The police of Los Angeles County sheriff’s office have doubled the number of accidental discharges thanks to the department swithing from the Beretta 92F to the Smith & Wesson M&P9.
The new Smith & Wesson is a much lighter polymer semi-automatic that needs less pull on the trigger than the Beretta that most of the department had originally trained on. Add the fact that the new M&P9 does not have a safety lever and you can see how the increase could happen.
Why did they switch weapons in the first place? They switched because of a lawsuit by a group of women that failed the Sheriff’s Academy.
While sheriff’s are getting better accuracy at the range because of the lighter weapons, the veterans of the force are pulling the trigger faster. Last October, one deputy tripped over a stroller and when his weapon fired the bullet went through a home. In November, one officer shot himself in the leg trying pull his weapon out of the holster. Over half of sworn personnel at the sheriff’s off have the new M&P9.
This teaches us as gun owners to learn our weapons. When a new (to you) weapon is purchased be sure to go to the range and acclimate yourself to the characteristics of the gun. If the deputies in LA can have problems with their new weapons, than we too can use the practice with our new weapons.
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