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By Cliff H.

When it comes to constitutional carry, I’m of the same belief as RF – the only correct reading of the Second Amendment means that the government has no authority to say who can or cannot carry arms, when, or where. Nor do they have the authority to require anyone to acquire a permit before exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. But that’s a fight for another day. Right now we have to live with the reality of our eroded 2A rights and, in most places, jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to avoid having our freedoms further eroded by facing arrest and other unpleasant and expensive official reactions . . .

That being the case, I’ve obtained a concealed pistol license (CPL) from the state of Washington. RF is apparently in the process of getting his permit from Texas. Many of the readers of this site have done the same in their respective  jurisdictions. So now, technically (though unconstitutionally) we are “legal”. But what does this mean when someone spots your heater and dials 911 in a panic or you’re just involved in a routine interaction with a LEO?

At some point the situation will probably arise in which you must prove that you are “legal”. This is a problem for me because I carry IWB at 3 o’clock and my wallet is IHP (Inside Hip Pocket) at 5 o’clock. How do I pull my permit without further alarming anyone given the proximity of my gun hand to my weapon? For myriad reasons, I do not want to hand over my pistol to the officer first so I considered a small fold-over card holder that I could slip over my belt next to my holster like many plain-clothes cops do with their badge. It’s even likely that if they spot the CPL, gun muggles (non-carry citizens) would assume I was LE and not feel concerned.

A few weeks ago RF posted a piece with a picture of a badge at the top. Wow, a concealed carry badge! That would be great to clip to my belt rather than just dangling my permit. I went to the website and did some research. Yes, I could get a custom badge saying ‘Concealed Pistol Permit’ with the Washington state seal in the middle (Dave from agentgearusa.com) sent me the photo on the left above). I could choose other styles if I wanted, too. It was a little steep at $69.95, I thought, but it could save a lot of headaches. Then I started looking at the other badge styles offered.

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I like the round one; I think it looks “cool” (but costs $89.95, for some reason). Unfortunately, EVERY badge they offer, even CCW badges, is a variation of a law enforcement or other official government agency badge. Even the round one that I like is based on a Deputy Sheriff badge. This could cause a problem rather than solve one. Yes, gun muggles would assume I was a LEO and go about their business, but what if some over-zealous anti-carry cop decided to make my day/life more interesting by accusing me of impersonating a police officer? Any badge, regardless of the inscription engraved on it, that looks almost exactly like a police badge could lead to that sort of misunderstanding. I really don’t need or want that kind of excitement in my life.

So I first posed the question to RF: could we come up with a new badge design that doesn’t mimic law enforcement badges and is distinct and recognizable nationwide as a CCW badge? Secondly, and perhaps most important, would the People of the Gun who carry embrace the idea and actually buy, carry and/or display such a badge? Or am I just going off the rails on a crazy train?

158 Responses to Concealed Carriers: We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Badges. Or Do We?

  1. Having a visible badge kind of negates the concept of “concealed carry” and the element of surprise….

    And it’s not that difficult to keep a weapon concealed if you wear properly fitting attire.

    • Also, unless that badge affords me the same protections that LEOs enjoy when they have to perform DGUs, then no thanks.

      I’d rather not carry anything that lets criminals know I’m carrying unless there is a huge payoff.

      • I’m with tjlarson2k on this, and for the same reason that I find open carry kind of silly. Indeed, unless one happens to be stopped by a law enforcement agent who specifically asks if you’re armed, my recommendation is to say nothing about being armed or having a CCP. No one needs to know, unless and until your being armed and having a CCP are at issue..

      • Your rational works fine, until some anti-gunner determines you are wearing a gun and decides to strip you of it, claiming you were a ‘threat’…

        ( http://bearingarms.com/hes-got-gun-florida-man-tackles-concealed-carrier-arrested-battery/ )

        Like it or not, we share this nation with some very bizarre people who don’t believe anyone except someone with a piece of metal should be allowed to possesses a weapon.

        Fortunately, in this case, the CCW holder resisted the urge to kill the person who was wrestling for control of his gun, and the anti-gunner was arrested and prosecuted.

        One of my carry pieces is a super redhawk .44 Alaskan, which is not exactly covert.

        I am under no lawful obligation *not* to carry, nor *not to let anyone know i am carrying*, here in the great state of Georgia.

        I prefer to just wear the badge and let the rubes live in their own little fantasy realm.

    • Most LEOs hate those things. I would think wearing one would prompt a few unnecessary encounters with frustrated cops who hate the idea of “civilians” carrying. Or who think we’re playing cop wannabe. No badge for me.

      • Yeah – based on conversations with other instructors and Law Enforcement in NC and SC (at least near Charlotte) – there is a strong dislike from the badges among LEOs. The badges seem to make officers think you are playing cop/pretending to be cop so wearing one just invites uncomfortable situations.

      • Ouch!!!

        I don’t think most people realize what you are saying. For those that did not get it, the Nazis forced Jews to wear an arm band with a star (6 pointed star of David).

    • I rather expected this to come up as the first response/objection. Obviously. the badge would NOT be openly displayed, it would be equally concealed as your pistol. The only time anyone would see the badge would be if you inadvetently exposed you weapon (we all know it happens) or if a LEO confronts you and you MUST expose your piece.

      My point here is not to display a badge that would make us automatically Open Carriers, but to get feedback on if the idea of a badge had any real value for CC. It could well be a solution in search of a problem.

