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Old December 30, 2008, 02:02 PM   #1
scgunrunner
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Accidental CCW Exposure

Who all here has every unintentionally flashed their concealed carry firearm? For example, raised their arm to reach the top self in Wal-Mart and had someone see their gun. What was their/your reaction? Any advice on how to avoid doing this?

Edited: "brandished" to "flashed" in the first sentence.
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Last edited by scgunrunner; December 30, 2008 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Poor woord choice
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:17 PM   #2
Recon7
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I think brandishing is a poor choice of words, unless you are in a "grey area" I wouldn't worry about it. The guy's that I have caught carrying were wearing OWB and their outer garments were not long enough. In the waistband carry may have helped these guys.
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:23 PM   #3
madmo44mag
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I have always been of the mind set that if you carry concealed be sure the weapon is concealed. Wear clothing that fits accordingly so your concealment is protected.
Depending on what gun I carry mandates what is worn to keep that gun concealed.
I never want anyone especially the bad guy to know what I am packing or how many.
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:37 PM   #4
Keltyke
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Brandishing is a term usually reserved for deliberately drawing the weapon and waving it around. I think what you mean is "flashing".

Sure, who hasn't?

In some states, even a brief couple of seconds look at your holstered gun can get you in a lot of trouble. In other states, it's ok to accidentally expose it. In SC, you can accidentally expose it if "an effort is being made to conceal". You can show it when transferring it from a holster to a glove compartment, let's say. Didn't used to be this way, used to be a lot tighter.

"Printing" is another matter. Again, the law differs from state to state. At times, almost any carry method will print, but usually all you see is a rectangular or roundish outline of the butt. Is it identifiable as a gun? Most times, it isn't.

How to prevent flashing? You don't have to worry about your weapon constantly, but you do need to be aware of it. The more you wear it concealed, the better you will become at concealing. You will subconsciously avoid raising that arm and will protect that side from being bumped. It will become automatic (no pun intended). You will learn which shirts/jackets conceal the best. You will learn, as others have said, to dress around the gun.

As I've said in the past...of the ten people who will see your weapon:
Eight will think you're some type of LEO.
One will be a BG who suddenly decides this isn't the day to stick up McDonald's.
One will be another carrier who will smile and say to himself, "Today, I am not alone."
Occasionally, you will run across the jerk who wants to be a big man for his SO or thinks his opinions are the law of the land, and he'll try to make an issue of your gun. Deflect his comments and objections calmly and quietly. Don't argue or get into a scene. If you're in a store where your weapon is allowed, call the manager and tell him you're being harassed. If you need to, call the police. He's inciting and his manner could be considered threatening.
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:40 PM   #5
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Best ACCIDENTUAL EXPOSURE OF CCW I've seen two of our cops (off duty). They were at the city credit union talking to a loan officer about buying a boat for halubit fishing.

During the process one reached for his wallet and accidently drops his revolver on the floor, He looks a round, takes the toe of his boot and slides the gun under the chair of the other officer. He slides it back, the lady loan officer says "FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, PICK UP THE DAMN THING AND PUT IT AWAY".

They had to buy donuts for the shift when the story got out.
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Old December 30, 2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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Sure, who hasn't?
I haven't.

I dress accordingly and move accordingly. Perhaps I may but living in a very low tolerance area regarding CCW I make extra certain to not even risk a flash.

My opinion is the vast majority of flashes are not accidents any more than having a single car accident in the rain is an accident. It is simply the result of poor planning and execution, fully preventable nothing accidental about it.
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Old December 30, 2008, 03:13 PM   #7
The Great Mahoo
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I'm usually pretty careful about not flashing, but I don't worry too much about it. I used to carry IWB, but find myself carrying OWB now (time to lose a few pounds) which doesn't help much. I've adapted some habits to protect it a bit, but don't even think about it much now.

Where I live, there is no law against printing or accidental flashing; open carry is even legal. If my shirt or vest raises above the barrel, I don't worry much; the worst that can happen is a few strange looks or being asked to leave. Truthfully, though, I don't think anyone has ever really noticed.
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Old December 30, 2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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yes, I've had it happen, I just make no big deal of it and cover it back up, if I notice someone giving me a look I just smile and nod and go on about my business like it was nothing.

but I'm 6'-3" and 270lbs
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Old December 30, 2008, 04:02 PM   #9
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A few years ago my brother and I were in a small town in CA at a pizza place eating with a friend. All of the tables were on an area razed about 6” around the sides of a large room. Nothing was in the center of the room, an area about 15 feet square. The floor including the razed sides and the center was ceramic tile. While we were eating and talking, my brother moved and his gun fell out of his holster, to the floor, down the 6” drop and bounced several times to just about the center of the room. I could not believe how loud it was on that tile floor. Every eye form every table in the room was looking from us to the gun and back. You have heard the saying “you could hear a pin drop”, well there was not a sound in that room. Even the kids were not breathing. I looked at the gun and at my brother and the whole thing struck me as funny and I started laughing. My brother got up, picked his gun up and put it away, and we went back to eating pizza. Not one person said a word to us. The police never were called. At the time my brother and I both had permits in CA, but I don‘t think the police would have though much of the show.

