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When TTAG posted my Halloween pumpkin carving photos some readers got their BVDs in a twist because I was armed in the snaps. I’ve been bombarded with questions regarding my mental health, parenting choices and drinking habits – all because I home carry. I actually don’t home carry . . . I carry. Period.

I wake up, I get my XD off my nightstand, I chamber a round, and I put the gun in my holster. Then I get dressed. The gun comes off at night when I go to bed. I take it out of the holster, remove the round from the chamber (as I have discussed before, I have two children, and I have reasons for unloading the gun) and put it on my nightstand.

Other than a shower midday – when the gun is placed on top of the medicine cabinet in my bathroom – I don’t remove it. I just don’t. If I’m staying home that day, I don’t make an effort to conceal my gun at all, but I still “wear” it.

I don’t remove my gun to go anywhere unless I have to be in a courthouse – where I’ve only been a few times for jury duty. I also disarmed before my my stay in the hospital last May as well, but I was in a lot of pain and my left eye was swollen shut. And . . . that’s it. If a business bans guns I simply don’t go there.

Some people have to remove their gun for work. Some only carry when they think their risk is high. Some prefer to disarm when they get home. It’s not for me to tell people how to live. But this much I know: it’s better to have a gun and not need it than need it and not have it. No matter where you happen to be when, God forbid, the need arises.

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  1. I’ve got some crazy looks from my wife’s family when she told them I carry everywhere including the bathroom. My answer to it is it’s not like you can run away with your pants down. I carry everywhere because you never know when you are going to need it.

    • “I’ve got some crazy looks from my wife’s family when she told them I carry everywhere including the bathroom.”

      Lynne Russell’s husband was in the bathroom and disarmed when a thug strong-armed his way into their motel room a few months back.

      When he came out of the bathroom with something other than a gun in his hand, Lynne was kind enough to hand her hubby her purse.

      It had her gun in it… Hubby accurately launched lead at the thug.

      I wonder if he carries there now? H’mm…

      • Thank you for the details, as that is an inspiring story.
        I’d rather imagine Lynne coming out of the bathroom with her guns in her hands…

    • Look what happened to John Travolta’s character in the movie Pulp Fiction when he took a dump without his gun. Guy at the the local gun store says he has a dedicated bathroom gun- I’m guessing it’s a “Browning”, lol.

  2. I don’t home carry. I built my home to be a literal fortress. I have six inch thick solid doors that weigh 300lbs each. I have narrow slit windows that are 8″ wide and give me a 360º view on every floor. I live miles from the nearest house. My walls are two feet thick, 4″ of that is concrete.

    I did all this so that when I am at home I don’t have to put up with the weight, discomfort and vigilance needed to carry a gun. I save that for when I go into town.

    If you live in a death trap aka, the typical american home, then by all means, carry.

        • With two foot thick concrete reinforced walls, you’re good for a near miss from a nuclear strike.

        • That was the idea…but even better than being prepared for that, I live in a place with no hurricanes, floods (I’m on the top of a 300 foot hill) and as far as zombies there are only 5k people within 50 miles of me and I have enough ammo to kill every single one when they go zombie. The best defense is to live in place with little chance of natural disaster, and then put two feet of concrete re-enforced wall around it.

      • Building codes are something that happens to other people as far as I am concerned.

        Also, I live in rural Montana so codes where not a problem, but in general I view them the same way I view gun registration. I never understand why people put up with them.

      • I don’t have a problem with building codes, in theory. I’ve lived in houses that were built before codes and now I live in one built according to code. I definitely prefer the latter. Of course, I live in a county with an honest building inspector who actually does his job, so there is that.

        Generally building codes are a lot like gun laws – In urban areas they are strict, complicated and sometimes absolutely ridiculous. The further you get from large population centers, the less restrictive they become.

    • Geez, even the third pig with the brick house is going to crash at your place when the Big Bad Wolf comes around huffing and puffing.

        • BTW….I honestly love the fact that most people don’t believe my house is a real place until they see it. Its kinda sad though that so many people live in glorified cardboard boxes they can’t even imagine building and living in a literal fortress.

