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Carry On Concealed Carry Holsters

Where To Park Your Pistol In a Public Pooper

by James Tarr   |  March 16th, 2012 56

Anyone with a CCW will, at some point in their life, have to use a public bathroom stall.  If you are just carrying a small revolver or auto in a pocket, this is not a problem, but if you’re wearing a serious pistol on your hip there are some things you need to take into account before you take a seat. This can be a very awkward situation. I’ve never accidentally kicked my gun across a bathroom floor or dropped it into a toilet bowl, but I once had the magazine release spring on my Glock crack, so as I took the pistol out of the holster to set on the back of a toilet at a McDonald’s the magazine dropped free and—splash!—nothing but net.  I am providing these tips because I have been carrying a gun long enough that anything that can go wrong…has happened to me.  My pain is your gain.


Disrobing—when undoing your belt and lowering your pants, you will need to keep hold of your pistol/holster.  If you don’t, and just hold onto your pants and/or belt, there is a very good chance that holster will flip upside down and puke your pistol onto the floor. Will that pistol break when it hits the tile?  Probably not. Will it stay where you can reach it and not slide across the floor towards the door?  Maybe…..


Where should I put this?—if you leave the pistol in the holster when your pants are around your ankles, it is likely to fall over and just lay on the floor.  This probably isn’t the best idea. So, what should you do with the gun while you’re otherwise occupied?


You could put the pistol on the floor next to the toilet….but do you really want to set your gun on the floor of a public bathroom, right next to the toilet? You’re going to have to wash more than your hands when you get out of that stall. Also, those stall doors/walls do not usually go all the way down to the floor. That means than not only might your holster sitting around your ankles be visible to any bathroom visitors, a gun sitting on the floor probably is as well. I tend to twist my pants around my ankles so that my holster is behind my legs and either not visible or not easily identifiable as a holster.


Putting your pistol on the back of the toilet, on the tank lid, is an option, if the toilet has a tank and lid. Many public toilets don’t. If you decide to go the tank/lid route, make sure that lid is more or less flat, otherwise that pistol will slide right off when you are otherwise occupied. Also, when you have completed your transaction, don’t forget to grab your pistol before you leave the stall. I know a Michigan State Police Trooper who left his backup piece sitting on a toilet of a restaurant bathroom. Luckily the owner of the restaurant knew the trooper personally, so when his mentally handicapped employee brought him the gun he’d found in the bathroom (yep, all sorts of things could have gone wrong there) he just called the trooper, and that trooper went back and quietly picked up his gun, kept his job, and learned an important lesson.


There is no good answer to where you should put your pistol when you’re sitting there. As a last resort I sometimes lay my pistol flat inside my pants around my ankles—that way it is neither touching the floor nor visible to anyone else.


Reholstering—Once you’re done with your business and fully clothed, it will be necessary to re-holster your weapon. If you use a leather holster, no one will hear this. If, on the other hand, your holster is made out of kydex or some other synthetic, re-holstering may generate a surprising loud and (to some people) identifiable sound. My advice? Flush the toilet with one hand while reholstering with the other.


  • Andrew

    Awesome article, just for the shear sake of talking about something that people think but never talk about.

  • Ted

    Here's what you do. Pull your pants down half way. Pull your underwear down. Flip the waistband of your underwear out and over the back and grip of your gun, covering it. Pull your pants and underwear (which are now kind of attached together) down the rest of the way. If done right, your gone is now covered and invisible except for a bulge.

    When you've done your business, pull your pants/underwear up half way, unloop your undies from around the gun, then pull everything up to where it should be.

    If done right, at no time is your gun visible to anyone not in the stall.

    • Alan_T

      That's a pretty good idea Ted .

  • Ted

    TYPO – Should read "Your GUN is now covered"

  • Mike

    I always just reconnected my belt at my knees and kept my pistol right thereon top of my knee or just at the side, depending on holster.

  • John

    I just advoid taking a 2 at any pubic restroom, for fear of being eaten by a tex.

    • Toto C Potts

      So _THAT'S_ what happened at the Alamo?! or are you fearful of a T-Rex? I'm more fearful of the gang member observing me spending cash at the local wal-mart and following me into the restroom.

      I do agree with you John (as if that's your real name) I try to avoid public restrooms if possible too.

