Illegal to Have Gun Go Off in the Bathroom?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 27, 2012 6:07 AM

Though you'd be a bit embarrassed if you accidentally fired a gun in a Walmart bathroom, you probably wouldn't expect to be prosecuted. But this is not the case for Andrew Seals of Phoenix, Arizona.

As Seals began to sit down on a Walmart toilet, his revolver fell out of its holster and hit the ground. It fired, and the bullet hit a wall, ricocheted off a light fixture, and then landed a few feet from a man standing at a urinal.

It was a freak accident, but prosecutors may charge him with endangerment.

Sgt. Ed Wessing does a better job at explaining the sequence of events, and why you probably shouldn't carry a gun in a Walmart bathroom:

Wessing notes that the police department feels that Andrew Seals was reckless with the care of his gun. This is part of the criteria for the crime of endangerment.

Endangerment, known as public or reckless endangerment in other jurisdictions, occurs when a person recklessly causes a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury to another. It's the less egregious cousin of assault and battery, as harm is not a necessary component of the crime.

Andrew Seals arguably acted recklessly when he failed to properly disengage his gun when sitting down on the toilet. He should have held onto the revolver, strapped it in tightly, or simply set it on the ground. His careless actions could have killed or seriously injured the man standing at the urinal.

So while accidents are bound to happen, sometimes they can be criminal in nature. So please be careful. And don't take a gun into a Walmart bathroom.

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