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View Full Version : Spotting a person carrying a firearm?


shotokan99
December 25, 2007, 10:32 PM
what are the indications to look at in order to determine if the person is armed or not?

hogdogs
December 25, 2007, 11:08 PM
Do you mean legit or illegit? I hope I don't give off enuff "markers" to guess if I am or not. As for illegit carriers I just look for bulges from neck to ankles. if some one gets nervous and starts "covering" a particular portion of their body I give them a little closer scrutiny...
brent

10-96
December 25, 2007, 11:19 PM
+1.
Also sometimes you can tell when folks are "trying" to look inconspicuous. They may pat that area frequently to make sure it hasn't riden up or down. They may walk funny and look at their carry place more than the average Joe might. They may have a CHL, and they may have a badge, they may have shoplifted a pack of cigs.

38splfan
December 25, 2007, 11:36 PM
Legit legal carriers will likely make it hard for you to tell.

Illegal carriers will be conspicuous, either by dress, action, or both.

2Seventy
December 26, 2007, 08:44 PM
I once observed a man at my place of employment who was wearing shorts and a tee shirt that said "Microsoft Gun Club" in bold letters across the front. He had on a large black fanny pack that hung almost to his knees in the front. I'm assuming he was armed but didn't ask him:o.

OldShooter
December 26, 2007, 09:25 PM
quote from 38splfan:

Legit legal carriers will likely make it hard for you to tell.

Illegal carriers will be conspicuous, either by dress, action, or both.

So it should be easy for the LEOs in WA state to pick these offenders out. Is this a fact?

odessastraight
December 26, 2007, 09:38 PM
It seems to be common that many new CCW holders feel that everyone probes them with their eyes to catch them carrying. It's just not so. People don't normally look at one another like that. Women won't look closely at a guy, checking for bulges, because she wouldn't want him to think she may be interested. Most guys certainly won't check other guys out like for fear of being thought of as gay.

Relax, people just don't care to check you out like that.

hogdogs
December 26, 2007, 10:29 PM
I do pay super special attention to purdy females looking to spot their gun;):cool:
Brent

Glenn E. Meyer
December 26, 2007, 10:35 PM
So for the Holidays, I take the family to a fancy pants restaurant for dinner. I am sportly dressed with Jacket and Tie. Under this is an arsenal of ultimate stopping power.

There is another long table with a large family. All are dressed up EXCEPT at the head of the table there is a grizzled man wearing a TAC VEST. Kind of incongruent. He is giving everyone a hard look and checking his six constantly. Kind of tacky! :D

I wonder ...

mamboreta
December 27, 2007, 08:31 AM
Sometimes I find myself "peting" my gun, and I bet a lot of gun lovers do that too. But I just started carrying a month ago, and I really, really love my guns.

sterno
December 27, 2007, 09:14 AM
I think most everyone was alittle paranoid of being made when they first got their CCW permit. I know I was.

But now it's like wearing shoes or having my keys in my pocket. I am aware of it and am aware of it's position.

Harrigan
December 28, 2007, 10:02 PM
The most common tell IMHO is the the shirt tug followed by the blatant holster adjustment. New CCW owners often will make sure their gun has not been exposed every time they move it's a sure fire tell.

poortrader
December 28, 2007, 10:10 PM
Once, I saw this guy in a suit printing really bad, but he didn't care because he was guarding Bill. Definitely Secret Service.

TheEgg
December 28, 2007, 10:32 PM
most of us are too oblivious. Unless someone takes it out, waves it around, and fires off a few shots, we will never know.

R1145
December 30, 2007, 03:13 AM
Look for the guy at the mall wearing shorts, crew cut, dragging his knuckles and wearing the big weenie pack...

Glenn E. Meyer
December 30, 2007, 03:36 PM
If it's a fanny pack, why isn't it around your fanny? I have some for skiing that go on the back or the side.

Big Weenie pack - interesting double entendre or maybe triple. :D

Manedwolf
December 30, 2007, 04:52 PM
My easiest-to-see signs:

1. Gangsta wannabe look with oversized jersey against an obvious bulge stuffed into the waistband of pants, usually at the back. Mexican-carried fo-tay.

or more common:

2. Middle-aged, overweight bearded guy wearing either:
a) tactical vest/vest with many pockets
b) "cover garment" that looks like Mr. Rogers' cardigan gone wrong
c) black leather fanny pack

All of the above scream "HAS A GUN", and the second is far more often seen. :)


Sometimes I find myself "peting" my gun, and I bet a lot of gun lovers do that too. But I just started carrying a month ago, and I really, really love my guns.

Advice for you. Don't get a Smartcarry, you'll get thrown out of places and arrested. :D

38splfan
December 30, 2007, 06:37 PM
So it should be easy for the LEOs in WA state to pick these offenders out. Is this a fact?

Yeah, it should be.

Do you mean legit or illegit? I hope I don't give off enuff "markers" to guess if I am or not. As for illegit carriers I just look for bulges from neck to ankles. if some one gets nervous and starts "covering" a particular portion of their body I give them a little closer scrutiny...

One obvious give away.

Others:
Hand resting in clothing or pocket in one place almost constantly.

Constantly adjusting clothing or bag.

Suspicious glances, anxious activity.

The legal carriers are likely to be much more comfortable with their carry, and also more likely to use proper carry methods that don't require constant adjustment/attention.

Also, and flame me if you like, there's a little profiling involved. There is a lot of gang activity in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Most everyone who pays attention to the news knows how these kids dress and act. There are obvious clues as to who they are. Like most gangs they have certain articles of clothing, colors, and other signs that distinguish them.
As a corrallary, we just got a breifing from the MP's that the common crimes, i.e. home invasion, mugging, convenience store robberies, are increasing gang-related.

