A SECURITY guard who accidentally shot his friend in the stomach has told police he was trying to make sure the gun was not loaded.

The 29-year-old man from Merrylands was showing off his semi-automatic handgun to mates in a relative’s garage at Lidcombe about 9.30am yesterday. He told police he had taken the gun out of its holster and was checking to see no bullets were loaded when the weapon fired one round, hitting his 36-year-old friend.

Detective-Inspector Chris Goddard, from Auburn police, said the security guard fled the Railway Parade house in a white Holden Barina but turned himself into police an hour later.

He was being interviewed at Auburn police station last night.

The victim, from Auburn, was taken to Westmead Hospital where he is in a serious but stable condition and awaiting surgery. A person at the house called triple-0, Inspector Goddard said.

A local plumber, Luke, who knows the security guard, told the ABC his friend put the magazine into the gun and it fired.

Luke said there was no malice involved and his friend was "not a violent person in any way. It just doesn’t get worse for him. He’s not a killer, he’s not a violent person in any way," he told the ABC.

Inspector Goddard said there was only one bullet in the gun and police were talking to the 29-year-old’s employer.

He said the situation could have been far worse. "[The victim] is extremely lucky and I think the message is to treat all firearms as if they are loaded and to be very careful," Inspector Goddard said.

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