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Old April 4, 2018, 05:12 PM   #1
labnoti
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shooting from inside the pocket

I've come across a few references to the idea of shooting a handgun from within a pocket.

This video demonstrates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAYkoXtulWI

One idea I've read is that it could be faster than drawing, although I doubt that unless the hand is already in the pocket.

The big disadvantage of shooting from within the pocket is the inability to use the sights or even aim the gun. It can be pointed at best.

But what about the fact that the gun is practically drawn?

I remember one time I was driving away from a campground in a National Forest and a man stopped me. He was apparently nervous and decided to feign having a gun in the pocket of his nylon jacket before approaching the driver's door. The conversation didn't have any substance. I found out later that he was probably trying to delay me until the police arrived because he had mistaken me for the perpetrator of a crime that I hadn't committed and that probably hadn't even occurred. I survived the ensuing police encounter a few miles down the highway because I was compliant and nobody made any more mistakes.

It got me to thinking though. I think most State laws would prohibit brandishing unless the circumstances justify the use of lethal force. But can a person brandish a gun so long as it's under a folded newspaper or in a paper bag? What about if it's covered by nothing more than a jacket pocket? If you turn down a dark alley, is it lawful to have your hand on the grips and your finger on the trigger guard and the muzzle pointed forward, just so long as it's inside your coat pocket?

Now what if you've got a gun pointed at you that way? I suppose if it were a wool peacot or heavy duck chorecoat it might be hard to tell what's really in the pocket. The guy who pointed his fingers at me inside his thin nylon jacket pocket evidently wanted me to believe he had me covered. Suppose someone did point a pocket gun at you from inside their pocket. How much more of their intent needs to be clear before you are justified in using lethal force?
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Old April 4, 2018, 05:29 PM   #2
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Old April 4, 2018, 09:16 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Goodwill comes to mind and in this informative video he does rely on Goodwill for his demonstration clothing.

As he mentioned, shooting from inside the pocket is very close up and personal.
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Old April 4, 2018, 09:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary View Post

As he mentioned, shooting from inside the pocket is very close up and personal.
Not everyone wears a coat.
Some carry in their pants pocket.
And nothing about poor reliability which he showed an auto may experience.
Then there's the chance to create a very serious burn or catch your clothes on fire.
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Old April 4, 2018, 11:18 PM   #5
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"The big disadvantage of shooting from within the pocket is the inability to use the sights or even aim the gun. It can be pointed at best."

That's a pretty large disadvantage. It's also likely you would set your pants on fire (literally), and the slide might jam. Good luck on making a second shot (and even the best handgun calibers only have ~35% first shot stop). Can't imagine why anyone would want to do that.

"can a person brandish a gun so long as it's under a folded newspaper or in a paper bag.."

I understand the definition of brandishing is the intentional or unintentional exposure of any part of a concealed or partially concealed weapon.
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Old April 5, 2018, 09:35 AM   #6
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We all have X amount of time to train in whatever means of defense we chose to employ. X may vary but there is a limit.

If I found myself training to shoot from inside the pocket I would take the time I was going to invest in doing that and train in hand to hand techniques involving hostile weapon control (should my attacker be armed) and / or escape techniques designed to create space and movement. If someone has such a jump on you that drawing a firearm vs firing from the pocket is going to make a difference you likely need some other tactics available to you.

Would I take someone with a hand on their "gun" inside their pocket as a serious threat? At what distance? Close enough that it would actually matter? Yeh but anyone at that distance is going to be a threat because we are talking well within my "personal space." If I cannot move and create distance because said person keeps closing that space it is going to be viewed as a threat.

How serious of a threat? Well your hand on your gun in your pocket limits the movement of that gun and your ability to aim it. Someone wishing to do you harm is going to step in to your weak side (assuming your gun is on your strong side) and inflict A LOT of harm on you because your gun will not be useful and your strong hand side will be "tied up" in your pocket.

