The Bathroom Carry Conundrum

What to do with your heater while seeing a man about a dog – or more critically, dropping a deuce – has vexed gun owners since elimination technology progressed from the outhouse to indoor plumbing. Public facility stalls that don’t extend to the floor tend to cause gun owners do stoopid things in order to keep their pistols on the down low. And the law of averages being what they are, the more people handle their firearms, the greater the chances of a negligent discharge. From his commentary above, Colion Noir apparently views the lack of good urinal and stall options as a nefarious hoplophobic conspiracy . . .

We’re not quite that cynical (yet). Rather, we’re more inclined to blame generally poor design and fact that the leading lights of lavatory interior design don’t tend to pack an SR9c. Still, there are ways to mitigate the problem when nature calls and given the fact that the population of concealed carriers expands daily, you’d think that Limatunes’ instructional video on safe and discreet stall stowage would have garnered more than 69,000 views in the four years since it was posted.

And don’t think no one is watching. The Atlantic’s Citylab blog has noticed and is now chronicling these bathroom discharges (the ballistic kind), including the latest porcelain shattering event in a Utah elementary school, an incident that does little to advance the campus carry movement’s cause. As you probably know, just about any firearm-related faux pas is instantly seized upon by the anti-rights crowd as evidence that the average Joe and Josephine simply can’t be trusted with the awesome responsibility that is armed self defense. Something to contemplate the next time you’re sitting on the throne.


  1. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Yet we hear stories time and time again about cops having NDs and forgotten firearms whilst eliminating.

  2. avatar big blue says:

    More of a problem for women than men, given we have the urinal option.

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      I’ve found it less than socially acceptable to use the urinal for big potty.

      Your mileage may differ than mine.


      1. avatar Avid Reader says:

        Well, then, I guess you’re not the culprit.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Don’t forget about this classic scene:

        2. avatar 16V says:

          This is why you always have something handy in the bathroom. Just sayin’…

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      In jeans, that’s been my experience; but in slacks, I’ve had trouble keeping the IWB from pulling my pants down completely while at a urinal. Standing there with knees spread out a bit and one hand on my pants to keep them up, it enhances the challenge of the task. Let’s just say, it makes getting a good purchase and shot placement a little trickier.

  3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Not an issue with a good IWB and a properly fitted holster and retention screw.
    If no retention screw and its a kyadex holster.
    A heat gun properly applied around the trigger area.
    Best bet.
    Don’t use a public restroom.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Yeah I’ve never entirely understood this issue, as I just lower my IWB rig with my pants. The gun stays in its holster, which stays on my belt, which goes down w/ the ol’ pantaloons however far they happen to go. It all gets pulled back up together, belt gets tightened, and everything proceeds as usual. I don’t see any need to remove the holster from my belt.

      …now that’s because 99% of the time I’m wearing a hybrid or kydex-only IWB holster that clips to my belt. On rare occasions I do use a Remora/StickyHolster instead (and about half the time in that case it’s IWB instead of pocket carry), and in that case leaving the rig ‘attached’ isn’t an option. I usually slip it into a pants pocket and then proceed as usual, replacing it IWB afterwards. Although I highly, highly doubt I’d simply forget it sitting somewhere in the stall, my preference is NOT removing it from my person and setting it down somewhere.

      1. avatar John Boch says:

        EXCEPT when the stall walls stop a foot below the floor and Michael Moore, in the adjacent stall, taps his foot under the divider and sees that he’s bumping your Glock 19 with his sandal and goes all apoplectic!

        From the next stall you hear: “Oh shit!” (splunk splunk… constipation cured…) Then you hear them struggling to open the stall door then they run shrieking out of the bathroom because they saw a gun (and I don’t mean the one between your legs) under the divider.


        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Are there any documented cases of someone freaking out just from seeing someone’s holstered gun hooked to their downed trousers under a stall door? This seems like the kind of thing people are worrying about way more than the real world calls for.

          Anyway, if the wuss in the next stall does get his panties all wadded up over it, and you’re carrying legally, what difference does it make to you?

        2. avatar Gene says:

          Pants do not have to flop onto the floor. They just ned to go down to just under knee level. Put the belt on the last hole, and push outwards with the knees. That’ll hold everything up and your pants aren’t dragging on questionably sanitary floors.

