Busted: Someone finally noticed my carry gear

This is a discussion on Busted: Someone finally noticed my carry gear within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; And yes, this story does involve a restaurant. I've only been carrying a couple years, and I make no claim of being an expert. In ...

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Thread: Busted: Someone finally noticed my carry gear

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Busted: Someone finally noticed my carry gear

    And yes, this story does involve a restaurant.

    I've only been carrying a couple years, and I make no claim of being an expert. In fact, the more I study and learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. Therefore, sometimes the best contribution I can make to the forum is to just SU (<--- sanitized version). But I have tried to make up for lost time by hitting it hard, researching thousands of hours, and trying numerous carry methods to find out the benefits of each.

    Early on, I learned the impressive concealability of the SmartCarry, and utilized it often. I experimented some with other forms of carry since I knew I had a lot to learn. I picked up different types of holsters and would casually try them out, but primarily stayed with the SC.

    Then I began to realize the limitations of the SC while driving... that led to a dedicated car gun, which I eventually abandonded due to not having a safe in the car. A better alternative for me was to pocket-carry a .357, transition it to a holster between the front seats before leaving the garage, then transition it back to the pocket once I arrived at my destination.

    Several months ago, I sensed an urgent need to increase my weapon accessibility, when possible, during every situation, but especially when driving or out in public. Not wanting to abandon my desire to always have a gun available to either hand, and sometimes not being able to conceal my .45 in a shoulder holster, sometimes the best option was to add a 3rd smaller gun in a shoulder holster. This was primarily for carjackers when I was driving my wife's vehicle (thus no gun between the seats since they are separated).

    I have also felt a more urgent need to be armed with more than the minimum. As I've said before, if anything happens while either I'm out alone, or out with the family, whatever I have on me is all I'll have to help end the fight. I had a routine workplace reassignment several months back, so I'm by myself most of the time. If anything happens, it will be safe to assume there will be no LEO's around, nor any friendlies. It will be me and my gear, against whomever. For those who think I'm paranoid, I'll suggest they probably haven't been reading the St. Louis papers, and I'll leave it at that.

    So due to random violence on the increase here, plus my desire to learn to utilize different carry practices, plus my sense of needing to be more heavily armed than the bare minimum, I've been viewing every opportunity out with the family as a way to test more gear and carry practices. I'm not going to say what I sometimes carry. That'll save a few posts from people (not from St. Louis, mind you) telling me none of that is necessary, and how safe life is, and how the odds are against anything happening. I could fill a forum with examples counter to such "advice", but I won't waste my time or yours.

    Note: I watched a news story last week which showed video of a shooting here in St. Louis. There was a group of people gathered outside some store. Some words were said, and one guy pulls out two guns, one in each hand, that he had in his waistband. He starts chasing a guy, and 9 seconds after pulling out his guns, he begins shooting. An innocent bystander is killed, but the intended victim gets away. The shooter is not charged with murder because he "didn't intent to kill" the one who actually died. The shooter was charged with either negligent homicide or manslaughter, or something like that, but not murder.

    After showing the video, the news channel interviewed a retired lawyer, perhaps a retired prosecutor but I don't recall exactly. His exact words: "Nobody carries two guns unless they intend to use them." I realize that statement can be refuted, and would be refuted in any defense. But my point is that it would HAVE to be refuted since if this is an experienced lawyer's opinion, many/most/all of the jurors would likely feel the same way, especially since the prosecuting lawyer would do his/her best to eliminate all the CCW holders and gun owners from the jury.

    I said all that to acknowledge the possible repercussions of carrying multiple weapons. Having acknowledged it, I will not increase my chances of dying, or of not being able to defend my family, because of what some lawyer MIGHT say, in a defense that MIGHT happen, over a self-defense shooting that MIGHT occur. For those that strictly advocate carrying the minimum possible, that may be fine for you, but I'm not going that route.

    The night of the event:
    We were invited by a close friend of my wife to the grand opening of a new Chinese restaurant. (For those of you in the area, it's across the parking lot from the Bass Pro Shop in St. Charles, just off of I-70 and 5th street. Cheap prices, lots of choices: buffet if you want for $6.50, otherwise 4.75 for lunch, maybe $8.50? buffet on Sundays.)

    Anyway, as I was gearing up for the night, I realized there was a chance I'd be outed. We hadn't seen this friend for some time, and I expected at least a hug or two. Among my carry options I chose was the Truss shoulder holster.

    My cover shirt chosen for that night was, by sheer accident, the best cover shirt I own. The material is course, tightly woven wool, dark black with brown, and is a full 1/8" thick minimum everywhere. It is thick and stiff. I did sense I was taking a chance with it, but I was still pushing the envelope of what I could carry undetected.

    As soon as we entered the restaurant, the friend comes at me for a hug. So like I've learned here, I went low, she went high, no problems. I could do that all night and not be detected.

