SIG Sauer has issued a reminder about the risks associated with the use of light-bearing holsters, which have been involved in a number of alleged unintentional discharge incidents. Large openings in these holster designs, which are around the trigger to accommodate the bezels of attached weaponlights, may allow fingers or foreign objects to enter these holsters and contact the trigger.
The risk increases when a light-bearing holster carries a pistol not wearing a weaponlight. Placement of a firearm in a holster does not relieve the user from the requirements of proper trigger discipline and safe firearm handling practices.
Selection of a proper holster is the responsibility of the user and special care is mandatory to ensure a chosen holster complements safe handling practices—including adequate trigger protection—and other use considerations. Holster manufacturers routinely publish warnings about the vulnerabilities of light-bearing holsters and print them in their manuals and stand-alone bulletins.
Blackhawk, for example, reminds owners of its T Series that, “The trigger on certain firearms is unavoidably accessible in Light Bearing Holsters. Extreme caution must be used during a struggle to prevent unauthorized person from accessing and pulling the trigger.”
The warning is nothing new or unique to any company or model. In 2005, Safariland—manufacturer of the popular 7TS series of holsters—issued a bulletin explaining, “In the same manner that an agency would test, evaluate and approve a duty holster for retention capabilities, Law Enforcement agencies have the responsibility to evaluate and approve any modification to their duty handgun (including the addition of a light or laser), to ensure the weapon and holster are still operable in a safe manner that meets their requirements. Please be aware that handguns with lights mounted to them create a necessarily large opening in the holster that could possibly allow access to the trigger of the holstered handgun.”
Certain models of light-bearing holsters have also recently been subject to Safety Bulletins issued by the manufacturer relating to firearm-retention and, under certain conditions, risk of unintentional discharge of holstered firearms. Concerns regarding those issues should be directed towards the holster manufacturer directly.