        • Cool house, not really a fortress though. Stucco is not nearly as dense as standard concrete. You would have to shotcrete it for that. A decent rifle round would have a good chance of going through the walls. I have seen people break right through the walls on straw houses.

        • Your right about regular stucco, which is usually more of a plaster and only applied 1/2 thick and only on exterior walls. This stuff is concrete based (finer gravel than normal) and applied 2″ thick on both the inside and outside and reenforced with welded 12 gauge mesh, not just the lightweight chicken wire of most Stucco. It easily stops .223 rounds and handguns. .308 does make it all the wall through.

          And yes, its not perfect. You could get through if you spent a little time with a hammer breaking away the stucco and then used wire cutters to take out the steel and a chainsaw to go through the straw…but on the other hand, you can also break through the walls of most houses with a lot less.

      • Nope. Look up the specs on strawbale houses. They are like trying to burn a phone book. The straw is so densely packed no air can get in. They are off the scale when it comes to fire ratings.

    • Yep. The most regular limitation for me is my kids school. If I have to go by there at any point in the day, that pretty much rules out carry all day. Kind of stupid, but it’s the law.

  3. My XDs is with me more than my shadow. Like Ms Tipton, it goes with me everywhere but where it is illegal. I also avoid businesses that do not welcome those carrying. Yes, it goes with me to the bathroom, out doing yard work, everywhere. If I have my pants on, it is on me. If I have no pants on, it is no further away than arm’s length. Why carry at all if you do not carry always???

    • Get one of the concealed carry undershirts, then you can carry even in light shorts or no pants. I use ’em for jogging (well I flip back and forth between them and BDU shorts with a web belt).

  4. Good for you! I carry much of the time in the house, but have guns in every room anyway. I have not gone out of the house unarmed in ten years, and never will if I can help it. Luckily, the only place here where my gun is prohibited by “law” is the post office, and I’d rather have a root canal than go there anyway. 🙂 I respect private property, of course, so wouldn’t go in anywhere my gun was unwelcome. That’s exactly two places so far…

    • Basically the same here. I’m dreading the showdown in January when OC is legal and Whataburger either enforces or backpedals their declared OC ban.

      I’m not some wannabe Whataburger Ninja (is that even a thing?), so I’m not going in kitted up and looking for trouble. I just want to purchase one of the same delicious hamburgers as I have for decades, only this time while inconspicuously openly carrying my G26.

      If they’re not going to put up a sign, it’ll be up to them to speak to me like a man and tell me to my face that they despise and disapprove of my human rights. No arguments. No trespassing. Just say it to my face and I’ll say it to theirs that I’m taking my business elsewhere.

      • @Jonathan, from what I read, they will allow CC, but will probably have up signs prohibiting OC. I’m still going to eat there, but I hadn’t planned on OC’ing anyway as I prefer the element of surprise here in H-town. Sorry to hear you’ll be missing out on their burgers come Jan 1…

        • Right now I’m currently stationed in Oklahoma City and open carry all the time in the whataburger by my house. I’ve never had a problem so we’ll see about houston when I move back down there in Jan. But I am really looking forward to open carry in TX. I open carry everyday here except when I have to go to work (pesky govt) and will be glad to not have to change to the G42 over my G22.

  5. You go girl! And I mean that with the utmost of respect for women. But as an aside…nuthin hotter than a pistol packin gal in jeans and boots! WOOOHOOO!

  6. When I’m at home, I’m generally not clothed in a manner that befits carrying. But, I have tons of guns all over the house. There’s always one within reach

    Anyone who gets their unmentionables in a bind over it should be forced to floss with them.

    Oh, and also; Dayum! Suddenly cloning seems like a good idea. 😉

  7. “When TTAG posted my Halloween pumpkin carving photos some readers got their BVDs in a twist because I was armed in the snaps.”

    I just skimmed through that post again, and the comments below it, and I did not detect and twisted nickers.

    Call me confused, Sara. Who is questioning your mental health?

    • Maybe offensive posts of that nature have already been removed? Or maybe emails were sent in to TTAG’s address? I’m not sure. Wouldn’t surprise me if she caught some static, though. After all, she caught it from her own family. Angry Internet strangers seem at least as likely another source.

