Last week, the National Park Service banned the use of SERPA-style holsters by any of its more than 2,000 law enforcement personnel. It will come as no surprise to pistol-training.com readers that among the reasons listed was the propensity for accidental discharges, citing multiple instances at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where such accidents led to property damage and/or injury.
Another issue listed in the NPS memo was the danger of debris getting into the holster mechanism thereby making it impossible to draw the gun. Especially given the incredibly wide range of environmental conditions under which NPS Park Rangers must operate across the country it is easy to understand this very real concern. (for a demonstration of this problem in a realistic training environment, see this video featuring Craig “SouthNarc” Douglas and the late Paul Gomez… note the language of the video may be NSFW)
Historically, these announcements are met by hardcore SERPA fans with cries that “I’ve been using a SERPA for six years and never shot myself once!” Perhaps it would be worth the time and effort to consider that a large federal law enforcement agency, between its own experience and the accumulated experience of the nation’s largest law enforcement academy, might have just a tiny bit more real world data to call upon for drawing conclusions.
In other news: SERPA-style holsters are still banned from all open enrollment pistol-training.com classes.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG