OK, there you are, no kidding feeling the effect of your morning coffee. The effect comes on fast and once you are in public, things are starting to look bleak as far as options.
I have read some pretty disturbing articles about individuals leaving their firearm in public bathrooms. This sort of thing isn’t new, it has happened for years and it seems we still haven’t figured out what the best protocol is for dumping boat. You basically have three options, secure the firearm before you go to the bathroom, leave it on while doing your business or take it off. I suppose you could also do a “Trusted Pass” to someone while you are on the throne, but that seems pretty unlikely so we will stick to the above three.
Hard sided contatiner
If you are going to secure the firearm before you enter the public bathroom you run the risk of being disarmed while you are pretty vulnerable. I cannot help but make that obvious point, but it might be the best suggestion for some who are “forgetful” or don’t have a good protocol in place. Securing the firearm should follow any and all protocol for safe storage meaning the firearm is inaccessible regardless of it’s condition from unauthorized personnel. That might be tougher than you think if you are in public and about the best you can hope for is your vehicle. If you are at your place of work, does a desk drawer qualify as “secure storage”? To me, absolutely not. I would suggest you default to the regulations you follow when traveling through commercial airlines; meaning it must be in a lockable hard sided container.
Have holster, will travel
To disarm while in the bathroom is probably the most common practice, but is it the best? Well, that is not really a black and white answer. Your wardrobe will have something to do with your decision along with what is available to you in the bathroom stall. Before we get too involved here, a good point to bring up is what kind of stall are we talking about. Is it a stall where the walls go all the way to the floor or is one where it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then lying it on the floor right in front of you is out of the question, but so is leaving it on your pants when they are around your ankle if you think about it. If you are going to disarm a big question is what are you going to do with your firearm? Safety should be paramount so protecting the firearm from negligent discharge is your top priority, but so is not forgetting the firearm. If you are going to disarm, then I suggest you keep the firearm holstered. It offers a higher degree of safety.
The ideal stall
Something else to consider is if you are going to disarm, keeping the firearm in the holster as mentioned early and place it on the best flat surface possible. If you manage to get lucky and find yourself in a stall with a baby changing station then score. Pull it down and lay all your stuff on that nice flat surface. When I say all your stuff, put more than just your firearm. Like your keys, cell phone and maybe even your wallet. As you prepare to depart the stall you literally go through your jock-up procedures; which should prevent you from forgetting something.
The tactical ballet
If you are hell bent on staying armed, then hold on to the firearm for as long as you can and then rest it inside your pants. I have had good luck with this method, but I will admit it wasn’t as easy as it sounds depending on my wardrobe. Different pants did better than others as well as different holsters. The key is pulling your pants up by your holster so you do not see your firearm bounce off the deck as you shore up. Don’t make the mistake of not realizing the extra weight is a firearm and do it haphazardly.
We all do it and we can’t always predict or plan for them so better to have some thought out protocol in advance. Don’t be that guy.