Conceal Carry Inside Plastic Shopping Bag

CCW plastic bag

This is not for everyone. But an interesting concept. Using a ubiquitous plastic shopping bag to conceal your pistol. The benefit, is that you can shoot it while it is still in the bag and it acts as a brass catcher.

One downside that I see, is the fact that you can see the silhouette of the gun rather easily. Which defeats the purpose of the conceal carry concept.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • JumpIf NotZero

    Love it.

    Not at all a replacement or good alternative to a holster, but this is definitely something I’d keep in mind while traveling.

  • SD3

    …..A-N-D it’s Eco-friendly / green-booger goodness cuz saving thuh planet, U guyz!

  • Atticus

    Are you aware that criminals also use this technique in an attempt to prevent GSR from connecting them back to a crime? It also makes it easier to ditch the weapon without leaving fingerprints. This is not something I would want to be seen doing.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Guilty until proven innocent?

      You know criminals carry guns, not something I’d want to be seen doing!

      You know criminals own guns, not something I’d want to do!

      Etc.

      • Herp

        Criminal justice associates here. Carrying is not suspicious. Carrying in a bag is absolutely an articulable fact that would lead a reasonable officer to believe that criminal activity is afoot, and would totally subject you to a search and an investigation. If you plan on lawfully defending yourself DO NOT police your brass because that’s also super shady and could be a crime in some states because it’s illegal to tamper with evidence. Just because shooting the perp isn’t a crime doesn’t mean the brass isn’t evidence in HIS crime. Also, if you were falsely accused, policing brass would be gold for the prosecution. Remember you answer to a jury of walmart shoppers.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Great, and if the alternative to non-plastic bag carry is no carry or open carry, or dead. I’ll plastic bag it.

          This isn’t a great idea, it’s a fair idea if you ever have to do it.

        • BryanS

          Devis advocate, what legal reason do you have to present evidence in a lawful shoot? Especially if that evidence may be used against you?

          What about revolver carriers?

          • Herp

            You don’t ever have any reason to present any evidence. That’s you counsel’s job. You have tons of reasons not to behave in ways which could be interpreted as incriminating. Carrying a revolver is normal and unincriminating. I can’t think of a defensive situation where a plastic bag is superior to a holster or pocket. A bag obstructs your sights, your controls, would make reloads and malfunction drills difficult and has potential legal fallout. If you are in love with the bag idea, make it a man purse or something. Plastic bag carry is trashy and ghetto and will make you look suspicious and guilty.

          • noguncontrol

            you can conceal and then shoot it without taking it out first, for 0-7 yards, good enough for self defense, and very fast too.

          • Hyok Kim

            “You don’t ever have any reason to present any evidence.”

            If I have the evidence that could clear me of the wrongdoing, then why shouldn’t I present it? I can see why I don’t have any reason to present it if the evidence could convict me.

            “That’s you counsel’s job.”

            So if I have evidence that could clear me of wrongdoing that my counsel does not know, I should not present it?

            “You have tons of reasons not to behave in ways which could be interpreted as incriminating. Carrying a revolver is normal and unincriminating.”

            So if I carry a revolver in a plastic bag, or a Chinese carry out, it is not incriminating, but if I carry a semi in a plastic bag, or a Chinese carry out or empty pizza box, it’s incriminating?

            “I can’t think of a defensive situation where a plastic bag is superior to a holster or pocket. A bag obstructs your sights, your controls, ……..”

            Would I need sights to fire at someone coming at me with a knife within point blank range?

            “….would make reloads and malfunction drills difficult……..”

            Why would one reload and clear the malfunction in a plastic bag? One would take the piece out and do reload and clear the malfunction?

            “.. and has potential legal fallout.”

            So if one doesn’t carry his gun in a plastic bag, one wouldn’t have potential legal fallout?

            “If you are in love with the bag idea, make it a man purse or something. Plastic bag carry is trashy and ghetto and will make you look suspicious and guilty.”

            I guess this means people should ditch their hoodies?

        • Hyok Kim

          “Carrying is not suspicious.Carrying in a bag is absolutely an articulable fact that would lead a reasonable officer to believe that criminal activity is afoot, and would totally subject you to a search and an investigation.”

          First of all, how would a reasonable officer know one is carrying a gun in a bag without searching the bag first?

