You may have wondered whether it is a good idea to carry without a holster when you’re on a budget or just got your concealed carry permit.
When it comes to carrying a concealed handgun, holsters are a necessity. However, it may have crossed your mind that you can get by without using one for some reason or another.
Perhaps you do not intend to carry one, you are trying to save money, or you simply do not see the need for one. There may have been times when carrying a proper holster wasn’t an option, and anything else would’ve been open carry.
Even though you can carry a weapon without a gun holster, it may not always be effective or safe.
Is It Illegal To Conceal Carry Without A Holster?
The first question most gun owners must ask is: “Is that legal?”
In this article, we will discuss whether carrying a handgun without a holster is legal, look at the most common methods, and discuss the dangers of carrying one.
Different states have different laws regarding concealed carry of guns without holsters. Therefore, even though carrying concealed without a holster may be legal in some instances, it is not advisable.
The best way to carry a concealed weapon responsibly is with some form of the holster, and I’ll discuss some of the traditional and non-traditional methods.
Why You Shouldn’t Conceal Carry A Gun Without A Holster?
Having a holster on your weapon is essential for your safety. You may be at risk of self-injury while concealing your weapon without a holster, and in certain scenarios, you may also be at risk of injuring others.
Holsters serve as a way to secure firearms, but they also serve as trigger guards. Firearms are mechanical devices and, as such, are prone to mechanical failure.
Although unintentional or accidental discharges are not common, they do happen from time to time. The presence of pedestrians during this event is a disaster waiting to happen.
Holster Less Carrying: Is It Legal?
If you intend to carry a concealed weapon, it is generally a good idea to make sure that your intentions are legal.
State governments and local municipalities can enact legislation regarding concealed carry and OWB holsters, should they choose to do so, as there is no federal law governing that.
Some jurisdictions forbid concealed carrying without a holster, even when concealed carrying is otherwise legal; this is known as a “holster mandate.”
Whether or not you use an IWB holster or an OWB holster, an appendix carry holster, a pocket holster, etc., is not important; simply, it is mounted on a shoulder rig or belt.
You should seek professional advice, such as an attorney, preferably one who specializes in gun laws and gun rights, if you aren’t sure what your local laws are.
How To Carry Without A Holster?
Carrying a handgun without a holster can be done in three ways: tucking into the belt or waistband, pocket carrying, and off-body carrying.
Tucking involves retaining the handgun directly in the belt or waistband. Despite being straightforward, it is extremely dangerous.
The gun has a high chance of falling off, and the trigger guard is not protected, which can snag and cause a negligent discharge, which could be fatal.
Another simple method of carrying is pocket carrying. Pocket carry is possible; holsters that are designed specifically for pocket carry are available.
In addition, if you don’t carry a holster, your firearm may snag with anything else you may carry in your pocket, which has the potential to cause a negligent discharge.
The Dangers Of Carrying Without A Holster
It’s also possible for objects, including pistols, to fall out of your pockets accidentally, just like when you tuck them in.
The distinctive outline of a pistol can also print through the fabric of your pocket, and other people may be able to determine that you are armed, thus defeating the purpose of concealment.
It is also common to carry your firearm in bags, purses, or other external containers, which is known as “off-body carrying.” Off-body carry has risks, such as theft, even though it is a popular option, particularly among women.
It is also possible for your gun to be stolen along with your bag or purse. You also risk not securing your firearm appropriately if you aren’t using a carry bag or purse designed for concealed carry.
It’s not just difficult to draw your gun when unsure of the orientation; it’s also a safety hazard. A negligent discharge can lead to disastrous outcomes when the muzzle is pointed in an unintended direction.
You should use a purse specifically designed for concealed carry if you are required to carry off-body. Pockets and compartments with integrated, secure holsters make it easy to keep an eye on your gun whenever you want.
What About State Laws?
State and local laws determine the legal aspects of carrying a concealed handgun without a holster. There are notable exceptions to the rule, but it is not always explicitly illegal.
Texas law, for example, stipulates that permit holders are committing an offense if their firearm is visible to the public unless that firearm is holstered or belted.
The Kansas law requires every handgun carried on or off-body to be secured in a holster that covers the trigger completely. This is true even if the handgun is carried in a purse or handbag.
It is not worth the perceived advantages of carrying without a holster even if your local laws do not have explicit holster statutes.
Alternatives To Traditional Holsters
Holsters can be worn in various ways beyond the traditional method. Concealed carry apparel, belly belts, and fanny packs are among examples. Concealed carry with this grouping is by far my favorite.
The pistol is usually pointed downward with a belly belt, which keeps the pistol close to the body and offers a trigger guard. It appears innocuous, but fanny packs are worn outside your clothing rather than underneath.
Fanny packs, however, are no longer in style at this time. Nevertheless, due to the redundant security it provides, I have seen someone use it wisely during physical activity.
You should be able to quickly access your firearm from both fanny packs and belly belts. Maintain a downward angle rather than a lateral one. Make sure you get a durable model. While most of these are universal fits, finding a model-specific one is even better.
For everyday carry, concealed carry apparel designed for carrying firearms is ideal. Ensure that the firearm is securely fastened and that the fit is correct.
In addition to ambidextrous carry methods, many of these options offer additional magazine carrying options. However, I prefer to wear underlayers rather than overwear when it comes to concealed carry in the spring and summer.
The Bottom Line
It is unsafe to carry a holster-less gun without a holster. In addition to securely retaining your handgun, a good holster keeps the barrel pointed in a safe direction and prevents accidental discharging of the trigger.
If you carry a firearm in public, whether openly or concealed, you must adhere to all three rules. Some locales allow firearms to be carried without holsters, but it is certainly not the norm and is never recommended.
Knowing what you can and cannot do with a gun is crucial to being a responsible gun owner. Knowing what to do is the next step.