The Pistol that fired all on its own?

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

When someone says a pistol fired on its own, it almost always means they pulled the trigger by accident. That is what I assumed when I read the title of this article in the St. Petersburg Times, but the massacre that followed suggests otherwise (emphasis mine) …

Moments before, Sherri Thourot had watched her husband fire and reload the Jennings 9mm. Then he set it down for her to shoot next at the range.

That’s when the handgun started firing on its own, she said, spinning around in circles, landing the Thourots and an Irish tourist in the hospital.

I once belonged to a club with a private range. Club members had shot themselves in the foot at least a few times in the club’s recent history. This happened when race guns with hair triggers were drawn from a holster. The pistol would fire a burst into the shooters foot and an ambulance would need to be called.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the gun may have been altered, leading to the malfunction. Detectives expect to know more when they take the gun apart and inspect it as they continue to investigate.

Sherri Thourot said her son, 29-year-old Jeremy, brought the 9mm back to the United States after one of his tours in Iraq with the Navy. He gave it to them this summer.

So it may have been a souvenir from Iraq. They do not list the exact model of the Jennings pistol and I don’t know much about those guns, other than they were budget pistols.

Jennings Model 58

Flynn was listed in stable condition at the hospital, while Michael Thourot was released Sunday. His wife said doctors put pins in his hand to help heal shattered bone.

But the freak accident won’t keep her away from guns.

“I can’t allow something like this to cause me to be afraid of something I’ve done all my life.”

I am very glad they are all ok.

Many thanks to Mason for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • ARJohnston ARJohnston on Jul 21, 2011

    Certified, college educated gunsmith putting in my .02. Whoever is responsible for the manufacture or distribution of jennings/bryco/jimenez firearms should be in prison for a very long time. I've been brought a lot of these in my career, and ive never encountered even one that I trusted not to kill me, much less protect my life. You're taking your life in your hands when you pick up a firearm, just spend the extra hundred bucks. You owe it to your neighbors, kids and the guy across the shooting lane. If you wont, do the entire world a tiny favor and re-evaluate your priorities. Please?

  • Mica Mica on Jul 22, 2011

    i aggre with ar johnson thire are some seriouse quality issuse with those gun,s i know in my case ya most of my pistol,s are famaly bring back,s eather war issuse walther,s or lugar,s but at least i know the quality is thire i know the 2 naimbue,s\ jap semi auto,s \in the back of the colection i willl never fire thire just POS quality steel and my primary carry is a 357 snub nose body gard or my walther 9x18 hay you guy,s know it as well as i do quality firearm,s last a life time and longer i figguer one of these day,s maby when thire old enofe ill hand down my collection to my kid,s provided the goverment don,t make that das verboten the girl,s willl get my pistol,s and my son who now is curled up on the couch with pop tart,s and watching cartoon,s will get his peper,s \ 303 endfield\ hay hand it down to the next gen teach em right wrong and to be true to them selve,s