"Accidental" CW exposure

"Accidental" CW exposure

This is a discussion on "Accidental" CW exposure within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been wondering what can happen when you're legally carrying, have an accidental exposure of your weapon and it gets seen by somebody. You're strolling ...

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Thread: "Accidental" CW exposure

  1. #1
    Member Array Ruark's Avatar
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    "Accidental" CW exposure

    I've been wondering what can happen when you're legally carrying, have an accidental exposure of your weapon and it gets seen by somebody.

    You're strolling through a Wally World or supermarket, and your wife or another shopper asks you to get something off a high shelf for her. As you reach up, your vest or tropical shirt rides up and briefly exposes your concealed weapon to a security guard or cop who happens to be looking at the mayonnaise nearby. Would that be an issue, or would it depend on the LEO? Would you be in violation of the CCW laws, even though it was accidental and brief? Another possibility, probably more likely, is that a gun-phobic customer would see it and freak out and go tell the manager, who in turn would probably call security and/or the police, maybe even evacuate the store.

    Boy, talk about having a bad day. I can see it now: you drop by the supermarket to pick up some bread and milk, and a minute later you're surrounded by a SWAT team....

    I've personally never heard of this happening. "Naaaawww, it's just some guy with a CHL."


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Okemo's Avatar
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    I've never seen anything in the law that states exposing the gun is any violation if you are legally allowed to carry concealed. If the cops do get called because of a skiddish store manager or bystander....show the cops your permit and all should be fine.

    Darren

  3. #3
    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    I know this gets old but it depends on your location.

    In Colorado, open carry is legal with the exception of a couple of locations so it may not be a big deal. In FL or Texas where open carry is not, it could be a real big deal. I have read of people getting harassed by LEOs and such. I have not had that experience personally.

    The other thing you have to consider is some anti gunner going ballistic at the sight of a gun. I was at an outlet store and someone was OC and this lady went nuts. The cops had to tell her to chill out as it was legal. One reason I personally don't OC.
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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    up until recently it was a crime to expose your weapon here in FLA, but the law has been fixed and recently I even had a MWG called in on me, deputies responded, we had a short chat and it was no big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
    I've been wondering what can happen when you're legally carrying, have an accidental exposure of your weapon and it gets seen by somebody.

    You're strolling through a Wally World or supermarket, and your wife or another shopper asks you to get something off a high shelf for her. As you reach up, your vest or tropical shirt rides up and briefly exposes your concealed weapon to a security guard or cop who happens to be looking at the mayonnaise nearby. Would that be an issue, or would it depend on the LEO? Would you be in violation of the CCW laws, even though it was accidental and brief? Another possibility, probably more likely, is that a gun-phobic customer would see it and freak out and go tell the manager, who in turn would probably call security and/or the police, maybe even evacuate the store.

    Boy, talk about having a bad day. I can see it now: you drop by the supermarket to pick up some bread and milk, and a minute later you're surrounded by a SWAT team....

    I've personally never heard of this happening. "Naaaawww, it's just some guy with a CHL."
    Since you are using TX as your location, the TX law is a prohibition against intentional display. So, let's say someone called a man with a gun call, the results would depend first on whether or not the initial investigator thought happened; intentional v unintentional. In your first example, I guess the answer is it would really depend on the LEO, because he's the first one in a position to call it either way.

    The answer is different in other states.
    oneshot likes this.
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    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Accidental exposure to morse code? Happens while listening to SSB radio all the time. LOL.

    It's not that big of a deal. Your not going to be lit up by a spot light accompanied by a siren wobble if you show a little iron. Unless your in an elevator with people you work with and happen to expose while having a group conversation, likely no one will notice. It's not the same as having a wardrobe malfunction at the halftime superbowl show.
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    Senior Member Array Okemo's Avatar
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    Vermont.....16 and over for CC or OC. Younger than that and you need a note from your mom. I'm living right where I need to.
    phreddy and gibbygoo like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    up until recently it was a crime to expose your weapon here in FLA, but the law has been fixed and recently I even had a MWG called in on me, deputies responded, we had a short chat and it was no big deal.
    As things should have been! Actually it wasn't a crime before, but the statute on "improper exhabition" was vague and easily misinterpreted. Not it's pretty cut and dried--no evil intent, no crime.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    First of all, based on the statute it is intentional.