      • It is a solution in search of a problem. Which it will find, but not the one envisioned. As mentioned, there’s the wannabe cop issue. Also, if you show this shiny and silly badge to an alarmed citizen, you may further alarm them if you have to answer “no” to the question “Are you a police officer?”.

        From what I understand you only recently started concealed carrying? The spotting thing is something that bothers most starters. I started carrying a full-size pistol, as that was all I had at the time, and it would conceal well enough under a t-shirt for nobody to notice. The ones likely to notice are police and fellow CC’ers and both know the rules. Depending on your area (I’m in south east WA), police might be more or less friendly, but I haven’t come across a bad one so far.

        The only real “badge” is your CPL. I know WA has the silly paper thing, but you can laminate it, as everybody does, so it’ll fit in a wallet and won’t crumble in a matter of months.

        And if an alarmed citizen speaks out, be calm and explain how things work. If it’s a mouth-foaming anti, just shrug and turn your back. You’re in your right to carry, so screw ’em.

        • Not a newbie. Been carrying off and on, legally and not so much, since 1973.

          As I’ve gotten older the idea of confrontations with antis, hoplophobes or over-bearing cops just doesn’t seem like a way I’d like to spend any portion of my day, so at first glance I thought a badge might just solve some of those issues. Then it occurred to me that maybe other readers here might have had the same consideration after seeing that fancy Second Amendment badge (The round one half-way through this post) at the top of one of RF’s posts and it seemed worthwhile to bring up the subject for discussion.

          I think all the votes are in and it would seem that this is neither necessary nor a very good idea, in most people’s minds. Pretty much the conclusion I had come to independently. In 40 years I’ve never had a run in with anyone (except that cop in Dayton who pulled in behind me at 2:00 AM while I was making a night deposit, and he was cool), so really I think it is a non-issue.

          As I said in my post, the biggest problem is that every single badge offered, regardless of whether or not it has any value for CCW identification, looks EXACTLY like a police badge, and that is NOT a good thing.

          Thanks to all who presented their views in a rational and reasonable manner.

    • While I disagree with the concept of CC “Badges”…I think they are more intended to be used to “flash” @ LEOs when they are arriving in response to a DGU so they don’t kill you when they see that you have a gun.

      As we’ve discussed before, lack of Firearms familiarization by LEOs can get a concealed carrying citizen shot.

      I don’t agree with the Badge concept. But I think this is the primary use? Or I could be wrong.

    • I’m in with a good mocking. If by some chance you did happen to get into a DGU incident, you’d be immediately characterized as a wannabe vigilante.

  2. If I have to carry around a badge that announced I carry concealed doesn’t that defeat the whole point of carrying concealed?

  3. It’s an interesting idea, but for it to be recogonized nationwide you’d have to get Obama and the federal government to sign off on it.

    I don’t have to jump through hoops in VA for my CCW, but it does cost me $50. I wouldn’t spend another $70-$90 on a badge.

  4. When Robert had the earlier post I looked at the badges. They are a little pricey, but still look very nice. Unlike Vendetta, I think it’s an interesting idea.

  5. uh why don’t you just keep a laminated copy of your CPL in an easy to access place? they make plenty of devices for securing identification cards in places other than your wallet.

    furthermore, with the way you carry your wallet, how do you pay for things in public without exposing your CCW?

    I’ve been all over the world, to many places where pickpocketing is a major industry. Seattle is THE last place I would worry about how I carry my wallet – and yes I do live here.

    • My first thought, as noted, was to carry the CPL in a seperate card holdr, before I saw the badge. My only concern abut that is losing the damn thing. As for the wallet, it is not difficult to pull it out without revealing my pistol, I am concerned about pulling it out BECAUSE I had revealed my pistol. And I do not keep my cash in my wallet.

      Oh, and by the way, I am not advocating a badge, just curious what POTG think about the idea.

      • I’ve learned quick and early that having your wallet in your back pockets while driving is a real cramp on comfort. Oddly enough, I learned that about three years after earning my drivers license. Ten years later, I still throw my wallet in my E-brake well, or passenger seat while driving.

        For some individuals, what about taping a CPL to an easily accessible location in their car – perhaps the sun visor? My Volvo 940’s instrument panel is shaped perfectly for a few post-it notes. I’m sure I could tape a CPL right under my speedo without it interfering with anything.

        • Where I live, you need to keep your CCP on your person, which, presumably, is where you’re also keeping your weapon.

      • I carry two wallets: Small card one with my drivers license, CPL, insurance card, greencard and debit card. A bigger one with cash, credit cards and a few membership cards (including my NRA lifetime and SAF lifetime cards). If my big wallet gets stolen, there’s less harm done, plus I can keep the small one in my non gun side front pocket for a lower police anxiety method of access.

    • ^this. I really don’t think a CCW badge is of any use. showing it before your permit? just show the permit first.

      unless you’re LE, the badge just makes you look like a wannabe… something. no matter how good your intentions may be.

      I would just work on finding ways to make your CPL permit more accessible.

  6. I would wear a badge if it would stop cops from detaining me. However, a badge will not do that.
    Wearing a concealed carry badge is not impersonating, but that won’t stop ignorant cops from charging you with that crime.

  7. What is that meth anti-drug meme? “Not even once.”

    At some point the situation will probably arise in which you must prove that you are “legal”.

