On Saturday night, a showboating off duty FBI agent was filmed dancing in a Denver nightclub, before dropping his pistol on the floor, going to pick it up, and discharging the weapon into a crowded room. According to the Denver Post, the round fired by the agent hit one man in the leg, and the victim was promptly taken to the hospital. The agent was taken into custody before being transferred to an FBI supervisor, though the incident remains under investigation with potential charges pending.

Watching the footage of the incident was, to adopt a bit of internet slang, cringe worthy. The agent, who has apparently devoted more time to learning dance moves than he has to the fundamentals of carrying a firearm, was not only wrong in the moment, he made a series of bad decisions that culminated in injuring an innocent bystander — and these aren’t bad decisions of the “highly trained field agents should know better” sort, they’re more like violations of common sense and the basic rules of gun handling. Let’s start at the beginning:


Holster choice and placement

Now, I’m not going to be that guy that argues that where I wear my holster is the only right place to carry, but I will be the one that says your holster choice and placement need to be based on your situation and training. The holster employed by this FBI agent doesn’t offer any form of retention beyond gravity and friction, which is usually just fine for a trip into town but is notably not sufficient for a lot of physical activity. There’s a reason the holsters most uniformed law enforcement officers wear have retention straps and the like: because they know they may be running, jumping, and wrestling with suspects, and it’s integral that you not lose control of your firearm.