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sharps4070ss

Table start, Accidental Discharge DQ question

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So you can say a shooter is DQ'd for 10.5 and just add that you thought the way he moved from one port to another was unsafe? Seems when we get away from the written rules we open everything up to interpretation. An RO could DQ a shooter for pointing the gun at the ground when he goes hammer down at the end of a stage because he thinks it's not a safe thing to do because if the gun goes off it will throw rocks, etc.

I see new shooters do things every match that are probably unsafe in my "opinion". Such as when unloading they cup their hand over the ejection port. I think that is terribly unsafe and I tell them why I think that. But maybe I should start DQing them so nothing bad happens.

I just don't see using catch alls when it comes to the rules.

Well stated.

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We had this same scenario happen with a shooter on our squad at 2010 Nationals. When gun was grabbed, it went off and shot went through hard cover (a playing card) and continued on to a valid target. Match official (not sure if CRO or MD) was called over and eventually they determined it wasn't a DQ. However, our shooter wasn't admitting (or denying either) that it was an AD.

I did not read this entire threat, but....

Yeahhhh..... that was me. The stage began with shooter seated and loaded gun on table -- on buzzer engage targets, staying within box. At the front of the table, about 3 feet away were cards in groups of five, poker hands, stapled facing toward the shooter. On buzzer, I stood up, retrieved the loaded gun, and my first shot was a bit premature -- before my sights were exactly on target ;-) -- going through, I believe the queen of spades right in the middle hand, a Royal Flush (my buddy Morgan has the photo), and I continued to engage the targets downrange. After I engaged three or four targets the RO called "stop, and unload and show clear." He said something like "I think you should be DQ'd for that first shot." I said something like "well, my first shot went down range, at the targets, did not hit within 10 feet of me, and did not go over the berm. I was not moving or loading or reloading. Please tell me the rule that would justify a DQ." Perhaps the language was a bit more colorful. Anyway, there was conferral, and then further conferral with the bosses, and the decision was there was no specific rule to support a DQ.

-br

eta: Full disclosure: I sometimes play a lawyer in real life, not just on the range.

Edited by BR

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Brian,

Perhaps I should put you on retainer and require you squad with me from now on. ;)

Steve

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We had this same scenario happen with a shooter on our squad at 2010 Nationals. When gun was grabbed, it went off and shot went through hard cover (a playing card) and continued on to a valid target. Match official (not sure if CRO or MD) was called over and eventually they determined it wasn't a DQ. However, our shooter wasn't admitting (or denying either) that it was an AD.

I did not read this entire threat, but....

Yeahhhh..... that was me. The stage began with shooter seated and loaded gun on table -- on buzzer engage targets, staying within box. At the front of the table, about 3 feet away were cards in groups of five, poker hands, stapled facing toward the shooter. On buzzer, I stood up, retrieved the loaded gun, and my first shot was a bit premature -- before my sights were exactly on target ;-) -- going through, I believe the queen of spades right in the middle hand, a Royal Flush (my buddy Morgan has the photo), and I continued to engage the targets downrange. After I engaged three or four targets the RO called "stop, and unload and show clear." He said something like "I think you should be DQ'd for that first shot." I said something like "well, my first shot went down range, at the targets, did not hit within 10 feet of me, and did not go over the berm. I was not moving or loading or reloading. Please tell me the rule that would justify a DQ." Perhaps the language was a bit more colorful. Anyway, there was conferral, and then further conferral with the bosses, and the decision was there was no specific rule to support a DQ.

-br

eta: Full disclosure: I sometimes play a lawyer in real life, not just on the range.

Having to take what is written at face value, I would have to ASSUME (We know what that means) that the gun was in your hands and pointed down range when it discharged. It did not discharge as your hand was in the process of retrieving it from the table. You further immediately continued to engage other targets, so while the shot might have been a surprise, it was not enough of one to slow you down. It would appear to me that you were fully into engagement mode and not retrieval mode.

Edited by Poppa Bear

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Another reason to never admit to ANYTHING! Just play dumb, keep shooting, whatever. Once the RO stops you he has to make his case. Don't help him.wink.gif

I totally disagree with this statement. If you know your wrong, cop to it.

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"I've been shooting a long time. Rules are great, but inadequate in some instances. I know unsafe gun handling when I see it, though it might be difficult to articulate a definitive rule to prevent a particular example."

