MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee’s police union is suing the city over service weapons that officers say aren’t safe because they have inadvertently fired without anyone pulling the trigger.
It’s the latest legal action involving the P320 model firearm manufactured by SIG Sauer, including a case filed in Philadelphia in June by a U.S. Army veteran who suffered a serious leg injury when his holstered gun discharged. SIG Sauer, based in Newington, New Hampshire, has denied the P320 model is defective.
The Milwaukee Police Association says the department-issued handguns have inadvertently misfired three times in the last two years resulting in injuries to two officers.
Most recently, a 41-year-old officer was shot in the knee on Sept. 10. In July 2020, Officer Adam Maritato, who is a party in the union’s lawsuit that was filed this week, was unintentionally shot in the leg by another officer’s holstered gun.
The lawsuit alleges that when the city purchased the guns in 2019, it knew, or should have known, about the discharge and safety issues. It also says that during training for the weapons, the city “failed to disclose that the P320 had issues with discharging without a trigger pull, and the officers relied on the safety training to be accurate and complete.”
SIG has already gone through one round of these type of lawsuits, and actually won. They are now going after the lawyer that started the trend of suing using faulty information.
Below is a video of the actual internal safety mechanisms inside a P320. It’s very interesting, and shows how an Accidental Discharge (AD)is pretty much impossible from a functioning P320.
A lot of these agencies probably have serious repercussions for Negligent Discharges (ND), so there’s a good possibility that an ND is blamed on the pistol (AD) rather than the individual.
Sig also offered a resolution about 5 years ago for P320 owners who were concerned about NDs.
P320 Voluntary Upgrade Program | SIG SAUER
I kind of wonder if that program actually hurt Sig’s reputation, because it could be taken as an admission that there was a problem with the P320. But as it applies to new lawsuits, one could ask why they haven’t bothered to upgrade their firearms if they were so concerned about the design.
Ah, but the lawsuit claims that they were not informed of the safety issues. Well, according to SIG, and now the courts there was no safety issue to report. In addition, SIG did send notices by e-mail, the upgrade program was well advertised on their site, and media had all kinds of stories on the upgrade program.
Yes. The webpage for the upgrade program states multiple times that there is no safety issue that needs to be fixed.
I am called upon from time to time to chaperone the local PD when they practice or qualify at the range where I work. So far as their general safety knowledge and safe firearm handling capabilities go, I place it below the average “never shot a gun before” at our monthly NSSF First Shots class. I am not saying they are all careless, but the few that are pull down the average for the group overall.