    • Alan_T

      Are you talking about BigTex ? If you are , just carry a can of Raid …… that works for most pests ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • John

        It from Juastic Park; I know it's not spelled right.

      • William

        perhaps not Raid but wasp spray shoots 20 feet or so. Distance is your friend.

  • Sandra

    LOL – and I was going to complain how hard this was for ladies, who have to sit ALL the time. However, we usually have purses into which we can place our holstered gun while we are "otherwise occupied." ;-)

  • Blaine

    Here's an excellent YouTube video that covers this issue:

  • Eric

    remove it from the holster and use your pants and underwear like a hammock and let it sit there while your sitting.. good for cell phones too

  • Justin

    I usually take my gun out and place it on top of the toilet paper holder. It's usually a large double roll and the top is flat. Gun isn't visible to anyone else or on the floor. I also do the flush and holster. Lol

    • Jim Jennings

      The paper holder has worked just fine for me over many years. Just don't bump it and send the pistola scooting across the floor.The newer paper dispensers are even better.

  • geo1

    This is why I know where all the "one person only" restrooms are around town…otherwise…
    it's off to the wood…. LOL!!! And by living in New Mexico…some big ol' trees are not usually hard to find!

    Kindest Regards…

    In God We Trust…

    • Alan_T

      It pays to be prepared Geo , just watch out for those diamondbacks! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • fred

    When I took the ccw class inside the pants sitting on top of the crotch was mentioned kind of hard to forget it and leave it behind then. It was also mentioned the little coat hook is probably not a good place to hang a gun by its trigger guard. Kilts do have a good aspect to them in this area being that one does not have to deal with any of these issues at the urinal.

    • AmericanBob

      Coat hook works for me. I do check it first to make sure it will hold. Then I focus and slowly hang my gun. Afterwards I focus again and get it off the hook and reholster.

  • Baroness

    I'm not sure I understand what the problem is with keeping your gun in its properly fitted holster on your belt while you sit in the restroom. Just move your knees out to the sides to put tension on the waistband. Unholstering is sloppy at best and an unnecessary risk.

  • sierra1

    +1 on reconnecting your belt just above your knees. Depending on your physique, many men and women can simply drop their pants to just above your knees, hang on to your handgun and holster while re-hooking your belt in the last hole. Then spread your knees to tighten the belt and hold your pants, belt, holster and handgun in place when you sit down.

  • David Freeman

    Having dropped my Sig twice in a bathroom with tile floor twice before learning my lesson, I finally did what I'd read many times in CCW forums. I bought a good gunbelt. Problem solved. A good gun belt – thick leather, 2 inches wide – will keep your gun secured in an IWB holster inside your pants while you do your business.

  • NCGT

    I hold my handgun at the ready, pointed at the door, since while I am on the can is when I am at my most vulnerable. I then hike up the pants and re-holster. If you ever come into a public toilet where I am sitting on the can and you walk by my stall, you have crossed the muzzle of a loaded gun. That is a cold hard fact and I will not be a victim without a fight.

    • Alan_T

      Geeeeez …… what happened to you when you were a kid and being potty trained ? ? ? How about some trip-wires around the perimeter ? Maybe some anti-personnel mines ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • geo1

    NCGT…you have got to be kidding??….if not…yer just nuts!!! LOL!!!

    Kindest Regards….

    In God We Trust…

  • D jky

    I'm closing in on 70 years old and have yet to find a rest room floor that I would –pile– my pants on. If you find a floor that clean there is probably a valet there who will hold your weapon and maybe your –gun– also while you do tootin and shootin. DJ

  • T.D. Honeycutt

    Whenever possible, choose a handicap accessible space. Much more room, and usually at the end of a long stall, so coverage is better. I like the ones with the diaper stations, since I can take my Glock out and sit it there without worrying about it hitting the tile.
    The advice above about cover with your underwear I have used numerous times in tight quarters. Also, you can simply take the pistol and rest it on your pants on the floor.
    This took some work when I first started out but after 15+ years, now it's habit.
    Once read about a police officer who dropped his Glock while squatting. He didn't have it holstered (department violation) and he tried to grab it on the freefall and was lucky enough to grab the gun's safety (also the trigger). So when the .40 caliber round bounced around the tiled restroom, it naturally found another patron's leg. That fellow was $80,000 to the better, plus medical, after it was all settled. But it could have been far worse.
    So, don't get caught with your pants down when you're carrying….Sorry, I just had to write that.

