Passing a gun to someone else

A discussion developed on Facebook about carrying a gun for another person. I have done this in the past for a girlfriend who was a proficient shooter but didn’t carry because her tight and skimpy clothing didn’t permit it. The gun I carried for her was a small auto or J frame in an ankle holster.

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However, an implied task of this situation is developing and practicing a protocol to make sure there isn’t a negligent discharge while the weapon is being passed to them or they are accessing it from the carrier. This implied task is not as cut and dried as it might seem.

My colleague Greg Ellifritz thought this was a good enough topic to put on his blog. Since I respect Greg’s opinion, I will reproduce my thoughts here.

My protocol when carrying a gun for another person and then passing it off to them is as follows:

  1. Draw weapon with right hand (I’m right handed).
  2. Place weapon into palm of left hand with fingers of left hand around fingers of right hand, fingers running perpendicular to each other.
  3. Release weapon with right hand into left hand. Barrel/slide is now in palm of left hand with fingers wrapped around trigger guard from top to bottom. This protects the trigger guard from having the other person’s finger getting into it, assuming they are right handed.
  4. Pass it toward the person with the muzzle pointed forward, i.e., away from both of us.
  5. The other person takes hold of the butt of the weapon with trigger finger on top of my fingers, approximating the register position.
Handing off the gun.

Handing off the gun.

6. Time permitting, I will ask “Got it?”

7. If she feels she has a good grip, she will respond “Got it.”

8. I then release my hold on the weapon and then pull my hand straight up from it so I do not sweep my hand over the muzzle.

Releasing the gun

Releasing the gun

This is also how I hand guns to other people in general and how I teach gun passing in my classes. The muzzle may be oriented in a different direction for safety.

I believe Scott Reitz teaches something similar to this with regard to gun passing. That may have been the origin of the idea, I don’t recall.

Some folks objected to the idea of carrying a gun for someone else who “isn’t serious enough to carry on their own.” The decision is based on a personal assessment of METT-TC (Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops, Time, Civil Considerations). In this case, I was satisfied that her attitude toward the enemy and proficiency with a handgun justified the tradeoffs involved. Would I rather she carried her own gun? Certainly. Would I prefer she was unarmed in a precarious situation? Certainly not.



7 responses

  1. […] Source: Passing a gun to someone else […]

  2. Appreciate all the work you and Greg Ellifritz do for our community. Thanks

  3. I am unable to follow the narrative. Do you have any pictures of this process?

    1. I’ll see what I can come up with.

    2. I put a couple of pictures in.

  4. Thanks for posting! That technique works great for handing a pistol to someone to your strong side (driver to passenger). What would you suggest for safely handing a pistol to someone on you non-dominate side (passenger to driver)? Or to some one who does not share your hand dominance?

    1. For passing to someone who is opposite handed, transfer the pistol to the left hand. Then, the right hand rotates the gun in the left hand, such that the trigger guard, instead of the top strap or slide, is in the palm of the left hand.

      To pass to the driver from the passenger, transfer the pistol to the left hand. Then, the fingers of the right hand go over the fingers of the left hand. The left hand pulls away and the pistol will be in the right hand, bottom of trigger guard in the palm of the right hand with the fingers covering the trigger guard.

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