Can A Gun Fire In A Holster?

can a gun fire in the holster

There is nothing scarier to any gun owner than the thought of an accidental discharge. As a Glock owner myself, I like to think I am always meticulous about checking my gun safety, holstering correctly, and ensuring my safety is always on. Can a gun fire in a holster? There are many such stories, and I wanted to take a look at the possibility.

Any gun can fire in a holster. Factors that will determine the accidental discharges are clothing or keys getting caught in the trigger, a holster that doesn’t correctly cover or protect the trigger area. Certain weapons like the Taurus 24/7 will discharge at the slightest movement. Incorrect holstering actions can cause a gun to fire in the holster.

An accidental discharge is not as uncommon as you might think. Gun owners that do not follow the cardinal gun safety rules are putting themselves at risk. Besides the safety checks that should be followed, a bad quality or worn-out holster is the most significant cause of a gun accidentally discharging. Let’s look at this phenomenon a bit more in-depth and the contributing factors that can be avoided;

How Common Are Accidental Discharges?

Accidental discharges are very common. It only takes the slightest pressure on some triggers to make the firearm go off. Some gun triggers are a lot more sensitive than what we think.

Accidentally hitting the trigger or bumping it while holstering or even in the holster can cause a discharge. Certain styles of holsters were not designed to cover the trigger area adequately, and because there is no trigger shield, the gun can easily get caught in clothing or even a safety belt in a car.

If you are a conceal carry gun owner, the most important thing you can do is train and practice. You must be able to de-holster your gun in an instant without fumbling and battling to get it out of the holster.

gun in holster

Common Causes OF Accidental Discharge

Besides a gun accidentally firing in a holster through either negligence, lack of gun maintenance, or a sub-standard holster, other factors contribute to guns accidentally discharging a round;

  • Drugs and Alcohol – One of the highest contributing factors in guns accidentally going is the use of drugs and alcohol drinking. When people are under the influence of either, they should not be allowed near weapons. Because both substances affect motor skills and judgment, a person can pull the trigger without realizing it.
  • No Gun Safety Knowledge – A general lack of gun safety knowledge is a leading cause of guns going off unintentionally. If an inexperienced person should pick up a weapon, they could inadvertently pull the trigger, not knowing if the gun is loaded or if the safety is on.
  • Minors With Gun Access – Unsupervised children in the vicinity of weapons have caused many tragic accidents. Not only do they lack critical thinking skills, but they also have no idea what gun safety is. Children that get hold of guns will typically try and pull the trigger or put the gun in the mouth to taste it. Always practice the ultimate gun safety procedures when there are children or inexperienced gun handlers in your home.
  • Being Careless – I have had an accidental discharge, and I’d like to believe I have always followed the ultimate gun safety protocols. Just one moment of distraction and carelessness, and you can have a tragedy on your hands. Always concentrate when disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling your gun. Know when you have a round in the chamber. Never get too comfortable or overconfident in your ability when handling your weapon. A little healthy fear and respect for your firearm go a long way.


Accidental Discharge VS Negligent Discharge

There is a big difference between an accidental discharge and a negligent discharge. Both can have catastrophic consequences. What is the difference?

  • Accidental Discharge – This is when the gun fires a round off without any interference from the owner or operator. The operator cannot be blamed for the gun malfunctioning.
  • Negligent Discharge – This is caused by the owner or operator, for example, when the trigger gets caught in clothing or keys or accidentally pulls the trigger when holstering or de-holstering the weapon.

Negligent discharges are a more common occurrence than accidental discharges.

Can A Gun Fire In A Holster? 1

Can A Gun Fire With The Safety On?

It would be best to never solely depend on your gun’s safety mechanism being the only thing preventing it from firing. Never pull the trigger even if your weapon is on SAFE. The gun can go off when you release the safety switch later.

Firearms usually have a safety switch or mechanism; it will either be a slide, hammer, a lever or a wing, a button safety switch, or a trigger blocker. It is usually positioned near the trigger so you can engage or disengage it quickly. Considering that the safety mechanism blocks the trigger and not the firing mechanism, a hard blow can still cause a discharge.

The safety mechanism is usually marked with a color, typically white and red or just red, when the safety is engaged. Read the manufacturer’s guide, and please follow through with your training even after you received your license.

Gun Responsible For The Most Accidental Discharges

In Brazil, the police force was issued with Taurus 24/7 pistols. The guns would discharge while the officers were running, while holstering and de-holstering, even while the safety was fully engaged.

They have had so many accidental discharges that 98,000 Taurus .40 S&W and PT 640 PRO pistols were recalled by the manufacturer.

5 Cardinal Rules Of Gun Safety

These five golden rules will not only help keep you and your loved ones safe they will also prevent negligent and accidental discharges. Please always follow gun safety as if your life depends on it;

  1. Don’t ever point your firearm in the direction of any person that is not a threat.
  2. Treat any gun as a loaded weapon.
  3. Place your finger on the trigger only once you plan to fire, not before
  4. Identify your target, what else is in your firing line and what is behind your target.
  5. Always follow the correct maintenance protocols on your weapon. Wear the right PPE when target shooting.


Can A Gun Fire In A Holster? 2

Best Types of Holsters To Prevent Accidental Discharge

The gun you aim to carry needs to be in a good quality holster. The job of a holster is to give you instant accessibility, safety, and security while carrying your weapon.

It needs to be so secure on your body that it does not move around and, more importantly, protect the trigger from accidental contact with other objects. When you need to draw your weapon rapidly, it has to give you instant access without the need to fumble.

There are many cheap option holsters out there, but buying cheap can end up being very costly. Let’s look at holsters and what their purposes are;

These are the five types of holsters you get:

  1. Ankle Holsters.
  2. Pocket Holsters.
  3. Shoulder or Strap Holsters.
  4. Inside Waistband Holsters – IWB.
  5. Outside Waistband Holsters – OWB.

Best Holsters For Concealed Carry  

These types of holsters need to be particularly secure and sturdy. They need to remain hidden but provide you with easy access in a second. Wearing a holster shirt is always an option if you carry IWB or a Pocket Holster. The best for concealed carry are;

  1. Ankle holster.
  2. Pocket Holster.
  3. Shoulder or Strap Holster.
  4. IWB Holster.

Best Holsters For Everyday Carry

Buying a holster for EDC or Everyday Carry is going to be personal. It depends on your firearm, body size, body build, level of expertise, and how you like to draw your gun.

A holster that can help prevent a gun from firing accidentally needs to meet the following criteria;

  • Offer trigger protection in the form of a trigger guard.
  • Be manufactured from top-quality shock and moisture-resistant material.
  • Offer deep concealment but instant access for drawing.
  • Offer a security clip that keeps the gun in place.

Replace your holster if you feel it is becoming loose or if the gun can move around in it.


While the best intentions with a firearm are usually not to let an accident happen, unfortunately, gun-related accidents tragically kill many innocent bystanders. While a gun will not typically fire in a holster, it can and does happen.

If you are a gun owner who takes the responsibility of owning and carrying seriously, you will know the benefits of training, more training, and diligent maintenance. Keep your holster in good condition and your gun safe, and you should never experience an accidental discharge.