  • Reddove

    U guys have it easy we women have to deal with this all the time just tuck ur gun in ur bra lol

  • Michael Geller

    I always look for a stall that has a baby changing table in it. I merely tip the table just a bit higher than completely horizontal. This way, it is concealed from view from anyone who may look through the space between the door and the frame. If no table is availanle, place your jacket across the toilet tank (after wiping it clean)and lay your handgun on your jacket. No clanging sound and it won't slide.

  • Bob

    When there's a Will(y) there is a way!

  • Scottie

    Man purse or fanny pack carry isn't my first option but in the summer when it's not "easy" to carry works – but as the article outlines make absolutely sure you don't forget your piece when you're done. Flipping your short's waistband over the top of your slide/backstrap and holster seems to work well. When the weather is cooler I simply put the pistol (along with the holster) into a pocket of my jacket and hang that on the back of the door – the one main downside to putting anything on the hook on the back of the stall door is that someone could simply take what's hanging there.
    As others have mentioned it's nice if you don't _have_ to use public facilities but if you have to go you have to go!

  • Chuck

    Eric does the same as me, sets the pistol inside my pants, between my legs. Know a guy that forgot his once, after leaving it on the TP holder. That's when he started doing it this way- trust me, when you pull your drawers up, and that cold steel hits, you will not forget your gun.

  • Dave

    Don't hang your Glock on the coat hook of the door by the trigger………suppose everyone has heard this one!

  • SemperFlyBoy

    Great article and comments! I can hardly wait for someone to come out with the new song that rips off the title "Where To Park Your Pistol In a Public Pooper"…Blues.

    • Alan_T

      Woke up dis moooooooanin' wid an achin' in muh head . Slept all night on a Greyhound wid out no bed !
      When da man holla , yo' sho godda jump . ( guitar and harmonica riff )
      Went lookin' fo' a place to dump , yeah dat was da plan !
      But when I got there ….. all dat I found was the where to park your pistol in a public pooper Blueeeeeeees !
      OH LAWD !
      I found the where to park your pistol in a public pooper blueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees !

  • TacticalSquatters…

    I am happy to have the problem of dealing with my CCW in this situation. I hope we are able to continue the two activities and that the 2nd Amendment freedom is not lost.

    That said, flexibility and planning are the key to success, If you have to lay it on a surface that would require cleaning, some TP over said surface will do to lay the weapon on till the tactical maneuver is complete. Just make sure no sliding, of the weapon, can occur. Keep magazines and holders in mind as well as they might require attention before the action is engaged as well as any tactical lights or edged weapons if they are part of your setup. Don't forget about the BUG if applicable. Shoulder holsters work well in the situation as well if its an appropriate method of carry for you.

    Prior planning and practice with a safe weapon is the key especially in the case that quick reaction and a speed tactical maneuver is required due to an unexpected threat.

    This is a great topic and one that planning for increases safety.

  • Randy

    Don't put your pistol on top of the toilet paper holder. Some thief might beat on the wall knocking the pistol to the floor so he can grab it and run.

    That was one response to a poll I started on this same subject at about 4 months ago. That response took imagination. I am now wondering if this story was a result of my poll….Hmmmm.

  • M. Gish

    What is the problem? Unbuckle, slip the pants over the hips and rebuckle around the lower part of your legs.

  • SenorMoments

    Just because nobody's mentioned it: This is not a problem with a shoulder holster.
    Nevertheless, this is definitely a topic that needed to be addressed.

  • old pro

    Just a hint from an old goat…..50 years ago , before I developed sane eating habits and a routine for elimination , I had a similar problem with my duty belt, and its load of flashlight, handcuffs,"slapjack ",revolver and ammo , citation book, gloves, etc . A lifetime of on the road employment since those duty days taught me the value of a life of routine aided by a good old spoonfull of metamucil in my daily glass of OJ , produces the desired result in the privacy of my own bathroom every morning following coffee , totally 'eliminating " the need of visiting the filth of a public toilet. Add a bit of dicipline to your life, you might like it

  • Steve

    I heavily aggree that holsters should be secure and hold the firearm even if they are turned upside down and shaken. Also agree that unholstering/holstering is dangerous and should be avoided if possible in an area where sometimes very distracting activity may take place. This is the reason we NEVER unload and reload our guns when entering a jail. They are put in the gun lockers loaded. One suggestion works if you carry an IWB or an on/off paddle holster and they are as secure as they should be,. You can loop a string through the holster by punching a hole near the top of the holster inside and just under the thumb strap. The string can be wound up an shoved inside and under the belt just as you put the holster on. In the stall, take the gun off and put the loop around your neck. You will still be wearing the gun the whole time and it would be very difficult not to notice it hanging on your chest before you leave the stall.