    <insert about 90 minutes of eating, and 3,000+ calories here>

    At some point I'm standing up talking someone, and the friend comes up behind me, lightly puts her hand in the middle of my back sqarely on the shoulder holster wrapped around my chest, and chats with me just a bit. I notice no change in her facial expression nor any hint she felt through the coarse material. We finish up, say our extended goodbye's, and waddle out to the vehicle.

    We get home and are sitting on the couch. All of a sudden my wife is feeling me all over my chest area.
    Her, as she feels the Truss wrapped around me: "What is THAT?"
    Me: I showed her, then asked why she asked.
    Her: "XXXXX asked me what you had on underneath your shirt. I told her I had NO idea." (True statement.)

    So I was busted. Apparently there is a limit to what I can conceal. In such a situation (and I've been in many similar close encounters in the past year, just no one placed their hand on my back), it appears concealing around the waist would be more discrete, or perhaps I need to try the Deep Concealment shoulder holster (thinner material, might be missed or mistaken for a tight t-shirt).

    I don't know if the wife later confirmed with our friend what I was wearing. It doesn't much matter if she did or didn't. Next time we're around her, I won't wear a shoulder holster. I don't think she'll be feeling around my waist or lower, so I should still be able to be discrete.

    First time I was noticed carrying (or noticed something was out of the ordinary), and I was really disappointed. I think I may go back to IWB for situations like that, and as far as being in a vehicle not my own, maybe just try to make sure I can quickly access a weapon around my waist.

    Possible repercussions of the event: she or her significant other may request I not carry over at their house. Doing so would leave my family depending on my H2H skills if anything happend since I don't think they own any guns. Maybe I'll be surprised someday, but they don't seem like gun people.

    Another possible repercussion is word may get around in that circle of friends, with the same possible issue as above: either I won't be invited along with the family, or someone may ask me to be unarmed. But I still have options. One being in another year, my daughter can legally carry. Until then, I'll just play dumb and innocent. And conceal better.

    I'm not going to stop carrying multiple guns. I'm not going to stop experimenting with different carry methods to find what works the best. I'm not going to lower my readiness for fear of being discovered. Oh, and the restaurant was not posted.

    Well, time to gear up for another day and another set of challenges... and maybe another visit to the funshop(s).

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    In a 'close-quaters' situation with 'huggy-feely' family/friends, the potential to get 'made' is certinally there. Do your best and carry on. If it's an issue with the 'family/friends', state your case and they'll accept it or not.

    Most definatly the 'greater' population will never notice, or care.....but they are not hugging you either.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Grady,

    If I'm reading this correctly, you're saying she felt your suspender straps, right?

    One thought that occurred to me while reading your post was that your gun between the seats could go flying in a violent accident. I've heard of people looping their car gun's holster throught the seatbelt--just a thought. That way you know exactly where it is.

    I always enjoy reading your posts. The more I do this, the more I realize it's a journey and not a destination.

    Take care, brother,
    Herk
    I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen

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    Member Array MP15TDriver's Avatar
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    I would suggest getting your story right with your wife before such "engagements". Your wife should be one of your closest ally. She can help you defuse such situations by quashing the concerns immediately--"Oh, yea, that's a back brace he has to wear. He's sensitive about it, so don't mention it to anyone."

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    I notice no change in her facial expression
    Then she probably didn't realize it was a gun. While reading your post I was thinking "back brace" like the poster above.
    America: Your government is not ignoring you, it's insulting you.

    The Bill of Rights: Void where prohibited by law.

  7. #6
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    Thumbs up

    I wouldn't sweat it. To some extent, I think getting 'made' by close friends & family members is inevitable. Halloween night while trick-or-treating, my 21-year old niece runs up behind me and jumps on my back (for a piggy-back ride). Of course, she ended up straddling my G19 in the 5 oclock position. No biggie, after I dumped her off, she whispered 'sorry' in my ear.

    I trust my family and friends with certain 'secrets' - mostly the ones that they'll find out about anyway.
    __________________________________
    'Clinging to my guns and religion

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Grady:
    After showing the video, the news channel interviewed a retired lawyer, perhaps a retired prosecutor but I don't recall exactly. His exact words: "Nobody carries two guns unless they intend to use them." I realize that statement can be refuted, and would be refuted in any defense. But my point is that it would HAVE to be refuted since if this is an experienced lawyer's opinion, many/most/all of the jurors would likely feel the same way, especially since the prosecuting lawyer would do his/her best to eliminate all the CCW holders and gun owners from the jury.
    Why would this have to be refuted. Obviously I intend to lawfully use them both. Did I spend hours and hours in study to learn the law on concealed carry self defense, not to lawfully defend myself? Why else get the permit, buy the firearms, and spend a small fortune in ammo learning to hit the target?

    For me, pistols are tools. Grim tools meant for violent use in lawful self defense. Tools that have become necessary now that I am in my sixties and no longer physically as agile as some of the younger population. If there is a violent death in my presence, my intention is that it not be me or mine.

