Safety precautions to take when carrying a loaded gun in public

Hampden County

A man accidentally shot himself when he reached in his pocket inside the West Springfield Costco Wednesday afternoon.

Armor Bearer Sports in Springfield told 22News that this is an uncommon occurrence, but it can happen to anyone who isn’t careful with their firearm.

West Springfield Detectives and witnesses confirmed for 22News that the customer was at the jewelry counter inside the warehouse store on Daggett Drive when he reached in his pocket for his cell phone, and his semi-automatic pistol discharged.

He suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg.

A witness told 22News that the man hobbled out of the store, leaving a trail of blood. 22News went to Armor Bearer Sports in Springfield to find out how to protect yourself and others from an accidental shooting.

“One of the key ways to prevent shooting yourself or other people, is to make sure the safety feature is on,” said Prince Taylor, owner of Armor Bearer Sports. “Once it’s on it prevents the gun from discharging. You always want to keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, second, you always want to make sure your finger is off the trigger till you’re ready to shoot and keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use.”

Any Massachusetts resident who wants to legally possess a firearm must have a valid Massachusetts firearms license issued by his or her local police department.

Police believe the pistol was a legal firearm, and the victim will be okay.

22News called the West Springfield Police Department several times Thursday, but they aren’t releasing any further information about the incident.

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