  • gary

    This topic could piss a guy off. …….
    Makes you want to not give a chit,,,,,,,, lol

    I unholster my guy drop my pants sit down on da pot and lay the weapon it in the part of my underdrawers and pants that lay between my kness but this was a cool thing to bring up.

    First time I went to take a crap with my 45 on it flipped the holster upside down. I use a Kramer Holster so it held the gun tignt and it didn't fall it but it taught me a lesson and almost made me piss all over da place

  • Alan_T

    My Kimber has a skeleton hammer and I clip a lanyard to and hang it around my neck ( the lanyard is one I bought for a Keltec P 3AT ) . Might not be for everybody …. but it works for me when I absolutely , positively can't avoid public toilets .

    • Alan_T

      I was remiss in mentioning that I put the ABS clip across the face of the hammer between it and the firing pin , making the pistol inoperable .

  • Derrick C Carreon

    indeed the article makes a lot of sense. i've tried the "resting your pistol in between your legs while your pants and undies are down" thing… the effectiveness of this trick varies, however, depending on what type of weapon you're carrying. if it's a Glock, then it's quite convenient. it's quite different for all steel weapons, obviously due to the weapon's relatively greater weight

  • wardog

    Just to chime in…….I also know of a police officer who 'forgot' his back up sitting on the metal encasement of the toilet roll dispenser for someone else to find. It's all in how occupied your thoughts are as your buttoning up.

  • Hal

    What "Other Activities" are you doing anyways? Why you putting your pants all the way down to the floor? Keep en around your knees (where they belong anyways) and the problem is solved. I carry a large handgun….frequently a 6" barrel AutoMag 03, and NEVER have a problem in the restroom, cause when in there it is to "do my business", and no other activities, therefore there is NO REASON for the pants to be below my knees, and no chance for a properly secured gun to "go out on its own".

    NOW…… if you are also "doing some outside activities" when in the John, maybe than you need your pants down on the floor to give you 'more room', by spreading your legs.

  • William

    I agree with old pro but Walmart seems to bring out the best in me in that reguard. Inside cowboy boots if you wear them while your busy! Find something that works stick with it, have a back up plane. It is no different than knowing the exits and windows at your favorite eating joint. Also " if " I looked into a stall and saw a person sitting there pointing a gun at me as I walked by, I would consider it a threat. Possibly act accordinly . If you feel like you need to point a gun at the door hold it until you get home, what if someone trips and hits the door to keep from falling?

  • Lgerson

    You guys might think this is a joke but in my city an off-duty college LEO left his pistol on the back of the toilet seat.
    When found by a citizen it caused a lock down of the facility and cancelation of a charity basketball tournement.
    So yes take this seriously.

  • Snug

    FINAL SOLUTION: Fire the bastards that oppose Constitutional open carry .Eliminate the damn law!

  • Ralph De La Huerta

    I usually place my weapon on the toilet paper holder. It provides a stable and strong area to place a pistol. Just don't foget to re-holster.

  • sheb schebella

    Sh#t before you leave the house…

  • seadog

    Try a "tote" shopping bag to put your gun in while you are indisposed. If someone sees it,
    "on the floor of the stall", it will look perfectly normal. With a tote, you can hang on to the strap(handle)
    or hang it from a coat hook in the stall. Some totes are very thin and strong and also can fold up like a scarf.
    If you get "caught" without your tote, you can usually get a paper bag from a store or facility.

  • Larry Deuane Grey

    Good posts here, Not dropping the duece in a public toilet is not an option for me sometimes, I have used just about every mentioned way to go listed here, I try to use the one person toilets when possible. When it is not possible I try to use the Handicapped one as others have mentioned.

  • outdoorsguy29

    By chance does anyone have a ccw here in California? If so I was just wondering how hard is it to get and how much does it cost to get one

  • Gregory Smith
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