Don't tie up your hand by placing it in your pocket.
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Old April 5, 2018, 09:43 AM   #7
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I don't think it would be considered brandishing by definition. However remember that just because you may not be breaking the brandishing law, there are other catch all type laws that could be used if your actions are unwarranted. It could be something as simple as disorderly conduct.
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Old April 5, 2018, 11:28 AM   #8
T. O'Heir
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A wool pea coat will catch fire just as fast as any other coat. It'd be even worse in your pants. That kind of silliness is pure Hollywood.
The guy in the forest was just an idiot. His actions could have gotten him shot.
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Old April 5, 2018, 11:57 AM   #9
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a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm.
That is the general definition of assault.

Let's just put a scenario together. You are approached by a man. The man is holding his hand in a paper bag. he points the bag at you and frowns. All you can really see is that a man has a bag aimed at you, but the implication of his posture, facial and body language are that he means you harm or discomfort. You feel threatened, and you believe that he may be brandishing a weapon in cover of that bag. You are led to believe that he is dangerous.

I believe that under most circumstances this individual scenario will fit the legal definition of assault. Not brandishing, just simple assault, instilling fear by threat. it's not like a finger pistol, to your knowledge he may be armed.

i would advise against use of force until a weapon is shown. thinking that someone might have a gun because he is pretending to have a gun is a very long stretch of the reasonable belief principle.

i would likewise suggest that you never pretend. if it needs to be exposed, do so. otherwise, keep it concealed. any circumstances that would call for showing a weapon are serious enough to cut through the bull crackers and show the weapon, to make the warning of or use of force perfectly clear.

there is an entertainment scenario, it's called 'playing chicken'. two guys, rather than just get it over with, use up a half minute of screen time racking slides or cocking hammers to scare the other guy and make you wonder who's going to shoot first. nobody should start the game of chicken by using a finger gun in a pocket; there is nothing good that will come from looking like a fool.
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Old April 5, 2018, 12:18 PM   #10
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any circumstances that would call for showing a weapon are serious enough to cut through the bull crackers and show the weapon, to make the warning of or use of force perfectly clear.
I am far from a legal expert but this reminds me of things they touched on in CCW class (which had a lawyer teaching part of). If at all possible it was his argument that the use of deadly force should be done in stages

1) A threat of grave bodily harm or death, forcible sexual penetration, or kidnapping was present and would be considered to be present by a "reasonable person"

2) That no safe path of retreat was available. If intercession on behalf of another person that no reasonable path of retreat for the other individual was available.

3) Upon deciding that deadly force was warranted that one attempt to end the threat with the least amount of force that could be applied and that, when reasonably possible, escalation be done in a manner that allowed the aggressor to retreat or surrender including
A) Brandishment (justifiable): making it clear you were in possession of a firearm
B) Assault (the threat of force) (justifiable): The drawing of the firearm and use of verbal commands to get the aggressor to stand down, surrender, or retreat
C) Deadly force only when brandishment and assault had failed to stop the threat.

Now the instruction was very clear that sometimes the brandishment of a firearm and assault may be very short in nature and may be part of the drawing of the firearm. He did not suggest that one should pause if being shot at or if a pause created a tactical issue. Still he was very clear that brandishment and assault were, in the case of the justification of lethal force, part of the "normal" defense strategy. "My attacker continued even after I had drawn my weapon and ordered him or her to stop." He was also clear that the use of lethal force had to continue to be justified through brandishment and assault and that if either of these acts ended the justification of the use of the lethal force one must stop at that level.

Obviously shooting from inside a coat pocket would make steps A and B hard to illustrate

Last edited by Lohman446; April 5, 2018 at 12:28 PM.
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Old April 5, 2018, 12:34 PM   #11
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I don't think that under any circumstances a pistol should be fired inside a pocket. The fact that he got even one second shot out of the body guard was astonishing. throwing the fired shell free of the chamber is a bit difficult in a pocket. Shooting a revolver in the pocket? even a shrouded hammer can't help if a coin or other piece of junk gets trapped between the cylinder and frame, and with the revolver, if that cylinder locks up, you won't even get the first shot.

Isn't concealed carry all about reducing risk? if so, why would anyone carry a gun in a floppy cloth jacket? You can't reliably shoot through it, you can't draw from it, and there are plenty of alternatives to just tossing the fool thing into a pocket.