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Old December 30, 2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
It is simply the result of poor planning and execution, fully preventable nothing accidental about it.
No mistakes and no accidents, huh? We'll have to start calling you Jesus then.
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Old December 30, 2008, 04:33 PM   #11
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I stopped in at the local convenience store to get a cold drink, reached up, grabbed it and walked up to the counter to pay. There was another guy (that I know is a sheriff deputy) that walked to get in line behind me and as was paying I felt him a little pull on my shirt. I then noticed that my shirt had gotten stuck above the grips and he was covering it back up. I just turned to him and thanked him for covering it back up for me. He never asked to see my CHL or said anything else about it...one of the many great things about a very small town.
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Old December 30, 2008, 04:48 PM   #12
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I was in our local Wally World buying ammo when I went to reach for something up high and a little boy said to his dad, "hey look, Dad, that man has a gun on".

His Dad said to the boy, "he has a permit to carry his gun, just like me".

Open carry is okay in Oregon. So an accidental flash of my 1911 is really no big deal, but I do try to dress properly. Sometimes it just happens.
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Old December 30, 2008, 04:51 PM   #13
Musketeer
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No mistakes and no accidents, huh? We'll have to start calling you Jesus then.
Please note that I said the MAJORITY of flashes.

I have yet to see one posted here which was not fully preventable with proper gear, dress, and behavior. Short of an chair breaking, spilling you backwards and upside down where your cover garment is overturned I have a hard time buying most flashes are anything but lazy packers who are not serious about concealing for whatever reason they may have.
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Old December 30, 2008, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
I have a hard time buying most flashes are anything but lazy packers who are not serious about concealing for whatever reason they may have.
Guilty as charged...
I carry IWB usually, with a jacket on top and it conceals just fine. But with the jacket off, any move to bend over or reaching up and you can see it. Most people dont see it, or pretend not to.
Sometimes I open carry it in a serpa, because its more comfortable and more secure, especially when i need to be sitting a lot... Havnt had any problems yet, but im sort of new to this whole thing...

I never completely understood the concealed nazi's point of view, legal issues not withstanding of course...
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Old December 30, 2008, 09:52 PM   #15
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i carry sob, while on my sport bike the wind tends to blow my shirt back up my back, so when i take off my jacket the grip is on top of the shirt.

the first(and only) time this happened a young kid on a skate board said to me, "hey dude your gat is hangin out!"
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Old December 31, 2008, 01:47 AM   #16
chris in va
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KY doesn't consider exposure 'brandishing' as we also have legal OC. Same for VA where I used to live. I don't worry about printing or exposure.
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Old December 31, 2008, 02:06 AM   #17
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i got made once by a store clerk when i was bending (should have knelt) down to pick up an item off a shelf. she asked in a concerned way what i had on my hip, it was a fullsize 1911 but i told her it was my catheter, she was to embarrassed to continue the conversation ...not diabetic but man is it a good cover story nobody questions it. kinda like telling somebody you mom is dead after they try to throw a yo momma joke out
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Old December 31, 2008, 08:53 AM   #18
Recon7
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Quote:
I never completely understood the concealed nazi's point of view
I almost went there in my earlier post, I think those of us who have open carried before don't see it as a big deal. Now if there are other answers you can't let your ccw show like you work for an anti or there are legal concerns, that's a bit different. I kinda think there are situations where you need deep conceal, situations where you can OC and many situations in between where printing or letting something peek out from under your shirt is not a big deal.
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Old December 31, 2008, 09:21 AM   #19
cnutco
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I am sure I have in the past when first CCW. Now I try to be more proactive.

Although, while on my RR, my glock showed itself a fews times. Now I have switched to my MK40 when riding. It hides very well.
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Old December 31, 2008, 09:51 AM   #20
Musketeer
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Quote:
I never completely understood the concealed nazi's point of view, legal issues not withstanding of course...
In some places OC is legal. In some places it may even make sense. Generally though it has a significant potential to scare the general populace and expose the packer to added hassle and danger that would not be there otherwise.

If made it is easy enough for someone to make a claim you threatened them, true or not, and the presence of the gun will automatically put you on the defensive. You are also target #1 for elimination should something seriously hit the fan.

Those issues aside most of the public is really not into the carrying of firearms by their fellow citizens. The more "in your face" it is done the more negative emotion it generates. No matter what the facts and our feelings on the matter there is far more likely hood of a larger group of people petitioning their lawmakers to eliminate carry than save it if the populace has it thrown in their face too often. That is why I and many others feel that OC is rarely a good thing and concealed should always mean concealed.

If you know the wind blows your shirt up when riding your bike than change the method of concealment. The guy you buzz around in traffic who is having a bad day and sees your gun can easily call in a complaint of a biker brandishing a weapon at him...
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Old December 31, 2008, 10:15 AM   #21
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posted this in another area a while back but...

Quote:
I learned quickly...

A short while back I was wearing my shoulder harness (I sit at a desk most of the time, and outside of work I drive a bit, so I chose this style because it's easily accessible and comfortable for me when I'm sitting. Hint - think about your normal activities to help determine your preferred holster type - draw area) and I changed from my normal clothing to "job site" clothing (I wear nice clothing at the office and work cloths for on site). I normally wear an undershirt tucked in and overshirts or casual clothing over the top at the office to cover my pistol...

Anyways, I change my cloths in the restroom and instead of wearing an over shirt THEN my hoodie, I just took the over shirt off and put the hoodie on over the harness. I didn't even think of the fact that the hoodie was a bit heavier than the over shirt, and while walking through our plant, an employee said "hey! Spending the big bucks! You’ve got leather suspenders?" I looked down and realized the straps on my shoulders were showing. The heavy weight of the hoodie pulled the neck area apart and showed more of my chest area. The hoodie was slightly zipped up, so no one could see the piece, but in that moment I realized that if it were not zipped, it could have opened, showing everyone that I was carrying…

I don't know if he knew I was carrying at the time, but made me quickly realize I had to be more conscious when I change cloths at work. I always look myself in the mirror in the morning to make sure it's hidden, but when at work I usually just change and run out the door...

I think of that moment every time I change my clothes now...
I posted this for someone who was looking into buying thier first holster. I didn't actually "flash" my piece, but came close and it did make me a bit more cautious. Now that I look back on it, if I hadn't zipped it up at all, it may have shown it off to everyone...
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:41 AM   #22
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it shouldnt happen but if it does, be casual.
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Old January 1, 2009, 05:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Short of an chair breaking, spilling you backwards and upside down where your cover garment is overturned I have a hard time buying most flashes are anything but lazy packers who are not serious about concealing for whatever reason they may have.

I sh## you not, there I was sitting in this chair when......Just kidding

I was in a Target store shopping with my young son. I was a new LEO, but was taught from the beginning to always carry off duty. I was bending over to tie his shoes and my weapon must have printed through the t-shirt I was wearing. I stood up and continued to shop when I felt a hand on my gun. I pinned the hand and took the hand's owner down in a straight arm bar. I then realized that I took down one of the security guards who thought I was trying to shoplift. Felt bad about it and was embarrassed, but learned a good lesson. Shop in Wally World.
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:58 AM   #24
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the wife of a guy I know posted a pic of him and his daughter fishing on myspace. I noticed his pistol and holster peeking out from under his jacket in the pic.
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:33 PM   #25
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Two episodes, a couple months apart, at the same gorcery store (go figure). I was carrying a SIG 239 in a Galco Jackass rig both times with a lined nylon jacket cover garment.

First time was in the story, reaching for something on the top shelf, jacket unzipped. It apparently gapped enough for some woman about 6' away across the ailse to catch sight of the gun, and she started screaming, "He's got a gun!! He's got a gun!!" I yelled back, "Yeah, and I've got a permit, too, and if you don't quiet down, I'll call the police and have you charged with harassment!!" The look on her face - priceless.

Second time was a couple months later, blustery Spring day. I had my hands full of gorcery bags. I had left the store and was walking across teh parking lot to my car when a gust caught my jacket exposing the gun to a 60-ish well dress woman. I probably looked a bit embarassed, but she smiled, patted her purse, and said, "Smith & Wesson - don't leave home without it." The look on my face - priceless.
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Last edited by Mike in VA; January 1, 2009 at 06:48 PM. Reason: fumble fingers
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