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Does "printing" really matter, legally?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by debbert, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. debbert


    Apr 20, 2011
    North Perry, OH
    Just curious. I am brand new to handgun ownership. I just purchased a Glock 26 for concealed purposes (as soon as I take the required course and get my permit).

    I'm curious about "printing". While I am aware that being as stealth as possible is the goal. When it comes down to it on a legal standpoint, does "printing" matter? If the firearm is covered, it's concealed, right?

    If someone thinks it might be a firearm, due to printing, it's still concealed if it's covered by a shirt or jacket or whatnot, right?

    Those that are not "in-the-know" might think it's a cell phone, blackberry, iPod or some other device. Does it matter if our firearms "print" on occasion, as long as they are completely concealed?

  2. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill
    Not in an open carry state, where legal. Where OC is illegal, there could be issues. Someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly.

  3. SuperSleuth


    Feb 27, 2010
    It depends on how your state's concealed carry law is written. I'd suggest looking it up and reading it. This would also be an excellent question to ask your instructor when you take the course.
  4. debbert


    Apr 20, 2011
    North Perry, OH
    I will ask the instructor. For the record, I live in an open-carry state.
  5. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I'm not sure I buy the OC argument here. We're talking specifically about printing, not accidental exposure. If it's totally concealed, even if printing, then OC does not come into play. Even if accidentally exposed I don't think OC makes much of a difference as the intent was clearly to conceal it. There is no way one can claim "OC" if the firearm is even partially concealed. Think about it this way: if a person doesn't have a carry permit, could they claim OC if it's concealed but printing? Of course not.

    I think in most states if you have a valid permit you aren't breaking any law by accidental printing. Worse case is someone calls the cops and they check you out.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  6. up1911fan


    Mar 12, 2009
    Upper Michigan
    IMO concealed mean's concealed.
  7. Folsom_Prison

    Folsom_Prison Brew Crew

    May 2, 2010
    I agree with this ^^^^. I do always keep mine concealed, IMO though I feel that general society doesn't know what printing is. I carry my G19 in a supertuck and conceal it well. I'm sure I print from time to time, I don't doubt that.

    The other night I was in the grocery store, a lady bumped into my side amd hit my glock, she said she was sorry and asked if my phone was ok. Some people have no idea.
  8. SuperSleuth


    Feb 27, 2010
    It's funny you mentioned that. I'm usually more concerned about someone accidentally bumping into my gun than printing.
  9. Folsom_Prison

    Folsom_Prison Brew Crew

    May 2, 2010
    Honestly I don't really about either in my neck of the woods.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  10. jay-bird

    jay-bird goin' broke

    May 17, 2011
    In my state. This is wrong.

    I live in an Open Carry state, Kansas. Local municipalities have the choice to ban OC, but if you have a CCHL, it doesn't matter.... but that doesn't matter.

    I have spoken to
    Police officers - three - all with slightly varying opinions on the same fact - "Brandishing (if the person who sees your gun is threatened) is illegal."
    One attorney - "Concealed means CONCEALED." He then put a Coke can under his shirt to illustrate the point... 'Yes, I see a can.'
    Two CCW instructors - "It's either Open Carry or Concealed. NOT both."
  11. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Jun 14, 2002
    Printing always matters common-sense wise. Sloppy concealment is amateurish and avoidable. As for legality, the degree of "printing" varies state to state.
  12. fuzzy03cls


    Jan 28, 2010
    From my readings there is no law in any legal CC state that says printing is illegal. Most state it as ordinary site of another person or similar wording. The law would have to state the terms "printing" or "outline" to have weight.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  13. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sunny Florida
    I long ago quit worrying about printing. I do try to avoid printing, but sometimes it happens. No big deal. Having read the Florida firearms statutes many times, I am confident that printing does not violate those statutes.
  14. glockbob


    Sep 8, 2006
    My 8 year old nephew gave me a hug and his hand hit the top of my G27 in my IWB holster. First thing he asks, "Is that your gun". I told him the truth. Funny part is he had no idea that I carry.
  15. Batesmotel


    Apr 5, 2007
    How do they know what it is?

    Phone, gun, radio, tape measure, medical device.
  16. hikerpaddler


    Mar 1, 2001
    No, it would define it as brandishing. Printing is slang, brandishing is what you want to concern yourself with-you need to know what level of definition of outline or exposure might qualify in your state. Conceal effectively and you don't have to worry about either
  17. I can tell you from my own experience with a my ccw in Nevada that I was once with my family "wife and daughter" and while getting out of the cab of my truck my glock printed on the back of shirt and with in 5 minutes of getting out of my truck the police had been called to the gas station I was at and I had to show the officers my ccw all in all there was no trouble just about a 5 minute talk with them and keep in mind open carry is legal in Nevada
  18. double.tap


    Apr 9, 2011
    pretty sure thats wrong.

    open carry is usually defined and it varies from state to state (i cannot OC here, so its been a while since ive read OC laws so someone correct me if im wrong). some states define open carry as any portion of the gun or holster exposed and other states require a certain percentage of the gun/holster to be exposed (50% of the gun/holster in some states, 90% in others, 75% in others, etc).

    concealed means concealed. here in texas our law reads something like: a well trained eye should never be able to tell you are carrying. that means at no point in time should your gun become visible, or should you print.

    NONE of those covers a concealed pistol that prints through a shirt. you need to check the exact wording of your states concealed and open laws, because the definitions of both vary from state to state. and a printed pistol usually does not fall into either category.

    that said, i dont even care if i print anymore. peopel are stupid or just dont care. there are plenty of things that could be on my belt that explain a small bulge, you would have to print so bad that the outline of a pistol was visible to get the cops called around here.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  19. Here in Florida, printing is fine. There was a gray area in the law about accidental exposure. It was not defined to be legal or illegal, but that was recently cleared up and accidental exposure is okay. Brandishing is still clearly illegal.

    That being said, I still try to avoid printing if only to avoid a MWAG call.

    About a year ago while working at Wendy's, we saw a guy carrying a S&W M&P small of back. He was printing so badly that I could identify that. I was surprised that none of the employees freaked out...they were okay with it...
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  20. Hansom


    Apr 1, 2011
    "Does printing really matter legally?"
    Bottom line,... no. Printing is not brandishing. To 'brandish' is to display in a threatening manner. Walking around in public with you firearm in your hand, and you are brandishiing. Almost any sidearm will print, at some point in time. Don't worry. Most people won't notice anyway.