    I have a method to do that:

    • I was thinking the same thing only mine doesn’t have Kat Harris’ signature on it, lol. BTW, I didn’t realize you were Chuck Woolery! LOL

    • That picture looks like Chuck Woolery circa 1995, before he went went for his current bouffant wig televangelist look.

  8. Crazy train, full stop.

    We already have a good guy card.It’s called the CCW permit itself.

    When I last encountered law enforcement, I informed the officer I was armed and pointed out where the weapon was.That being done, I next asked for the go ahead to get my wallet.We concluded the roadside stop talking about which guns we favored for home defense.

    The idea behind asking the cop to reach for your credentials isn’t because you’re a doormat, but to ensure communications between two armed strangers are clearly understood.

    • I agree with you. Twice I have been stopped by a LEO, both times I informed him I was armed. Both times I was thanked for informing them and it actually was a pleasant interaction, and better yet I received fix-it tickets. On one of them I was returning from working in a very remote and high elevation area of Colorado, I told the cop in the fairness of full disclosure I had an m1a behind the back seat along with a 12ga, 3 additional handguns 45colt, 45acp and 22lr. His only comment was he was not going to ask me what I was afraid of!

    • This is the wisest course of action. If you’re confronted by a police officer, don’t just knee-jerk reach for your wallet. That’s a bad idea, even if you don’t have a gun on your hip. Keep your hands where the cop can see them until everybody’s calm.

      The badge is a dumb idea. You think open carriers get harassed by police? Wait until you’re walking around with a bogus badge you bought off the interwebs…

    • “When I last encountered law enforcement, I informed the officer I was armed and pointed out where the weapon was.”

      EXACTLY. No posturing, no 2A speech. They may be on high alert at this point because of a call for a guy with a gun, or they just came of another call, or they’re having a bad day. Be nice/polite. They have the legal upper hand at this point. Being shot for any reason is very uncomfortable. Take my word for it.

      Years ago I took a workshop on how to attend rallies (political, not 2A), and what to do if the cops arrive. If the cop asked to see your ID, remember that ANYTHING on your belt, cell phone, pager, flashlight, etc, may look like a weapon.

      BEFORE you start moving, tell the cop what you’re going to do, explain that there are things on your belt (cell, pager, flashlight), you have a permitted gun, etc. Lift your cover garment away slowly but grasp it well away from the belt line, say up near you nipple. Spread your fingers wide, and use only your thumb and index finger. Keep your weak hand up and visible. In other words, help them to NOT shoot you.

      Even if you disagree with a confrontational style, they have the right to ask to see ID, and a CCW permit. Help the cops like us, and tell nice stories around the proverbial water cooler. They likely deal with a$$holes all day long. Give then a shining moment they will remember.

      • “they have the right to ask to see ID”

        Uh, no. Depending on the circumstances, they don’t have that “right”.

  9. Crazy train. Put your energy into keeping it concealed. Find a different place to keep your permit. “Muggles”? You think a concealed firearm gives you magical powers?…

      • I think it had less to do with the muggles part, and more to do with the “This post is ridiculous” and “your opinion is null and void” parts.

        • yeah didn’t we just have a story the other day about TTAG censorship and the resounding opinion was NO

        • Both of those items I mentioned could be construed as flaming the site or the author (Cliff). It’s possible to disagree with his idea without calling him a dumbass. I didn’t pull it down, I just saw the comment before it was gone, so I was offering an opinion. Don’t shoot the messenger.

        • Rather than saying it’s ridiculous, I’ve just chosen to consider this as all in good fun. NFW would I ever consider a CCW badge. It’s all about the concealed part.

        • Voicing an opinion not ok in these parts? I never called anyone a dumbass. Simply stated that he voided his opinion by using a made up wizard word.

    • “Gun muggles” was included as a bit of humor since the term has come to be widely used by many groups to mean benign outsiders from your special group, not to imply some magical powers you possess.

      As for the rest, it’s just a question. I had an intial reaction at the sight of the badge, did a little research, and before blowing any money wondered if it really wa a god diea after all. Since this site does not provide polling capabilities this seemed like a good way to get the opinion of people who carry (non-muggles).

  10. I really don’t think a badge is a good idea.

    1. It makes you look like you’re mimicking or copying cops. Carry permit holders who aren’t cops aren’t cops.
    2. It alerts everyone who looks at you.
    3. Some states explicitly state what will be on the physical permit, and a badge is probably a violation of that statute.
    4. It costs money, whereas the physical card itself is included with the application fees.
    5. “Concealed” means “concealed.” Not flashing everyone a badge and stating that you have a permit. You’re supposed to be out of sight, out of mind. What’s the point of announcing to the public that you’re carrying concealed? It moots the entire point of carrying concealed: no one else should know.

    • Hadn’t thought of the problem of people flashiing the badge around, that never occured to me. As stated above, I thought the badge would be as concealed as the weapon, but MIGHT save you some trouble if both were inadvertently exposed.

      As for concealed, what I have heard is not “concealed means concealed,” but “Concealed means invisible.” Might be a quote from Ton Gresham, I can’t remember for sure.

    • +1. Frankly, the badge idea would make me think the person is a little bit “off”.

      Displaying a badge-like item on your belt is very close to impersonating.

      And if you cant conceal your gun, how are you going to conceal the badge?

    • I think that even more seriously compounds the problem the article attempts to address, rather like laminating your permit to the grips of your pistol, you can’t show the permit without accessing the pistol.

