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Old 04-17-2010, 06:23   #2
Mas Ayoob
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Manzoli7, good luck with finding a warm fuzzy gun that won't frighten jurors unfamiliar with weapons. Given that you wouldn't be in court if you hadn't used the gun to wound or kill someone, and all...

I doubt that many jurors would care about the difference between striker-fired and hammer-fired design. What happens is that a prosecutor desperate for conviction or a plaintiff's lawyer hungry for money knows that justifiable self-defense is a hard argument for them to overcome in court. However, since there is no such thing as a "justifiable accident," a theory of you accidentally/negligently discharging the weapon can lead more easily to a manslaughter conviction or a wrongful death judgment. That is why the argument that you accidentally discharged due to a negligently-chosen "hair trigger" is so attractive to them.

What is "too light a trigger" will be determined by manufacturer specifications, industry standards, and what is called "the mainstream of common custom and practice." These things have evolved differently with different firearms.

Glock has ALWAYS forbidden the 3.5/4.5 pound connector for "duty use," unless combined with the NY-1 module, which brings total pull weight up into the six-pound range. Their standard 5.5-pound pull would be seen as the minimum "safe" trigger system for holding suspects at gunpoint with this weapon. Many departments and individuals (myself included) prefer standard 5.5-pound connector PLUS NY-1 for a total pull weight in the 7.5-8 pound range, which makes it even harder for opposing counsel to sell a "hair trigger" argument to a jury.

As the 1911 has evolved over the years, a combination of the specs of most of its many manufacturers, plus such things as NRA's rule of a minimum 4-lb pull for duty gun (Distinguished, President's Hundred) matches, has led to a general acceptance of 4.0 pounds as the minimum "safe" pull for a defensive 1911.

The Taurus system you describe is too new for "common custom and practice" standards to develop around it, so the Court would probably look to Taurus' factory specs for trigger pull weight.

best,
Mas
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