J.B., welcome to the forum.
You've asked a question that covers a lot of ground.
- As others have pointed out, there is no law in Texas against "printing." There IS a law against "intentional failure to conceal." What we call "Printing," for the most part, does not rise to the level of "failure to conceal." Basically, if someone can read the rollmarks on your gun's slide through your tight-fitting shirt, that might be construed as intentional failure to conceal, but for the rest of it, really, don't worry about it too much. Even if your were to actually expose your gun accidentally, in the eyes of the law, that is still not "intentional failure to conceal." Example: you're concealing while wearing a sport coat over an OWB holster, and while crossing the parking lot, the wind blows your sport coat open momentarily, exposing your gun. That is not intentional failure to conceal.
CAVEAT: We do have a member here, "handog" I believe, who actually was arrested in exactly such a scenario. He was at a tax office or some such, and if I recall correctly, when his number was called and he stood up, his IWB carried sub-compact (a Glock if I recall correctly) at the SOB position was momentarily exposed, and the soccer mom seated behind him freaked out. But the weird part is that she didn't say anything right then. Instead, he was arrested in the parking lot next to his car, as he was about to leave. I believe that he did beat the rap, but it was very expensive, and he did spend some time in jail before he got sprung by a lawyer or somebody. It was a thoroughly bad experience, and it was a great object lesson for the rest of us. I'm posting this from my iPad, so I can't take the time to research the link to his thread at this moment, but possibly somebody will have it bookmarked and post that link here. So, the caveat is: you can't account for how some people are going to react. Some people automatically think an exposed gun means you're a criminal, and others will automatically think an exposed gun means you're a cop. The aware CHL might see your exposed gun, step up to you, and in a lowered voice say "Hey bud, you're 2nd Amendment is showing."
The point is that, even if your gun is accidentally exposed, you haven't broken the law.....however, you could wind up in a situation where a ninny forces you to prove in court that you haven't broken the law. So discretion still remains the better part of valor.
- However, as has been pointed out by others already, most people are just not that observant. They walk around in "Condition White," and they're not even paying attention to who is doing what, let alone who is wearing what, and what is that bump I see under his shirt? This is one reason why they are "walking victims, waiting for a mugging to happen." They're just not paying that much attention to their world. They're worried about their kids, their jobs, what the price at the checkout stand is going to be, worried about getting home in time for American Idol, whatever. Their minds simply are not functioning in a scanning mode, and their central processor is turned off.
- EVEN IF someone does notice a bump under your shirt, unless your shirt is just so tight that it is unavoidably obvious that it's a gun, nobody has any way of knowing what that bump is......and "knowing" is the key word. For all they KNOW (not "suspect," that doesn't count), it could be a phone, a pager, an insulin pump, a glasses case, a calculator, a portable heart monitor, a PDA, a whatchamacallit.......it could be anything. They simply don't know for any fact what it is, and any suspicion on their part does not constitute knowledge from a legal perspective.
OTH, if someone steps up to you and says in a lowered voice "I carry an XD myself. How do you like that Glock? Then you've got some decisions to make......
....which brings me to the next question....
Have you figured out yet that successful carry is all about a continuum between gun choice and clothing choice? To do this successfully, you have to be willing to make some
compromises. You would be something like the 20th newcomer to the forum just since I've joined who made some statement about being unwilling to alter his or her manner of dress, and wanting to know how best to conceal a gun that may not be entirely compatible with that manner of dress. In the end, everbody winds up making some
kind of compromise.....either in manner of dress to conceal their gun of choice, or in which gun to carry to make their manner of dress work for them. Being unwilling to make any kind of compromise is to relegate yourself to the land of fewer options, and one major
part of being a successful CHL which doesn't always get talked about is in being a flexible thinker.
Also, you would be far from the only person who feels confined to shorts and t-shirts during Texas summers.....myself included..... but we all make it work somehow, and that somehow means being willing to think flexibly and make compromises where necessary. For me
, it means owning a couple of smaller, pocketable guns for summer carry when only shorts and a t-shirt will do; and many of us on the forum do
own more than one carry gun exactly for this reason....because it gives us a broader range of clothing choices. For me, part of that clothing flexibility in summber means buying some of those lightweight fishing type shirts from Columbia or other like manufacturers which can be worn untucked over
a belt carried gun.
Body type is important too. My personal dimensions are somewhat (actually quite a bit) on the "prosperous" side, and I carry this way with fishing shirts during the summer quite a bit, even with a t-shirt on under the fishing shirt to keep sweat off the gun and because I don't like the feel of the gun against my skin, and I don't feel any hotter that way than any other way.
Another way to compromise is to choose clothing that is one size over what your normally would wear. If you're going to carry your G19 IWB, then you need shorts with a slightly larger waist to make it work comfortably. (And comfort, by the way, is key here. If it ain't comfortable, you're not going to wear it, and that might mean that you won't carry your gun.) And whether you carry IWB or OWB, you'll likely want to buy t-shirts that are one size larger than your normal, in order to have enough room to conceal your gun and reduce it's print.
My pocket guns are by no means "mouse guns." One is a 9mm Kahr PM9, and the other is a S&W M&P340 .357 magnum. They are both quite light, and in sufficient caliber to not leave me feeling under-armed. My belt-carried guns are most often either a Kahr CW45 (which I also sometimes pocket carry) or a Springfield XDm-45 Compact 3.8. The others, which get carried much less often, are a 5" Springfield 1911 and a full-sized M&P45. Of those four, the XDm is roughly the same size as your Glock 19, and it conceals very easily.....but I cover up with fishing shirts, not a tight-fitting t-shirt. It should be noted that I never carry IWB anymore because I have a pretty bad back, and IWB just causes me too much pain. So I carry OWB all the time for belt carry, and nobody is the wiser for it.
Another thing that should jump out at you here is that two of the semi-autos I've mentioned here are single-stack guns with a flatter, narrower profile, which makes them easier to conceal. So if you do decide to buy a secondary pistol for easier concealment, take a look at single stack 9mm/.45 ACP pistols like: Kahr CM9/PM9, Kahr CW9, Kahr PM45, Kahr CW45, Glock 36, S&W M&P Shield, Springfield XDs, Beretta Nano. Also take a look at the various lightweight alloy "J-frame" sized revolvers from various manufacturers in .38 Special +P or .357 magnum (remember that a .357 can chamber and shoot .38 Special +P if you think that .357 magnum is "too much").
The bottom line is this: if you're not willing to make some compromises, you will
limit your choices. There's no "right or wrong" here....just facts. If you're willing to live with limitations on what you can successfuly carry, then dress however you like. If you're not willing to live with any limitations on what you can carry, then be willing to make compromises in your clothing choices.........
.....and I didn't much get into carry method
, which opens up a whole other can of worms. Welcome to the world of a CHL.
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791