          Second of all, law abiding gun owners carry their guns in a shooting bag to the range all the time. What’s the legal difference between carrying a gun in a shooting bag (or a shooting bag that does not look like a shooting bag) and carrying a gun in a plastic bag?

    • Nicholas C

      My wife works on SEMs and has worked with LE agencies who want SEMS and detectors for GSR. The problem is too many false positives and it wears off REALLY REALLY easily. Cross contamination is very common. Like “I was at the range, or I sat in the cop car”

  • Doopington

    Paper or plastic is the new kydex vs leather.

    • gunslinger

      what about my eco-friendly, reusable hemp bag?

      • noguncontrol

        hemp? you mean pot?

        • gunslinger

          no

        • Doom

          ya maaaaaaaaaaaaaan, fire a couple shots and it will light the hemp up, then it is time to chiiiiiiillllllllllllllll ouuuuuuttttt brooooooooooo. lol

  • Little_Johnny

    I’ve been looking for a way to carry my FNX 45 Tactical concealed. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

    • Nicholas C

      It could even conceal a suppressor on that bad boy!

  • Andrew

    Yeah, you can see a pistol through a shopping bag…but not a potato chip bag. How many times have you been driving through the bad part of town and seen a guy standing on the corner or sitting at the bus stop eating a bag of chips? You think he just really loves chips? Cop rolls by, all he has to do is toss the bag in the trash and casually walk away.

    • Geo

      Your pistol will be sticker than a glockamole

  • Jeff Smith

    One possible problem you may encounter is FTE problems from your brass not being able to freely exit the gun due to the bag being pulled too tightly against the weapon.

  • Ken

    The neighboring county taxes shopping bags $0.05 each, so everyone carries those fabric reusable shopping bags. Those will conceal a handgun better. Unfortunately, there essentially is no concealed carry in this state.

    • ..not that you know of, anyway. Wink wink.

    • noguncontrol

      use the handle-less plastic bags, shopping bags are those with handles.

      • Ken

        There is a $0.05 tax on any bag that a store gives you, handles, no handles, paper, etc. The only exceptions are for takeout food and for those small produce/bakery bags. Therefore, everyone either reuses plastic bags or brings their own fabric bags. I really want to stand outside a grocery store wearing dark sunglasses and a big trenchcoat filled with plastic shopping bags and hand them out for free, haha.

  • Matt

    Sights?
    The carry method is to constantly carry a pistol in the hand… 30 min maybe, but all day?
    Why doesn’t a holster work in the 3rd world?
    And how natural does it look to see someone holding a plastic bag like that and not use the handles?
    The real question is why I wrote any of this as even *I* don’t think I have added anything to the conversation.

    • JohnnyIShootStuff

      The sights are not an issue at defensive distance. Less than 30 feet, you should be able to get torso shots without sights. As for people noticing. It’s less of a problem than you might think. People just don’t pay attention that much, they don’t look twice at things they normally see.

  • Will

    The other downsides being that you can’t maintain a positive grip, see your sights, manipulate controls, or expect unencumbered function of your weapon. “Not for everyone” is an understatement. This isn’t for anyone.

    • Nickel

      Did you watch the video? It demonstrates the opposite of what you just said.

      • LZ

        Of course he didn’t. That would take more effort that looking at a headline and skipping to the comments.

        • Herp

          Not that guy but I’m guessing he did watch the video, because in the video the bag covers the sights and all control surfaces on the gun. So, you know, he’s right.

          • JohnnyIShootStuff

            Since I’m the guy who made the video, I’ll speak here. It’s pretty easy to hit center mass at 3′-21′ without sights – if you can’t do it you really need more trigger time. As you can see, I was able to do it on the first try. The bag is really thin and light. Manipulating the controls was not an issue. It’s easier through the bag than it is with gloves in the winter.

            So you know… Coming from the guy who made the video…. I disagree with the two of you.

          • MJ Triola

            At that distance your first shot will be at sternum height and your third will be near eye level. What I was looking for was muzzle flash and the bag melting. Instead the bag hid the flash and the expanding gas blew the bag out at one end and away from the gun on the side. I expected to see melted bag around the end of the barrel and the slide but the exhaust gas took care of that.

