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Shortly after Finn fails to follow Ren's instructions to "kill them all" (the villagers at Tuanul on Jakku), we see Phasma tell him to "submit his blaster for inspection" and "report to [her] division at once". Is this just a standard after-action procedure for all blasters, or did Phasma suspect that Finn failed to follow orders, and was having his blaster checked to somehow verify this suspicion?

It's not clear if the impending discovery of his failure to follow orders, or simply his disgust at the events on Jakku that just transpired, or both, lead to his decision to escape with Poe.

Can we assume from Phasma's request and Finn's reaction that First Order blasters maintain some sort of record of when they were fired, either explicit or implicit?

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The Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Storybook elaborates on this a bit more, in short she'd noticed Finn wasn't firing on the villagers and so wanted to see if it was because his blaster wasn't working or something else. As such it would appear that blasters don't maintain a record of when they were fired, she was just going to give it a general check to see if it was working correctly.

"FN-2187," someone said from behind him. "Submit your blaster for inspection."

He turned around to see his commanding officer, Captain Phasma. She must have noticed he wasn't firing on the villagers.

The stormtrooper gave her his blaster and saluted. He knew once she ran a scan on his weapon, she would find out there was noting wrong with it. It was only a matter of time until he was punished for disobeying orders.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Storybook

Whilst it is more of a separate question I think the answer to your middle paragraph is both. Finn disobeyed orders because he didn't think it was right to kill the villagers like that and he didn't want to be punished for disobeying orders. The fact that Poe is brought aboard and he gets a pilot to help him escape just gives him the perfect opportunity to do it.

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    To add to this, a simple check of the energy levels would be enough to see that the weapon hadn't been fired. In a current modern gun or weapon, checking the barrel/chamber for the smell of burnt powder and if it's dirty would be a way to check if it's been fired. – computercarguy Jul 15 at 16:41
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    @computercarguy You could also check if it's still got a full clip/magazine. Presumably, you'd make sure the thing was fully loaded before going into a fire fight, and I'd imagine the number of reloads someone is given would also be a known quantity. (Of course, the simple solution would be to fire several shots deliberately into the ground or somewhere else they wouldn't hit anyone...) – Darrel Hoffman Jul 15 at 18:36
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    @DarrelHoffman Blasters' ammunition is power from a battery and an exotic gas (like the Tibanna gas Lando's Cloud City mined). They apparently consume so little per shot that no one ever seems to be concerned about needing to reload, in fact I don't recall any Star Wars media portraying blasters as even being able to be reloaded in the field. That said there's still probably some way of measuring if a blaster had expended a few shots. – EldritchWarlord Jul 15 at 20:24
  • @EldritchWarlord I'm pretty sure at least some of the games have had a reload mechanic in them, though I'm not sure how canon that would be. But I was mainly responding to the comment regarding real-life guns with bullets. Powder smell isn't the only way or necessarily the best way to tell if those have been fired (particularly if it's long enough after the fact). – Darrel Hoffman Jul 15 at 21:04
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    @EldritchWarlord unlimited ammunition would explain why troopers never bother learning how to aim... – A C Jul 16 at 2:34
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This was addressed in a scene that appears in the film's official junior novelisation. Finn had explained his reluctance to fire on the villager as being the result of a weapons jam. An inspection would obviously reveal that it's in perfect working order and that he was lying.

“Eff-Enn-Two-One-Eight-Seven,” said Captain Phasma, “I understand you experienced some difficulty with your weapon. Please be so good as to submit it for inspection.” He glanced at the rifle he still carried. When asked by a squad commander why he hadn’t fired at the villagers, he had said his rifle jammed. But that was not an explanation Phasma would care to hear. His training had taught him there was only one proper response. “Yes, Captain.”

Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation

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