The gun hadn’t been fired in more than 30 years, but all it took was a momentary lapse in judgement for a local gun shop owner to shoot himself in the leg this weekend.
Scott Helmer of Rim Country Guns said he was looking over a .25-caliber Walther pistol he had purchased at an estate sale when he accidentally fired a bullet into his thigh. The bullet exited his calf and remarkably didn’t hit any bones or cause serious damage.
On Wednesday, Helmer was back at his shop, decidedly embarrassed.
“I just want to man up and maybe someone else can learn from me.”
He said rumors were already swirling on what had happened and although he initially planned to stay quiet, he decided to set the record straight.
He says he was sitting at his desk and looking over the pocket gun when he made a crucial mistake.
He pulled the slide back and when he did not see any bullet assumed it was unloaded, leaving the magazine in.
He pulled the trigger and nothing happened. He pulled the slide back again and fired. This time, the gun went off, striking his leg.
Luckily, there was an off-duty nurse and paramedic from the Valley in the shop. They called 911 and gave aid until firefighters arrived.
“I wasn’t careful,” he said. “I got a little complacent.”
He says he no longer takes for granted the No. 1 rule of basic gun safety — treat every firearm as if it were loaded. “I think I am obsessive compulsive now,” he said, of triple checking every firearm.
This is the first time Helmer has been shot.