You have to ask the other question as well. He did all of the shooting with his hand already on the trigger. What if he hadn't staged everything nicely? I just stuck my empty bodyguard into my denim jacket and gave it a couple shakes, then tried to draw. Good lord, that was like trying to pick up a greased marble with tweezers. Use some sort of containment device, not a pocket.
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Old April 5, 2018, 12:44 PM   #12
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Lohman, I'm not sure of your point, but when you mention brandishment in that post, does pointing an unidentifiable thing in a pocket count as brandishment ?

If one needs to make a threat of armed force, don't pantomime that there is a gun in your pocket.

) Brandishment (justifiable): making it clear you were in possession of a firearm

If you are going to show a gun as a warning, then show the gun. Don't just show him a bulge.

A few weeks ago we watched a marx brothers movie. Gangsters in suits with guns in their pockets kept threatening harpo, and you should have seen him laugh. I'm thinking that if he had actually seen a gun, he might not have laughed so loud.
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Old April 5, 2018, 12:49 PM   #13
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BTW, here is a bit of background on the guy who created the video. Like a david lynch story.

http://www.wallowa.com/20070619/harr...-troy-shooting
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Old April 5, 2018, 12:59 PM   #14
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Shooting from jacket pockets works better with revolvers that have shrouded hammers. It is a very practical method to carry and offers a strong defensive advantage as you can have your hand on your weapon at all times, without giving away the fact you are armed. I believe the concerns of clothing catching fire are highly overrated. Unless you have something flammable on you like gasoline, you won't just go up in flames.

If someone approached and threatened me by implying they had a gun pointed at me, I would take it as a credible threat and respond accordingly. Drawing on a drawn gun is not a good proposition unless you can distract the attacker. Never underestimate your attacker's reaction time or overestimate your abilities. I would try and determine how credible the threat was and look for an opportunity to neutralize the threat.

Firing a semi-auto in a jacket pocket is a pretty bad idea. The first shot should be fine, but impeding the rearward travel of the slide or any clothing that could get caught would more than likely cause a jam.
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Old April 5, 2018, 01:15 PM   #15
Lohman446
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Quote:
If you are going to show a gun as a warning, then show the gun. Don't just show him a bulge.
Yeh - the implication was moving a cover garment and reaching for your gun constituted brandishment. The advice given was not meant to indicate you should only elude to the weapon's existence. It was the opinion of the instructors that incidental exposure (at least in MI) did not constitute brandishment.
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Old April 5, 2018, 02:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
A wool pea coat will catch fire just as fast as any other coat. It'd be even worse in your pants. That kind of silliness is pure Hollywood.
The guy in the forest was just an idiot. His actions could have gotten him shot.
Per the city of PHX Fire Dept., this turns out not to be the case. Wool is much harder to ignite and burns at a much lower intensity than cotton, nylon, or other synthetic materials.

https://www.phoenix.gov/fire/safety-...n/home/fabrics

As for having to shoot from a pocket, it probably isn't likely. then again, it's not very likely that any one of us will ever be in a gunfight at all. But unless things have changed back East, I know I wore some kind of a jacket almost six months out of the year, when I was living in St. Louis, Chicago, and even Witchita. From late fall to mid-spring it could be pretty cold. And rainy/snowy. And windy. Or all three at the same time. And I might have worn several layers of clothing when things like that happened. Was I the only one that wore jackets/coats? And when it was windy, rainy/sleety, and icy cold, my hands found themselves in my coat pockets, a lot.

And finally, Paul Harrell was answering a question asked by his viewers with that video. Most of his videos are responses to viewer questions. He's not advocating carrying in your pocket or shooting from your pocket; he's simply answering the question can you and how likely is it that a failure could occur with semi-autos vs. revolvers. "Should you" he doesn't address, unless I missed that part.

