Why is "Printing" bad?

This is a discussion on Why is "Printing" bad? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If it is legal to cc ( and in some states like PA, open carry) why do we have to be concerned if have a ...

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Thread: Why is "Printing" bad?

  1. #1
    New Member Array pipermac's Avatar
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    Why is "Printing" bad?

    If it is legal to cc ( and in some states like PA, open carry) why do we have to be concerned if have a profile showing through a shirt when carrying? As a newbie to this, I was just wondering.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Having a cover garment is generally for concealment. Concealment = tactical advantage

    If you're talking about a strictly CC state, the law dictates that your carry not be obvious so that the sheep aren't frightened.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    If you don't mind that its in the open and its legal then its not, but there are times when I really don't want anyone else to know, and its those times that I want it to be completely invisible.

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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    Might be wrong about this, but some states laws may frown on the "print" of a hangun underneath a conceal garment. In WV I believe it means the weapon must be concealed, that is not out in the open if you have a concealed carry permit. Open carry is permissible with or without a permit but for WV residents only. Printing or the imprint of a firearm underneath concealment I do not believe is against WV law.

    Some states have further amended their laws so that if a cover garment flaps in the breeze and temporarily exposes the concealed firearm that is not against the law. "Printing" or the imprint of a firearm underneath clothing I do not believe is against the law per se, but check with your respective state laws for that.

    Like one comment, keeping the imprint of your firearm under control helps stop the "man with a gun" calls to police.
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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Your best opportunity for a good defense is surprise. If the BG knows your carrying you will be his/her first target.
    baren and 9MMare like this.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipermac View Post
    If it is legal to cc ( and in some states like PA, open carry) why do we have to be concerned if have a profile showing through a shirt when carrying? As a newbie to this, I was just wondering.
    I'm not concerned. Tennessee allows open or concealed carry with a permit, so as far as the law is concerned, it doesn't really matter. Public perceptions do matter, at least to me. Some people just don't like to see guns. I understand that, so I wear a cover garment. In this weather, it's usually an untucked corduroy shirt, bulky sweater, sweatshirt, hoodie, jacket..you get the idea. People may see something under the cover garment but it won't print like a wet white T-shirt. Instead of thinking of it as concealed carry, I prefer to think of it as covered carry.
    baren likes this.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Guest Array Guest1's Avatar
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    Element of suprise,and in some states it is still considered brandishing if it prints,and some private property owners might ask you to vacate if you print.

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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Minnesota has a permit to carry... open or concealed, doesn't matter so printing isn't an issue. Like mentioned however, in other states it's illegal and something like printing in a concealed carry only state is considered open carrying.

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    I don't want anyone to know I am carrying a firearm.
    baren likes this.

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    New Member Array jign4bass's Avatar
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    In CA if the police are called due to printing it may be considered "brandishing a firearm" and grounds for criminal charges and a certain way to lose your CCW.

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    I don't worry much about printing. I do worry about wearing something that will on conceal the weapon properly and my pistol becomes visible. I got outed for printing a few years ago in Florida. Lady asked me what I had under my shirt because I was printing bad not openly but printing through my shirt. I responded it is my pain pump that I use due to a really bad car accident. She just said oh and went about her day. In my experience while carrying there are three types of people you will encounter. 1 are the people who are not paying any attention to you and won't pay no mind if they do see a bulge under a persons shirt. 2. are the the paranoid people who think that they are going to get shot at at any time. 3. are people like us who look to see if we can spot CCers and don't care if we find one. Now concealed carry means just that, keep your weapon concealed but if you are printing through your clothes don't worry to much as most of the people won't give you enough attention to even pick up on it.
    "Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!" - Marvin the Martian

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    What is that bulge on your hip?

    When carrying a concealed pistol, there are almost always going to be times when you can see a visible bulge where the gun is. People new to concealed carry are often very self-conscious of this. However, it is a fact that with certain clothing, there's going to be some sort of bulge or lump people can see beneath your clothing. There's very little you can do about it except to acquire a gun/holster rig and wear the type of clothing which minimizes the bulge as much as possible. If you wear loose enough clothing, the bulge can and often does disappear altogether.

    Does it really matter?

    It can in some circumstances, but generally, it does not matter all that much. And here's why. The difference between a bulge and printing is distinct, and most people really confuse the two. Printing is where the distinct shape of a gun can be seen below the cover garment. You can see the distinct outline of what is known to be a firearm. A bulge is something which sticks out from beneath the cover garment but could be anything. You see a bulge on someones hip, it could be a gun... but it could also be a cell phone, a pager, a PDA, a sunglasses case, or even some sort of medical device like an insulin pump. How you decide to deal with rude "curiosity seekers" is really up to you.

    Obviously printing is more revealing than a bulge because with printing, you really know it's a gun because of the distinct shape. The more loose the cover garment is, the less revealing what's underneath. Most guns do not print unless you are wearing something like a skin tight T-shirt where you can definitely see the outline of the butt of the gun and/or the rear sights of the gun. Again, wearing looser fitting clothes and the gun will disappear either completely, or merely leave a slight bulge, which again, could be anything.

    Most states concealed carry laws do not demand that there is No Bulges or No Printing. Most states concealed carry laws means the gun must be "concealed" from view. As long as your firearm is not visible you are pretty much good to go whether you have a slight bulge or not. After all, it could be anything under that shirt. And human nature being what it is, most people want to believe that it's anything other than a gun. The only people who really know for sure are other "gun culture" people and possibly Law Enforcement officers, if they are paying attention.

    Obviously, you want to avoid, printing as much as possible. You wear a skin tight T-shirt over your full sized model 1911 pistol and everyone's going to know it's a gun. And when anyone can tell it's a gun, some folks start to get nervous. And that is never the ideal situation.

    What is flashing?


    Flashing is when your cover garment is moved in such a way as your gun is exposed to view. Bending over grab something off a bottom shelf or reaching overhead to grab something off a top shelf in a grocery store causes your shirt to ride up and make your pistol completely visible is called "flashing your piece." The other most common method of flashing is where a strong gust of wind blows your cover garment away from your side, causing your gun to be exposed for everyone to see.

    There is a lot of discussion whether momentary flashing your piece is considered brandishing your weapon. In the true definition of brandishing no, but some people and some states may see it a little differently so you should always do your best to keep from flashing your firearm. Some states do get down right nasty about it, and flashing your gun is always considered to be a major party foul.

    In states where open carry is allowed, then printing, flashing and having large bulges on your waist is less of an issue than in other states where people are not allowed open carry at all.

    I hope this helps explain things better. Also these are merely my opinions on the subject so your state and local laws may have some specific issues with printing, flashing and bulges.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  14. #13
    New Member Array pipermac's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the great explanations. I could see where paranoid folks could cause a scene, so I will do a better job of concealment.

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Excellent explanation! Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post.

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    New Member Array NRAMAN's Avatar
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    Semper Fi Bark'n
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