      • I agree – that’s an incredibly bad idea. The newspaper obit would end something like “The officer who shot him thought he was reaching for his gun.”

    • In Merryland and DC “rent-a-cops” are required to wear a badge of some type and their company identification (usually a sew-on or iron-on patch). I don’t know how widespread that practice is. They are essentially worthless junk.

      Apologies to any private security folks reading this.

      • We private security folks think they’re ridiculous as well. Especially when working in a gun free zone and not allowed to even have a pocket knife locked in a tackle box in the trunk of our P.O.V parked 100 yards away. oh btw I work for a security company that is contracted out to Carhartt. Y’all feel free to write em.

  11. I agree with all the other posts here, the badge is a bad idea. I have run into a similar problem because I carry IWB at the 4 o’clock position, making reaching for my wallet look much like reaching for mu gun. I have simply moved my wallet to the left rear pocket.

    • I carried my wallet in my right rear pocket all my formative years, and never understood why my dad always carried his on the left. Then I graduated, got a real job with dress pants that only had a back pocket on the left side, so I had to switch. Ten-plus years later, it has the added benefit of being on the opposite side from my EDC, so I don’t have to worry about exposure when reaching for my wallet.

  12. I don’t even know where to start. I think this idea of badging ccw only works if the government makes it work. Other than that, would not prove well in a demonstration of character in a court of law (obviously after the cwp holder shot someone, he’s a wanna-be cop.. zimmerman much?)
    Other than that, these are cool novelties, maybe I’d be down for personalized challenge coins or something but you can’t get away from the stigma of a badge, there’s a cultural reason why they all look the same or similar.
    Also, there’s no way to make a cwp holder look safer to a hoplophobe if they see and know he’s carrying. The badge would probably make some cool toys for the kids playing cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians…

  13. Cliff, the last sentence of your essay sums it up nicely. If you’re not a LEO, having a badge is a bad, dorky idea. My suggestion would be to carry your wallet, or at least your LTC, in a location not near your gun. For instance, I carry at 4 o’clock and my wallet is in my left back pocket. Find a way that works for you, forget the silly, wannabe badge stuff.

    • Thanks, Greg. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

      At first glance my reaction to the badge was WOW! On second thought it was, maybe not so much. I’ve been carrying for a while now and not hade any issues so it would seem it is not only NOT a very popular idea, but not all that necessary. I guess the videos we see of bully cops harassing CC guys just made me a little paranoid.

  14. I think any LEO who was presented a badge as part of the CCW ID process would think to him/herself, “another freaking cop wannabe…” and who needs to start an interaction with the other party already thinking that? It’s bad enough to be considered a right-wing-extremist-gun-loving-baby-killing-terrorist.. having them laughing at us would be just too much.

  15. It is good to ask and discuss these type of questions, but let’s use the KISS principle. If a LEO approaches you and asks if you have a gun, you make no sudden moves, explain you have a CCW/CHL, etc. Your permit/license is in your wallet and your handgun is located in such and such place. Tell the LEO he is in control and ask how does he want to proceed? Anything other than complete compliance is STUPIDLY DANGEROUS FOR YOU. Once the situtation is under control to the LEO’s satisfaction, if you want to make your point about the 2A, go ahead, but with out seeming like a threat to the LEO.

    Lastly, does a badge do anything beneficial to above? I think not.

  16. while I agree the badge seems like a terrible idea, I also recall an incident while shopping for a sport coat a while back. the oh-so-helpful clerk insisted I remove my vest to try on the garment, which revealed my holstered firearm (in the dressing room mind you). A few minutes later as I continued my shopping, I observed a uniformed deputy on his radio walking through that section of the store. No one said anything, nor did the deputy approach me, but it was unsettling. In contrast the police reaction during a traffic accident was very positive, the officers thanking me for presenting dl & chl permit, stating they were not concerned about my firearm.

  17. On the practical side, I suggest moving your wallet and getting used to that in the same way you got used to carrying a pistol in the first place. I carry my wallet left rear and pistol about 4:00. The exception is when in a suit (often) and my wallet goes in my right inside pocket (still accessible without exposing my pistol.

    To badges: I can actually think (call me nuts) of several situations in which one of these could come in handy but I can see downsides as well.

    On the pros side:

    Just after a DGU or when engaging an active shooter. Displaying this sort of badge then might well help you avoid being shot by other armed citizens or responding officers who would naturally think you were one of them.

    Some will argue that you simply shouldn’t do this next one but to each their own . . .
    When approaching a police officer to offer assistance. When a cop is getting a beat down he’d probably like some help, however I don’t fancy getting shot because he thinks I’ve come to help the BG(s). Such a badge would activate his brothers in arms reaction and help ensure you don’t spook him further.
    (YMMV but I live in a region of small towns and large rural areas where back up can be forever away and a traffic stop in a lonely place is likely to end, good or bad, with the personnel present when it started. I’ve done the above but something more positive than shouting to ascertain if the officer wants your help as a disguise for letting him know you’re not coming to the aid of the BGs isn’t the best solution.)

    If you needed to remove a covering garment for some reason. With the now exposed pistol there for all to see, displaying such a badge might mitigate public concern until you’re able to remove yourself from their view.

    The Cons:

    You’re going to look like a cop wanna be which is just embarrassing.

    You might be hassled by LEO’s or otherwise accused of impersonating a police officer.