      • Many of those angry Internet strangers are junior-league Elliot Rodger types. They ain’t gettin’ any so they take it out on Sarah.

    • I believe that Sara got grief from family and “friends” … either face-to-face, on the phone, via facebook, etc.

  8. Although I can’t personally advocate sleeping next to an unloaded gun, I’m not an expert and don’t pretend to tell other people what to do.

    *However* this is a good time to mention that IF you do what most people do in this situation, which is drop mag, run slide, set cartridge aside, re-load magazine


    wake up, rack slide, drop mag, put spare round back in magazine to top off,

    than you run the risk of setting that round back after as few as 5 eject/top off/reload cycles. And a set back round, particularly in a .40 which is what I think you mentioned you carry, is extremely dangerous as the over-pressure could explode the gun.

    • Keep in mind there are two rounds trading places in that sequence.
      Wouldn’t hurt to throw a pair of calipers on those two rounds and compare them to the rest of the magazine.

    • When loading my 1911, I go through these steps:
      (1) Lock back the slide.
      (2) Drop a round into the chamber through the ejection port.
      (3) With my fingers well away from the trigger, drop the slide.
      (4) Set the thumb safety.
      (5) Insert the loaded magazine.

      Since none of the cartridges are being slammed into the chamber, I don’t see how they could suffer bullet setback.

      • You may want to check on that, there are some theories that bullets need to be stripped from the mag so they slide into the extractor area, having the slide slam onto a bullet sitting in the chamber could lead to extractor damage over time.

      • It is possible that you are setting yourself up for a premature extractor failure. The extractors on most, if not all, autos are not designed to ride over the rebated rim of the case. As the case is brought up from the magazine the extractor claw rides into the groove in the case with very little movement of the extractor. By chambering a round and then dropping the slide you are forcing the extractor to move 3-4X what it is designed for. Yes, you can do it many times with no visible effect but eventually the claw is chipped or the extractor breaks somewhere along its length.

        We should ask our resident Gunsmith to chime in, I’ll go with whatever he says.

        I reload my Colt Combat Commander thusly:
        1) Slide locked back
        2) Insert magazine with at least one round
        3) Release the slide (NOT using the slide LOCK lever)
        4) Safety on
        5) Remove magazine, insert rounds to fill, reinsert magazine

        This works for all semi-autos that I am aware of, just omit #4 as necessary. Also, as a reference, I have over 20,000 rounds on my original Commander extractor. (One example, however, means nothing.)

    • Rapid setback is a myth with decent ammo, chamber a round 50 times with calipers, I bet it doesn’t go out of spec.

      • Was gonna post something similar.

        Can’t say it never happens, but I have measured many, many a round that has been chambered many times and have never seen it.

        I think set-back is yet another overblown “issue” created by magazine writers to sound smart and technical, and once it appeared in print has since been taken as gospel.

        I’d say if set-back is happening, that ammo likely has a low neck tension problem and would not be very accurate anyway.

        Another +1 for handloading. It teaches you to actually measure things than merely to take the word of magazine writers, bloggers and other Geezer Science aficionados.

        • That certainly has not been my experience. I have seen set back not once but many times over years. At the very least when you constantly chamber and re-chamber the same round when loading and unloading the gun the bullet becomes loose in the case mouth and sometimes you can even rotate the bullet in the case neck by hand. This allows moisture and any gun oil to enter the cartridge rendering the power inert. I once drew a .25 auto pistol pulled the trigger and the bullet barely made it out of the barrel. I actually saw the bullet traveling through the air it was going so slow and the report of the firing was muffled from the rotten contaminated powder. It taught me to and chamber the first round never feeding it from the magazine and to always paint a slick of polyurethane around the junction of the case mouth and bullet to keep out moisture or oil and ditto for a drop on the primer as well.

          Feeding a round by hand unfortunately cannot be done on some guns like the 1911 with the original controlled feed style extractor. This will ruin the extractor bending it and causing jams and sometimes will break it as well as that style of controlled feed extractor was only meant to feed cartridges from the magazine. The only solution is to remove the constantly chambered round after awhile and relegate it to practice ammo.