        3. avatar Jeremy S says:

          Do people actually drop their pants all the way to the floor? Like slouched around one’s ankles? Mine stay up by my knees. Anything belt level can’t be seen by the neighbor stalls even with a huge floor-to-stall wall gap. If you’re seeing higher than the bottom half of my shins you’re sticking your head under the stall wall and now we’re well into very awkward territory, gun or not haha

        4. avatar 16V says:

          Here’s what happens if you’re in a stall next to Michael Moore…

      2. avatar Gunr says:


  4. avatar SelousX says:

    I did post this question on a Glock board back in (I think) January. Personally, I will usually put the device down a pant leg barrel-down or place it in the crotch of my underwear. Knee-high Russian army boots make this process waaaay easier, but those are usually only worn by me during the winter. I always work to ensure the device remains unseen.

    1. avatar Chris from IA says:

      Due to the fact that the Ford Motor Company has deemed that all car keys need to be the size of a tennis racket whilst being accompanied by a fob as well, I wear my keys clipped to my belt loop with a carabiner. I started attaching a 6 inch length of 550 cord tied in a loop to my keyring as well. That way, when deuces are wild, I can put the hoop through the clip on my IWB and hang the loop on the coat hook if need be. It always holds the holster and gun properly upright and keeps both the pistol and my keys out of reach of the adjacent stall.

      Not a 100% perfect option but it serves it’s purpose.

  5. avatar PeterC says:

    The Gunsite Academy in Paulden, AZ, has the best solution: a board with dowels of different sizes (.45 and 9mm) mounted on the wall.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      Wait…you mean those dowels aren’t for measuring your….uh….never mind…

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    #1 no problem. Dropping a deuce is easily solved-don’t take a dump in a public john. Yuck 🙂

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Actually, I think when a high-speed, low-drag operator is operating, rest rooms are never an issue. I hear they power recycle all the waste. . .

  7. avatar pod says:

    Not to sound snooty but I never really considered this an issue. First of all, in a public restroom, if I’m actually having to drop the kids off at the pool, I never put my pants all the way down to the floor. Even before I carried, I knew not to do this since it is super easy for someone in the next stall over to reach for your wallet or keys or something, and you aren’t exactly in a position to do so.

    IWB or OWB, I usually hitch my pants around my knees while sitting which means my firearm is not touching the floor or visible below the stall door. And the added benefit of my pants not touching the bathroom floor either.

    Using a urinal? I wear long shirts and it’s easy to unhitch my belt, piss and keep the flap of the shirt concealing my gun.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Sorry, I’m confused…

      What is it with guys who seem to think they have to undo their belt and unbutton their trousers to use a urinal? Unclear on the concept?

      Unless you’re carrying a six inch barrel revolver IWB in the appendix position or a 1911 in one of those inside the front of the pants holsters I can’t see any situation where a concealed pistol would be an issue at a urinal.

  8. avatar DocHendo says:

    I identified this as a problem the first day I carried. What I came up with is I tuck my piece under my chin for the duration of my time in the stall. It never leaves my possession because it never gets put down. Your chin is quite strong to hold your piece to your chest. No fingers are on it except when stowing it, but you can’t walk out of the stall and forget it because you set it on the toilet paper dispenser, and it never touches the nasty floor. Give it a try. You’ll be surprised how well it works.

    1. avatar SigGuy says:

      And as a bonus when you sneeze, you get to test how nasty toilet water effects your gun…

      1. avatar Wildfire says:

        At which point, as the water starts running into the floor from the busted toilet,
        you yell: “DAMN! I swear I’m eating a few brand muffins every day from now on!”

  9. avatar Nagurski says:

    I drop the pants down halfway, put my holster and pistol in the crotch then drop underwear and pants the rest of the way. I use a N82 tactical that just clips on the belt instead of having to be threaded through the loops.

    1. avatar Esemwy says:

      +1. Love the N82 for my XDs. They’re nice people too.

  10. avatar DrewN says:

    How is this even an issue? My belt is stiff enough to keep everything right where it should be, which is behind my calf when seated. Who lets their pants touch the floor in a public restroom?

  11. avatar ThomasR says:

    I use a OC kydex holster with a paddle that I can pull off the belt as one unit so the gun never leaves the holster. Then I just tuck the handle of the pistol behind the metal bar that people use as a grip that’s bolted on the inside wall of the stall with the holster keeping the pistol from falling through.

