What they don’t tell you about the GunCarrier lifestyle
There’s one place that has tripped up both professional and novice gun carriers. It’s a place we all have to go sooner or later—the bathroom.
This little-discussed matter is the source of too many avoidable missteps and mistakes, some of which are potentially tragic. I classify these pitfalls as “the Four D’s,” all to be avoided—
- Don’t DROP your gun….but if it falls, let it. The vast majority of modern firearms are designed to not discharge if they hit the floor. To attempt to catch a falling, loaded gun is to invite disaster. Of course, if your firearm of choice is a 1911 or other model made to be carried in the cocked position, you MUST keep the slide safety on.
- Don’t DESERT your gun in the facilities as you leave. This is perhaps the most common of the Four D’s and one that is easy to do if your carry method requires removing the gun from your body to use the restroom. Avoid distractions and make a habit of mentally asking yourself, “do I have my gun?” each and every time you prepare to leave the stall. It sounds so simple as to be stupid—but the distracted human mind does make mistakes. If embarrassment isn’t enough inspiration, just think of the possibilities of who might be the next person to follow in your steps, and what could unfold once your firearm is in their hands.
- Avoid negligent DISCHARGE of the firearm. Again, it sounds absurdly simple, but due to lack of observance of the “keep your finger straight and on the frame” safety rule, it’s happened too often. This rule is moot, of course, if your carry setup includes a holster that securely covers the trigger guard and retains the firearm. Or, if your carry method doesn’t involve the need to remove the gun from the holster or your person, this won’t be your embarrassing at best, or deadly at worst, problem.For those who think you’ll avoid D #3 by carrying with an empty chamber, you will, but that invites other problems that may be addressed in a future article. I’m an advocate of carrying a fully loaded gun, if your goal is self-protection. That opinion assumes your safe carry and handling habits are well-established.
- Avoid DETECTION of your gun by others. Unless you’re at your own residence, at a shooting range restroom, or are a uniformed officer, no one should know you’re in the stall with a firearm. Keep it that way by not setting the gun on the floor or—do I really need to go there?—in the cradle of the pants that are for the moment, around your ankles.
Perhaps this was “TMI” for some readers. It’s an important topic, though, and one that I believe is common enough to require mention by responsible instructors of every variety of gun carrier.