Thursday, June 06, 2013

Shotgun Goes Off At Gun Club, 10 Injured!

10 Hurt, Including Teen, When Shotgun Goes Off At Gun Club

ELBURN, Ill. (STMW) – Two men and a 14-year-old boy were hospitalized and several other people injured when a shotgun accidentally fired and the round struck the floor, bounced up and struck them at a west suburban gun club Tuesday night.

Emergency personnel were called to the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club at 44W471 Keslinger Rd. in unincorporated Blackberry Township near Elburn about 7:30 p.m., according to the Kane County Sheriff’s office.

A 69-year-old St. Charles man who belongs to the members-only club had just completed target shooting and entered the clubhouse. He was to putting his 12-gauge shotgun away and thought he had inserted a snap cap, a plug used to save the firing pin while a gun is stored, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

But instead of the snap cap, he put a live shotgun shell into the gun, police said. With the man pointed at the floor, he pulled the trigger, and the gun discharged, sending buckshot to the floor, where it bounced up and out and struck several people in the clubhouse, police said.



The person who had the accidental discharge will most likely be bankrupt, as he faces ten (10) potentially lawsuits, accident or not.

The question is, what's the clubs liability, if any?

Do they allow guns in the clubhouse, and if not, is this rule enforced or ignored?

Do they allow the use of snap caps on club property?

What is the clubs policy on the use of snap caps?

Where on club property is a shooter allowed to pull the trigger on a firearm?  Is there a designated safe area other then on a shooting station?

Not going to debate if snap caps are needed in modern firearms, the debate the club will be having is with its insurance company and the lawyers who will be bringing suit.  Will the insurance company defend and pay any claims or put it all on the club?

As for your clubs rules. Part of discovery will be if the club has rules that prohibit certain practices. The plaintiffs lawyers will investigate if the rules have a history of being enforced.  If not, it's like the rule didn't exist!

Not the first time I've heard of an accidental discharge in regard to a firearm with a SNAP CAP going off.  Maybe it's time to ban them from all clubs, as when it's all said and done, the club must be protected from any potential lawsuits, no matter the feelings of a small group of shooters.

 For those who wish to use a snap cap, insert them when you get home!


  1. Follow up:

    Pascale Rapp, 44 and James Harris, 40, were among the six who were treated at the scene, though police did not release their hometowns. Neither had listed phone numbers.

    Four male juveniles were treated at the scene, a 9-year-old from West Chicago, a 17-year-old from Elburn, and two other boys aged 11 and 15, but police did not know what towns they were from.

    Askwith was driven to Delnor, where he was treated and released. Askwith did not return a voicemail message left at his home.

    John Wilbur, 19, of Geneva, said he was shooting on the range with a youth league when the accidental discharge occurred.

    1. Even with a snp cap, the gun should be discharge upward to the open sky!

  2. NEVER pull the trigger on any firearm INDOORS. Always point it in a safe direction. ALWAYS treat a firearm as if it is loaded. Keep the action open on semi-auto and pumps. Even in the case until you get home. We do not allow members to enter the clubhouse with their firearms. There are places outside the clubhouse where they can rack them, look at them, dis-assemble if need be.