Can A Gun Fire Without Pulling The Trigger?

As a piece of machinery that might break or malfunction, a gun can indeed be fired without its holder pushing the trigger. There have, in fact, been multiple documented cases of this happening to ordinary gun owners across the United States.

Therefore, and in order to avoid an unintentional discharge, people who own and use guns should learn about and practice gun safety.

Can A Gun Fire Without Pulling The Trigger

Before I answer whether or not a gun can fire without its trigger being pulled, I ought to mention that the majority of what we see and hear about firearms unintentionally firing have to do with the user and their irresponsibility rather than the gun’s faulty function.

Gun malfunctions that lead to the gun firing a bullet are extremely rare, without this meaning that they do not ever happen or that they should not be further examined.

So, if you want to find out whether a gun can fire a bullet by accident and how that can happen, keep on reading below. 

Can A Gun Fire Without Pulling The Trigger?

In this day and technology, the chances of a shooting happening by accident and not by someone actually pulling the trigger appear to be nearly inconceivable.

However, there are various statements regarding shooting incidents where people insisted that the gun firing was due to an abnormality.

Some of them might have been true, as it is possible for a gun to discharge without its trigger being pulled, but it is the holder’s obligation to keep this from happening.

Like all mechanical equipment, guns are prone to malfunction, and a malfunction becomes more likely when firearms are not properly cleaned or used.

For example, there has been a case during a firearm training course, where a trainee’s gun accidentally fired whilst they were locking the gun’s safety.

This incident clearly showed, to everyone’s surprise, that a gun like the AK the trainee was holding can misfire without the person using it pulling the trigger. 

When the instructor examined the student’s gun more closely, he discovered that the safety had been broken.

Fortunately, this was an incident that occurred and was dealt with during the class, as, were this to happen at home, the outcome might have been very dangerous, or even life-changing.

A similar incident that occurred in 2010 had a different turn of events. It was in New Orleans when a woman’s gun accidentally discharged when it fell on the floor inside her handbag while she was out eating at a restaurant.

While no one was hurt and the restaurant kept operating as usual, the bullet that was fired went through the wall which shows just how fatal it would have been if it had shot someone.

In all cases, the explanation was simple: the gun owners did not properly take care of their guns. So, the biggest lesson here is that, since guns are prone to mechanical failure, they should be handled with care.

What Should We Do To Avoid An Accidental Discharge?

What Should We Do To Avoid An Accidental Discharge

Gun safety is the most effective safeguard against the repercussions of any equipment’s malfunction. Thankfully, the National Shooting Sports Federation provided many guidelines that can help with safe gun usage:

The Gun Should Always Be Facing Towards Safe Direction

Unintended or careless firing can always happen, regardless of whether the trigger was actually pulled, or it happened due to a malfunction.

This means that it is very important to make sure that the gun is never pointing at someone or something that does not constitute the intended destination for the bullet.

Furthermore, ricochets and the fragility of other surfaces, like glass, should also be taken into account when thinking of what the right direction is when holding a gun.

Guns Must Be Handled As Though They Are Loaded At All Times

Whether or not your weapon is in use, it should be handled as if it is. This is an easy guideline to follow that can eliminate a large number of careless shootings.

Empty your weapon when you are unsure or not confident with carrying it with you and you will be fine.

You Should Not Count On Your Gun’s Safety Mechanisms

As previously stated, the safety mechanism is prone to malfunction, and while it can help avoid accidental shooting, it does not substitute logical thinking.

Always double-check that the safety mechanism is fully switched and working properly. You should also bear in mind that only when the action is open and entirely empty can you be certain that your weapon will not fire. 

Use The Correct Ammo

Firearms, as mechanical devices, are intended to fire certain bullets that are matching their model. Check your loading to verify you are not inadvertently mixing calibers.

Furthermore, before filling your pistol, carefully inspect your ammo for damage or any other flaws.

If Your Gun Does Not Shoot When You Pull The Trigger, Be Careful With It

An unsuccessful attempt at firing a gun that occurs due to a malfunction may be a stressful scenario. It can, however, be fixed if you stay calm and follow simple gun precautionary measures.

What you have to do is point the gun towards a safe target and ensure that no one is at immediate risk. Then you can proceed with utmost caution to unlock the action, empty the pistol, and properly dispose of the cartridge.

Before Shooting, Make Sure The Barrel Is Clean Of Any Impediments

Obstructions in your gun’s bore, such as oil, muck, and so on, might induce pressure shifts that will rupture the barrel.

Always inspect the action for ammo and remove any blockages from the barrel before putting bullets into it to avoid damage. Finally, check the barrel for any lodged objects if something feels odd when shooting. 

The Bottom Line

In summary, because a gun is ultimately a piece of machinery, it can malfunction and shoot without you having to lift the trigger.

And while cases like that appear to be an exception, this type of situation may occur when people who own firearms fail to take care of their guns properly.

As a result, the best way to ensure safe gun use is by learning how to do so with a professional.

Matthew Osborn

Matt is an entrepreneur who has created and successfully exited multiple companies and brands. Now, he dedicates his time to Legionary, where he produces content on guns, family, and freedom.

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