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Friday, July 10, 2009

Be Careful in the Restroom

Oh no, not again. Another firearm incident in a restroom.

Hopefully this woman will recover and not have permanent problems.

Usually these incidents involve someone taking their handgun out and setting it on the toilet and then walking out and forgetting it. According to this story the handgun fell out of her waist holster.

My IWB holsters all hold my handguns securely. They are all Kydex and do not have thumb breaks but do have tension adjustment screws. I can turn the holster upside down with a loaded handgun inside and shake it vigorously without losing the handgun. If your handgun falls out of your holster when you hold the holster upside down then you need to reconsider how you carry.

When you are using the restroom you have to be extra careful if you carry with a belt holster because you are unhooking the belt which allows the weight of the handgun and spare ammo to sag. If you aren't careful then the best case is that the handgun will sag to the floor and possibly be visible to others. Not really any hard done but you don't want to alarm the sheep which can get you professional attention from LEOs. If I have to sit in a public restroom I rehook my belt after I get my pants down and keep the belt up just above my knees so the handgun won't sag so far down.

If a handgun is in good condition it should not discharge from being dropped from the height of a toilet seat. If a handgun is in good condition and secure in the holster it should be less likely to discharge from being dropped. By good condition I mean that everything works. If you have a 1911 without a firing pin blocker then you need to make sure that your firing pin return spring is fresh and don't carry it in condition 2 or 2 1/2. Carry it in condition 1. Condition 3 will almost ensure that it won't discharge if you drop it but then you have a "handsgun" instead of a "handgun" and you may not have both hands available.

One kind of belt holster that is not very secure is a belt slide. When your belt is worn normally I think they are fairly secure but when you loosen your belt the grip on the handgun may get a little looser as well.

Unfortunately there aren't many details included in this story so I will just have to speculate. I'm betting that this woman either had her handgun in a belt slide which is not very secure when you loosen the belt or she took her handgun out of the holster and fumbled it. She may have actually dropped it and had a mechanical failure that resulted in a discharge or she may have just been playing around. Most unintentional discharges are the result of someone fondling their weapon and not paying attention. Obviously a public restroom is not a good place to be playing with a firearm. This unintentional discharge was also negligent which is probably this is bad news for the woman responsible. All unintentional discharges are not negligent. If you have good muzzle discipline and you have an unintentional discharge then nobody will be injured and property damage will be minimal. Firing your weapon and hitting someone in the leg is a sign you weren't paying attention.

This kind of thing is fodder for those who would like to restrict our ability to protect ourselves. Carrying a handgun is an awesome responsibility. When you carry be sure to pay attention to what you are doing.

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