          Of course all this is lost on Jethro as he will tell you with a solemn face that all guns are totally indestructible, the Hollywood Movies have taught him that, and of course due to his indolent and frugal nature he will proclaim that you never have to clean your gun or oil it and absolutely never put a drop of any grease on the pressure points (which he says do not exist) because any use of grease will cause the gun to explode like an atomic bomb and he will immediately disappear in a red puff of mist. Naturally his auto pistols rattle like an old tin can with rocks in it but this bothers him not a wit as he will tell you practice is too expensive anyway so he does not worry about lack of accuracy.

        • Meh. I’ve measured many rounds chambered multiple times without seeing it.

          Maybe my ammo just has better neck tension? Who knows.

          Here’s a question: Can you provide one documented case where a pistol has been blown up due to ‘set back’ of the bullet? Not a he-said or heard-it-from-so-and-so…but an actual case-study with an engineering analysis of the cause?

          I’m not saying such a case is not out there, but I’d like to see an actual citation if it is.

  9. I usually don’t have one in the pipe if I’m carrying at home. Where I live, aside from the random ninja, it would be pretty impressive to get all the way inside my house, past my 100lb k9 and pose a deadly threat before I could chamber a round.
    And then I’d only be using a pistol to clear a path to my “say ello to all my lil friends” vault..
    Plus, as much as I practice room clearing at home, it greatly reduces the chance of me having a rogue brain fart and ND in the house, then have to sound like I have “battered wife sindrome” explaining to the cops don’t take her, I diserved this a$$ whooping.. Ha ha ha

  10. I don’t understand why at home, you would carry, IWB. A nice leather holster away from your skin is so much more comfortable. And a nice handgun safe that can be quickly opened in the dark is preferable to bullet setback from constantly chambering.

    • My Crossbreed Supertuck IWB is comfortable enough with my Glock 26 that I forget it’s there. Preferences aside, there is much to be said for the simplicity of one holster, all the time, everywhere. Throw your shirt tail over it and run your errands around town without having to swap anything out. The less you have to handle the gun, the better.

      • Ditto on the CB Supertuck. I carry a full size, steel frame over 40 ounce pistol in mine and just can’t understand where all the “too uncomfortable” type comments come from.

        That said…everyone is different. CB may not be for all; choices are good. One should be able to find something that works well for Every Day Carry. So, if whatever works works fine for CC or OC OUTSIDE the home, I can’t imagine why it would be any less comfortable INSIDE the home.

    • “I don’t understand why at home, you would carry, IWB.”

      Why not?

      What about carrying at home makes carry any different from carrying outside the home?

      I don’t understand this “logic” at all.

      This is kind of Sarah’s point, I think…just carry.

  11. When I took my carry course, we were taught to keep the weapon truly secure, you should always carry. Period. The safest gun is a gun that is always controlled, therefore carried and always within reach when possible. I had the best instructor. Period.

  12. I applaud Ms. Tipton’s realistic approach and her candor about her carry habits.
    I have at least one gun within arms reach 24/7.

    • Bing Quantrill: “Hey, Dad. You want the Magnum .357 in the house?”

      Wynn Quantrill: “Darn it, Bing. I told you not to play around with my guns. No, I do not want that in the house. That is my car gun. My house gun is already in the house. Now, put that back in the glove compartment, and don’t let me catch you fooling with my guns again.”

      Bing Quantrill: “I’m sorry, Dad.”

      Wynn Quantrill: “Great kid.”

      Dr. Sidney Schaefer: “I thought you said you were an accountant.”

      Wynn Quantrill: “I am.”

      Dr. Sidney Schaefer: “Why do you have all these guns around, then?”

      Wynn Quantrill: “You know.”

      –‘The President’s Analyst’ (1967)

  13. It’s so easy to just stick a little NAA 22 Magnum revolver in your pocket (with pocket holster) and forget about it. Mines there all the time, even when I get my 38, to wear to town.