It stands to reason that if someone meets the description of a gang member, then to disregard them as a non-threat is kinda stupid.
Also, if you have a guy constantly hoisting his pants, covering a pocket, or pulling down his hoodie, or nervously checking out mirrors and security cameras, then he shouldn't be disregarded either.

You may not like it, but there are signs. And yeah, some of them are based on profiling. That's too bad. You dress thug, you get scrutinized like one. You dress like a goth, you get stared at like one, you dress like a freak, you get oogled. It's a shame, but that's the way it is. Great example is me. I wear boots and jeans and a big hat, I get a lot of attention. Also, on days I'm on the bike, I wear a leather jacket and all the appropriate bike trappings. I get a wide berth, and a lot of stares, and even some comments.

People call attention to themselves by what the choose to say, do, or wear. And it does make the LEO's job here a lot easier.

Don't know how it works over in Maine, but that's how it goes here. Too bad they didn't start it sooner, or maybe we could have avoided the '05 shooting here.


Like I tell everyone, you have a right to do pretty much whatever you want. But with that right also comes the responsibility to consider others around you. If you consider the reaction of others and you're still cool with it, go for it, just don't be suprised at the attention people draw.

By the way, the most obviously give-away of the illegal packer is the way they act around authority. If they get nervous, freeze up, or panic around LE or security, there's probably something wrong there.

Creature
December 30, 2007, 07:41 PM
In my experience with "gang-bangers", I have noticed that the one who might be packing a gun in his waistband is the one who's pant seem to be pulled up to what is considered the normal mode of pants wearing to everyone else. Conversely, the gang-bangers who are not packing heat usually have their pants around their knees.

Of course this all changes if it is cold out and they have jackets on.

Some gang-banger girlfriends hold a gun in their purses for the boyfriend.

OLD208X3A
January 1, 2008, 10:55 PM
I agree that those new to CCW (or those who shouldn't be carrying) are the most obvious. When I started carrying I thought that every person in the place knew that I had a gun. One thing that I did when I started was to constantly be protecting my strong side. I wouldn't reach for things too far on that side and I kept my hand kind of close to my side as well. Tugging on your close is a big sign. Now I'm much more comfortable. One trick I use is to use my cellphone to conceal my CCW. I hang my phone off of my clothes/belt to distract from the gun. It serves as an instant point of focus for the observers eye. The phone also makes a bigger bulge under my shirt tail than the gun. In reality, people just aren't that observant. I've gotten hugs from friends who have brushed the gun and they had no idea it was there. Just my 2 cents...

Mannlicher
January 2, 2008, 07:01 PM
Shotokan,

Most folks would not see your handgun if you wore it openly. People are NOT looking at you, they mostly avoid looking at others.
If you really look hard, you may spot a fellow carrying, but then again, you may be misled.

musher
January 2, 2008, 07:16 PM
Most folks would not see your handgun if you wore it openly. People are NOT looking at you, they mostly avoid looking at others.

Truth.

A friend of mine wore his sig owb with his shirt tucked in all day at work one day.

Not one comment or look. He didn't think anyone noticed it.

CGSteve8718
January 2, 2008, 08:29 PM
I'm just curious why you are interested in knowing this. Because as a regular guy who carries, I don't really care if other normal people are carrying or not, it is our right, and more power to other CCWers.

If you are some kind of LE or govt. and want other people's opinions on how to better perform your duties, then I would say specifically spotting a weapon is secondary to just looking for suspicious behavior in general. Actually, I would go further and say that kind of applies as a "regular" citizen as well.

I would be more interested in looking out for suspicious behavior, or a person that is "out of place" than someone who I see is printing when he is reaching for corn flakes, or standing in line, etc. I can't say exactly all of what would be considered suspicious as opposed to someone just conducting normal business, but I'm guessing being really fidgety, walking back and forth in the store, waiting customers out (to leave), pretending to shop, etc. would alarm me more than anyone who I know has a gun on their person.

MortalWombat
January 3, 2008, 02:20 PM
There was a thread about this topic here a few months ago:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257583

arctictom
January 3, 2008, 03:05 PM
1) Tactical vests, fanny pack , not to many Ganstas around here , and they stand out pretty clearly , and of course concealed carry is allowed unless you are a felon.

2) New ccw folks are pretty easy to spot, frequently checking for "printing"

3) Its a small town , so I often recognize the people carrying.

EJJR
January 3, 2008, 03:38 PM
If someone looks at my waistline and sees a handgun, then they know I'm carrying. If they look and don't see a handgun, then they will need to guess if I'm carrying. :cool:


"Most folks would not see your handgun if you wore it openly. People are NOT looking at you, they mostly avoid looking at others."

Perhaps where you live.

I know for a fact that many notice when I'm open carrying. I also notice others that open carry; but I actively try to be aware of my surroundings.

Jkwas
January 3, 2008, 03:44 PM
I usually watch the local homeys when they walk the street. Saw the dealer from around the corner walking down my street with the butt of an automatic sticking right out of the front of his pants. His shirt was up over it, and he was fondling it as he walked up to a car. When he saw it was his "friends", he dropped his shirt down over it, and got in the car. Talk about brazen!:rolleyes:

EJJR
January 3, 2008, 03:55 PM
Talk about brazen

Nah, thats just a street level deterrence. :D

CrazyIvan007
January 3, 2008, 04:00 PM
Once, I saw this guy in a suit printing really bad, but he didn't care because he was guarding Bill. Definitely Secret Service.

LOL, I saw Billy at the Red Rocks Amphitheater here in Denver back when I was like 16 or 17. I saw those guys, dark glasses, ear plugs, suits blowing in the wind...and a silenced MAC 10 with a 30 or 40 round mag hanging inside their coat...