Three People Injured in Florida Gun Range Mishap

Three People Injured in Florida Gun Range Mishap

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Tampa couple and an Irish tourist were shot at a Lakeland gun range after a handgun accidentally fired.

Polk County sheriff’s deputies say it’s not entirely clear how many times Michael and Sherri Thourot’s 9mm accidentally went off Saturday, or what caused the handgun to fire. The pistol was a Jennings make.

The man in an adjacent stall, 29-year-old Gary Flynn, of Ireland, was most seriously injured. He underwent surgery after being hit in the shoulder and throat, and was listed in stable condition.

Michael Thourot was shot in the left hand, and Sherri Thourot was hit in the left arm. Both were also listed in stable condition.

Full Story Here:
Three People Injured in Florida Gun Range Mishap

OK, guns do not just GO OFF. I have a real issue with the usage of the term accidental discharge and I think I speak for most REAL gun people. For a gun to fire there has to be at least a few things take place, most important of all being, you have to pull the trigger. Duh…

I wasn’t there, I didn’t see this incident and I don’t know ANY of the people involved, but I am going to go out on a limb here and make an educated guess of sorts, based solely on the make of the weapon involved. That weapon being a Jennings 9mm.

A Jennings ANYTHING is best used as a paper weight. They are, basically, pieces of crap. And I apologize to ALL pieces of crap for lumping you in with a Jennings firearm.

Bryco Arms and Jennings Firearms Bryco Arms was one of the so called ” Ring of Fire” manufacturers of Saturday night special firearms that operated in and around Los Angeles, California. It produced firearms variously branded as Jennings Firearms at its Irvine, California facility, as well as under the brand name of Bryco Arms at its former Carson City, Nevada facility, and at its Costa Mesa, California facility.

Bryco Arms went into bankruptcy in 2003 as a result of losing a lawsuit filed in Oakland, California which resulted in a jury award of a record $24 million judgment against it. The lawsuit stemmed from an injury to a 12-year old who was attempting to unload the 380 ACP version of the Bryco Arms Model 38 and pulled the trigger with a round still in the gun. An ensuing accidental discharge resulted in paralyzing a young boy named Brandon Maxfield. The jury ruled that the pistol had a design flaw, in that it had to have the trigger pulled to de-cock the striker, after unloading the semi-automatic pistol.

Many if not most semi-automatic pistols with external hammers utilize a similar design, which has found widespread use since early Colt Firearms first used this method around 1905. Notable among pistols which require hammer decocking is the standard US Military issue pistol for over 70 years, the Colt M1911.

Jimenez Arms Bryco’s former foreman, Paul Jimenez, bought the bankrupt Bryco Arms for $510,000 in August 2004, and renamed the company Jimenez Arms. The former Model 380 (the 380 ACP version of the Model 38) was renamed the JA-380, and production of the same semi-automatic pistol design was resumed. SOURCE

I won’t even begin to speculate regarding the qualifications and/or training of Michael and Sherri Thourot. But, again, based on their particular choice in a firearm, I’m going out on a limb once again saying, I would take bets that neither one of them could find their asses with both hands and a Garmin GPS unit.

I have been an avid shooter all of my life, I began shooting at age 5. My father was a gun smith and we ALWAYS had guns in the home, loaded guns. An unloaded gun is nothing more than an expensive club.

I was raised with guns. I love guns. I love to shoot guns. I love to shoot targets, and when I was younger, and a lot healthier, I was an avid hunter as well. I have something like 51 years of real and vivid memories of guns and the use of them.

I have NEVER had a gun just go off, I have never had an accidental discharge. Somehow, I just can’t believe that these folks had an accidental discharge either. Somehow, I suspect that they are the victims of a serious case of DUMB-ASS! No one other than a dumb-ass would own a POS like a Jennings to begin with.

I am always preaching personal responsibility, well, call me a gun snob too. If you can’t afford a fairly decent piece of shooting iron, don’t endanger the rest of us with your Saturday Night Special that quite likely will NEVER go off when you really need it, and most likely will when you least expect it…

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30 Responses to Three People Injured in Florida Gun Range Mishap

  1. HoosierArmyMom says:

    Oh, this is the kind of thing that gives responsible gun owners a bad rap! I just bet the Thourot’s voted for Obama too!!!!

