In recent weeks, a number of security and law enforcement officers have had problems making business in the water closet that ended with an embarrassing situation with their Glocks. This brings to mind, just what is your plan for when 'code brown' comes about while carrying?
(U.S. Marshal with modified Glock 22 in high-retention drop holster)
On Sept. 9, a shot rang out in a public restroom in a Hawaiian Target store (please no puns intended). Upon investigation by the responding Honolulu Police Department, it turned out that an off-duty officer of the department discharged his Glock while inside his stall. Fortunately, no one was injured; the round apparently ricocheted off the door and hit the wall of the next stall.
However, the brief gun-play did alarm shoppers.
"Everybody was startled because of just hearing a gunshot in the store," a witness told KHON2. "It's kind of shocking to think that something like that would actually happen in the store."
The HPD, who recently changed over to the Glock from a S&W platform, is suffering from their now third incident of accidental or negligent discharges including the tragic death of an officer killed while showing his gun at a barbeque and another where an officer attempting an arrest fired his weapon unintentionally.
Incidentally, the HPD has been named in several lawsuits over its extremely strict policies against issuing concealed carry permits to civilians. In 2012, every applicant who applied was denied, with no reason or explanation given.
Courthouse Glock give away
A court security officer at the state 10th Circuit Court in Derry, New Hampshire noticed about 10:30 a.m. that he no longer had his Glock. Backtracking, the last place did have it was the public restroom. According to WMUR, that's where things went wrong.
"Apparently, a court security officer left the weapon accidentally in the restroom in the morning and discovered it missing and then called us," Capt. Vern Thomas told local media.
Officials state that it was the first time that this had happened in the courthouse and state police were informed.
Of course, it is easy to throw rocks after an incident; however, there are always a few things to take away from these situations. In the Honolulu case(s), basic firearms safety rules come to mind. Although a Glock has several internal drop and striker safeties, these are all for naught if you have a finger on the trigger. By carrying a firearm, you absolutely have to keep the basic safety rules in mind at all times. If you can't quite get the hang of this, you probably should not be carrying or at a minimum, should carry without a chambered round.
Also, if you remove your firearm from the holster while involved in a code brown situation, be extra careful on that re-holster that you don't have anything (jacket drawstrings, shirt tails, et al) inside the trigger well, as these can lead to a negligent discharge if pulled tight enough-- even without an actual finger on the trigger.
In the case of the missing weapon, keep this case in mind every time you get up from a sitting position and are carrying-- not just in a restroom. The simple act of sitting then standing again can work your handgun free, especially if you are using a generic holster or one without a high degree of retention. Every time I stand, I do a brief check to ensure any concealed firearms I have are still that way. This doesn't have to be obviously done, for instance I carry most often in an appendix position around the 2-3 o'clock area and can typically tap it with my forearm or elbow to endure its still there.
When using the restroom away from home or an otherwise trusted area, always choose a stall along the wall if possible, ideally the one on the same side as your firearm, to negate possibilities of a gun grab from a neighboring stall. Second, keep control of your firearm at all times, as the last thing you want is to have your Glock skitter across a wet bathroom floor when you are otherwise unable to make a quick run after it. This of course does not necessarily mean holding it at all times in a Suhl position while waiting for tangos to come crashing through the door, but you can make your own choices here.
Finally, when leaving any location, perform that simple check to make sure your gun is still in your possession. Do it every time without an option and eventually it will become second nature.
Stay safe out there.