By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
One of the teachers at Marjory Stoneman High School, the high school in Parkland, FL, that was the scene of a mass shooting some weeks ago, has been arrested following a shooting incident. The teacher, one Sean Simpson, left a gun in a public bathroom in Ft. Lauderdale, which was picked up by a drunk homeless man who then proceeded to fire it.
Thankfully, no one was hurt but Simpson has been charged with failure to safely store a firearm, a misdemeanor in Florida.
That makes this a good time to discuss the subject of concealed carry and use of the restroom. The privy, the loo, the water closet, the ****house, whatever one wishes to call it; there are certain protocols to be followed if one is going to do one’s business while strapped. Granted, this mostly affects those who are carrying on or about the waistband. If you’re carrying in a shoulder holster it’s not so much of a big deal.
So, what is one to do?
When it comes to public restrooms, using the urinal isn’t affected by carrying unless you happen to appendix carry real close to the waist tab. In that instance, you either have to sit to perform all ablutions, or slide the holster over (if possible) to make the operation easier.
However, it is when one sits upon a commode that the decision must be made.
You see, one is faced with two choices. Do you take your pistol out of your concealed carry holster to make the process easy, or does one cope with the awkwardness of putting your pants back on with the weight of the carry gun making things that much more difficult?
The former choice is a bit more convenient. It makes the process easier as you take your gun out, set it down, do what you went in there to do and then put everything back together. However, this presents certain risks.
First, there’s the distant risk of a drop fire. Granted, most firearms these days are drop-safe and have firing pin blocks built into them to prevent such occurrences but as we learned this past year, that doesn’t always guarantee anything.
Second, there’s the risk of leaving the gun in the bathroom. This happens fairly often, and it doesn’t take much Googling to find instances where people did it. Besides Simpson, Isabella County (Isabella County, Mich.) Sheriff Michael Main, according to Fox News, won’t be charged for leaving his service weapon in a middle school locker room in March. According to Fox6, (WITI, a Milwaukee, Wis. Fox affiliate) an unidentified man from Jackson, WI, was arrested on April 9 of this year for negligent handling of a firearm when he forgot his gun on a restroom changing table in West Bend, WI.
And so on and so forth.
If at all possible, leave the gun holstered. It’s safer. It will also likely not result in an incident or misplacement.
Something to think about is that Murphy’s Law applies, and it applies all the time. Whatever can go wrong, will, and relying on human processes (memory especially) is a sure way for something to go wrong. Therefore, to accident-proof your concealed carry, you need to counter your human imperfections whenever and wherever possible.
So to sum up, don’t take your piece off when visiting the facilities.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.