Not every wound from a gun is a crime.

Things happen. Life has a funny way of reminding us of that sort of thing on a regular basis. Every time you think life should go one way, it often takes a last second twist that you never saw coming. And sometimes, those accidents can be almost terrifying, but end up working out ok.

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Say you were handling a firearm, and somehow it goes off. No one else is hurt, but maybe you nicked your foot, or leg, or something. Nothing serious, but it may need a stitch or two. Your first thought might be that you don't need to tell anyone. Why should you bother to report it to anyone at all? Mostly, because of the law.

Unsurprisingly, the state wants to know when people are injured by firearms.

Grandpa and Grandson going Duck Hunting

Let's compare this to a car accident for a second... There are times where you just kind of want to shake hands with the other vehicle you were just in an accident with and go your separate ways. But what if that person comes back later and no one reported it? There'd be a host of legal hoops to jump through.

Shotgun and Shells
Stefan Malloch

Same in this case. Whether you like it or not, there could be laws you accidentally broke that you wouldn't to be charged with later, or by the same token, you wouldn't want to be charged with anything you didn't do, because you decided the details of how you were injured aren't that big a deal.

Ambulance at the entrance of an emergency room
Joaquin Barbara

You also potentially put a doctor treating you in an awkward position.

Let's say you head in with a little wound to your toe from a firearm. If you try to say it's anything besides what it is, and the doctor determines it's a gunshot wound, they're forced by law to report it. That would immediately cause an investigation and a host of other issues that could've probably been cleared up if you just told the truth.

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Ultimately, it's just an incident you don't really get to make a judgement call on. So as tempting as it may be to just ride it out, you should probably just alert the authorities right out of the gate. Maybe they'll just send you to the doctor. But most importantly, don't invite trouble. Just do it the right way.

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