Guns are dangerous, right?
They're dangerous when they're used improperly, and they dangerous when used as designed. They're dangerous when you hold them in your hand, and they're dangerous when you think they're stashed away somewhere safe. (Don't leave them anywhere near a dog.)
The #gunFAIL hashtag helps catalog when Americans are shot by a gun that's improperly used or stored, but there are some firearm storage products on the market that would seem to invite a risk of injury or worse.
The Open Carry T-shirt isn't even a real holster for a real gun, yet it's still dangerous. Business is apparently brisk for the shirts, which depict a realistic-looking handgun nestled in a leather strap holster. The shirt's creators promise wearing one will “drive anti-gun nuts crazy” -- but it could also put you in grave danger. The sellers warn against ever putting your hand on the gun image to prevent police from mistakenly shooting you, and comply with police orders during seemingly inevitable law enforcement encounters to avoid the same fate.
The Fast Holster is basically a magnetic mount that allows gun owners to hide firearms and magazines throughout their homes by placing additional magnets on bedframes, under kitchen cabinets, or perhaps alongside the toilet paper dispenser. “The FAST Holster has 3 powerful magnets over-molded in non-marring rubber to secure a gun almost anywhere,” the manufacturer explains. “They hold the heaviest gun firmly, but release with a grab. They have fastener holes to mount to any furnishing, wall, etc. with the included inserts and screws. Available in handgun or long-gun sizes.” That’s pretty self-evidently dangerous, but then there’s a $29.95 price tag for a few screws and adhesive magnets you could probably buy for a less than a third of that cost at your local hardware store.
Thunderwear is pretty much what you think it is – a holster you wear over your underpants. The models shown on the website look like they’re wearing fanny packs stuffed inside their shorts, and the manufacturer recommends pleated pants or sweatpants for owners of especially large guns. The manufacturer claims it’s not necessary to open your pants to access your gun, which is nice. Thunderwear uses a patented “three-layer moisture barrier” to protect your firearm, although the manufacturer leaves the rest up to the imagination. Reasonable people might question the wisdom of stashing a gun down your pants and pointed toward your genitals, but fear not: “The fact is you actually feel more secure because your weapon will act as a ‘CUP’ to protect the sensitive area of your body if under physical attack!” the manufacturer assures customers.
The Blackhawk SERPA holster, which is used by the Marine Corps, is described as dangerous by many gun enthusiasts because it’s prone to “trigger hooking,” which can then lead to “negligent discharges.” In plain English, that means it’s relatively easy to slip your finger onto the trigger and accidentally shoot yourself or someone nearby. But, of course, it has its fans: “So far I love it, and I'm not really sure how you can shoot yourself with one,” said one gun owner. “When I hit the release, and draw the holster, my finger is resting ABOVE the trigger. I really don't see why some people are pissing their panties on the internet calling this holster a dangerous design.”
The Flashbang Holster snaps onto a bra, between your breasts. Demonstration videos show it’s not necessary to flash your bra, because the gun can be accessed by reaching under your shirt. “If you’re as interested in dressing like a chick as you are in self defense,” writes a reviewer at the Girls Guide To Guns website, “I highly recommend the Flashbang for your next firearm accessory purchase." The stowed firearm points sideways, toward your weaker arm, but poses a risk because it’s possible to pull the trigger while it’s still holstered. That’s apparently what happened to a Michigan woman, Christina Bond, who accidentally shot and killed herself while adjusting her bra holster.
Watch this commercial posted online by Thunderwear Holsters: