Pistol injures at least 80 people without anyone pulling the trigger

Was it Wayne LaPierre of the NRA who first said that, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people?" It doesn't matter. Sure, it's a catchy defense for the gun lobby. But when it comes to the popular SIG Sauer P320 — the standard-issue sidearm for the US military – it is in the fact the gun, and not the people, who do the shooting, according to a recent investigation by The Trace and The Washington Post. Since 2016, the P320 has been involved in at least 100 shootings in which no human individual actually pulled the trigger. These "accidental discharges" have resulted in more than 80 individual injuries on record, including 33 law enforcement officers, although fortunately no one has been killed yet.

From the report:

Interviews with more than a dozen victims, video recordings, and a review of thousands of pages of court documents and internal police records reveal a pattern of discharges that were alleged to have occurred during routine movements. These have included the holstering or unholstering of the P320, climbing out of vehicles and walking down stairs. In several cases, records and videos show, the gun fired when a victim's hand was nowhere near it.

Navy veteran and former gunner's mate Dionicio Delgado said his P320 fired a bullet through his thigh and into his calf after he holstered it during a training session at a gun range in Ruther Glen, Virginia. Michael Parker, a welder, said his holstered P320 fired a bullet into his thigh as he removed the holster from his pocket while in his car in St. Petersburg, Florida. Police officer Brittany Hilton said her holstered P320 fired while inside her purse as she walked to her car in Bridge City, Texas. The bullet entered her groin and exited her back just inches from the base of her spine.

In a written response to questions, SIG Sauer, based in Newington, New Hampshire, denied that the P320 was capable of firing without a trigger pull and cited accounts of unintentional discharges with other firearms as evidence that such issues with the P320 are neither uncommon nor suggestive of a defect with the gun.

As the reporters dig into the mystery shootings, it certainly sounds like a problem in the mechanical design of the handgun. Unfortunately, the report also notes that firearms are exempt from federal consumer safety regulations — so even if someone can prove definitively that SIG Saeur has been selling a defective product, it wouldn't actually mean anything, legally speaking.

One of America's Favorite Handguns Is Allegedly Firing On Its Owners [Champe Barton and Tom Jackson / The Trace & The Washington Post]