A Specialist assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina died in a privately owned weapons (POW) mishap 15 May 2021, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at 0118 local. While attempting to unload and clear his privately owned weapon, the weapon unintentionally discharged, striking him in the head.. He was transported to the local medical center and pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician. Earlier in the evening, the Soldier had been out drinking with another Soldier, however, the investigating officer has not determined if alcohol was a contributing factor to the mishap. The investigation is currently ongoing.
Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of four Soldiers a year to POW mishaps. This tragedy was the third POW fatality of FY21.
You can manage your risk with privately owned weapons if you always THINK weapons safety!
Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
Handle every weapon with care.
Identify the target before you fire.
Never point the muzzle at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
Keep the weapon on safe and your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire.
The USACRC website contains numerous resources to address POW safety: https://safety.army.mil/OFF-DUTY/Privately-Owned-Weapons