    I don’t think the compromising of CC is an issue unless you intend to display the badge full time, which would just be silly on it’s face and I’m hoping that isn’t what the author intended to do.

    If these badges ever go mainstream I want one, until then not so much. It’s another hunk of gear to haul and conceal that to me has very limited use, it has some very negative connotations in the ‘gun world’ and it feels a little silly.

      • You’re more than welcome Cliff, thank you for the great article to discuss. I think the idea has merit but has many downsides as well. I look forward to seeing more insightful articles from you.

  18. I have to wear a security badge at work. Its actually plastic and is the same size (credit card) as my ccw. I wear it on a lanyard around my neck. I often wear a T-shirt with an unbuttoned shirt for cover. Wisconson also being an open carry state, It doesn’t matter if the occasional breeze exposes my weapon and a citizen that sees my gun also sees my official looking badge and will associate the two. On the rare occasion that I OC, I wear my work badge to have people make the same connection. I usually wear kahkis or nice blue jeans and a polo when OC. In short, any ID hanging around your neck passes as an authority to be carrying a weapon.

    • I like this. Wearing around the neck under shirt and communicating location to police keeps hands in view. Another bit of kit but interesting way to carry CWC document.

  19. The CCW instructor at my class told us a story about a guy who drew his weapon and shot a guy who was trying to rob a restaurant. He then whipped out one of those CCW badges they sell at gun shows and waved it around yelling “It’s ok! It’s ok!”

    He was charged with impersonating an officer.

  20. Don’t like it. Doesn’t solve any problems, we already have ID that authorizes us to carry. Looks like you’re impersonating a LEO, and who wants to do that? Oh right………mall ninjas. Yeah, this should be right up their alley. :facepalm:

  21. Since middle school, I’ve carried my wallet in my front pocket. In fact, I never use my back pockets for anything. It’s much easier to keep track of what’s in front of you than behind you.

  22. In some jurisdictions, flashing will elicit no more than a lecture from your “friendly” LEO, but wearing a fake badge will get you arrested. Ixnay on the adgebay.

  23. Switched to left front for wallet about 10 years ago. Now 5/8 x 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 instead of the brick that was in the right rear. 10 – 12 credit card sized documents, slot for cash, better pick-pocket protection, reduced back pain.

    Nix the badge.

    • I did the same switch when I was recovering from an injury. Never made the switch back. Front left works better for me. Especially since I spend most of my work day sitting in a car.

  24. I carry at 4oclock and my wallet is in my front pocket. I got used to that after traveling a lot in third world countries. Its hard to pick my pocket when my hand has a good chance if being in that pocket with my wallet. So it is easy to show that I am pulling my wallet out instead of another object. EDC knife is in left front pocket.

    The badge is a bad idea. For that 60-80 bucks I buy what I need to make the gun more concealable.

  25. I don’t remember the exact wording. Basically, in the state of CA, you not only cannot identify yourself as a cop if you’re not one, but you cannot give the impression that you’re a cop. In my current job i transport special needs people in a retired police car. Ford Crown Vic with the cage still functioning in the back, numbers on the body and radio. I have been asked if I’m a cop. No is the answer.

    Wearing a badge on your belt would be opening yourself up for a misdeamer charge here.

  26. This is just as idiotic and self righteous as the police chiefs with 4 star general collar insignia…

    You want to carry a badge, go be a cop, you want to wear military officer collar insignia, go be a military officer…

    Nobody likes a poser.

  27. It has been mentioned by others, but it was such an easy solution to the problem I cannot believe it didn’t occur to the OP: move he wallet to the left rear pocket (if you carry on the right). Like others, I carried my wallet in my right rear pocket, being right handed, for years. As soon as I started concealed carry, I saw the problem I would have exposing my CCW each time I reached for my billfold, so genius that I am, I moved it to the left back pocket. There, problem solved.

    The badge is a very bad idea. I cannot think of a single good argument for it.

  28. “This is a problem for me because I carry IWB at 3 o’clock and my wallet is IHP (Inside Hip Pocket) at 5 o’clock. ”

    I have carried my wallet in my front pocket for years because it is easier on the back than sitting on a wallet. I often carry at 4 o’clock or in the back pocket. That is my solution to this question.

  29. I carry a copy of my CCW in a small badge-holder on a lanyard tucked into my shirt. That way I can just pull it out the front of my shirt with the lanyard in case a cop asks.

    • If the gun is concealed then nobody needs to see a “badge” but as I said earlier since I wear a badge for work around my neck almost all the time. I it gives another kind of cover if some one sees my gun.
      No poser wannabe. Just letting everone assume it’s OK for me to have a gun and takes the worry out of their minds, Hard to be charged with impersonating with your work security badge.

      Btw, if I saw cops arriving on the scene of a DGU, I would not hesitate holding up my wallet and yelling “I’m on the job”. What ever they do, it is better than getting shot.

    • This is all you will ever need. Skip the badge and go with this, unless of course you wear a tie, in which case another solution needs to be found. I like the idea of a credit card holder–readily available, slim and fits in a pocket. no fuss no muss, with a copy of or your actual ccw. Particularly useful in California, where you have to fold the “rice paper” over and laminate it in order to fit it in your wallet without having it disintegrate.

  30. This is a terrible idea. Please don’t promote these stupid badges. They reinforce the meme that CCWers are cop wannabees.

