Although it seems obvious, I thought I would go ahead and say that handguns belong in holsters, rather than tucked into waistbands. A holster keeps keeps the handgun secure, preventing it from falling or shifting. A holster may also cover the trigger, helping to prevent unintentional pulls of the trigger. Sadly, some people have missed this rather important lesson:
- NFL player Plaxico Burress allegedly had a pistol tucked in to the waistband of his sweatpants while in a New York nightclub. The pistol started to slide out from his waistband, and he is alleged to have shot himself in the leg while trying to catch the pistol.
- LAPD Officer John Duran was a passenger in a vehicle, and had a blood alcohol level of 0.232. He also is reported to have had had a handgun in his waistband. The gun allegedly fell from his waistband, and as he picked it back up, a friend of his began roughhousing with the officer. The gun then reportedly went off, hitting the driver and causing the vehicle to crash. While the unintentional shooting was not directly the result of Duran the carrying his handgun in his waistband, the shooting likely wouldn’t have occurred if he had never dropped the gun – and a holster could have prevented that drop.
- Michael Roth, a former US Border Patrol agent turned small town sheriff, reportedly had a pistol tucked into his waistband. When he tightened his belt, his clothing became caught on the trigger and reportedly caused the pistol to fire.
- Rhode Island police lieutenant Walter Warot is reported to have unintentionally shot himself with a pistol that was tuck into his waistband. He was reportedly sitting on a bench outside a courthouse when he adjusted his gun and clothing, causing the gun to fire. An employee who was sitting nearby was reportedly injured by fragments from the round as well.
- Camron Sands, a 19 year old criminal, was in the process of invading a home in Fort Worth, TX when he drew his pistol from his waistband. Sands managed to fatally shoot himself, and was found dead in the home’s driveway the next morning. Given the violent intentions of this armed home invader, I suppose it is a good thing that he carried his pistol in his waistband and managed to shoot himself. However the point that a waistband is not the proper location for a pistol remains true.
I could go on listing examples, but the point should be clear. Waistbands are no place for a loaded gun. Whether the gun falls out or is fired unintentionally, bad things tend to happen to those who forgo a holster. Also, note that when a gun in a waistband is unintentionally fired, the odds of hitting certain sensitive areas of the human anatomy are rather high…