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The gun Milwaukee police officers carry has history of going off without anyone pulling the trigger

Milwaukee’s police union says it will be filing a lawsuit against the city to stop the use of the guns that they say are defective and dangerous.
Sig Sauer P320 gun
Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 19:26:16-04

MILWAUKEE — The guns Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) officers carry are firing with no one pulling the trigger. It is happening across the country and in Milwaukee.

The most recent incident happened over the weekend on Sept. 10. It left a Milwaukee officer shot in the knee. Now, Milwaukee’s police union says it will be filing a lawsuit against the city to stop the use of the guns that they say are defective and dangerous.

Sig Sauer P320
In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, photo, Kat Ellsworth of Chicago, fires her Sig Sauer P320 X-Five Legion hand gun, one of the seven guns she owns, at the Caliber Tactical Gun Range in Waukegan, Ill. If she could give Democratic presidential candidates any advice, she said, it would be this: "I feel like they would really gain a lot more votes if they would just drop the gun-control crap." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“The gun was holstered and the officer was bending down to go inside of a car,” said Andrew Wagner, president of the Milwaukee Police Association. “The gun just went off. His hands were nowhere near the weapon.”

A 41-year-old officer was shot in the knee during an investigation at 59th and Center.

“We don’t know what surgeries he will need or what his career will look like going forward,” said Wagner.

IMG_6879.jpg
Andrew Wagner, president of the Milwaukee Police Association sits with lawsuits others have filed against Sig Sauer over the P320 pistol.

This is not the first time an accidental discharge has happened in Milwaukee.

Sept. 10, 2022: Officer’s gun discharges entering a car
Jan. 2, 2021: Officer’s gun discharges exiting a car
July 14, 2020: Officer’s gun discharges with a suspect

It is not just happening in Milwaukee. Attorney Robert Zimmerman and his firm, Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, are representing nine people hurt by an accidental discharge from the P320 in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Plus, he has 20 other pending cases, including one involving a Milwaukee police officer and one involving a federal agent in Wisconsin.

“We've seen over 100 incidents, and we know of over 100 incidents of unintended discharges with the P320,” said Zimmerman.

TMJ4 News reached out to Sig Sauer about the gun but has not heard back. They have previously denied the P320 is defective.

Sig Sauer did issue a voluntary upgrade to the gun in 2017. Zimmerman says that has not done anything to fix the discharges.

Sig Sauer P320 gun
In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, photo, Kat Ellsworth of Chicago, fires her Sig Sauer P320 X-Five Legion hand gun, one of the seven guns she owns at the Caliber Tactical Gun Range in Waukegan, Ill. Ellsworth was firmly against firearms and favored gun-control until just a few years ago when she went with a friend to a gun range and discovered a love for firearms and shooting. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“The Sig Sauer upgrade happened in 2017, and any guns manufactured since, including those used in Milwaukee, receive those changes, but still have had their guns fire even when the user doesn't want it to,” said Zimmerman.

While individuals hurt by the P320 are suing Sig Sauer, the Milwaukee Police Union says it plans to sue the City of Milwaukee for using the gun. They say their intent is to get the city to stop using the P320.

“We are going to the city and saying, 'you know of the safety issues, you need to make everyone safe and you need to make the community safe by switching to these weapons,'” said Wagner.

"I don't think anyone should feel safe with this particular gun in their community,” said Zimmerman.

The Milwaukee Police Department declined an interview, but issued this statement:

“The safety of our members is one of the Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) highest priorities. MPD continues to consult with our legal team to explore all options. The cause of the discharge remains under investigation.”

The City of Milwaukee did not get back to TMJ4 with a comment on the pending lawsuit.

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