  2. TexasFred says:

    I don’t know WHO they voted for, won’t even guess, but I stand by my guess that there is some serious *dumb ass* involved…

  3. James Shott says:

    There is one way a gun could go off accidentally, and that is if some jackass dropped it while it was cocked and ready.

    Do that once and it might be an accident.

    More than once has to be purposeful or the handler is a total idiot.

  4. Silver Fox says:

    I agree Fred many of the so-called Saturday Night specials are dangerous, but the ultimate danger comes from mishandling the weapons. Occasionally, however weapons do malfunction and cause injury to the shooter. I recall a young man in one of classes some years back who was given a remington 22 for Christmas and the first time he shot it a screw came out of rear and as a result he lost an eye. It turned out the screw as defection and the evidence of that was the piece removed from his eye. The boy’s parents sued Remington Arms and won their case only because they had the piece of the defective screw.

    Like you I’ve been around guns all my life, but unlike you I have had an accidental discharge from an old WWI 38 revolver, I believe it was a colt, but I could be wrong. The groves on the hammer had been worn smooth over the years and one day my finger slipped while letting the hammer down-my fault, but maybe if the hammer groves had not been worn ……….by the way, that discharge only took out my car windshield. I was fortunate. I suppose the lesson here is that one has to be extra careful when handling cheap guns and certain old guns that don’t have modern safety features.

  5. TexasFred says:

    James, that is a possibility, but most decent guns just won’t go off, even when dropped from several feet…

    This gun was a POS, and I am fairly certain that the people owning it were less than adequately trained..

  6. TexasFred says:

    OK, Silver Fox, I may piss you off with this assessment, but that’s the breaks…

    A screw, a manufacturing defect, that is a possibility, and that CAN cause an accident, on that we agree, but it wasn’t an accidental discharge, it sounds like a defective product…

    The hammer thing, well, YOU did it, the gun didn’t, there is NO SUCH THING as an accidental discharge, there is always a reason…

    Be it operator error, carelessness, whatever, no gun *just goes off*…

  7. dudleysdiary says:

    You can’t fix stupid!


  8. odumbjohn says:

    I have been shooting for 52 years and involved with Law enforcement for about 30. I have seen numerous ACCIDENTAL gun discharges but the only ACCIDENT part happened between the ears of the person holding the gun. That is why the first safety rule is keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction (aimed downrange, not at the shooter next to you) because if there is a mishap no one will be injured.

  9. TexasFred says:

    And odumbjohn hits it OUT of the park!! 😛

    For those that may not know, I did NOT ask odumbjohn to make that comment, it is ALL his, but, John and I are friends since WAY THE HELL BACK, we went to school together in our somewhat innocent youth, and John makes me look like a novice in SO many ways with his gun knowledge, possession and usage…

    I remember taking a peek in the trunk of his State Police unit once, it looked like a gun store! 😛

  10. Katie says:

    JUST 2 WORDS: GUN SAFETY!!!!!!!!!

    My old gun instructor in the military would have kittens if he saw what happens in some of these places. You are right Fred. There is no such thing as an accidental discharge with a gun (now in the bedroom that is a different matter).

    This is what happens when you put idiots together with guns. The guns always lose.

  11. TexasFred says:

    Katie, exactly right, Gun Safety, responsibility, training, training and MORE training… And to this very day, I STILL train with weapons, there is no other way to maintain your edge and your skill level…

    And as I said, I am a bit of a gun snob, a 1911 needs to have COLT on the slide, anything else is a knock-off, my revolvers are S&W’s in .357 and I consider them to be the bare minimum for a practical caliber… I am totally in love with the Springfield XD series… Next purchase is an XD-40 Sub Compact to back up the XD-45 Tactical… EDIT TO ADD: I now have 2 XD-40 SubCompacts… And I am STILL a gun snob! 06-17-11

    NEVER buy a piece of shit like a Jennings, if you can’t buy a decent gun, get a ball bat and don’t endanger your fellow citizens because YOU are a doofus…

    And, this 9mm POS hurt 3 people, one seriously, although, as far as I am concerned, ANY gunshot wound is serious, but I wouldn’t give ANYONE a 9mm, I detest that wimpy little round, and sadly, there are many police departments that still carry them, or allow their officers to carry them…

    Here’s some more of that snob stuff, any bullet, the caliber of which doesn’t begin with the number 4, is NOT one that I will carry for ANY serious work.. And if you’re not serious about your gun, it’s carry and it’s intended use, you just don’t need to be carrying a gun…

  12. aka5191 says:

    O.K. finger alongside the frame until on target and ready to fire. Keep the weapon pointed downrange at all times. Two very simple rules of which both were most likely violated in this incident. A gun is like a hammer. It will sit there forever and never do anything without some kind of human involvement.

