Could Gun Used in Deadly Shooting be Safer?


By Jim Hamill

Ever since a 10-year-old boy was shot and killed in Pike County over the weekend when his uncle was showing off weapons he thought were unloaded, There has been attention and scrutiny on the safety of the gun that went off.


Northeast Firearms in Honesdale sells the Glock 27, the weapon used in the shooting death of Hunter Pedersen.


State police said his uncle was showing off the weapon and pulled the trigger not realizing there was a bullet in the chamber.


The question now is: Could the gun be made safer?


Mike Jones took apart a Glock 27 for us at his gun shop. He said the Glock 27 is a popular model, one that comes without a so-called “external safety.”


It was the same gun, equipped with a laser sight, that wound up killing a 5th grader from Wayne County over the weekend.


Hunter Pedersen was killed when his uncle showed off the weapon Saturday and pulled the trigger.


People came out to support the boy’s family during a candlelight vigil near Honesdale Tuesday.


“I don’t want to ever see another family go through something like this. We are all heartbroken,” said Linda Honickel, the boy’s grandmother.


Chad Olm, the boy’s uncle, is charged with homicide. Investigators said he never checked to see if there was a bullet in the chamber.


“All guns are dangerous and sometimes people disrespect them. And that’s where the problems begin,” said Jones.


Jones said the first rule of gun safety is not to point the gun at anything or anyone unless you intend to shoot. Jones doesn’t believe the gun is to blame for Hunter’s death. The Glock, he said, does not go off unless you pull the trigger.


“It doesn’t take a person to say the safety would have saved this problem, the guy had a bullet in the chamber and pulled the trigger,” added Jones.


There are lots of handguns on the market these days without a safety switch and that’s enough to surprise some who think a safety is a must-have.


“That should be a mandatory requirement for all guns, because accidents do happen,” said Jennifer Vecchio of Honesdale.


Others point directly at the gun’s owner, the man accused of taking the life of his 10-year-old nephew.


“He should never have had it pointed at anyone, especially his nephew,” said Rob Beam of Honesdale.


Gun makers choose to leave a safety switch off some handguns because it may prevent a quick reaction if someone needs to fire in self-defense, according to Jones.


There’s no telling if a safety would have prevented the deadly shooting this weekend.

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