Product manufacturers are held to strict safety standards in order to protect the safety and well-being of consumers. However, gun manufacturers are permitted to voluntarily submit products for testing as there is no federal agency charged with ensuring the safety of firearms. Recently, one former police officer filed a personal injury lawsuit over a firearm that is sanctioned by some police departments in California for off-duty officers.
According to the lawsuit, the man was at home with his children and pregnant wife nearby. He inadvertently dropped his still-holstered gun. When it hit the ground, the weapon discharged and sent a bullet through his left leg, shattering his bone and leaving him with a potentially permanent disability. The weapon, a 9mm Honor Guard handgun, has been the subject of complaints about its propensity for firing when dropped or bumped hard.
Police departments in Fresno, California and Huntsville, Texas endorsed the firearm for possession by off-duty officers or as a backup weapon. Reportedly, neither department has responded to requests for comments about concerns over the drop-safe issues with the gun. Critics say that the weapon should be recalled over the dangers it poses when the weapon is dropped. The firearm has been tested by safety advocates who have been able to replicate the unintended discharge on numerous occasions.
The gun-maker disputes the claims that its handgun is dangerous and asserts that any weapon could accidentally discharge if dropped. It did announce on its website that there is an available upgrade that could help prevent unintentional discharge. The attorney for the former police officer argues that the upgrade does not go far enough. Any consumer who suffers a serious injury or sustains monetary damages due to a potentially dangerous product may seek recovery of those damages by means of a personal injury claim within the state's civil court system.