Smith & Wesson's Other Safety Issue

As Smith & Wesson was negotiating its safer-handguns deal with the Clinton Administration, the largest U.S. gunmaker was also secretly negotiating with a former Alexandria, Ohio, police sergeant who had discovered a potentially deadly design flaw in its semiautomatic pistols. Jeff Perry said he contacted the gunmaker after his 9-mm unexpectedly went off during a firearms-training session. The company's safety manuals for the gun say that if the user removes the magazine from the gun, it cannot fire even if a round is left in the chamber. However, Perry found that if slight pressure is put on the trigger during removal,...

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