appendix carry no holster
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The vast majority of gun owners in this country are safe and law-abiding and there are solid statistics to back that up. In a nation with over 100 million gun owners and more than 400 million civilian-owned firearms, accidental gun deaths reached a new record low in the most recent reporting period. Americans obviously take the four rules seriously and that’s reflected in the numbers.

Still, in a population that large, there will inevitably be a few outliers who will give the rest of us a bad name. Take, for instance, Nicholas J. Ellingford. He was in a Lincoln City, Oregon grocery store Sunday when he had the uncontrollable urge to show his 9mm carry pistol to a friend.

In a grocery store.

Waiving a gun around in a store is bad enough, but the real problem came when he was finished peacocking and tried to put the gun away…which he apparently was carrying appendix-style.


Ellingford mistakenly pulled the trigger as he stuffed the piece back into his pants, police said. A bullet tore through the gunslinger’s groin and exited his thigh, just barely missing the man’s femoral artery.

Reports don’t indicate whether Ellingford was using a holster or not. Fortunately, no one else was hurt.

Almost worse, when police arrived and investigated, they discovered that Ellingford doesn’t have a concealed carry permit. So on top of dealing with his wounds and a likely reckless endangerment charge, he’s probably also looking at a charge of carrying a firearm illegally.

Ellingford could very well lose his gun rights altogether depending on the charges and how the prosecution shakes out. The rest of us will continue on in our usual safe responsible ways.


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    • Unfortunately this kind of thing happens way too often. If you remember just a few years ago in California, a cop showing off his back up gun and demonstrating his ability to draw the gun to a sheriff’s deputy while they were both in the office inside the station, shot and killed the deputy when he delivered a fatal gun shot to the deputy’s chest. Now just think about that for a moment and dwell on what had to happen in order for this to have occurred. Before continuing to show and to demonstrate his gun to the deputy, this cop failed to clear the weapon thereby violating the first rule of gun safety. Then he violated the second rule when he pointed the gun at the deputy. And then finally, he violated the third rule of gun safety when he placed his finger on the trigger. All of the first three rules out the four rules of gun safety had to be violated in order for this “accident” to have occurred. To my way of thinking, there is no reason for something like this to have been allowed to happen. But the only way to prevent something like this is by making gun safety a habit. Gun safety has to be become a habit and this can only happen if you NEVER allow yourself to forgo adherence to all of the rules of gun safety. That means that even if home alone cleaning your gun and you know that its empty and then you are distracted for two minutes by a knock at the door or a phone call, that upon returning to your work area and before you continue and as soon as you touch the gun again, that the first thing you do is to safety check the weapon. And yes one can certainly argue that this is redundant and not really necessary… except that it is if you want to make gun safety a habit. And after all, what does it really cost you to do this simple and easy check? Maybe all of two seconds of your time. To my way of thinking it is well worth the price and sure beats the alternative if you should ever experience one of those so called “accidents” and then have to find yourself saying that stupid tired line we have heard so many times before; “I didn’t mean to do that, it was an accident. I didn’t think the gun was loaded”.

      • Rule 1: Treat ALL firearms as if they are loaded…

        The rest of the Rules of Firearm Safety are just extrapolations of #1.

      • Well, hell, you’re no fun. Up until your post I was near falling down I was laughing so hard! It is just wonderful to get such a hilarious reminder of why we have rules.

  1. From Wikipedia: “Concealed carry is legal only with an Oregon Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Oregon CHLs require an applicant to be at least 21 years of age and demonstrate competence with a handgun.” At least when this guy would have tried to show handgun competence, he would have shot himself at the range, thereby showing to himself and others he shouldn’t be conceal carrying until he was competent drawing and re-holstering. Not mention, at least at the range, he’d be legal. It is an inconvenience, but certainly do-able, to get a CCW – even in Oregon. The height of stupidity to even reveal his concealed weapon in public and worse yet, to nearly kill himself only to stoke his ego. Glad he will recover, but he’s in for a world of hurt with paying for a lawyer to defend against his illegal carry. Best defense would be for the lawyer to contest that the state requiring a permit to carry infringes on his 2A rights (which I believe is true), but he may need an organization to back him on that one.

    • Its extremely easy to get a CHL in Oregon. No live fire is required and “competence” can be shown with as little as an online course. Most of Oregon isn’t Portland, the state is extremely gun friendly, at the moment. Something like 10% of the adult population has a CHL.

