Four impolite but important concealed carry sins no one talks about
Eve Flanigan 08.21.18
Whether you’ve been carrying concealed for a long time, just started, or are considering it, one thing is for sure: at some point, you’ll need to use a public restroom.
While it’s seldom mentioned in training, the bathroom is where perhaps the majority of problems enter the habit of everyday carry (EDC), assuming you’re set on a carry method. Here, we categorize the top four considerations for the gun/restroom interface, things most people haven’t adequately processed—er, digested? in their carry plan.
Because there are dozens of possibilities of how to avoid these sins depending on your holster setup, there’s no dictation about exactly what to do with your gun. If you’re reading this, you’re smart enough to figure that out while staying within these guidelines.
Don’t DESERT your gun
There’s no need to explain the dangers that could ensue from leaving behind a firearm. However, there are some basic guidelines to follow to prevent this too-common error from happening to you:
- If you must remove the gun from your person, place it within in your sight. For me, that means never placing it on the tank cover that might be behind me.
- Stay mentally aware of the firearm during the entire visit. No using the phone; avoid conversations. Make a habit of asking yourself if the gun’s secure before heading out to face the world.
Don’t DROP your gun—but if it falls, let it
With few exceptions, modern handguns are manufactured to be drop-safe. Manufacturers have been generally expedient in repairing or replacing pistols that don’t meet this standard. But it is always the job of the gun handler to avoid accidental or negligent discharges. Attempting to catch a falling gun is virtually asking for it. Ask the Federal Air Marshal who managed to shoot himself in the foot while trying to catch a gun that had slipped out of concealment.
Negligent DISCHARGE must be prevented
Never, ever, allow anything including your finger to be inserted into the trigger guard if your rig is such that the gun must be unholstered for conducting private business. That means no hanging it from the hook on the back of the door or any other such place, including your booger hook.
It seems common sense—but in the years I’ve been teaching concealed carry, I’ve had three people in my small town share true stories about negligent discharges in the bathroom (speaking of the powder, brass, and bullet variety, wiseguys).
DETECTION of the gun by others is bad medicine
You’re carrying concealed for good reasons. Don’t risk being a target of theft or undue scrutiny by allowing the gun to be visible, i.e., on the floor or hanging from a belt, unless the door and walls of your cubicle go all the way to the ground.
Hopefully, all this talk about slipping and showing and discharges hasn’t inspired you to run off as if you just remembered something important. Instead, maybe it’s flared up burning memories or an itching desire to change. It’s this writer’s hope that you’ll get beyond the crappy jokes and work out a plan to be regular with your gun safety in the bathroom.
We’d like to hear from the experienced carriers, what’s your method for securing your gun in the little boys’ or girls’ room?
Author’s note: when a civilian makes an egregious safety error, it almost never makes the news. When a law enforcement officer makes one, it often does. The examples used here are employed because press is available, not to disparage any officer or agency.