This article was updated from a previous version, where the phrase “hair trigger” was replaced with “light trigger pull” for accuracy. Expertise on trigger pull from a gunsmith and input from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office were also added.
Following the tragic shooting death of an Idaho mother by her toddler son, who accidentally discharged a gun in her purse, experts warn carrying a firearm in that manner isn’t advisable.
Veronica Rutledge, 29, was shopping at the Hayden Walmart Tuesday morning when her 2-year-old reached into a zippered pocket where the woman’s concealed handgun was located.
Though Rutledge did have a concealed carry permit, the incident left some questioning whether her purse was the best place to carry a firearm.
Apart from obvious questions about easy access to children, some experts warn that such off-body carry methods can also give criminals better access to a woman’s firearm along with identification letting them know where she lives.
“This is your self defense mechanism, your insurance policy, is all in here and you just get robbed and it runs down the street and now not only does the bad guy have all of your information, where you live and everything else, he has your gun,” Rugger Cotten of Wade’s Eastside Guns in Bellevue, Washington, told NBC King 5 News.
The retail manager displayed several types of purses designed specifically for carrying a concealed weapon, but said a spandex belly band is a much safer choice for concealed carrying, the retail manager said.
Cotten also said that trigger pull weight is an important safety feature to consider when deciding on which gun to purchase. Some guns have light trigger pulls and just three pounds of pressure can discharge the firearm.
Most gun manufacturers won’t make a gun with less trigger pull weight than that for liability purposes, unless the firearm was specifically made for target shooting, gunsmith Jeff Bregman told Guns.com. Firearms can also malfunction or be modified by a third party to have a light trigger.
Authorities said Rutledge was shot with the 9 mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield semi-automatic her husband bought for her, the Spokesman-Review reported, which comes from the manufacturer with a 6.5-pound trigger pull. Though Rutledge was a hunter and target shooter, it is unknown if her gun was altered or if it came from the manufacturer with the standard trigger pull.
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office told Guns.com that the case is still under investigation and couldn’t release any information on the weapon in question.