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RETALES: Please Don’t Put That in Your Pants

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At some point in their lives, everyone has darkened the door of a retail firearms establishment, whether it's to buy the latest new thing, shoot at a range, or just pick up a firearm they bought off Grabagun for 10% less than wholesale; we've all been there.

After having every other job in the firearms industry including media, sponsored shooter, and a whole bunch of other things I'm now running one of the largest brick and mortar gun stores in South Florida. I didn't believe a lot of the stories I'd heard from my friends who worked retail until I decided to do it myself, and as it turns out they're all true.



So there I am, minding my own business, when a customer walks in and asks if we have holsters for his gun, which of course isn’t something common like a Glock 19 or a gun that people actually own. No, he needs a holster for the Snowflake 9000, which means unless he wants to do a special order and wait a week, we’re reduced to trudging through the bin of awful multi-fit holsters and hoping that we find something that actually works for the gun, while providing acceptable levels of retention and ease of access.

The problem is that with one exception, most holsters marketed as “multi-fit” achieve this feat by compromising both of those traits. Either the retention is so great that drawing the gun requires a feat of Herculean strength, or you have such easy access to the gun that a stiff breeze will knock it out of your holster.

But back to our intrepid hero, who is still searching for a holster for his Snowflake 9000. Finally, we settle on two examples that fit the gun within a reasonable window of success. I'm standing there, preparing to ring up the sale, when suddenly the customer, without warning or permission, takes the holster and plunges it down his pants. Because he wasn't wearing a belt, the weight of the holster and the gun successfully dragged the elastic waistband of his track pants low enough that I could tell you what brand of boxer shorts he was wearing. Hanes. He was wearing Hanes.



This was an unusual experience, because my whole life I'd assumed that holsters were a lot like swimsuits – you don't get to just try them on in the store, because no one wants to buy a swimsuit or holster that's been next to your junk, or if you prefer traditional IWB, your backside. Unfortunately, this hasn't been an isolated incident. People seem to think that it's perfectly okay to jam a brand new holster that they haven't yet purchased down inside their pants next to their nasty skivvies.

It's not just holsters that people want to put down their pants. It's everything, up to and including guns. Hand a customer a cleared out gun so they can see how it feels, and before I can finish saying “Sir please don't put that in your pants,” it's already been dropped into a waistband, Mexican style. Fun fact that I've learned down here: Hanes is a lot more popular than Fruit of the Loom.



I understand the desire to try on a holster, because everyone who has been carrying for any long amount of time certainly has a box of holsters that they've tried and discarded because they didn't quite fit right. I assumed that was the price one paid for concealed carry – trial and error in holster selection. It's actually kind of a catch-22, because you should want to find a holster that fits without having to buy 3 or 4 different holsters first.

Our recommendation? Ask your friends! Unless you're the only person in your friend group that carries, they probably have some holsters that you can try out, and if you like them, head to the store and buy one. On our end, we've started keeping some demo holsters in the store for common guns that customers can try on, and that we disinfect with a considerable volume of rubbing alcohol in between each use.

But please, I beg you. If you are going to put a holster or a gun down your pants, I ask this one small favor from you: wear clean underwear.

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