    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.
    Secondly, if you have a holster that covers the entire barrel of the gun, they should only see the piece of leather that is visible when you reach up. None of the gun should be visible to them and you would not be failing to conceal the gun, only failing ot conceal the holster. Not recommended by any means but there is a difference in my mind.

    As far as the security guard seeing it, they might ask you to leave the store. You should do so, so you are not in violation of 30.06. If it is a LEO that sees the gun, more than likely they will ask for you ID and you will be required to show them you DL and CHL at that time. I doubt that if it was a brief/unintentional exposure of the holster/gun that is would be an issue if you cooperate fully, and listen to the suggestions about keeping it concealed in the future. If they pursue it, then you might have to spend some money.
    Last edited by farronwolf; November 30th, 2011 at 05:37 PM.
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    Member Array RTTR84's Avatar
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    I've always been worried about accidental exposure, I'm usually paranoid about over checking that my shirt is covering my 4 o'clock IWB. I just don't want the potential panic by anti gun nuts.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I've been carrying in Texas for 15 years. I've had a few accidental exposures and so far nobody has ever noticed. Just a few days ago i was walking through the parking lot at Wal-Mart wearing only a jacket for a cover garment since my Glock was being worn outside the waistband. We had a huge wind storm that day and a gust blew my jacket back like a cape or something. It took me a moment to regain control of my jacket and wrap it back around myself. There were several people nearby. Nobody noticed.

    The way I see it, fear of accidental exposure is the primary reason for getting a permit. After all, if nobody EVER saw the gun, there'd be no real reason to get a permit.
    BritishAgent likes this.
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    Whether it is an issue and/or the severity of the offense will depend on the state it happens in. Here in VA it's not a problem, since OC is legal.
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    Depends on your local area laws, not only your States, but some Counties and Municipalities have their own gun-laws that they can enforce too.

    It also can depend how freaked-out someone gets when they notice your carrying.

    Is it printing and a simple glance by some frazzled person can tell so they call the Law and you get made? Did you reach for something and your shirt lifted up just enough for someone to see the bottom of you holster and they call the Law?

    Some places do have laws that if that does happen, on an accidental expose, and you get made and someone does call you in on it, the responding LEO will handle it responsibly, and as long as you have all your ducks in a straight row your on your way.

    Now some areas regardless of how innocent it was, you might beat the rap but you will take the ride, because they will say;

    Concealed Means Always Keep It Concealed SO You Must ALWAYS Keep It OUT OF Sight.

    Now you did say "Accidental" CW exposure, a banishment, how ever so slight it maybe is a whole new set of circumstances.

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    This came up here ...... because larger Cities here can ban open carry and didn't want people carrying guns, so any "exposure" was considered open carry and mean they would be arrested and go to jail. Since it was a weapon's violation, they would also lose their right to own a gun.

    So, our Legislature fixed it...... quickly I might add.... and any 'accidental' exposure is legal. But, they decided to go even further .... in case someone saw you taking your gun out / off while in your car so you could go in a posted business, or even putting it back on, etc. So, they essentially made about "every" situation legal.... in essence, making 'open carry' legal for anyone with a CC permit.....

    Check the laws real well. But, one recommendation.... look for what is not there as well, and read the local laws (not just the State laws). Any references to printing or open carry.

    I've had mine 'show' a couple of times when my shirt got caught on the gun.... both times a person staring at me with mouth open, one key ..... act natural and calm, say "hi, how are you doing today" as you calmly cover the gun like it's NO BIG DEAL and you don't expect one. Ask them about the weather, or do they know where the crackers are at ... getting them off the gun mind set. With me, we had a nice short conversation, and since I acted like it was no big deal, I think they "assumed" it was not a concern.

    Carrying concealed on the job ..... it occurred at different times (rarely), so a "man with a gun" call meant nothing to me anyway, but.... I found by acting that way.... it didn't waste a lot of people's time for no good reason. If you act like "oh s...t", that throws up their 'alert' factor a lot.
    Last edited by Eagleks; November 30th, 2011 at 11:52 PM.
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    I think nowadays a lot of 911 ops are smart enough to ask what the MWG is doing. Pointing it at someone or just shopping?
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