A Closer Look at the Lodi Incident

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I caught some flack over Monday’s post and my observation of how and why the student was able to pull the trigger on the officer’s Glock 34. It was my understanding from all the versions of the story that I read prior to writing the previous article that the officer wasn’t using the proper holster and that seemed to be the understanding of most other bloggers out there. It turns out that according to the report from the deparment the officer was using a holster similar to the Safariland 6034. On further discussion with some friends it turns out Safariland is pretty known for the over sized tops in holsters made for lights and lasers to make for easier reholstering. With this comes a problem and Safariland made mention of it back in 2005.

Advisory for Handguns with Lights and/or Lasers Attached October 21, 2005  Safariland® has been manufacturing holsters for handguns with lights mounted to them for over 10 years. The need for this application with the Law Enforcement, SWAT and military communities has grown into a requirement to include lasers as well as lights for duty applications.   At Safariland, we design all of our holsters to meet the rigorous standards we have set for function, reliability, security, ease of re-holstering along with the ability to obtain a shooting grip before the draw.   The design of a duty or tactical holster demands the existence of an opening large enough to allow the  holstering of a given weapon, as well as any other equipment affixed to it. This can include custom grips, extended safeties, sights, de-cock levers, extended magazine releases, lights, lasers, etc.   Ultimately, the design for the opening of the holster is required to be slightly larger than the pistol accessory or light attached to it. Currently, there are many light/pistol/holster combinations on the market. The holster design is driven by the dimensions of the handgun and attached light and/or laser.   In the same manner that an agency would test, evaluate and approve a duty holster for retention capabilities,  Law Enforcement agencies have the responsibility to evaluate and approve  any modification to their duty handgun (including the addition of a  light or laser), to ensure  the weapon and holster are still operable in a safe manner that meets their requirements. Please be aware that handguns with lights mounted to them create a necessarily large opening in the holster that could possibly allow access to the  trigger of the holstered handgun.   For further information regarding “How to Evaluate a Holster” along with “Levels of Retention”, please review our training video TV-1027 (TV-1037 in PAL format). Customer Service would be happy to ship one to you at no charge.   Thank you for your interest in Safariland holsters

So if the SWAT officer indeed had the proper holster designed for his gun and light combo it is possible for a finger to get inside to the trigger with a good bit of effort. Is this a design flaw? Is the ease of reholstering that important that the mouth of the holster needs to be so wide as to leave that much room for error? I had a great discussion with George Hill, owner/writer of the Mad Ogre blog. George also works for G-Code holster and has had experience with both the Safariland type holsters along with the G-Code SOC (which is going to be the next upgrade to my War Belt *hint George*). From his experience George feels there isn’t enough of a gap to make this possible for a child either unless they have freakishly long fingers. We will wait to place judgment on the child’s fingers after the parents bring the kid forward since they are still trying to locate the kid who discharged the gun. While talking with George he did pose a different take that put another great spin on the story also. SWAT gear isn’t designed to be mingled in with crowds, that is what duty gear is for. I am really hoping that George does a post on the Mad Ogre regarding this subject to dive further into his thoughts on the subject. The Lodi incident goes deeper than just the type of holster if you think about it. How did a student walk up to an officer and manage to pull the trigger on a “holstered” gun without the officer noticing? Situational awareness was extremely lacking in this scenario and no matter how we slice this it all could have been avoided by just a little bit of awareness. I guess this shooting was brought to you by the color White….. The purpose of Monday’s post was to point out the falsehood of officers being trained better and ulitmately more qualified to handle firearms than the average concealed carrying citizen but I ended up opening myself up for some ridicule in my questioning if the holster was even designed for a gun with light attachment, and that is fine. But I do want to reiterate again if you are just a normal citizen who has met all the requirements to lawfully carry a concealed firearm the anti-gunners are still trying to point out that your training is less than sufficient while they try to hold law enforcement up as the ultimate benchmark. You decide for yourself after reading those three recent events in the news and tell me if a badge makes you more qualified or not. Just as I have always said we need to be the responsible gun owners and seek out training. Shooting is a diminishing skill and only practicing and training can keep you sharp. Be sure to head over to the Facebook page and click like I would really appreciate it. Thanks for reading and as usual…. Subscribe and share often, BS

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