Last edited by Rangerrich99; April 5, 2018 at 03:34 PM.
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Old April 5, 2018, 03:23 PM   #17
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I look at these things fairly simply... if I find myself thrust into a circumstance where I need my gun and do not have time or simply cannot remove it from the pocket, I will shoot through it. If I can reasonably remove the weapon from the pocket before use I will certainly do that. Its the same with the use of the sights, if I can use them I will and if I cant, I am no stranger to point shooting. I have no desire to shoot from the pocket or shoot without use of the sight but I am realistic enough to accept that I am not likely the one in control of the attack which has happened upon me. I will do what I must and its probably a good idea to have trained a little in unconventional tactics.
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Old April 5, 2018, 05:45 PM   #18
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When it's bitter cold and I'm wearing several layers under a heavy coat, access to a snub in a coat pocket is the most reasonable option. It's quicker access than trying to dig under a coat, sweatshirt, button shirt, whatever, to finally arrive at the holstered gat in my pants.

Carrying a pocketed gun without a pocket holster with anything else in the same pocket is not wise.

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Old April 5, 2018, 11:23 PM   #19
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I do that as well, sometimes,and as would naturally happen, my hand stays in the pocket with the gun most of the time, rather than having it rolling like a pinball. Two leather jackets that I wear actually have internal left side pockets that fit a full sized semiautomatic and holds it in place almost as well as a shoulder holster. Do I go hiking like that? No, but it works for driving and doing errands around town.
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Old April 6, 2018, 01:21 AM   #20
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I do pocket carry sometimes,but its in a nice kydex pocket carry holster that covers the trigger guard.
The holster has sort of a hook at the bottom of the pocket,it stays put during the draw.
For myself, I'm carrying loaded chamber this holster provides safe,secure carry.
I don't do loose pocket carry.
Point: I have to draw to shoot. But with my hand in my pocket,I have my grip.
I can present quickly.

I don't have to brush back clothing before getting to an IWB. Its not perfect,there are tradeoffs.

Much better than the shooting from inside the pocket.I see that as a bad idea.

I'm not sure,but the questions about "brandishing"leave me wondering.

Is the question really about shooting from inside the pocket or some "Pokey-Out-ee" "Better watch it I'm packing" thing.

I'm not a lawyer.I don't give legal advice.
I'm thinking if you inject the presence of a gun into social activity,..pocket,newspaper,dirty diaper, it won't keep you out of trouble .

Deadly force self defense is one thing.

The Hollywood stuff is something else.
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Old April 6, 2018, 04:41 AM   #21
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this ain't legal advice either, but something that I have seen regarding these issues is that the can and cannot are really pretty basic codes, really. Kept simple for the stupid. Don't do this. You can do that. they try to make the exceptions clear, and try to make the standards clear, simple, easy to read and remember.

Nobody can create a legal code that can take all of the personal judgement out of the act of shooting, or the personal judgment out of a trial. Being stupid and owning guns is a bad combination, being stupid and owning lots of things, even a lighter is fraught with peril.

Hollywood, as has been mentioned, is probably the worst place to get an education anywhere in the known universe, but people insist on looking there anyway.

But again, everything else about this incident is decided after it happens. The shooter must determine what to do, based on what the laws permit, and so to speak, take his best shot. His decision is pretty much over. Now, his choice will be examined in exquisite detail by a bunch of real smart people, and maybe a few pretty stupid people, and the judgement of his actions may take weeks or even years.

if there is anything that I think that I've learned is keep it freakin simple. Don't argue, don't play head games, don't play clint eastwood, and don't act like some sort of action hero. Keep your mouth shut and low key, and don't allow anyone to come to the conclusion that you are stupid and dangerous and guilty of a crime.

There is a lady who refuses to vaccinate her kids on the internet now, and her justification is that God, who knows everything, didn't put it in the bible.

We've tried to put every possible scenario into the law books, every tiny twist in the story, but just like god, the legal code has only got so much room to work with. That's why we are constantly being asked to decide whether the defendant has broken the law.
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Old April 7, 2018, 03:04 PM   #22
In The Ten Ring
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labnoti,

Why did you allow a strangely acting man approach your car? A "THAT'S FAR ENOUGH! DO NOT COME ANY CLOSER---WHAT DO YOU NEED?" might have been very effective. Driving off might have been even more effective.

If one is carrying in a jacket pocket and needs to fire through it, well, do what you have to do. I love my jacket though.....

I had a strangely-acting guy approach my car last year, I can definitely say if he'd had one or both hands in a pocket I would have driven off and not spoken with him at all. As it was I did drive off.....right after he began screaming and stomping his feet.

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