is during dry fire practice but even then the first two rules must be followed. I personally prefer to use a barrel blocking device such as a laser cartridge or a Barrel Blok to absolutely prevent a round from getting into the chamber. Even then, no ammo should be anywhere near the room where dry fire is happening.

So how does this sort of thing happen besides not following rule number one and putting eyes on an empty chamber? Usually, because someone doesn’t understand how the gun works. They might remove the loaded magazine and think they are good without checking for a round in the chamber. Or they rack the slide to remove the chambered round but with the loaded magazine left in the gun and they don’t realize that the slide picked up another round when it closed. They then remove the magazine and think the gun is unloaded. Checking for an empty chamber will catch this which is why you always do that until it becomes such a habit that you can’t pick up a gun without checking the chamber.

Please don’t assume you know how to operate your new gun. Pick up the owner’s manual and read through it thoroughly. Guys, I’m talking to you too!

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Mark Ehlen is a USCCA certified firearms instructor, a MN DNR Firearms Safety instructor, high school trap shooting coach and a writer. As one of his uncles ran Federal Cartridge Corp for many years and his father retired from there, firearms and ammo are second nature to him. His firearms instruction is aimed at helping new shooters have a positive experience as well as understanding the practical and legal side of concealed carry. Mark can be reached at Marksmanship Firearms Training.
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Keep it pointed in a safe direction is most important. I have seen guns that wouldn’t stay cocked. Some of the hypocritical comments are obviously from inexperienced shooters.


Getting shot in the face is not a very “tactical” way to teach firearm safety.