Video: Officer Loses Badge After Armed Altercation with Squirrel

Video: Officer Loses Badge After Armed Altercation with Squirrel

Gun Digest takes the safe handling of firearms seriously. The topic is first and foremost in any subject our writers touch upon – whether it is handloading, concealed carry or any other conceivable matter.

There are times, however, the improper use of firearms can be instructive. Jody Putnam provides one such instance. The former Mountain City, Tenn., police officer demonstrated the negative ramifications of unholstering a gun without taking account if the situation called for deadly force.

Putnam drew and fired his sidearm in a Dollar General store, in addition to discharging a goodly amount of pepper spray, according to a report by WJHL-TV News. What set off the officer’s hair trigger? A squirrel.

Certainly had Putnam run afoul an armed robber or similar villain his response might have been warranted. But thumbing off rounds at a discount-minded Appalachian brushy tail in public, that’s a whole different story.

And it was a tale that not only rightly raised the ire of the property owner and shoppers, but also the town of Mountain City and its police department. The municipality was quick to yank the officer’s badge after his lapse in judgment.

As you can watch above, the TV station’s report is long on the incident’s particulars and the city’s response. But one detail was omitted, whether Putnam got his man – err, I mean mammal – before being fired.

Editor's note, WJHL-TV News was the source for this story

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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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