Ethics of a pocket pistol at theaters...


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mikechandler
December 29, 2012, 02:11 PM
Some of our theaters here in Arizona allow CCW, and I have a j frame I like to carry in a pocket holster - especially convenient in warmer climate. However, something about it nags at my conscience: If I were to use it a theater, sitting down, then the barrel of my gun would be facing the movie-goer in the seat directly in front of me.

I know it's a revolver and if it's not cocked, it won't fire (well, it shouldn't fire). However, isn't it bad form to point the muzzle of a loaded gun at something you are not willing to see destroyed? I would not be comfortable pointing it at my head, loaded and uncocked. How would you feel sitting in a theater if the guy behind you had a pocket holstered gun pointing at your head? I would be uncomfortable.

Luckily I have an IWB that I can wear, but the pocket holster is so tempting other than this concern.

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Murcielago
December 29, 2012, 02:13 PM
This has never crossed my mind. In a holster, in my pocket I don't think twice.

GEM
December 29, 2012, 02:17 PM
Well, if you have a belt hoster and are in a multistory building, unless you are on the first floor or in the basement (depending), you can be pointing at the top of someone's head.

Keep your finger off the trigger and for revolvers - easy to cock hammers on pocket carry can be avoided with gun choice.

MrTwigg
December 29, 2012, 02:17 PM
Does your gun go off all by itself or only when someone pulls the trigger ?

mikechandler
December 29, 2012, 02:22 PM
Keep your finger off the trigger and for revolvers - easy to cock hammers on pocket carry can be avoided with gun choice.

My pocket pistol is a S&W Model 649-5 .357 - it has a deep shroud that covers the hammer. It's very safe in that regard.

Does your gun go off all by itself or only when someone pulls the trigger ?

Obviously only when the (stock weight) trigger is pulled. I said usually doesn't because the fact is if I were burned alive in a fire with my gun, there would be five cylinders firing, including the one lined up with the barrel. But other than that it won't go off, and if we're burned alive it won't be my gun killing.

Nevertheless, I wanted to see how others feel about this.

Justin
December 29, 2012, 02:22 PM
Get an IWB holster.

Boom.

Problem solved.

Sam1911
December 29, 2012, 02:28 PM
Guns in holsters point at all sorts of things. Horizontal shoulder holsters point at whoever's standing behind you. Appendix holsters point right at your femoral artery ... and/or other cherished bits. A fanny-pack may hold a gun so that it points toward anyone standing to your left (or right). And so forth.

A holstered gun is a SAFE gun. They simply do not go off unless the carrier breaks the most fundamental rules and puts their hands on the gun.

In a holster? No worries.

ArchAngelCD
December 29, 2012, 02:28 PM
The 4 rules are extremely important but when a handgun is in a holster it's not considered pointing the gun at anyone even if the holster is pointing in someone's direction.

MrTwigg
December 29, 2012, 02:29 PM
I said usually doesn't because the fact is if I were burned alive in a fire with my gun, there would be five cylinders firing, including the one lined up with the barrel. But other than that it won't go off, and if we're burned alive it won't be my gun killing.


If I were being burned alive the last thing I'd be worried about would be the rounds cooking off.

Perhaps you shouldn't carry.

Apachedriver
December 29, 2012, 02:41 PM
No offense but what I've gathered from the OP is that he really needs to gain more experience and knowledge. Specifically about the function of the firearm he is choosing to carry, and more broadly about any firearm he chooses to own or handle.

Seriously. Unless this is just sheer paranoia or purposeful ignorance, getting to know the fit and function of his firearm is the only way to avoid overanalyzing as he is doing. If it's either of the first two reasons mentioned, then he needs to put it down and step away very carefully.

2wheels
December 29, 2012, 02:44 PM
No ethics problems, it's a properly holstered gun.

+1 to Sam1911s post. A holstered gun is something of an exception to the safety rules.

mikechandler
December 29, 2012, 02:54 PM
If I were being burned alive the last thing I'd be worried about would be the rounds cooking off.

