Here’s the deal … we need to be honest and open about concealed carry and going to the bathroom. Yes, everyone one has to do #2 and depending on your schedule, this may involve a public restroom. Recently I started using an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster and found myself struggling a bit in public restrooms during my potty break. Now, surely there are others that have the same questions and concerns as me, so here you go …
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When you realize you need a potty break, take a minute to choose the best place to go. If a family restroom is available, use it. These restrooms usually have a single toilet and a door that locks, which is perfect for privacy. When these aren’t available and you have to use a public restroom with stalls, choose the one at the end, against a wall. This minimizes your visibility a bit since you only have a neighbor on one side. Always check the stall situation on your way to the farthest one, to see if you can spot any men’s footwear, or other suspicious stuff. If you see anything that raises the hairs on the back of your neck, exit quickly.
Now it’s time to get tricky and creative. These tips will help you avoid exposing your gun to others while during your potty break.
Whenever possible, keep your pistol in its holster. If you avoid letting your pants fall below your knees it will help keep people outside the stall from seeing your gun. When you have a belt on, re-buckling it will help with this step. Also, spreading your knees apart and pushing on the belt will make it easier. By all means, don’t let your gun touch the floor … gross!
If you have to remove your pistol from its holster, NEVER hang it on the door hook by the trigger guard. I personally know of someone who had an accidental discharge (and not in the toilet) or AD because of this. Needless to say, he scared the crap poop out of those also on their potty breaks (pun intended). Also, if you decide to put it on the back of the toilet or on the toilet paper dispenser, don’t. Consider how slippery the surface is. Plus, no matter how responsible you think you are, you might forget to take the pistol with you. It’s happened to many professionals who carry guns for a living.
So, what could you do with your gun if you absolutely have to take it out of the holster? There’s a little trick I learned from my husband and it’s been working for me. Let’s call it the underwear hammock. If I can’t keep my pistol in the holster, I lower my pants and underwear to above my knees. Then I set my pistol in my underwear where it safely sits until I’m finished. I know, sounds crazy but try it at home with an UNLOADED gun. This is also a great place to rest your pistol if you carry appendix or right in the front. I started using the HERS by N82 Tactical holster. It allows me to carry on my waist without wearing a belt. Plus, I can switch positions whenever I feel the need.
Don’t panic! Pick it up, finish your business and re-holster. When you get home, rethink what went wrong, and why it fell. If it fell out of the holster, you may need to check the retention or consider purchasing a new holster. Unless you spend a ton of time in public restrooms, potty break ease shouldn’t be the most important criterion for choosing a holster. However, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
This Retro WON, IWB Potty Break Tips, first appeared January 22, 2018.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino