You’re a legally-armed American exercising your God-given right to effective self-defense. You continually train, take proper care of your gear and maintain good situational awareness at all times. You are squared-away and ready for any miscreant who selects you as a potential victim.
But now you have to poop.
This shouldn’t present too many problems if you can use a private facility, but what happens when you are forced to visit that palace of proper hygiene, the public restroom? Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to avoid the horrifying and attention-drawing clatter of blued steel on terrazzo.
There are three primary objectives while conducting a “major transaction” in the restroom. Safety is always first, followed by the security of your firearm (keeping it away from people who might grab it while you are indisposed) and keeping it away from prying eyes that don’t need to know you are armed.
Undoubtedly the most common technique when sitting down is to place the gun carefully and silently on the toilet tank. It is an obvious place to stow a firearm but very clearly a bad idea.
First, many public restroom toilets don’t even have a tank in the first place, rending the point moot. Secondly, regardless of how careful you are, it is very easy for the gun to slide off the slick porcelain surface and go clattering to the ground with the slightest provocation. Finally, countless people have left a gun sitting on the toilet when they exited the stall.
Hanging your gun or holster from your belt over a hook (if provided) is another option but there is still the strong possibility of the gun falling to the ground; likewise with toilet paper dispensers and the other furnishings typically found in the stall. We have even heard of people sticking their firearm in the slot of the toilet seat protector (AKA “butt gasket”) dispenser.
One commonly taught method is to keep your firearm in its holster and by using outward leg pressure, keeping the pants belt-line and firearm somewhere around mid-calf and above the bottom of the stall where it might be seen. This can work for some people but in real-world “encounters,” we find that any momentary lapse of focus lets the pants and gun fall to the ground, defeating the whole purpose.
That leaves the inside-the-pants method.
To start, you hold your firearm in one hand while undoing your various belts, zippers and support garments with the other hand. Then, as you lower yourself into a sitting position, you place your gun into the basket formed by crotch of your pants, taking great care not to point the muzzle at any part of your body.
Though it seems unlikely, this is a well-tested and secure position for the weapon. Even if you move, the gun will usually remain in place or, at worse, start to silently slide down a pants leg. Once finished, you simply reverse the process to redress. One huge benefit of this technique is the fact that you will never leave your gun behind.
This technique has also been taught as placing the gun in the same position but inside your underwear. This does work and is perhaps a bit more secure but raises hygiene concerns and worries about heavy metal contamination from powder residue being transferred to a very sensitive region of the anatomy.
Those who object to this technique are worried about the un-holstered gun somehow shooting its owner or alternately, falling to the floor and discharging. In the first case, you should already well-practiced in good muzzle discipline and secondly, if the gun is defective or has been worked on by a gun plumber (i.e. untrained ‘gunsmith’) and is likely to discharge upon striking a hard surface, you shouldn’t be carrying it in the first place.
A final restroom consideration is reloads such as spare magazines or speedloaders. These should be stowed in a shirt pocket prior to dropping your trousers. This is because even a well-designed holder will fail due to an accidentally unsecured retention device and regardless, the weight often causes the reload to clatter to the floor with a noteworthy noise. Above all else, it is important to avoid using your thigh cargo pockets as a storage space altogether as even well-designed ones are prone to dump while you are sitting.
Insert your own joke there.
Photo: Stockfresh/Ilya Andriyanov