This is important. A lot of shooters have been shooting a long time. So that's why if you want to DQ yourself be my guest. If you want to protest an RO call be my guest.

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You, sir, are a good man -- a rarity these days.

If you know your wrong, cop to it.

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Obviously, ADs are going to occasionally happen in this sport. They've happened to me, and if you're reading this post and you're honest about it, you'll probably have to admit they've happened to you! This is why controlling muzzle direction is so critically important.

I'd much rather see a shooter trip off a shot on a reload, fire one over the berm, pull out a magazine at a safe area, or run with his finger on the trigger--than break the 180. Those are all infractions that result in a DQ, all for good reasons, but they don't generally cause a firearm to be pointed at another person.

If we are serious about human safety, the two main things to tighten up on are (1) 180 violations, and (2) holstering hot guns. Those two areas are where the real problems can happen.

Or so it seems to me.

Not all clubs are in the middle of nowhere - an increasing number have development sprouting up around them. They may (reasonably) take the position that a round over the berm (violation of "don't point your muzzle at...") - which then impacts on a neighbor's property - is unacceptable. Some would also see a difference between injury/property damage of a competitor/spectator (while on the club property and during the match) as less disastrous than injury/property damage to a non-participant neighbor (off the club property) due to liability, public relations, etc.

The vast majority of 180 violations I've seen have been technical violations (the 180 was violated by a few degrees, but the muzzle never swept anyone or required anyone to change their shorts). "Tightening up" on 180 violations to be "serious about human safety"? Where are these problems occurring? (Seriously, where? I want to know so that I can make sure to avoid them, or at least be forewarned.) If you want a zero tolerance 180 enforcement, then the stage designers will need to cooperate fully (as well as competitors and ROs).

Respectfully,

ac

As someone who shoots regularly at a club in the Indianapolis area, I think this hits the issue right on the head. If I can't DQ a shooter for a wild shot that obviously wasn't intended, just because it hit 1' below the top of the berm, then this sport has no future in residential areas. All it takes is 1 round leaving a suburban range to get it closed down, leaving us with no place to shoot. I think USPSA needs to clarify and tighten up this rule, to give RO's more of a chance to reign in dangerous behavior.

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You can -- just not as an AD. Odds are you can find something under Unsafe Gunhandling though....

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You can -- just not as an AD. Odds are you can find something under Unsafe Gunhandling though....

Having read through this entire thread, I don't think the bulk of people agree with you. It seems like as the RO, that I could DQ the shooter, but that it isn't very well supported in the rule book, and is likely to be overturned by the Match Director.... It sounds like as long as the shot was towards the target, and the shooter says "I meant to do that", then the RO is pretty much screwed.

Edited by chizzle

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It is all about how good you are at articulating what took place, and how close of an eye you keep on the shooter. Keeping in line with the OP scenario it would be difficult to say what happened if you were looking at the first array or some other portion of the shooters body so that the sound of the shot is what drew your vision to the gun. This works for any start or movement. Looking at anything but the gun when it goes off will make it hard to authoritatively say what happened before, during and after the gun discharged. At this point you need to use circumstantial evidence to articulate what happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately, some people keep their composure quite well so we need other rules to define an unsafe act. Shot within 10', over the berm, while reloading......

This is very much like a court of law. It is a lot easier to get a conviction (DQ) for acts that are witnessed, than it is for acts that require you to build a circumstantial case. The CRO/RM/Arbitration process are our courts of appeal. Ultimately these parties can decide that even if the shooter "Intended to do it" it was still an unsafe act that is punishable by upholding the DQ. Telling the cop and the judge you intended to go 100 in a 55 zone is not going to get you out of the ticket.

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There are several posts here that make reference to the fact that because the shot fired hit one of the targets downrange it's a justification for not calling it USGH or a DQable offense.

The end result should not be the primary factor in determining the correct call.

Just because in the course of juggling my firearm when it discharges it just happens to be perfectly aligned to put the round into the target does not make what I have done to be a correct action.

I think we also need to consider if you're going to consider excusing this action then think about if it is something you'd want to see other shooters emulate.

If you're thinking that you won't DQ this guy but you'd cringe to think the next 3 guys coming up to the start position are going to plan on taking the same action then.....

If you'd not want to see a repeat of this then ask yourself why not?

I think the answer is because inside we all know it was a AD/USGH and therefore the shooter needed to be DQ'd.

Just like the prior poster said about pornography ...I might have trouble defining it but I know it when I see it.

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I was RO'ing Mini-Mart last year when a shooter retreived his handgun from the shelf, raised it up, and just as his hands came together on the push out, discharged a round that carved a trough in the table top. The shooter stopped and hung his head. I called Stop, ULSC. He was a Master class shooter, he knew he had AD'd, and he essentially stopped himself. In discussing it after the match, we realized that, since the shot was in the direction of the targets, he was actively engaging them, he wasn't moving per the rules, and it didn't impact within 10', there was no support for an AD DQ, at best it might be USGH.

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should call Stop until he stopped himself. I have seen people overprep their triggers and touch one off early, but when he stopped and hung his head down, it was pretty obvious that he had NOT intended that round to be fired. It didn't scare him or make him jump, but he knew he had done something he didn't intend to do. I can understand the comments about seeing someone's reaction and knowing it was an AD. I saw a reaction that indicated the shot wasn't intentional, but in retrospect, I never felt he wasn't in control of the gun as far as muzzle direction.

After reading all of this, I see the point being made that there is no specific AD rule for something like this, and I also see the point being made about it falling under USGH. I think that some of the rules do require a level of RO interpretation. I have to interpret whether the muzzle breaks the 180, which can sometimes be difficult on stages with odd wall angles. I have to judge whether a shooter was aiming at targets or still moving into a position when a shot goes off to apply 10.4 rules. And in this case, I have to interpret whether the shooter in control or if he was unsafe when he fired a shot across the table. But if I call a DQ for my interpretation of what I saw, the shooter still has the ability to involve the CRO/RM for another opinion.

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That's why we were thinking 10.5

"Examples of unsafe gun handling include, but are not limited to:"

But that strikes me as too close to "Failure to Do Right"

(and for the record, I didn't think he should be DQ'ed either, because I couldn't find a specific rule)

Sorry but I wholeheartedly disagree. If the gun discharged then you can't be using general rules when there are specific ones that outline the action that we are discussing. AD DQ rules are very specific and I hear far too many DQs that occur that [probably] shouldn't.

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That's why we were thinking 10.5

"Examples of unsafe gun handling include, but are not limited to:"

But that strikes me as too close to "Failure to Do Right"

(and for the record, I didn't think he should be DQ'ed either, because I couldn't find a specific rule)

Sorry but I wholeheartedly disagree. If the gun discharged then you can't be using general rules when there are specific ones that outline the action that we are discussing. AD DQ rules are very specific and I hear far too many DQs that occur that [probably] shouldn't.

And just because the gun went "bang" doesn't necessarily mean that an AD occurred.....

A gun could go bang due to unsafe gun handling.....

Consider everything -- and make the best possible decision you can....

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I was RO'ing Mini-Mart last year when a shooter retreived his handgun from the shelf, raised it up, and just as his hands came together on the push out, discharged a round that carved a trough in the table top. The shooter stopped and hung his head. I called Stop, ULSC. He was a Master class shooter, he knew he had AD'd, and he essentially stopped himself. In discussing it after the match, we realized that, since the shot was in the direction of the targets, he was actively engaging them, he wasn't moving per the rules, and it didn't impact within 10', there was no support for an AD DQ, at best it might be USGH.

Forgive me if I'm behind on knowing all the stages. But if the table was right in front of him and he hit the table how is that not impacting within 10'? The rule doesn't say that the bullet has to stop with 10 feet.

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Under that ring reasoning any prop within 10 feet of the shooter would be a DQ if struck.

Agreed if the prop is in the line of fire to targets and clearly isn't an AD. In the case I commented on even the shooter felt it was an AD. Let's take it a little further...

The shooter is going to fire from a sitting position. During the draw he fires early and the round grazes his leg. It isn't a violation based on sweeping because it was during a draw. The round is in the general direction of the target and doesn't hit the ground within 10'.

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I don't know, I don't see this as a DQ (maybe that is what you are saying?), I see it that he disqualified himself or withdrew or someting like that. I think I would have scored the targets as "shot".