Perhaps you shouldn't carry.

I only mentioned it in case some jerk were to point it out - as people are really looking to fault others. There's a lot of that going on here today.

No ethics problems, it's a properly holstered gun.

+1 to Sam1911s post. A holstered gun is something of an exception to the safety rules.

That's the part I was looking for - I kind of thought that was the case, however with the recent news and all, I didn't want to be the one who makes matters worse.

As for all those bagging me for asking - shame on you, not me. I don't know everything, and I will not hesitate to ask questions when in doubt. The only really incompetent gun owners are the ones who don't ask questions.

Thanks wheels and sam1911, that's the info I was looking for.

Stress_Test
December 29, 2012, 03:01 PM
mikechandler,


You're not the only one who has thought about this. It occurred to me too for the first time at Thanksgiving dinner. I had my LCR in the front pocket of my jeans (DeSantis holster) and when we all sat down at the table, I realized that the gun was now pointing at the person across from me. That was uncomfortable but I reminded myself to just keep my hand off the gun and don't try to reposition it or anything.

The only way I could see anything bad happening is if the primer/powder in the round somehow detonated spontaneously. I realize the odds of this must be absurdly low (probably more likely to get hit by a meteor than have a round light off spontaneously). It still bugs me though.

AFDavis11
December 29, 2012, 03:54 PM
It's safe, but you should carry in a way that makes you undistracted. Go with a holster when you go to the movies, if you prefer.

I used to be uncomfortable with a 1911 in a movie theater. Now when I go to a movie theater (or a mall) I'm uncomfortable with only a 1911.

It's good that you are using a holster. You might be able to keep the gun in a pocket holster and move the holster to your jacket before the movie starts and return it before you leave, all from the bathroom. That way you don't add a new holster.

But, it's safe in a holster in your pocket. Might even be more likely to hit the ground in a waistband style holster.

gazpacho
December 29, 2012, 03:59 PM
As pointed out, a properly holstered and pocketed firearm is safe. What you should be asking yourself is can you safely and effectively draw that firearm, should you need it in an emergency.

In my personal experience, a J-Frame is extremely difficult for me to draw effectively from a pocket while seated. My pockets aren't big enough for that. An exposed spur hammer hooks into the pants fabric and makes the draw impossible. For me, the best pocket choice was the Kel-Tec P32, until the current breed of pocket 380s came out. Now my pocket choice is a Kahr P380.

That said, my preferred CCW is a S&W 340PD in an OWB Galco SOB holster, but at the 4 o'clock position. It is highly concealable and easy to draw even while seated and belted in the driver's seat. And for what its worth, while seated in the theatre, the barrel would be pointed down and to the side at a slight angle, so it would probably not point at anyone.

dirtengineer
December 29, 2012, 05:11 PM
It is good that you are thinking of safety in all situations. The answer is simple: Choose to carry in a quality holster that fits your firearms well, secures it, and covers the trigger. Find a combination that you consider safe.

The other option is go with the above AND carry in condition 3. Of course, that is a little hard with a revolver. ;)

Me personally? I carry often with a desantis superfly pocket holster with no qualms whatsoever.

Alaska444
December 29, 2012, 05:25 PM
I always adjust my pocket carry so it points down when I am sitting down. I guess I don't have the latest in fashion, but you can direct the point of the gun even in the pocket if you wish. I do.

Double Naught Spy
December 29, 2012, 05:26 PM
Get an IWB holster.

Boom.

Problem solved.

I don't think I would have said, "Boom." :D though your sentiment is spot-on.

Jenrick
December 29, 2012, 06:01 PM
t is good that you are thinking of safety in all situations. The answer is simple: Choose to carry in a quality holster that fits your firearms well, secures it, and covers the trigger. Find a combination that you consider safe.

^^^^^ This.

I laugh at some people saying that a holster is an exception to the 4 rules. I can't imagine anyone would be comfortable with my pointing a loaded handgun at them, solely because I had it in holster. However as mentioned there are times when there is no good "safe" direction to point the weapon in. dirtengineer hit the nail on the head do what you feel is needed to be safe. Also the suggestion of having the hammer on an empty cylinder isn't a bad one if your concerned.