        • Which part of the constitution states that?
          Anything other than SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED is just subversion, sedition, obstruction and conspiracy to commit and should be punished with summary executions after the conviction.

  2. Seems like typical gang banger behavior. No CHL, no holster, no respect for what the gun can do, no regard for his own safety or those around him.

    He isn’t one of us. He’s one of them.

  3. Don’t know if the conceal carry charge will hold in court if the firearm was visible. Surely the injured was not attempting to fully conceal a firearm beside his mr. happy/mr.unhappy? There is a whole lot of no permit concealed carrying going on because conceal carry laws force people who passed NCIC to leave their firearm at home or in the car while they risk going in stores where it is almost certain someone in the store is either a shop lifter, or dumbazz, or a has a rap sheet a yard long for no telling what.

    • FYI: In Oregon citizens can Open carry without a permit unless they have been disqualified due to being a felon, under 18 years of age, committed a crime as a Juvenal that would have been a felony otherwise, convicted of domestic assault/abuse, stalking or have killed or injured another individual with a firearm in a reckless manner. So unless the police actually observed the firearm concealed. The concealed carry violation a Class A Misdemeanor, will most likely not stand. If he has a good lawyer.

      • Why am I suspicious that after shooting himself in the junk, by the time the cops got there the gun was anything but concealed.

  4. Bound to happen (a lot)! Lots of these newbies still think it’s like their video games, and the guns dont come with the disclaimer, “must be smarter than the gun”!

    • I am actually surprised we’ve not hear more of these lately.
      If the level of understanding is on a grander scale is anything close to what I’ve been seeing at my local public shooting range lately, we should be reading more of this type of thing soon.

    • No, he’s a RWNJ armchair commando.

      Doing all he can to advance the cause of private firearms ownership in the United States by setting an exemplary example for other citizens to follow, he’ll be voting Trump in November!

  5. well if he got enough of it he will not be creating more idiots to follow him but thats what he gets for being stupid enough for carrying a gun with one in the pipe in his pants he loses his pipe

  6. He shot me right in the eye, the fun times are over for both of us now. Nick will live in infamy, together with John Bobbitt and Wu-Tang’s Christ Bearer for the damage he has done to me.

  7. I’ve never understood the need to flash your burner.

    So, for some reason you decided to conceal your gun. OK, fair. But if not letting people know you’re packing is your goal then why are you intentionally letting people know you’re packing? It defeats the entire purpose of what you’re doing in the first place. Like telling someone you’re about to sucker punch them.

    As Carlin said “So, where does the surprise part come in?”.

  8. What we have here is multiple failures. The lack if common sense, very apparent, led to losing part if his junk. His parent(s) failed his development, possibly opting for drugs to keep him manageable, his education lacked teaching how to think critically, and he was allowed to live life dumb and happy. Well not so much now since Mr Happy tool a hit for the home team.

  9. I know this guy was mentally challenged but still, this is why I won’t carry in that position.

    It just doesn’t make sense to carry a firearm in a position aimed at oneself. No matter the safeties and drills and stuff involved in making sure you are less likely to shoot yourself.

    Note that there is NO guarantee you won’t. Note that some of the four rules are violated by carrying in that position.

    If I’m gonna flag someone it’s gonna not be me.

    • This is one of those things where it’s personal preference.

      All methods of carrying a pistol will flag some part of you at some point. Quality holsters will not allow the pistol to be discharged while it’s in the holster. If you have such a holster that makes the issue drawing and reholstering or retention during a struggle. For AWIB, a method I’m not a big fan of, you can remove the entire rig, holster the gun and then attach the rig and you’re safe.

      You can pull a Tex and shoot yourself while drawing from OWB. So, really it’s not the carry position, it’s if you’re being silly. Or without a holster you can easily pull a Plaxico. With any holster clothing can get inside the trigger guard and discharge the gun while you’re holstering it and often it will be pointed at some part of you unless you’re specifically contorting your body to avoid that issue. The question is which part of you it’s pointed at.

      There are valid reasons to AWIB in certain situations. It gives you far better defense against someone trying to take your gun. This is why contractors overseas often use AWIB. But you also have to keep in mind that such people are actually disciplined enough not to flash their gun, it stays in the holster unless it has to come out and if it goes back the job is done so a few extra seconds to reporter safely doesn’t matter. So when they advocate the carry position they’re often assuming that you’re not a moron, you are disciplined and that you’ve actually got a decently safe draw in the first place.

