An Oregon man was attacked in a Walmart bathroom and was relieved of his weapon by an opportunistic thug who spotted the poorly concealed or unconcealed gun and saw an easy mark:

A man with a concealed weapon permit was assaulted in a Walmart bathroom Thursday night and had his handgun stolen, Medford police said.

The 25-year-old permit holder entered the Walmart at 1360 Center Drive around 9 p.m., police said. He had a Springfield XD 40-caliber handgun in a holster in the back of his waistband, and his shirt covered the weapon.

The man went into the store bathroom and was followed by a white man in his mid 30s who was about 6 feet 2 inches tall and wearing an Oakland Raiders T-shirt, police said in a news release.

In the bathroom, the man wearing the Raiders shirt unsuccessfully attempted to snatch the gun from the 25-year-old’s waistband, then punched the man in the face, knocking him to the ground, police reports say. The suspect then grabbed the gun, pointed it at the 25-year-old and ordered him to leave. The victim complied and ran into the employee break room. Police were called to the store at 9:17 p.m. Thursday, records show.

Store surveillance video showed that the suspect, wearing a black Raiders T-shirt over a gray, long-sleeved shirt, with blue jean shorts, white and black tennis shoes, and a flat-billed hat, had walked into the store just before 9 p.m. A Hispanic male in his 20s or early 30s accompanied him. That man was 5 feet 10 inches tall, wore white shorts, a gray and black pullover jacket with red drawstrings, a black beanie with a red stripe, and red and white tennis shoes. The video shows the two splitting up after they enter the store.

Additional video showed the assault suspect running out an emergency exit with the stolen gun in his waistband. He met up with the Hispanic man outside, and the two drove off in a dark-colored sedan, the news release said.

Small-of-back (SOB) carry is inherently more risky than many other forms of carry in terms of both concealment and in terms of weapon retention.

If you bend forward your gun tends to print, and if you aren’t wearing a shirt or cover garment that’s long enough, it will totally expose your handgun. In a best-case scenario, that exposure is minimal and temporary and there are no witnesses.  In a worst-case scenario, the gun is exposed, and stays exposed as the cover garment bunches up on the gun, actually drawing attention to the area. This becomes more visually arresting to passers-by than intentional open carry.

In this incident the thief clearly saw the weapon, assessed the man carrying the gun to be someone that he could easily take on, and apparently did so while the carrier was attempting to use the bathroom.

Anyone wanting to gripe about how the carrier “needed to maintain situational awareness at all times” needs to show me their pee-stained shoes. As a human being in the real world, you can’t maintain perfect situational awareness at all times in all directions. You’re lying to yourself if you think you can.

As we can’t maintain situational awareness at all times in all directions, it behooves us to learn how to carry a handgun in a way that isn’t easily revealed by normal everyday activities. Just like the other “concealed carrier” in Philadelphia last month who was relieved of his weapon, this guy clearly did a very poor job of concealing his weapon.

Poor concealment suggests to everyone around that the person carrying the weapon is poorly trained. You may as well have five $100 bills stuffed in the back of your pants with a “rob me, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing” sign pasted on your back.

As bad as small-of-back carry is for exposure risk, it’s just as bad or worse for retention. You simply can’t get any leverage to stop a snatch attempt at that location due to basic human physiology.

Our takeaways:

  • Small-of-back carry greatly increases your risk of exposure.
  • It is difficult to defend against a snatch attempt when then gun is carried at the small-of-back location.
  • mere possession of a firearm is not a talisman against evil. If you give off the impression that you are poorly trained or are otherwise an easy mark, you have made yourself a target.

Update: The suspect is in custody. The stolen gun is still missing.

Tags: Oregon