    If you walk by the hammer it wont jump out and hit you and likewise the gun will not load itself and shoot you either.

    Yes it was a POS but one cannot blame the choice of hardware one must blame the operator or in this case the possibility of a co operator. Too many hands on the gun or too many fingers on the trigger? I don’t know, I was not there either, but rules were violated and the results were predictable.

  13. TexasFred says:

    aka5191, correct, every word.

    I love it when the guys that carry, and USE guns, weigh in…

    Here’s some more of that gun snob thing too, I have got myself in trouble on more than a few gun forums by asking one question to some of the so-called *super smart, super fast* shooters involved when they espoused all of their grand and glorious exploits ‘on the range’… How many they put in the 10 ring and so forth, how fast they did it, how calm they remained, all that *paper puncher* stuff…

    All I ever asked was, “How many of your targets were shooting back at you?”

    Guys that are nothing BUT paper punchers get all pissy when you ask that question for some reason… 😛

    Odumbjohn likely remembers Mr. Bill Jordan from Shreveport, one of the best pistoleros to ever fire a round. Mr. Bill said, “Fast is good, accurate is better…”

    I think he stole that line from Elmer Keith.. 😀

    And as another very good friend pointed out regarding himself, me and a few others, ‘There’s a difference between *paper punchers* and trained gunfighters, Fred and I are trained gunfighters’..

    Patrick, you will NEVER live that line down!! LMAO… 😛

  14. Katie says:

    I can still hear my old gun safety instructor say: Keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to shoot! It was his Mantra and became ours on the range.

  15. odumbjohn says:

    Speaking of saying, My two favorite from LSP academy are
    “Shoot to wound, Head wounds and chest wounds”

    “Always fire a warning shot. Shoot the first SOB thru the door and let that be a warning to the rest.

    Gun safety was always the first item of business on the range. I can’t remember ever seeing a shooting mishap on the range. All were in the field when someone wasn’t thinking or was excited. Adrenalin pumping thru the viens does not make for the clearest of thoughts. Most unintended discharges were caused by the shooter not paying attention to what he was doing or being distracted by others who are fooling around.

    We once had a Firearms Safety instructor examining a shotgun that had been reported defective. The weapon had been turned in for “Failure to eject”. The safety officer pumped the shotgun a couple of time and laid the gun on a desk at the LSP office. He then pulled the trigger. Well of course the gun had failed to eject the last round which happened to be a 12 ga slug. The slug went thru a filing cabinet and a wall, striking a typewriter that a secretary happened to be typing on. The slug knocked the typewriter clean off the desk. The typist had to be taken to the hospital with chest pains. The Safety officer was reprimanded and promoted….. It can happen to the best of us if we don’t pay attention

  16. Patrick Sperry says:

    ROTFLMAO! I don’t need to live it down Fred!

    First; As I noted at the time the “AD” involving the 380 was not an accident. The trigger was pulled.

    Second; Jennings were, and any that remain out there pretty low quality designs. I took Chuckie Boy Schumer to task though when he called them Saturday Night Specials (A racist statement) as well as the state of Maine in their claim that the barrels would melt with fewer than a hundred rounds in them, making them inherently even more dangerous than they would be if made properly with good materials. Sorry folks, no links available, the Rocky Mountain News went belly up, and this was in the archives. I went out to Cherry Creek Shooting Range,along with a $70 Jennings 25 ACP, and in front of witnesses and reporters put 500 down the spout, and it still shot, and nothing had melted.

    No, they were not great, good, or even passing quality firearms. However, I will say that people do have a right to defend themselves, even poor people. Having said that, I happen to think that a three dollar machete from Wally’s World of Wonders is a better weapon for defense than any 25ACP!

    So now, we have a couple of irresponsible people wound a man from a nation that is trying to implement even harsher gun control while right here in America the Bloomberg Follies are trying to beef up the one LE Agency that I flat out refuse to support because of outright thuggery..? Also, where the hell was the Range Officer when this happened?

