Updated: Jun 2
If you are new to carrying a handgun or a well seasoned veteran, take a quick look at some tips to help pick a quality holster that will reduce your risk of civil liability.
These three MUST haves in a holster are not just so you are a more effective armed citizen when it comes to dealing with the carrying or use of your firearm. But the three MUST haves are to decrease the possibility of having a negligent discharge which could lead to a lawsuit.
The holster you select should be able to retain your handgun even while upside down. (To see an example, watch the video at the bottom of this post) Most holsters that are kydex or specifically design to fit one model of handgun will aid in meeting the requirement of retention. This is not because we need the holster to retain the firearm while we are running a marathon, retention is so that during day to day activities like, getting into a car, bending over to tie a shoe, loosening our pants to go to the bathroom etc. our firearm stays where it needs to, in the holster. Which in turn reduces the likeliness of a negligent discharge and civil liability.
#2 Access to Full Grip
The idea that we should not have a piece of the holster impeding our ability to get a good grip while one draws the handgun from the holster seems like a no brainer. But, I assure you there are plenty of manufactures who make holsters that prevent the user from getting a good firm firing grip on their handgun. Having the proper grip helps increase the users ability to use the handgun effectively. This means better accuracy and more control over the handgun. Which in turn reduces the likeliness of rounds going places that the shooter does not want them to go.
#3 Trigger is Fully Covered
This is something every holster MUST do. Cover the trigger completely. A quality holster will not allow for any object big or small to access the trigger when the handgun is properly placed in the holster. The user should not be able to see or touch the trigger while the handgun is in the holster. If a holster allows the trigger to be accessed while holster, the risk of a negligent discharge increases along with the users civil liability.
TIPS to Save Money:
These three types of holsters in one or more ways violate the "3 MUSTS" of a Quality Holster and should be avoided before you spend your hard earned dollars. (1) Belly Band or Soft Material Holsters. These types of holsters typically fail at protecting the trigger from being pulled. (2) Universal Holsters, or holsters that are designed to carry various type of handguns. These types of holsters typically fail at retaining the firearm securely. (3) Hybrid Holsters, (kydex plus a leather or synthetic back material) can restrict the user from getting a good firm firing grip. Most hybrid holsters can violate the retention requirement after they are worn out and the backing material is broken in.