  14. If I lived in an area that was so dangerous I had to home carry I would move. Now I do not deny such places exist especially in big cities and I do not deny some people cannot move because of economic reasons or commuting distances being too far so in these cases it may necessary. Having said all that in my personal life I have run across people that were not living in a dangerous area at all but they had become so overcome with paranoia that they ended up ruining their personal lives. Personal tragedy may cause this or a traumatic experience as a child, never the less sometimes a mental health clinic is helpful when everyone in the area is not worried about carrying at home and there has been no crime there for eons of time.

    • I carry all the time and don’t live in a dangerous neighborhood at all, probably like a lot of TTAG people. I do it because:
      a) I like having my firearm with me at all times, just in case,
      b) I don’t want to have to strap on when I leave and strap off when I get home, avoiding multiple trips to the safe every day,
      c) for times when I go outside on a walk with my family after work, see b) above.
      d) and for that freak time when not every safe area is safe 100% of the time. Things happen occasionally even in good neighborhoods.

    • Home carry isn’t paranoia – it’s being prepared. It’s the choice to be ready in case the “bad guy” forgets to text or call ahead of the “visit” to let me know he’ll be stopping by. Burglaries, home invasions, etc happen all the time in areas where people say “but…this is a safe neighborhood, how could that have happened here..”.

  15. Wife asked why I carry in the house.
    “Decepticons” I replied.
    She laughed, I laughed, the toaster laughed. So I shot it.

  16. In jurisdictions where it is difficult or impossible to legally carry outside your home, carrying inside it is usually legal. If you have the misfortune to live in a bad neighborhood, home carry would be wise.

  17. I wake up, I get my XD off my nightstand, I chamber a round, and I put the gun in my holster. Then I get dressed. The gun comes off at night when I go to bed. I take it out of the holster, remove the round from the chamber (as I have discussed before, I have two children, and I have reasons for unloading the gun) and put it on my nightstand.

    Seems to me that a simplex-lock bedside handgun safe is a safer and quicker option than chambering and unchambering every morning and evening.

  18. Yeah I’m armed at home. I try not to get OCD about it(my wife makes fun of me). You need new friends/family Sara…

  19. I didn’t use to carry with a round chambered. Then I started doing it only when I was away from home. Now I carry OWB with a round chambered all the time, so that I don’t have to wonder when I’m out and about if a round is chambered or not. I then put my EDC gun (XDs-9) in a Sentry quick access pistol safe next to my bed at night – with a round chambered. This avoids the over-pressure condition some have mentioned, and it’s locked up from kids, and I can access it quickly.

  20. i heard on the radio this morning that some guy in dallas protected his kid by stabbing a home invader with a pumpkin carving knife. but, sara is a paranoid dummy for “needing a gun while pumpkin carving”…

  21. My safe beeps when you open or close it. Its by the bed, and I need to put the number in and turn a key. A true PITA.
    I mostly leave it up high and out of reach from my little one. My wife cant normally reach it without help. And she forgets the safe combination all the time. I get ready I carry unless im somewhere im not supposed to including football games. My firearms are locked up in the vehicles. Out of reach for some at home, or carried. Cant shower with one, so I keep it on my counter. I’m relatively armed, all the time or close to it. Does feel funny in a hospital bed with it so far away. I’ve got an alarm system, widow alerts, and motion activity alarms. My little one is 3, I’m trying to teach safety, and good practices. Dont care what others think! I’ve carried at others properties and thought nothing of it or told them cause I am used to having it and/or forgot if I already told them some other past time. I go to church, an shopping with mine. I have a card, I dont care, you care so what I am allowed… 😀

  22. A fellow co-worker told me he keeps pistols hidden throughout his house. One of the places is in the freezer compartment of his refrigerator. How’s that for a hiding place? Kids are all grown and gone.

  23. I got 2 home defenses, first one is my family’s guns. Most of my family carries. Second is our dogs, 1 pitbull and one half pit half boxer. If my dogs don’t trust you, I don’t trust you.

    Dogs hate strange noises and woke us up once during a home invasion. My pits ran the bad guys out before they ended up meeting the business ends of my husband’s PPQ and my brother’s 1911, I didn’t carry before then. Do now. If it wasn’t for the dogs waking us up who knows what would of happened.


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