    Darn straight I plan to lawfully use both of them. And I practice to be able to use them as quickly and accurately as possible once the go button is pushed. I fully expect to go to my grave without ever having to use a weapon for self defense, but....

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    "Back brace" is one I have used for my shoulder rig. I carry that way when I snowmobile and have opened my jacket a number of times due to temp and others have seen the straps. It is ALL in how you react.

    I have had it a few times when people have bumped against me (touching my weapon) and they looked at me inquisitivly. I just smile back and keep on my business. This is also why I pocket carry my cell phone as I feel it is the easiest thing the "blame" for the "hard lump" on my belt(common, I know some of you need to get your minds out of the gutter here).

    One time I had my holster belt loop (J style). Catch on a ladys shirt at Blockbuster. It was one of those shirts that are made of yarn type material and holes all over (is it a blouse, jacket, sweater?...). Anyway, that stupid thing really got tangled and in the process of getting unhooked she asked what it was for and I calmly replied (as I had in my mind many times before)..."colostamy bag". Talk about the end of that conversation!

    Worked like a charm!

    Grady- Over the years I have found that it is in fact the thinner material (not see through) that is wrinkle free is the best type for concealment. The type that you can pull out from the bottom of the clean pile of unfolded clothes and it looks fine. Get some with lots of patterns (I like small checkers) as this hides the sharp edges of a gun/holster remarkably well. I have one shirt that has LOTS of texture to it and is super flexible and soft...it is the best concealment shirt I have. You may also want to sew little weights into the bottom of the shirt to help with the wind blowing up your cover garment....

    Just a few thoughts. But I don't really think you need to change anything. Seems like the situation went fine really.
    Pray for our nations leaders!

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    Member Array ofdesp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I don't think she'll be feeling around my waist or lower
    ^This would present a whole different set of questions from the wife! Seems like there's always a way to get "made" no matter how we carry. Just have to do our best to stay "concealed".

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    I wouldn't sweat it too much Grady. She didn't know what it was, and her expression is telling. I highly doubt you got made, and even if so I would bet that your friend will forget all about it.

    I am a hugger and that occasionally means someone touches the sidearm (usually concealed under a shirt OWB strong side), but it's never been an issue for me.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
    Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective

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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    With all due respect, your wife's response should have been either, "why do you ask?" or "why is it any of your business?" (same question, phrased differently)

    It's none of the lady's business, plain and simple. No explanation is necessary, and her asking is rude.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    Grady,
    Maybe the lady thought you were wearing a bra and was wanting to confirm with your wife that you were kinky.

    Semper Fi

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    "Nobody carries two guns unless they intend to use them." [an experienced lawyer's opinion]
    There are sadistic prosecuting attorneys masquerading as servants of justice. Like as not, you'll get one coming after you, in court, if ever attacked for having defended yourself legally. And such people have no qualms about spouting ludicrous opinion as if it were fact in order to imply you're the criminal you are claimed to be.

    Just be sure you've got your documentation, training and philosophy down pat, 'cause it'll need to be explained simply to a simple-minded jury in order to negate the effects of such statements. Yes, such idiotic claims will need to be refuted. What else is new.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    Member Array Beretta8045's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I said all that to acknowledge the possible repercussions of carrying multiple weapons. Having acknowledged it, I will not increase my chances of dying, or of not being able to defend my family, because of what some lawyer MIGHT say, in a defense that MIGHT happen, over a self-defense shooting that MIGHT occur. For those that strictly advocate carrying the minimum possible, that may be fine for you, but I'm not going that route.
    In Massad Ayoob's The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, he tackles a lot of the issues that prosecutors will try to nail you on, like carrying hollow points, spare mags, etc. He also has an entire chapter dedicated to a backup gun, with seven reasons to carry one.

    1. The primary gun may be taken away.
    2. The primary gun may be unusable because it is the object of a struggle.
    3. The primary gun may be empty.
    4. The primary gun may malfunction.
    5. The primary gun may be struck by an opponent's bullet and rendered inoperable.
    6. The primary gun may not be as readily accessible as the backup.
    7. The primary gun can arm only one good person at a time.


    I would definitely use these in my defense if I ever had to.
    Proud NRA & MCRGO Member

    "The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight....I'd choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead."

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    I'd go with the suspenders explaination if it even comes up again. This situation is something I think about often. I'm in a business where I have very close relationships with my clients and their families. I dread being outted by one of them....hugging is common. I just don't want to have to explain or even offer an excuse. Not to mention the possibility of changing the tone of a relationship, some of which have taken years to cultivate.

    Grady, thanks for taking the time to post this. I also really enjoy your posts. I don't feel so bad about the many many hours I spend doing research now. In fact, I now realize that many of my friends who have been CCW'ing for much longer don't do adequate research and modify their practices (if any). Truly a journey...thanks for sharing bits of yours. Glad to know I'm not alone.

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