-Jenrick

larryh1108
December 29, 2012, 07:18 PM
...Perhaps you shouldn't carry.

and some people should not be allowed to post on an open forum.

mikechandler
December 29, 2012, 07:29 PM
As pointed out, a properly holstered and pocketed firearm is safe. What you should be asking yourself is can you safely and effectively draw that firearm, should you need it in an emergency.

In my personal experience, a J-Frame is extremely difficult for me to draw effectively from a pocket while seated. My pockets aren't big enough for that. An exposed spur hammer hooks into the pants fabric and makes the draw impossible. For me, the best pocket choice was the Kel-Tec P32, until the current breed of pocket 380s came out. Now my pocket choice is a Kahr P380.

That said, my preferred CCW is a S&W 340PD in an OWB Galco SOB holster, but at the 4 o'clock position. It is highly concealable and easy to draw even while seated and belted in the driver's seat. And for what its worth, while seated in the theatre, the barrel would be pointed down and to the side at a slight angle, so it would probably not point at anyone.

This (the bold portion) is why I bought the 649 Bodyguard - the humpback shroud protects the hammer. It's made to draw easily from a pocket. I keep my hands off it, unless things head south... in which case I can shove my hand down in my pocket, and wrap my fingers around the grip, ready to present it quickly if needed. I practice religiously with this gun, including drawing it from my clothing. It's a very snag free design.

When in the pocket holster, I use a hogue bantam grip, but this is my S&W:
http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n546/mikeinchandler/SnW649/649-5_001.jpg

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n546/mikeinchandler/SnW649/649-5_003.jpg

It is good that you are thinking of safety in all situations. The answer is simple: Choose to carry in a quality holster that fits your firearms well, secures it, and covers the trigger. Find a combination that you consider safe.

[b]The other option is go with the above AND carry in condition 3. Of course, that is a little hard with a revolver. ;) [b/]

Me personally? I carry often with a desantis superfly pocket holster with no qualms whatsoever.

Yeah, I thought of the whole 'carry on an empty cylinder' bit, like a SAA, however there is a transfer bar in every modern S&W; there's no risk if the trigger isn't held back. I think its risk is so low that there's a greater danger of encountering nastiness and being unarmed.

The ethical answer was already given and I appreciate it!

2wheels
December 29, 2012, 08:13 PM
I laugh at some people saying that a holster is an exception to the 4 rules.

We essentially treat them as if they are. Normally I would never point a gun at you, or at myself. But... As Sam1911 pointed out, many popular holster designs may allow the muzzle to point at either yourself or the people around you.

So put it however you want, but we do make an exception for holstered firearms.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 29, 2012, 08:32 PM
Same with rifles.
Anytime the muzzle is pointed in the air, the shot could possibly go at least a couple of miles and hit someone you don't even know about.

Safely-parked on a steep hill, the parking brake on my car could come undone and my car could accidentally fall from park and roll down the hill and run over some poor old lady.

An airplane could crash into my house tonight.

A brick on my chimney could come loose and hit me in the head and kill me when I step outside my front door.

When I step on a sidewalk crack, it could break my mother's back.

Sam1911
December 29, 2012, 08:43 PM
Oh good heavens. Folks get all riled up over the simplest of things.

Let's call this asked and thoroughly answered and move on.

9mmepiphany
December 29, 2012, 09:01 PM
I laugh at some people saying that a holster is an exception to the 4 rules.
A holstered weapon isn't an exception to the four rules. I'm often amused for folks who mis-understand the four rules, for that is what we have here.

The four rules, as they are often referred to is actually the Four Rules for Safe Gun Handling. The operative words are not Rules or Safe, but Gun Handling. If you aren't handling the gun, the Rules don't apply.

I've never understood folks who are concerned which direction the muzzles point when guns are cased for transport or in a display case in a store

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