  31. Here’s a cops perspective, OK, retired a bit over a year ago. (Got my nomex suit on, ready for flames).
    Most instructors erroneously told their students that you HAD to hand over you CHL with your license if you were pulled over. Not true in Oregon. I would thank those people but let them know it was their license, their business. Just like they didn’t have to tell me if they had pots and pans in the trunk because they were a chef. Some states may be different of course. I considered a car a mans his home, or castle.
    Concealed, means concealed. No one needs to know.
    I also knew I could relax a bit because I knew the person wasn’t a bad guy, but potential backup for me.
    Badge? One side of me likes the idea. I think if worn on the belt near the gat, I could allay a lot of fears or “oh my God, he/she has a gun” comments.
    As long as you’re not impersonating LE, (check your states laws on the wording), you’d be fine. I’ve seen the badges.
    But then, I was one of thy most anti-government, government employees you would meet.

    • Tom, same thing in Washington. We are not required to inform LE that we are carrying unless asked specifically. And thanks for the LEO perspective.

      Lots of good feedback here (and some not so much). Voting is going heavily in favor of NFW.

  32. Might be fun to wear at the local gun club, or a rights rally.

    Every day? Thank you, no. Too many chances for someone to have the wrong impression. Forget about the police, what if you wander too close to where some Bad People are waiting to do Bad Things. They see the badge, make an assumption, and all of a sudden you’re part of their target list.

  33. I love this site and enjoy the perspective offered on many subjects…but even addressing this topic is a serious hit on credibility. Its completely ridiculous to consider carrying a badge for ccw. Not only that but it totally plays into the hands of antis that we are wanna be heros with delusions of grandeur…

    • Greg, where else can this question be discussed amongst people who, mostly, have good solid opinions and reasoning? I’ll admit I was intrigued by the idea of a badge at first, but thought it through and decided the opinions I might get here would be valuable for myself and others. Let’s face it, the badges ALREADY exist and other people might be tempted, as I was initially. Discussing their utility for POTG is hardly showing a lack of credibility, but rather a resect for the people who read the site.

      • A place such as TTAG, with a reputation of respectful and well thought opinions on an important topic, should address it in the manner it deserves…dismissal as absurd. Giving the idea of carrying a freakin fake police-like badge any credence is just weird.

  34. I carry at ~3 o’clock and used to keep my wallet in my rear-right pocket. I moved the wallet to the left rear-pocket so that my right hand would still be available to draw while reaching for my wallet. It took some getting used to, but hell, so did carrying a gun.

    As for the badge, I’m with tj.

  35. Your concern was accidental viewing of your weapon. There are tasteful leather license holders available, some even come with a CCL badge. You’ve got me thinking I might get one, toss the badge, and wear it on my belt beside my weapon. Texas just passed a law making accidental viewing of a legally concealed weapon a non issue. A badge in most peoples minds is law enforcement. The sight of the ID likely would distract from the weapon, or calm those who saw both.

  36. The only area a badge may or may not help would be ID’ing ones self to responding police after a shoot, outside if that I don’t believe they serve a purpose.

    • I would think that after shooting someone would be the worst possible time to have one of these. Look how the press and prosecutors crucified George Zimmerman as a vigilante cop wannabe, just for being involved in his Neighborhood Watch program. Now imagine the same scenario, except when the cops get there, you’re flashing a homemade badge around…

  37. I have a great idea for a compromise: a simple white card that a person can pin to a shirt, with a happy face on it and the inscription “Hello, My Name Is _______ and I’m Carrying a BFG.”

  38. Don’t know what everyone else thinks about it but here is what I did. 13yrs ago I became a reserve member of my local sherriff’s pd. Now I get inside intel on what is going on in my AO, plus get great training and someone else pays the ammo expense.

  39. CCW Badge?

    No.

    A readily identifiable item like a “badge” that can be carried hidden. but clearly displayed in the event of an incident, might be of some value.

  40. ” Officer, I have a Concealed carry permit. I’m armed. my weapon is an my holster in the three o’clock. My permit is in my wallet in my right hand back pocket. How would you like me to procede?
    I carry right front pocket, I’ve moved everything else over to the let side (as above have suggested)
    No to badges!!

  41. I don’t think the badge is a bad idea as long as it’s concealed like the pistol and only brought out if there is concern from someone. I don’t think it’s a pathetic sign of the permit holder and I could see a situation or two where it could calm a citizen who saw the gun. This works even better in states or areas that aren’t gun friendly. I cannot see this helping out with a cop though. Heck in my state cops don’t even know what a permit looks like because there are so few of them.

    • The ONLY impression flashing a badge will give is that youre a cop. And unless youre cop, thats probably not a good idea…

      Youre attitude and actions will determine how a situation transpires…not some piece of costume jewelry.

  42. Friend of mine favors the term “shit for brains” about this kind of thing. Along with civilians wearing BDU’s around town.

  43. I think the solution is a combination of verbal code and body language.

    Such as, when stopped for a traffic incident, you say to the LEO “Officer I have something in pants I want show you” and then wink.

    That should get his attention.

  44. No. No flip down permit holders either. No matter what kind of badge it is you will get ridiculed and rightly so. The reason against a permit holder is that your openly displaying your information it is available to any nefarious types…criminals that want a fake permit with a real # or even cops that want your information when you have no legal requirement to give it….and make no mistake, depending on your state you don’t always have to identify. In my state I only have a requirement to when being detained(note, traffic stops is considered detainment) and the gun is concealed. If I am just walking around carrying I don’t have to provide ID when asked.and I’ve flat out refused a few times to do so without issue.

