Accidentally revealing your gun?

Accidentally revealing your gun?

This is a discussion on Accidentally revealing your gun? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. One of my fears has always been that my gun would become visible by accident. Or ...

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Accidentally revealing your gun?

    Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. One of my fears has always been that my gun would become visible by accident. Or worse, fall out of my holster onto the floor of a grocery store or something and scare a bunch of people. Granted, I've been carrying for 10 years and this has never yet happened. But who knows.

    Now, last time I took my renewal class I asked the instructor about it. He pointed to the Texas law that says a person commits a crime if he intentionally makes the firearm visible. He said in a case where my shirt rides up over the gun or something of that nature, it would not be intentional, so I should be fine.

    But, I have not really heard of any precedent on this issue. And I suppose the laws may vary from state to state. But has anyone on here ever accidentally had their gun shown in public when it was supposed to be concealed?


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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    i just put this up elsewhere but it fits your question also:

    pay attention when sitting down at restaurants in the booths--avoid the 'clunk' of metal on wood.
    anticipate hugs...women like to come in low around the waist so you have to get your arms at their waist 1st thus they will raise their arms closer to your shoulders.
    at the supermarket--top shelf, reach with the hand opposite your strong side carry so your shirt/jacket will be less able to ride up or flap open.
    also bend at the knees so you wont print at the waist.
    and beware the 4 year old who can look up & under your jacket and tell mommie loudly...'he's got a gun like daddies'

    think of a dozen more and than a dozen more again
    don't keep checking when you get out of your car...a holster with proper retention will not shift

    and finally, when you win the big bingo pot--don't jump up & down hollering 'i won, i won' and fire 3 rounds into the ceiling.
    no matter how good an idea it seemed at the moment

    know your state laws and in CT we technically have open carry but all who try it end up sooner than later with troubles. and right aside, it is you who will be out your permit for 18+ months and lawyer fees $3500 and up. its spit & swallow: spit on the law and talk about your rights or swallow your pride and go with the path of least resistance. sad that we have to say 'thank you, sir' when all we asked for to begin with was that our rights be observed.
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  3. #3
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. One of my fears has always been that my gun would become visible by accident. Or worse, fall out of my holster onto the floor of a grocery store or something and scare a bunch of people. Granted, I've been carrying for 10 years and this has never yet happened. But who knows.

    Now, last time I took my renewal class I asked the instructor about it. He pointed to the Texas law that says a person commits a crime if he intentionally makes the firearm visible. He said in a case where my shirt rides up over the gun or something of that nature, it would not be intentional, so I should be fine.

    But, I have not really heard of any precedent on this issue. And I suppose the laws may vary from state to state. But has anyone on here ever accidentally had their gun shown in public when it was supposed to be concealed?


    This happened to me on my 1st or 2nd time carrying....in a mall.

    I was carrying a Para Ordnance P16-40 (big double stack 1911) in a Fobus Roto-paddle holster, the tension screw let go, the holster up ended and did not offer enough natural retention to hold the gun and it spilled to the floor. The guy behind me was staring in shock, eyes as big as saucers....I scooped up the gun, said "I have a permit" got the gun up under my shirt, made my way into the bath room, removed my hat, cover garment, gun and piece of crap holster and put them all in a shopping bag and proceeded to the barber shop in the mall where I was waiting to get my hair cut while mall security was running all over the place.

    This was in PA where open carry is legal, so I didn't have to worry about a bogus charge, but I would have had some explaining to do. I went out and bought a better holster that night.

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    An ugly case back in my home state of CT put a nice kid on the wrong side of the judicial system for "printing" at a fast-food joint. The laws do indeed vary state-to-state.

    I most certainly have had "accidents" where my concealed sidearm was exposed, but they've been rare and fortunately it never happened in a jurisdiction where it mattered. Human nature is a strange and wonderful thing... walk into a retail joint carrying openly, and chances are that no one will give you a second look. But do something to reveal a concealed handgun, and sure enough, some eyes will pop out of their sockets.

    I also had a really bad time once when my snub slipped up and out of an IWB holster when I sat down. I was wearing a sweater and a heavy raincoat and I could feel the gun move but I was not in a situation where I could grab the gun and re-holster it. I kept my right arm pressed tightly to my side for about 45 minutes until I could escape somewhere and corral the little rascal. That was strictly a result of using a lousy holster, and that particular one didn't just migrate to the holster box, it got thrown out.

    The big point is, live and learn. Read lots here in this forum, and learn from others' mistakes.
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    Senior Member Array SARR001's Avatar
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    Your instructor was correct. As long as you don't intentionally flash the pistol, you are fine. Quality holster+good cover garment and you'll be fine.
    "Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid." -John Wayne

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    A couple of years back sitting at a light the car infront of me stalled, no big deal. I offered to help push her around the corner, while doing this my sweatshirt slipped up and over the grip. When I went to get back in my vehicle a female passenger in the car next to mine saw and her eyes got wide and she was pointing at me. I noticed and causually pulled my sweatshirt back down, smiled and nodded at her and drove away. It seems just stay calm don't freak out, well in this case at least.

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    Member Array gruntingfrog's Avatar
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    Boring Alert (Unless you're interested in law)

    I am not a lawyer but an interested and studied layman, so take this for what you will.

    Since you're asking about Texas the short answer is, "you're in trouble only if you meant to show it."

