May 21, 2015: Perils of Pocket and Waist Carry

Recent stories highlight problems with pocket or waist carry. 

January 20, 2015:  Michael Foster jumps and with assistance from by-standers, dis-arms a permitted concealed carry holder.  Refer to my February 5, 2015 post for details.  The problem is in getting your gun into its concealed position when you didn’t get into the car with it already concealed.  You’ve got to get it out and in those brief moments when you are transferring it is exposed.  If someone like Mr. Foster sees the gun, even if only briefly, you may wind up being dis-armed even though you have every legal right to carry.  Mr. Foster was arrested. 

May 8, 2015 Lucas Cassidy was arrested for bringing a gun into Amalie Arena.  He faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge for bring a gun to a sporting event.  It is not clear if he intended to evade security when he entered because he removed his keys when he was scanned with a magnetometer and then was not rescanned.  The gun fell to the floor when Mr. Cassidy went to the bathroom.  A witness to this reported him to security.   It was reported as a gun in a pocket.  There was no clarification if a holster was involved.  He has a Florida Concealed Weapons or Firearm License. 

May 14, 2015 Stan Lee (no, not Marvel Stan Lee) injured himself and 4 others when his 9mm Glock discharged.  He reached into his pocket to retrieve his wallet and fired his gun instead.  The bullet grazed his leg and injured 4 others in the lobby.  The bullet fragmented when it hit the tile floor.  Mr. Lee faces a charge of culpable negligence.  He has a Florida Concealed Weapons or Firearm License.  News reports are not detailed enough to indicate if the Glock was in any kind of holster. 

Three incidents occurs since the beginning of the year involving Capital Police leaving loaded handguns in public restrooms at the United States Capital.  While jokes rage about Toilet Training or Potty Training for the Capitol Police, it is a problem for anyone who carries on their waist. 

There are two problems highlighted by these stories.  The first is “pocket” carry and while reports do not state it explicitly, there is a high probability that Mr. Cassidy and Mr. Lee were not using pocket holsters.  The trade-off between access/speed of deployment and safety needs to lean more toward safety.  A pocket holster is designed to; cover a gun’s trigger so that external forces will not cause it to fire, maintain the position of the gun in the pocket, hold the gun securely enough to not fall out of the holster while allowing it to release when drawn. 

While Mr. Cassidy and Mr. Lee are examples of two of these there was a story that I could not source but remember reading about a gentleman whose .22 caliber handgun when off while in his pocket.  He was loading/unloading produce onto a truck.

If you pocket carry, get a holster designed for pocket carry.  A waist holster stuffed into your pocket is not the same thing.

The other problem is waist carry and it exists whether you carry concealed inside or open outside.  Waist carry involves a belt and belts have to be undone when nature calls.  Stall walls don’t usually extend to the floor so guns in holsters attached to belts can be exposed when pants are lowered. 

Statistically you are more likely to have to go to use a public restroom than you are to have to draw and use your firearm.  But you want to be able to do both, so just as you practice your carry draw, you should practice going to the restroom while carrying. 

I started out with a nice DeSantis tuckable inside the waist band (IWB) holster.  It works as advertised but I could not get comfortable with it.  Standing up and walking around was fine but sitting down was a problem.  Going to the restroom was a problem.  I considered a belly band but thought it would be obvious in Florida.  The deep conceal groin carry belts were another possibility but I didn’t like the small gun carry option. 

Ankle carry is not usually the primary carry location.  Also a problem in shorts friendly Florida.

I went back to a shoulder holster. I had purchased a used one for carry while working on private property.  I liked the upper chest position.  Some research brought me to a couple of manufactures for under a shirt concealed carry.  I picked one with an adjustable pocket and a shoulder strap and have been very happy with it.  It accommodated the change from a Kel-Tec PF9 to a Smith & Wesson M&P 40.  It is comfortable enough to do yard work while wearing. 

Another advantage of chest carry is that it is comfortable while sitting.  When driving you don’t need another holster designed for under the dash or the front of the seat.

I started using V-neck tee shirts as undershirts to minimize the skin contact with the gun.  Being made of cotton it is cooler that synthetic or leather and is easy to hand wash and air dry. 

No matter how you choose to carry, practice the draw and practice going to the bathroom. Train yourself that there are only three places your loaded firearm belongs.  In your grip, in your holster, or in your safe.  There are no other resting place, ev

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