Although 20 self-described gunshot victims have filed a lawsuit against gun maker Sig Sauer claiming defective pistols caused their injuries, some Wyoming gun enthusiasts say they haven’t lost trust in the brand.
“I’ve never had any problem with Sig, and they do have a good reputation,” gunsmith Brian Dimoff, who owns Gold Spur Outfitters LLC in Laramie, told Cowboy State Daily.
Leo Perez, manager of Dave’s Guns in Laramie, told Cowboy State Daily that he hasn’t had any customer complaints about Sig pistols or heard any concerns over the lawsuit.
Many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are reportedly law enforcement officers or military veterans.
Even so, the matter apparently hasn’t raised much concern among Wyoming law enforcement officers, said Byron Oedekoven, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police.
He said the lawsuit isn’t yet “on my radar.”
Claims Of Unintentional Firing
The plaintiffs claim that their Sig Sauer P320 pistols fired unintentionally, sometimes even when still holstered, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 30 in New Hampshire. They claim the pistols fire unexpectedly because of faulty components and/or a lack of proper safety features, for which they fault the company.
Dimoff, who is a former law enforcement officer, said he still regularly carries a P320 and hasn’t had any problems with it. He noted, however, that his particular pistol is highly customized.
“Most LEOs (law enforcement officers) aren’t carrying a hand-built $1,000 pistol,” he said.
Perez said Glocks remains his most popular pistol brand, but he’s yet to hear of any customers deliberately shying away from Sig Sauer or reporting any unusual problems with the brand.
He and Dimoff said that to their knowledge, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is the only large law enforcement agency in the state that recently issued Sig Sauer P320s as its primary duty weapons.
Calls to WHP on Tuesday weren’t returned.
Not The First Lawsuit
The P320 got off to a rough start when it was first introduced in 2014, Dimoff and Perez said.
The first models were prone to “drop firing,” Perez said, meaning they could go off unintentionally if dropped.
“There was an issue with the P320/M17/M18 on initial release,” he said. “The striker blocker was not up to the task of preventing discharge in extreme shock scenarios.”
That resulted in a lawsuit being filed in April 2018, which ended in a class-action settlement in early 2020.
However, those initial problems with the P320 were corrected by Sig Sauer, and prior to the latest lawsuit there didn’t seem to be any further problems with that model, Dimoff and Perez said.
The Importance Of Cleaning
Dimoff said that malfunctions and safety problems can arise with firearms that aren’t properly cleaned and maintained, regardless of brand. He recalled that during his career in law enforcement, he noted that a few officers were lax about keeping their sidearms clean, sometimes with spooky results.
It was usually those officers who weren’t military veterans, he said, because firearms cleaning is a huge part of military training.
In the military, “weapons maintenance is drilled into your consciousness,” he said. “Police need bigger budgets for more training and practice.”