Walmart Customer’s Weapon Accidentally Discharged From Pocket
DESOTO – Imagine you have a gun in your pocket while shopping and it goes off when you reach into your pocket to retrieve something else. Pretty terrifying, right?
You’re probably thinking well that’s a rare scenario. Right, but it happened Tuesday night at the Walmart in DeSoto on Belt Line Road, and a report indicates the accidental shooter did not even know his gun went off.
He also apparently did not know the round fired from his gun grazed a customer. Fortunately, the customer was not severely hurt and did not even know the bullet had grazed her until told by a witness.
Incidents like the accidental gunshot in DeSoto’s Walmart could be more common in the future if a permitless carrying of handgun law – HB 1927 – passes in Austin this week. The incident in the DeSoto Walmart located at 951 W Belt Line Rd occurred near the front at the in-store bank at around 5 p.m.
Cpl. Pete Schulte, Esq., Police Legal Advisor/PIO, Professional Standards Unit with the DeSoto Police Department said the incident happened at around the same time detectives were leaving for the day to go home so they were at the scene immediately.
The man whose gun went off [and whose name has not been released by DeSoto police] had apparently reached into his pocket and caused the gun to discharge. He also decided to leave the scene of the crime. Police were quickly able to determine who the gun belonged to and where the shot came from even with the party leaving the store. DeSoto Police Department said the indvidual was not licenses to carry a handgun. Charges are pending.
“Gun safety is important. If you carry a gun you need to be trained,” said Cpl. Schulte. If House Bill 1927 does pass this would get rid of the requirement for Texas residents to obtain alicense to carry handguns if they are not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun.
House Bill 1927 (The Firearm Carry Act of 2021)
That could however, mean problems in the future. State Representative Carl O. Sherman (D-109) said regarding HB 1927 “As I expressed when the Bill was being laid out, and I have the utmost respect for the author of the Bill Representative Matt Schaefer (R-6), this Bill has to me some very terrifying consequences because it says you don’t need training to have a firearm.”
While HB 1927 has not made it to the Governor’s desk yet, Governor Greg Abbott has said he would sign it into law. Currently the bill is in a conference committee made up of representatives and senators tasked to create a compromise for approval in both chambers. “We aren’t in the 19th century and I believe responsible gun owners should have the right to have a gun, but we shouldn’t just say anybody, and everybody can have a gun,” Representative Sherman concluded.
“So, this is a challenge. We are growing in population and mental illness is growing, depression is growing. This doesn’t even factor in the suicide rate that is going up by people killing themselves with guns. I think we have to be responsible as legislatures to enact laws that are going to help protect people and guns shouldn’t be our first solution.”
Current state law has Texans be licensed to carry handguns openly or concealed. For those applying for a gun permit, applicants must submit fingerprints, complete four to six hours of training and pass a written exam as well as a test showing one’s ability to shoot. Currently Texans do not need a license to openly carry a rifle in public