A sailor was reported in stable condition Tuesday after sustaining an injury to his right leg following an “accidental discharge to the right leg” from a military firearm at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
While details surrounding that incident are still being gathered, Marines shouldn’t rush to judge their fellow sailors too harshly.
While the Corps prides itself on its strict weapons handling safety measures and firearm training routines, the Corps has suffered 54 total negligent discharges since 2013, according to the commandant of the Marine Corps’ Safety Division.
Those figures break down to 36 on-duty and 18 off-duty firearm negligent discharges spanning 2013-2018.
And since fiscal year 2016, Marines have missed nearly 1,700 days of work and millions of dollars as a result of these firearm mishaps, according to the CMC’s Safety Division.
“In reported incidents, common trends include lack of weapon familiarity and failure to properly clear the firearm,” the Safety Division reported. “The majority of on-duty mishaps occur during basic training, weapon cleaning, or disassembly. Most off-duty mishaps occur when loaded firearms are misidentified as unloaded ones (normally when a round has been left in the chamber).”
In June, a Marine standing guard at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., was rushed to the hospital after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It was suspected that the incident was the result of a negligent discharge.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.