    The pistol’s trigger is never exposed. Hence, no ND.

  12. avatar dean says:

    I enlist my valet’s assistance. He holds my gaments, billfold, knife and holster while I retain weapon and phone in hand. I prefer a pistol with a full 3 finger grip while shatting because occassionally I go “full breech” and when I do a 2 finger grip can cause a cramp.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      I think you win the Innertubes today.

    2. avatar LongBeach says:

      Many, many points awarded for ‘shatting’.

    3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I use two valets, even whilst peeing….how else can one drink a beer or light a smoke?

  13. avatar Paul53 says:

    When I take the browns to the super bowl, ie: I’m involved in a process of elimination, my gat goes with me. It can sit in my pants between my legs, in the retention holster, or some places have baby changing stations in the stalls. Never had a ND, but I’m sure it would cure everybody’s constipation.

  14. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

    Putting your piece in the crotch of your pants works.
    I’m guessing carrying a command strip hook or similar device of some kind might work also,
    but I haven’t tested or researched that one.
    I generally carry in a shoulder holster, which solves this problem nicely.
    unhook the rig from the belt, drop trow, sit down, and the pistol is still right where it was.

  15. avatar Rokurota says:

    As many concealed carry commenters are fond of saying, “NO ONE IS LOOKING AT YOU.” Or your pants around your ankles. In the bathroom. Down by the floor. As long as your firearm doesn’t fall out of your holster, there’s no need for the usual drastic solutions offered above. (My favorite: “I don’t use the bathroom.”)

  16. avatar TheBear says:

    This is far less of an issue if you’re carrying a NAA .22 mag derringer in the front pocket of your pants. 🙂

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    If worse comes to worst, deposit your EDC into your banana hammock. You won’t forget it.

  18. avatar Marcus says:

    I carry when I “drop the kids off at the pool”. Anyone remember the outhouse scene in “The Unforgiven”?

  19. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    # Taking my Ma Deuce to take a deuce…

  20. avatar Jeff O. says:

    Just leave the gun in the holster.

  21. avatar Stutz says:

    Okay, there are some really bizarre bathroom practices being bandied about here. Like some others have said, you don’t literally drop your pants all the way down to your ankles. That’s a TV trope, not something adults should actually do. You drop them just enough to expose your business, usually above your knees. Secondly, how is a urinal ever a problem? Do people really open their belt and unbutton their jeans? What on Earth for??? You know there’s a zipper, right? You know what it’s for? You also know there’s a flap in your underwear, right? And you know what that’s for? SO, you unzip, reach in, and pull it out. It’s not exactly complicated.

    Okay, end rant.

    As far as putting your gun somewhere to sit down, I typically do because I’m either using a Remora or because my gun is too heavy to hang from my pants unsupported (also because it’s difficult to hold it up when trying to tuck in my undershirt and button the pants). That’s where the TP dispenser comes in—there IS a shelf in the vast majority of bathrooms. There’s almost always plenty of real estate for the gun, in my experience. If there’s not? In that case, a decent option is tucking it under my weak-side armpit.

  22. avatar Hannibal says:

    For me, gun and clip holster off belt and into crotch of pants. Won’t be visible to others and you won’t forget the thing in the stall.

  23. avatar Slavaboo says:

    Is it really that difficult to just hold it?(while practicing proper trigger discipline and taking extra care not to muzzle sweep the guy in the stall next to you if course)

  24. avatar Daniel S. says:

    Even though I use an OWB kydex holster, this topic puts one in the “pros” column for my shoulder rig.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Since I shoulder carry for concealment reasons, I look at all this Sturm und Drang and wonder “what am I missing that makes waistband carry so popular?”

      I’m almost never made unless a woman goes to hug me. And in those rare cases when a woman does give me a hug and recoils in surprise, I just smile and say “Excuse me, I’m very happy to see you.” Even the most anti-gun of women are defused by that tactic.

      No drama in the men’s room. Better concealment. And I look thinner and more fashionable in my clothes.

      Win all the way ’round.

  25. Another reason for pocket carry.

  26. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Thanks for a delightful morning laugh, guys. I really hate using “public” restrooms too, but have figured out how to easily prevent problems on the few occasions when I must do so.

    Personally, it seems pretty simple. I can’t imagine walking off and “forgetting” something that expensive, let alone something potentially lethal if found by someone else.

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