ANSON — Two men were seriously injured when a handgun one was showing to the other accidentally discharged, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. Thursday in the village of North Anson, Sheriff Dale Lancaster said in a statement.

The man who was holding the weapon was a 23-year-old from New Portland. He had purchased the gun earlier that day and was “showing off” the gun to a 29-year-old friend at the older man’s residence on Union Street when it fired unexpectedly, Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said earlier Friday.

Mitchell said the semi-automatic gun was a Glock 43X. The bullet passed through the younger man’s hand and struck his friend in the lower arm.

“Apparently they didn’t unload it before they started to disassemble it,” Mitchell said.

The men were transported to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. Mitchell said the man struck in the arm was bleeding heavily and was later transported to a Bangor hospital.


Their injuries were serious but not considered life-threatening, Lancaster said.

He said the case remains under investigation. It was unclear where the gun was purchased and whether the 23-year-old had any training or experience with firearms before buying one.

“There’s no requirement (in Maine law) that you have to have any training whatsoever … to buy a firearm. I don’t have to show that I’ve ever shot a gun in my life,” Mitchell said.

A permit is not needed to purchase a firearm in Maine.

“I encourage anyone that handles handguns to either take a course or become very familiar with the handgun or rifle they have,” Lancaster said. “And when you’re handling a firearm, always ensure the muzzle is facing away from anyone.”

Added Mitchell: “This was preventable … You have to treat every gun as if it was loaded.”

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