  45. Why not just get one of those cheap necklace type document holders from ranger joes or brigade quartermaster and put your permit in it? Just tuck it inside your shirt and, if need be, pull it out to show the LEO you are legal. You could even put your DL in the other side.

  46. If you do get a badge, please understand that it is illegal in New Mexico.

    Title 10, Chapter 8, Part 2, Section 16, paragraph H: “Indicia of licensure. No person who is not a law enforcement officer, may carry a badge, patch, card, or any other indication of authority to carry a concealed handgun in New Mexico other than the license issued by the department or a license issued by a state that has been accepted by transfer, recognition or reciprocity by New Mexico pursuant to the act.”

  47. When driving, that “keep your hands at 10:00 and 2:00” rule has worked well enough for me; when out of the car, arms at 4:00 and 8:00 seems good enough. Did drop into a perfect kneel-hands-behind-head to a felony prone one time when a Feeb-buddy called out my name in front of a Federal Court house (I was completely unarmed at the time). Man, you should have seen those bystanders between us haul butt… Seems only one of us thought THAT was funny…

    • Cute, and cheap, but a little confrontational for my taste.

      Seems like the idea, as I suspected on reflection, is not popular nor necessary. Guess you guys all saved me $89.95. Think I’ll go try to find some 9mm JHP.

  48. I have seen quite a few here in TN wearing them when they open carry. At first I thought the same thing, Cop-wanna-be, however I know quite a few visitors from out of state who have freaked out when they say a gun hanging off the hip of some mid 20-s country boy as he got out of his beat up truck. To the uneducated any badge seems to ease their concerns plus they sell them at my local shop that caters to LEOs so would image in my neck of the woods they are welcomed. However for CC I will pass on a badge, I already have enough stuff hanging off my body.

  49. If I remember correctly, Massad Ayoob has opined on CCW badges and doesn’t feel they are a good idea. His background as an LEO (one of the good ones), a teacher, and an expert witness on things gun related lends his opinion a fair amount of weight.
    Since these things can be picked up an ebay, amazon,etc., they aren’t proof of anything. I just watched a court case where a tow truck operator shot and killed a guy who was retrieving his car which had been towed illegally. The tow truck operator, who was a convicted felon, was wearing a CCW badge and the prosecutor had a field day with it–cop wannabe, impersonating a cop, and on and on. The dood ended up convicted of murder. A cop commentator covering the case, who happened to be pro 2a, expressed disdain for CCW badges, saying they create more confusion than they eliminate.
    Sounds like they’d get you into more shit than they’d get you out of. Not to mention everyone would laught at you.

  50. I’m glad you shared your question with us Cliff H. I learned quite a bit from the comments. After weighing all of them I’m choosing not to consider a CCW badge.

    I like to come here to get away from people who needlessly attack my views, questions and comments. I hope that the feedback you’ve received doesn’t prevent you from asking any more questions like this. After all, I thought we were all on the same side?

    • On this issue, apparently not! At any rate, that’s what discussion is about, isn’t it?

      Opinions have weighted heavily against the need, utility or even advisability of such badges in MOST cases. In spite of my initial interest I have to agree that over-all it seems like an unnecessary item and expense and a potentially very bad move. I was on the fence, leaning towards “probably not”, but seem to have fallen heavily on the side of “definitely not”.

      As for people who would rather attack and ridicule than discuss the issue:

  51. A stranger saw my sidearm in public and asked the tired question, “Are you a cop?” I replied with, “Are you a prostitute?” She gasped and replied, “No! Why would you ask?” I answered, “Exactly.”

    IMHO, badges are a bad idea. In some places OC is normalized enough that the general public and peace officers already assume that someone OCing is probably not a criminal. This thread is one of those rare moments when I agree with the “concealed means concealed!” crew and suggest that if one were to display a concealed carry badge then they might as well open carry. Further, the badge potentially creates more problems than it likely cures. Some claim that an OCer would be first to be shot in a robbery attempt. How much more-so would it be for a person displaying a badge? However, if someone has a mind to carry one, I’m not going to be one to ridicule, complain, or demean. I don’t think it’s prudent but that’s just my own opinion.

  52. I just came back from the gun shop where they tried to sell me a CC badge….I of course then replied,
    “Badges, I don’t need no stinking badges”

  53. Slightly OT – I love reading about the “process” of getting a CC permit in other states. In NH it cost $10 and takes roughly 3 days. I have a lot of trouble arguing with that.

    • And yet the website noted in the post has the badges listed and for sale, so someone must be buying them. If nothing else, discussing it here has possibly prevented some readers, and there are a lot more who read than who post comments, from wasting their money on something that has no real utility and may be a detriment.

  54. Wearing a CPL badge is ok only on Halloween. The rest of the year, it’ll be exhibit A of some over zealous prosecutor who wants to liable you as a vigilante.

  55. I have a Texas ranger style badge on my gun belt that has no writing on it what so ever.If a citizen sees it they would assume law officer ,but what you think is none of my business,it is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and if anyone were to ask ; it is just a silver concho.

  56. You’re going off the rails on a crazy train. I won’t wear a badge, I won’t expose my gun, and if I ever get spotted I will simply carry on. If I’m confronted I’ll simply explain. If my explanation isn’t enough for Joe Public I’m sure the police can educate him after a brief encounter where I show them my wallet.