  • kgrantpc

    Saw an episode of the first 48 where a guy did this to catch base and stop gsr . I think it jammed his gun FTE. Trying to do a drive by and they got him instead.

  • Madcap_Magician

    Another down side is that you are carrying a pistol in a plastic bag. O.o.

    • noguncontrol

      huh?

  • Morgan

    Pretty much 99% of us will not be carrying our, or anyone elses, weapon in a foreign country. Johnny went to South Africa for an IDPA match or training operations I think (clarity?). The number of paperwork hoops he probably had to jump through to get his firearm there makes me tired just thinking about it. Please, with tears in my eyes, imagine a realistic situation that isn’t already FUBAR, where you are NOT a three letter agency man, active duty in a combat zone or Jason Bourne where you would need a shopping bag to conceal your gun. Also, why did you decide to go to that dodgy part of Dar es Salam for a frikkin Shwarma in the first place?!?!?! The hotel has a restaurant!

    • JohnnyIShootStuff

      Getting a gun into South Africa, Namibia, or Zimbabwe is rather easy. Flying though NYC is the real problem. The three mentioned countries have a thriving gun culture and a great competitive shoot scene.

      • Morgan

        I beg to differ on getting a gun into any of those countries. If you don’t have legitimate official business, you are not getting your firearm into South Africa. In most cases, you will not have the opportunity to bag your gun. I agree with you on the competition and gun culture attitude.

        • JohnnyIShootStuff

          Not like I’ve done it or anything like that. As long as you have a match registration booked and an active USPSA or IDPA card it’s really easy. IDPA and USPSA matches are held every week, so It’s easy to find one. South African law does have provisions to allow a visitor to get permission to carry an imported firearm. That’s a bit more difficult but not impossible.

          http://www.saps.gov.za/services/flash/firearms/importation.php

          The rules are very similar for Zimbabwe and Namibia.

          • Morgan

            We need to consolidate our disagreement under one thread, lol.

            In theory and law, yes, you can just take your gun in into South Africa with the right paper work? Not in practice. There is a veritable reef of firearms rusting just outside the mouth of Durban and Richards Bay harbors. Security contractors protecting ships using pirate waters are not risking arrest, fines, lengthy detainment and confiscation of their firearms by SAPS Port Police. But they have all the paper work. I guess the best thing to do if they want to sneak guns into African countries is join the IDPA. And then they’re FOUR letter agency men.

  • Eric

    This works better for knives than for guns.

  • Bill

    Street hoods and cons have been doing this with knives and guns for years. For legitimate carry, I’m having a hard time thinking of something worse, for a lot of the reasons already mentioned, but also including:
    Those bags rip and tear easily – at best you may be wandering around with your muzzle poking through a hole, at worst , unless you keep a firing grip on the pistol in the bag, it may clatter to the pavement
    Particularly in the 3rd world, and some other places, somebody may just try a snatch and run on the bag itself, putting your pistol at risk.
    Shooting through a canvas, leather or other heavier material is going to be just as easy, and probably less likely to melt or have shreds wind up in the gun.

    There just isn’t a “good” reason to do it, unless maybe you’re an assassin, but any protection detail of quality is already looking for out of place or unusual bags near their principal.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    This was actually a somewhat common practice waaaaaay back in the day with the NYPD. Back in the olden days, policewomen carrried their handguns in department-issue purses. Womens purses being what they are, an amazing amount of detritus and crap would accumulate in the bottom of the purse and get into the workings of the little S&W revolvers the gals were issued. (.38 S&W, by the way…not .38 Special. That finally changed when
    the Equipment Bureau finally ran out of .38 S&W for
    practice/training and couldn’t obtain any more) To combat this, many policewomen kept their revolvers in plastic sandwich bags. The bag kept the guns clean, but the officer could grab and fire the revolver through the lightweight plastic. Of course this practice died out as the uniforms and equipment for ‘policewomen’ were replaced with the same equipment and uniforms as male officers.

  • Martin Frank

    Can i just throw my ak in a trash bag and stroll around town now? Never know when you might need it.

  • maodeedee

    I guess it doesn’t make any difference if you can see your sights or not. Might as well shoot the gun sideways, Gangsta style except that then the trapped brass would be even MORE likely to end up finding it’s way back into the gun to tie it up.

    Kind of a dumb idea all the way around for more reasons than I would care to take the time to enumerate.