The Seven Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry: Using the Wrong Holster

Police-Banana-In-HolsterThere are an infinite number of factors that have influence on which holster to use for concealed carry. I wrote a whole book about gun holsters and even that just begins to scratch the surface. The bottom line about gun holsters is that there is no cut-and-dried option for everyone. The right choice depends on each individual’s lifestyle and specific needs. What’s perfect for one may be completely dysfunctional for another.

However, I believe there are three criteria that a concealed carry holster needs to meet:

  • A good holster helps you access your gun quickly, yet safely.
  • A good holster protects the trigger.
  • A good holster ensures that your gun remains under your control.

With that said, let’s take a look at some “wrong holster” topics.

The non-holster

There are different definitions of “the wrong holster” and one of them is “no holster.” This simply refers to sticking a gun in your belt or pocket without use of a holster.

I do not like this, Sam-I-Am—for two different, but often intertwined, reasons.

First, using a holster is a good way to make sure that you and your gun stay together. A good holster should have retention features, and whether that’s achieved by friction, fit, or positive retention devices is irrelevant. As they say, the first rule of gun fighting is to have a gun. If you rely on just the pressure of your pants or belt, you may find you don’t have a gun when you most need it!

Second, your gun trigger is completely unprotected when you are not using a proper holster. When carrying in your belt, you certainly don’t want your trigger exposed. The problem is even worse with holster-less pocket carry. Keys, change, or that roll of breath mints just might get caught up in the trigger.

Strangely enough, reasons one and two frequently go together. Case in point: NFL starPlaxico Burress, 2008. While only he knows the exact details that led to his negligent discharge, it appears that he was carrying his pistol sans holster when it started to slip down his leg. He inadvertently yanked the trigger while groping to catch his gun and shot himself in the leg. A classic example of reasons one and two playing together with malice.

Unfortunately, I could fill up this entire story with nothing but links to news stories of people negligently shooting themselves, and sometimes others, simply because they were not using a holster. Of course, every single one of those cases also involved a different deadly sin—keeping your finger off the trigger. Of course, most non-holster incidents are the result of a desperate grab to catch a falling gun, not an intentional trigger discipline issue. The point is that a good holster that protects the trigger will not allow a gun to be fired while holstered.

The inaccessible holster

One of the primary functions of a good holster is to safely hold your gun in a stable and accessible position. The best example of “inaccessibility” is a gun tossed in an open bag like a purse, briefcase, or backpack. Not only do you …

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