  17. capitalisa says:

    I can’t even imagine the logistics of this “accident.” Was the couple together in the stall? Why? I thought that wasn’t allowed. Wonder which person in that couple was trying to stage an “accidental” shooting death? (Ok, that was mean)

  18. TexasFred says:

    @capitalisa, Yes, that WAS mean… I loved it… 😈

  19. Mjbell1 says:

    Being a NRA Rifle Instructor and High Power Rifle Team Captain for over 10 years. When an AD does occur its usually one round, they mentioned at least 3. I have seen M1 Garands due to sear wear decide to go full-auto and dump the clip. Or if someone was trying to convert it illegally to
    full-auto. The number 1 rule is keep it pointed in a safe direction.


  20. LD Jackson says:

    I can’t wait to hear the “details” of this “accident”. One shot? Maybe so. Three shots? Not a chance.

    I am not familiar with Jennings firearms, but it sounds like there is a good reason I like my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum. You could take a hammer to it and it will not fire unless the trigger is held back. It is simply incapable of it. Very strong and very safe.

  21. HoosierArmyMom says:

    It’s kind of sad when the trigger has a higher IQ, than the people pulling it….

    LMBO @ Katie’s AD in the bedroom comment!!!!!! Holy Cow!!!! 😀

  22. Silver Fox says:

    Have to disagree Fred, hell I shot my car windshield on purpose it was no accident. It was my fault, but nothing intentional. Call it what you like stupidity-I plead guilty. Shouldn’t have have that 12th beer that night-guilty. But did I intentionally shoot out the windshield—-accident, but my fault. I always admit my guilt and never, never try to put blame elsewhere—-thinking back, at times I should have. My discharge was accidental and not intentional.

  23. TexasFred says:

    As my buddy odumbjohn said earlier in this thread, “I have seen numerous ACCIDENTAL gun discharges but the only ACCIDENT part happened between the ears of the person holding the gun.”

    ’nuff said…

  24. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    As a former Rangemaster for my 2,200-deputy department, I have this to say about so-called “accidental discharges”:

    An AD occurs for a very SPECIFIC reason.

    And I distilled, during my tenure, handguns down to TWO separate strictures:

    1. Gun Handling
    2. Round placement

    I found that — oddly, Imagine THIS — round placement took SECOND PLACE to GUN HANDLING.

    If you couldn’t manipulate the handgun in your own two hands, you were simply DOOMED to FAILURE.

    Unfortunately, my department didn’t want to hear this.

    Which is why, oddly enough, I am NO longer my department’s Rangemaster.

    Imagine THAT.


  25. james says:

    As Ted Nugent once said, “There’s no such thing as an accidental discharge. Only a negligent one.” From God, Guns and Rock & Roll

    Love your blog!

  26. Mr Pink Eyes says:

    There is definitely more to this story, the gun did not just go off. It sounds as if more than one shot “went off” this sounds like foul play to me.
    If there was no foul play and it was just stupidity than these are the kinds of people who give gun owners a bad name.

  27. Measure says:

    The website has a list of gun recalls and safety warnings. There are TWO for the Jennings 9mm. One of them warns that the sear can be damaged and cause the gun to fire on its own multiple times. Source is the BATFE/Illinois State Police. The way they describe it the internal parts aren’t hardened and are easily damaged.

  28. Top John says:

    The pistol may have been defective, to where as soon as he chambered a round, it fired, but he should have had the weapon pointed in a safe direction when chambering a round. WTF?

    This one is a no &ucking brainer. Don’t carry a POS pistol, and know/adhere to your safety rules.

  29. Measure says:

    The way I understand it, the man chambered a round and set the pistol down so his wife could take her turn shooting. The gun fired, and then fired twice more, after the man had set it down. The BATFE report talks about the gun malfunctioning and “spontaneously firing] in a FULL AUTO MODE”. It looks to me like the internal parts are not properly heat treated and are subject to easy wear causing (obviously) a dangerous condition. The direction the gun was pointed when a round was chambered made no difference in the outcome of using this gun. “Don’t carry a POS pistol” is right and not only that the A-holes at Jennings/Bryco/Raven/Phoenix/etc. need to be put out of business. This is akin to Ford selling a car without brakes.

  30. Texastroy says:

    This sort of stuff burns me up. All they had to say is that the firearm ***WAS*** accidentally discharged. by leaving that word out (WAS), all they do is demonstrate and spread ignorant fear and ideas like that a modern firearm can actually discharge itself.

    They should teach this in school, hell they teach birth control and aids prevention in health class. Why not these simple safety rules also.

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