    The more complete (boooooring) answer is below.

    Here is the statute:
    PC 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE
    HOLDER. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license
    holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder's person
    under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code,
    and intentionally fails to conceal the handgun.
    The key to this section is the word "intentionally." Texas adopted a modified version of the model penal code back in 1974 but uses the word "intentionally" in place of "purposely." It seems to be used in the exact same manner as "purposely" is used in the model penal code (they kept "knowingly," "recklessly," and "negligently" the same).

    Anyway, here is the definition of "purposely" from the model penal code which seems to be the exact way "intentionally" is used in Texas:

    A person acts purposely with respect to a material element of an offense when:

    (i) if the element involves the nature of his conduct or a result thereof, it is his conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result; and

    (ii) if the element involves the attendant circumstances, he is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he believes or hopes that they exist.
    Since "intentionally" modifies "fails to conceal" in the statute, it pertains to an action not the attendant circumstances so element (i) is pertinent. Therefore, you only violate the statute if it is your conscious intent to not conceal your firearm or to cause your firearm to not be concealed.

    Like I said, the short answer is, "you're in trouble only if you meant to show it."
    Last edited by gruntingfrog; May 19th, 2011 at 07:16 PM.
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    Does having a CZ-82 fall from an improperly zipped backpack and go clattering across the stone floor of a hotel lobby count?
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    JD illustrated the reason for a good holster even for your first one. Ask advice based on your needs. You may not end up with exactly what you want at first, but most of us end up with a box of holsters, and you can at least feel secure in knowing that your gun will not take a leap...

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    Can't say much about the gun skidding across the store floor, but a bill to eliminate the risk of accidental/inadvertant exposure is sitting on the Gov's desk awaiting his signature.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    like everything else related to concealed carry it all depends on the state you are in, I wound up in the pokey in NYC because of an accidental display while in FLA it is not a big deal.
    if it happens that you have a leo encounter because of an accidental display be very very cooperative with the officers. there was a recent incident in Las Vegas where a permit holder was shot to death by the cops after he exposed his weapon in a costco, cops responded and a lot of hinky things happened and the guy got shot

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    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. One of my fears has always been that my gun would become visible by accident. Or worse, fall out of my holster onto the floor of a grocery store or something and scare a bunch of people. Granted, I've been carrying for 10 years and this has never yet happened. But who knows.

    Now, last time I took my renewal class I asked the instructor about it. He pointed to the Texas law that says a person commits a crime if he intentionally makes the firearm visible. He said in a case where my shirt rides up over the gun or something of that nature, it would not be intentional, so I should be fine.
    Never rely on "interpretations" of the law regarding Concealed Carry.
    Go to the source......

    TxDPS - CHL FAQs


    48. What does concealed mean? Can I carry my handgun in plain view?

    No. The weapon can't be visible, and its presence can't be discernible through ordinary observation.
    -------------------------------

    49. What happens if I am caught carrying my handgun in plain view?
    Or what happens if my handgun is visible?


    If a concealed handgun licensee is caught carrying a handgun in plain view or if his/her handgun is visible then he/she is subject to criminal charges. Specifically, he/she would be subject to prosecution for the Class A misdemeanor, Unlawfully Carrying of a Concealed Weapon by a License Holder, Sect. 46.035(a), Penal Code.
    --------------
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    Member Array gruntingfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsrule View Post
    Never rely on "interpretations" of the law regarding Concealed Carry.
    Go to the source......

    TxDPS - CHL FAQs
    But you didn't go to the source. The source is the statute itself. That FAQ page is by nature an interpretation of the law. The problem with FAQ's is that they inherently give simple answers to direct questions.

    In this case, the question you quoted is asking about an intentional act. "Can I carry my handgun in plain view?" This question implies that you would be choosing to carry openly. It doesn't ask "what if I attempt to conceal my handgun but it is revealed accidentally?"

    The statute is specifically prohibiting an intentional act.

    I just found the definition of "intentionally" according to Texas Penal Code and it is indeed nearly identical to the "purposely" mens rea that I defined before.

    According to the 2005 Texas Penal Code ( CHAPTER 6. CULPABILITY GENERALLY :: 2005 Texas Code :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia )

    6.03. DEFINITIONS OF CULPABLE MENTAL STATES. (a) A
    person acts intentionally
    , or with intent, with respect to the
    nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his
    conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the
    result
    .
    Couple that with the wording of the statute on concealed handguns and I think the result is clear.

    If in doubt ask a lawyer (not me).

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Our legislature was 'smart' , they modified the cc laws so that if you had a cc license... essentially open carry was legal, without making a big deal out of it. Typically cities revised their laws to say if a person is carrying a gun per the cc license, they were OK. A couple of cities have now caught on to it, and revised their law to keep open carry illegal. But the whole point was, that if a cc person exposed their gun .. . they weren't doing anything illegal.

    Everyone has kept their mouth shut that caught on to it, so .... the anti's didn't catch on.
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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    Yup. Mine is exposed several times a day while working. It just happens. I'm constantly bending, stretching, lifting and twisting all day. OC is legal in MT, so I don't worry about it being covered or not. I haven't yet been exposed while actually trying to conceal with an IWB holster. All the ones I've made seem to work the best for me. They ride in just the right place, so my shirt doesn't catch the grip like it does with an OWB holster.

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