    • “It just doesn’t make sense to carry a firearm in a position aimed at oneself. No matter the safeties and drills and stuff involved in making sure you are less likely to shoot yourself.”

      A valid concern, but the choice of weapon can mitigate the vast majority of those problems.

      A DAO Ruger LCR, for example, is about as safe as it gets for appendix carry. That long, heavy trigger is its safety, in my book. You really have to expend some effort to fire it.

      A striker-fired Glock, on the other hand, is an accident waiting to happen…

      • any gun is an accident waiting to happen… if you let it. Doesn’t matter if it has and external safety of a 30lb trigger. That’s like saying owning a mop without a wet floor sign is an accident waiting to happen.

  10. now mr rocket scientist can push the start-over button and see if it works….just one more b.l.m.supporter that will never need a jock-strap again….

  11. Massive medical bills.
    Medical helicopter rides ain’t cheap.
    Loses his gun rights.
    Damn near died.
    Huge legal defense bills.
    Questionable if he wil ever play the violin again.

    And every human what knows him pointing and snickering for the rest of his days.

    Um, nope, no sympathy found at all.

  12. Let me guess.
    Double action only, striker fired, semiautomatic pistol with no manual safety because by God, his trigger finger was his safety.
    Think of it as evolution in action.
    I will continue to carry my third generation, Smith and Wesson, double action, semiautomatic pistols with manual safety / decocking lever and a magazine disconnect safety.

    • You miss the larger lesson here, Elmer.
      Someone that stupid could figure out a way to shoot himself in the junk with flintlock rifle.

    • As usual, the Tacti-Cool-Fools refuse to acknowledge reality. The most probable cause of this unintentional discharge is that the guy snagged the trigger on something as he was reholstrring his pistol. I doubt that he intentionally squeezed the trigger. Someone else made the point about the proper procedure for appendix carry. However; engaging a manual safety is an alternative or suplementary procedure that can avoid the risk of an unintentional discharge.

      I carry in a PagerPal holster. It is slow to draw but extremely discreet and secure. I always holster the weapon before slipping the holster into my pants. However; the manual safety is added insurance.

      The Tacti-Cool-Fools will of course ridicule me for being obsessive about the risk of an accidental discharge and my tortoise speed draw time. However; I find that I have to arm myself and disarm myself hundreds of times for every incident where I have felt threatened enough to draw a weapon. In almost every situation where I have felt the need to draw a weapon, I had suffecient tactical warning to retrieve a rifle rather than just draw my carry pistol.
      You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand that your odds of shooting yourself during your everyday routine vastly exceed your odds of getting shot because you were slow to draw your pistol.

      • Elmer,

        Kudos on your approach to safely carrying…however, not really applicable to this particular story.

        The guy in Oregon was carrying a Glock – no manual safety.

        As much as I don’t care for Glocks they do not “just go off” without something interacting with the Glock Safe-Action Trigger…something snagged the trigger…his zipper, his finger, his shirttail, the “little guy” stretching for attention…lots of possibilities.

        • That is my point exactly. I own several Glock pistols. I love to shoot Glock pistols. If I have to be in a gun fight but can’t have a .50 BMG to engage the enemy from half a mile away or at least an AR-15, a Glock would be among my first choices along with my S&W 1006 or my Dessert Eagle in .50 AE loaded with sabot rounds. However; I’m far to cowardly to actually carry a Glock pistol for everyday carry because they don’t have a manual safety. I know all of the procedures that should prevent accidents but I also understand that feces occurs.
          As someone else mentioned, striker fired pistols such as a Glock are the wrong choice for appendix carry.

        • Elmer,

          Knowing that ooopses can and will (eventually) happen…I chose NOT to carry appendix. Life is about risk management…sticking a loaded firearm in your groin is a generally poor idea…there’s just too many important body parts concentrated there…reproductive organ(s), intestines, bladder, hips, femurs, arteries, etc…ballistic or concussive damage to any of these sub-systems will cause intense pain and, possibly, death…not my cup of tea. Left or right hip or shoulder holster has worked for me for decades, I see no pressing need to change to a carry style that is (in my eyes) inherently less safe.

