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What works: Pocket Carry in the workplace

April 1, 2015

Not that anyone cares, but I am pocket carrying again. A Kel-Tec P3AT was my first CCW. The clerk at the gun store recommended a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster to go with it, and for the longest time, it was my only carry gun. It’s small enough to go everywhere. I carry it IWB, OWB (under a shirt), and when I run, I can carry it in a PistolWear PT-2. I bought and sold numerous other CCWs, but the P3AT has always been in my rotation.

That rotation ended (for the time being) when I purchased my Ruger LC9s. That gun strikes the perfect balance between concealability and power, at least for me. I plunked down good money on a Mitch Rosen and a very well-made kydex holster from NorCal and called it a day. For several months now, the LC9s has been the only gun I carried.

That changed when I read a lengthy blog entry about a man who was “outed” in the workplace. He bent over to help lift some boxes and his shirttail made like Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch. Apparently, the co-worker he helped didn’t care, but then she told a friend, who told a friend, and so on. Eventually, it got back to the HR director, and the man received a talking-to. He didn’t get fired, but he did agree to leave his iron in the car forthwith.

Like this fellow, my workplace has an official “no weapons” policy. It’s an empty policy, because my company runs a warehouse where everyone carries a knife or blade to open boxes or cut shrink wrap. But as a small business, I know my employers are paranoid about liability, so “no weapons” it is. I know at least one other person who carries on company property, and I suspect one or more of the owners may, as well. Still, I don’t care to get a talking-to, so after some consideration, I decided to rotate in the P3AT and go kangaroo.

Pocket carry has its down sides. It’s harder to draw from a seated position. The gun I carry must necessarily be small. (I can carry my LC9s in the pocket, but it’s a bit bulkier. I use either a kydex trigger cover or an AHolster Pocket Holster, which adds less mass than a Nemesis.) Most annoyingly, I must dedicate a whole pocket to a gun, which means I have to pare down my EDC. But the two pluses to pocket carry make it worthwhile. For one, it’s more comfortable than belt carry, and as I get older and creakier, that matters. The main up side is concealability. Unless I empty my pockets on the board room table, there is zero chance of being “outed”. I can recall numerous times a sweater or shirt tail has ridden up and revealed the grip of my LC9s*. Fortunately, no one noticed or no one cared. I did find myself rejecting certain items of clothing as not long enough to provide OPSEC, while rejecting other garments as too long and shambly-looking. When one pocket carries, one has the widest latitude of clothing choices. I guess that makes a third plus.

I have always pocket carried at home. It’s safer for playing with kids, and it also obviates that awkward (and humorous) moment when the wife snuggles up to me and whacks her hip into a hunk of metal, then rolls her eyes in the unspoken lament of wives everywhere (“Do you have to carry that thing in the house?“). So now when I get home from work, I just transfer my pocket gun from work pants to home pants — no more clearing my “day” gun and changing up at the safe. It’s a small thing, but I look for benefits where I can.

So a few minuses, but quite a few pluses. Conclusion: pocket carry works in my workplace.

*Oddly enough, the only time I was really outed was with the P3AT. I was at a church meeting and heard the vicar shout “Are you packing?!” Sure enough, my sweater had ridden up and revealed the small grip of my Kel-Tec. I affirmed I was and that was the end of it — it’s perfectly legal to carry in church in my state. But I took that holster out of rotation — it rode high, which allowed the outing to occur.

I have found that ride height and grip length are the two things that contribute most to “outing”. I don’t think I was ever outed with my Glock 26 or SIG P290, both with shorter grips than the LC9. But they had other qualities that didn’t work for me.

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