This week we bring you some examples of how not to safely
handle firearms and ammunition, brought to you by instructors in
the Offbeat Outdoors blog’s Firearms and Shooting Safety for
Half-Baked Gun Storage
First we offer the story of the Wisconsin man who thought he had a
bright idea when he stowed his handguns and ammunition in the
kitchen oven while he and his wife left for vacation.
Unfortunately, he overlooked one tiny little detail–he forgot to
tell his better half.
The result? When firefighters finally extinguished the fire, they
found three handguns in the oven and a handful of spent
John Gilmet, 57, of Howard, Wisconsin, told officers he thought the
firearms would be secure in the oven if someone broke into the home
while they were away. After returning, his wife innocently turned
on the oven to prepare dinner–and the fireworks began.
Authorities said the Gilmets ducked behind the refrigerator when
bullets began exploding. No one was hurt.
Then there’s Bristow, Oklahoma resident, Drew Patterson, 27, who
decided to arm himself after hearing reports of a dangerous
fugitive who had escaped from a city courtroom and was reported at
large in the community.
Unfortunately for Patterson, practicality and gun safety took a
back seat to his attempt at self-protection. His .22-caliber
pistol, hooked into the waistband of his denim shorts with the
hammer pulled back, apparently fired, hitting Patterson in his back
seat–his left buttock, to be exact.
“At first, I didn’t feel anything at all,” Patterson later told the
local media. He said he then felt something warm streaming down his
leg and realized what he had done.
In what easily qualifies as a magnificent understatement, Patterson
summed up the incident:
“I had good intentions, but I screwed the whole thing up.”
Know the Drill
Our final (un)safety lesson comes from a couple of Sheboygan
County, Wis. teenage boys who luckily survived one of those seminal
moments in their young lives that could likely have ended much
Benjamin Fisher, 18, and a 17-year-old friend were messing around
in Fisher’s backyard shed when they got the wild idea to remove the
gunpowder from some surplus 7.62x54R cartridges they found.
The two Sheboygan Falls High School students first tried to pull
the bullet from the live cartridge using pliers. It didn’t
That’s when they opted for power tools.
After cutting the tip of the bullet so it offered a flat surface,
one of the teens held the cartridge with pliers, while the other
used a drill to bore through the bullet.
Within seconds, the backyard shed became a classroom of sorts, as
the teens were taught an important lesson about physics and
The boys were fortunate to receive only non-life threatening burns
from the resulting explosion.
“It’s just, I guess, bad judgment on my behalf, just kids being
kids,” Fisher told the Sheboygan Press. “I’d kind of like to drop
it right here, but I know that’s not going to happen.”