          Side note: would like to see a “Dessert” Eagle .50AE carried Gangsta’ Style…finally, an explanation for sagging pants.

      • The most probable cause of this unintentional discharge is that the guy was a moron.

        You can’t fix stupid. even with a holster and a manual safety.

  13. The cover photo doesn’t show what I’d call appendix carry. You need a proper holster. Lot to be said for appendix carry, if you have the right physique with the right gun.

    • Duke, you are absolutely correct that open carry is legal in Oregone,
      In rural Oregone, it’s common & no big deal,
      In the large Metro areas, it’s a big deal,,,, you will be stopped every two blocks by the fuzz, cause some SNOWFLAKES will just about have a coronary, plus a majority of the establishments have no weapons signs on the entrances.

  14. Too bad for him BUT… its actually good that these things happen. The world needs real world examples to indicate the wisdom of following the safety rules. So…thanks, dumb guy, for taking one (or two…it didn’t say for sure) for the team.

  15. He had a god given right to carry a gun for self defense. It is also his body, his choice. If he decided to do elective surgery without a doctor that is his choice.

    In America we have freedom of choice. 🙂

    • No, another stable genius NRA member:

      “ Oregon man’s Facebook page inundated with him posing with guns

      Local media reported no one else being injured.

      A regard of the man’s Facebook page revealed Ellingford to be an ardent NRA supporter and gun fan with the man posing in a series of photos with various guns. It remained unclear how the man who doesn’t have a concealed carry license was able to acquire the weapons?

      Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Lincoln City Police Senior Office Jayne Johnson at 541-994-3636.“

      Hopefully for society this proud Trump voter has now lost the ability to reproduce.

      • “It remained unclear how the man who doesn’t have a concealed carry license was able to acquire the weapons?”

        Unclear only to the idiot who wrote that painfully ungrammatical and stupid sentence. There is no place in the entire US, not even garbage states like New Jersey, where you have to have a concealed carry license to simply acquire a firearm.

        It may be unclear how an idiot like that managed to handle so many guns without shooting himself long before this…but that’s a different story.

        • Someone actually got paid to write that in order to inform people. I’ll occasionally read left wing political pieces, but it’s gotten so bad, it’s difficult to get beyond the first paragraph.

  16. He deserves an “I R Stoopid” tattoo across his forehead just for the fact he decided to draw his firearm and show it off. Bonus points for doing it in line at a grocery store.

  17. This reminds me of the recent fad for “owning the fudds” by posting a picture of oneself with a gun pointed at one’s genitals. Apparently this has also produced some embarrassing negligent discharges.
    I wish we knew whether this was an actual Darwin Award or just a near miss.
    I think he should be deported for conduct unbecoming of an Oregonian

  18. I don’t care how many guns you have. Or how long you have had guns. If you don’t respect firearm’s you will eventually have an accident. Hopefully you will only harm yourself.

  19. When my youngest son started carrying a gunm I told him, “This pistol is like your penis, you don’t pull it out unless your going to use it.”

  20. The Village Idiot, insurance should decline any claim and the State/City/County should revoke his ability to carry any weapon larger that a single shot B B Gun.

  21. Read the story because this article leaves out a critical point: The gun was a Glock.

    OK, he may have done many other things wrong, but if he had been carrying a DAO or uncocked DA/SA weapon, the extra effort needed to pull the trigger would probably have alerted him to the impending disaster before the cap got crushed.

    DA revolvers became commonplace in the 1880’s. From then until today, that class of pistol has almost never produced unintended discharges when holstering. Why? Long and hard trigger pulls.

    So pay attention to Firearm Safety Rule 0: You will make mistakes, so plan ahead for them. In this instance, that means NEVER carry any pistol in a concealed location unless ALL tension is removed from the firing spring or the chamber is empty. Hard and long first trigger pulls give you additional feed-back which might be enough to save your foot.

    By the way, Rule 0 also applies to appendix carry: Fast is no good if you make mistakes. And, except for Jesus Christ, we all make mistakes.

  22. During this same timeframe a dude here in Montana shot himself in the crotch and out his leg with a 45. I heard he was acting all tough guy he was trying to pull the pistol out the front of his pants and someone else was pushing and pulling til the trigger got pulled. It was one of those who has no business handling a gun anyway. I don’t know what happened to the pistol if the police confiscated it or what.


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