I was RO'ing Mini-Mart last year when a shooter retreived his handgun from the shelf, raised it up, and just as his hands came together on the push out, discharged a round that carved a trough in the table top. The shooter stopped and hung his head. I called Stop, ULSC. He was a Master class shooter, he knew he had AD'd, and he essentially stopped himself. In discussing it after the match, we realized that, since the shot was in the direction of the targets, he was actively engaging them, he wasn't moving per the rules, and it didn't impact within 10', there was no support for an AD DQ, at best it might be USGH.

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should call Stop until he stopped himself. I have seen people overprep their triggers and touch one off early, but when he stopped and hung his head down, it was pretty obvious that he had NOT intended that round to be fired. It didn't scare him or make him jump, but he knew he had done something he didn't intend to do. I can understand the comments about seeing someone's reaction and knowing it was an AD. I saw a reaction that indicated the shot wasn't intentional, but in retrospect, I never felt he wasn't in control of the gun as far as muzzle direction.

After reading all of this, I see the point being made that there is no specific AD rule for something like this, and I also see the point being made about it falling under USGH. I think that some of the rules do require a level of RO interpretation. I have to interpret whether the muzzle breaks the 180, which can sometimes be difficult on stages with odd wall angles. I have to judge whether a shooter was aiming at targets or still moving into a position when a shot goes off to apply 10.4 rules. And in this case, I have to interpret whether the shooter in control or if he was unsafe when he fired a shot across the table. But if I call a DQ for my interpretation of what I saw, the shooter still has the ability to involve the CRO/RM for another opinion.

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Forgive me if I'm behind on knowing all the stages. But if the table was right in front of him and he hit the table how is that not impacting within 10'? The rule doesn't say that the bullet has to stop with 10 feet.

10.4.2 states a bullet that strikes the ground, or would have struck the ground of not for the prop. Neither was the case with this incident.

10.4.2 A shot which strikes the ground within 10 feet of the competitor, except when shooting at a paper target closer than 10 feet to the competitor.

10.4.2.1 Exception — A bullet which strikes the ground within 10 feet of the competitor due to a “squib”.

10.4.2.2 In the case of a shot striking a prop where the bullet is deflected or does not continue to strike the ground, if the Range Official determines that the bullet would have struck the ground within 10 feet of the competitor had it not been deflected or stopped by the prop, the provisions of 10.4.2 shall apply.

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I don't know, I don't see this as a DQ (maybe that is what you are saying?), I see it that he disqualified himself or withdrew or someting like that. I think I would have scored the targets as "shot".

Sorry for the rambling. At the time, we both thought it was a DQ because he knew and I knew that it was an accidental discharge. Upon further review of the rules after the match, we could not find a rule under 10.4 that applied. The closest we could find was a broad application of 10.5. But even if I had not issued the DQ, the shooter said he would have withdrawn himself from the rest of the match voluntarily.

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I guess what I am thinking is that it wasn't a DQ though, by what you described. He safely fired an unintended shot, it startled him and he was upset with himself but not necessarily a DQ. I guess, given the description, I am leaning to scoring the targets as "shot", he can withdraw if he feels like it. IDK?

I don't know, I don't see this as a DQ (maybe that is what you are saying?), I see it that he disqualified himself or withdrew or someting like that. I think I would have scored the targets as "shot".

Sorry for the rambling. At the time, we both thought it was a DQ because he knew and I knew that it was an accidental discharge. Upon further review of the rules after the match, we could not find a rule under 10.4 that applied. The closest we could find was a broad application of 10.5. But even if I had not issued the DQ, the shooter said he would have withdrawn himself from the rest of the match voluntarily.

Edited by old506

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I guess what I am thinking is that it wasn't a DQ though, by what you described. He safely fired an unintended shot, it startled him and he was upset with himself but not necessarily a DQ. I guess, given the description, I am leaning to scoring the targets as "shot", he can withdraw if he feels like it. IDK?

We came to pretty much the same conclusion that it should not have been a DQ. It seemed to be an AD that didn't fall under any of the 10.4 rules.

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In the moment I could see where there would be confusion. Good to know for the future....Thanks

I guess what I am thinking is that it wasn't a DQ though, by what you described. He safely fired an unintended shot, it startled him and he was upset with himself but not necessarily a DQ. I guess, given the description, I am leaning to scoring the targets as "shot", he can withdraw if he feels like it. IDK?

We came to pretty much the same conclusion that it should not have been a DQ. It seemed to be an AD that didn't fall under any of the 10.4 rules.

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A big difference is DQ or a voluntary withdrawl. One zeros the match the other just the stage.

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