The District Attorney in Milwaukee thinks so. And of course there are laws on the books in many states making the negligent use of a gun a criminal offense. However, actual criminal charges seem to be a blue state thing. (Remember Plaxico Burress?)
There are so many laws on the books these days that don't require criminal intent that some commentators speculate that practically everyone is a criminal, they just don't know it. That's a slight exaggeration, but we really should question whether criminal action against negligent behavior is the best way to prevent it from happening again.
In this case it was a police sergeant who was in line at Auntie Anne's pretzel shop when he let his 40 caliber S&W slide down his pants leg then fired it off as he grabbed for it. A bystander got a welt on her leg, possibly from a bullet fragment, but otherwise, according to the report at policeone.com, no one else was hurt.
To the prosecutor's credit, at least he didn't give the cop special treatment. The prosecution theory must be that the example set by prosecuting the police sergeant will help him develop better safety habits.
Maybe, but I believe public ridicule has a more lasting effect. So, Sergeant Michael A. Edwards, next time send someone else to buy the donuts. Yes it's true, lesser men than you may have shot off their guns at the wrong time, but a bang in your pants could make you that lesser man.
The news article came to us by way of handgun instructor C.S. who added, "How many times have I told you? Use a holster!"
And this is about the point where I would put in a pitch for manual safeties on handguns. But I give up. Manual safeties are a thing of the past, I suppose. Today's gun buyers had rather risk shooting themselves in the foot than have to flip a little lever.