  57. It’s not that difficult to keep your firearm concealed. If it is, you need either to get new clothes, a new gun, holster, belt, or all of them. I’m very thin, and carry a full size pistol, either an HK45 or 1911, everyday, and have never had someone notice it.(or if they did, there was no indication that they had) I don’t wear baggy clothes either. With time you learn how to and not move/bend/reach/etc.

    A good holster that is comfortable and conceals well for your body type will serve you much more than any CC badge or emblem. My personal favorite is the Milt Sparks VMII.

    • As the weather gets cooler concealment becomes less of an issue. Here in Washington it’s not even a legal problem if you open carry (technically) or your concealed weapon if briefly displayed. I have successfully concealed everything from a six-inch S&W 686 to my current Ruger SR9c and except for windy days and bending/reaching not had much concerns.

      Still, the badges exist, the issue exists, and discussion amongst friends is always a good thing. Our civilization (such as it is) has come as far as it has because people were willing to share ideas and discuss best practices and bad concepts. This pretty much falls into the bad concept category, it appears.

  58. I’ve posted this story here sometime back but here was a experience I had and this was with open carry.
    In WI while shopping in grocery store I was near done with my food shopping task that I’ve done every week usually always on Sunday early evening at the same store for about 2 years. About 10 minutes prior to me being ready to head to the checkout aisle a lady about 45 maybe and either her young daughter or grand-daughter passed by me in a aisle going the opposite direction. I stopped a few steps after she passed me to grab a few boxes of my favorite cereal and I heard the word “arsshole” said twice. Once softer and once loud, I turned to see her looking at me with a scowl and rightly assumed the arssholes were for me. Didn’t know if it was the 686 strapped to my side, I usually carry a glock compact, or my softball team jacket from a south Minneapolis bar league I played for some years before that had numerous patches one of them a woman in little clothes straddling a beer mug. Either way I ignored it and moved on. About 6 minutes later the manager of the store comes up and tells me a lady complained about my gun and demanded police be called, he explained they allowed firearms in the store and that he tried to explain this to the lady but she put up a fuss. He told me to just keep shopping and that police would be there shortly. I finished up and checked out and as I was almost to the side door which I came in at the police came in the front and I could she them talking to the lady with the child. The manager then popped in their conversation and I decided to just stay there as to not look like I was fleeing as I had done nothing wrong. The manager pointed toward me, the lady and child and the two cops looked over and I waved, the manager then skipped over to me and said I could go as the police were trying to explain to her that open carry was legal for any citizen of the state. Manager said she was demanding the police check my ID and run my name but they told her they couldn’t unless he, the manager or another employee, said I was causing trouble or suspected of committing a crime in the store. I could hear her yelling at the police as I left and as I walked out the door the manager said he was sorry and that he’d see me next time. I still felt that the police would come out and talk with me or at least take down my plates or something, but as I drove off I could still see both officers in heavy conversation with the lady, the child with her pulling at her arm as to signal enough is enough. Come to find out on one of my next trips to that store that the lady was so distraught with this experience and response from police that the cops had to call her husband to come get her as the police felt she was a danger to drive and possibly to the child. Talk about irony and thee most unexpected response from police I would expect. With all the youtube videos of cops harassing open carry folks I at least expected to be detained while they run my name but nothing. Thankfully in WI the state supreme courts took on this issue of police harassing open carry folks immediately after the open laws were confirmed and re-written. America is wonderful, and WI is much more wonderful than most states when it comes to gun laws, even here in MN where even a carry permitted person will be held at gun point if they dare open carry, even though it is legal for permitted folks. The courts here in MN have just decided the citizens rights are not as important as the supposed safety of police and the non-gun folks. Hopefully here we can get out many of these anti-gun dems just as WI did the last decade.

    • It’s important to note that in Ohio, the ONLY way that we got to the level of ‘non-interference’ as you describe in your Wisconsin store experience is through people open carrying. Ohioans carried concealed for many decades prior to concealed handgun licensing laws. Open carrying fell into disuse in most areas therefore people fell into a delusion that nobody except criminals were armed so arrest and prosecution for concealed carry became more common and more arduous for the victim of state abuses. Open carry was even used to prod legislators to make concealed carry licensing law. If people did not go out and carry their firearms in public, day to day going about their business, experiences like you described would not be possible here. Those people OCing have made great strides in educating the public as well as law enforcement. As unfortunate as it is, in many cases, law enforcement had to be forced to behave lawfully towards OCers. The only way we will retain our protections on the right to keep and bear arms in public is by re-enforcing that right through regular exercise. If Ohioans fall out of the habit of OCing, then the public and law enforcement will lose consciousness of the individual’s right to do so; law and prosecution will follow suit. While concealed carry is a good thing (I prefer constitutional carry over licensing laws), open carry is essential. In a worst case scenario, concealed carry could be banned and a strong part of the RKBA would survive with only unlicensed OC remaining. However, if unlicensed open carry were banned, generations later would see concealed carry severely restricted or eliminated all together.

  59. Hmmm… Badges…. it seems like Cliff is over thinking this to me. If the officer asks you to hand them your firearm then they’re taking the exact same risk as if they ask you to hand them your permit, so just follow instructions, make sure you’re talking as well, calmly to let the officer know what you’re doing (kind of a like a dog, or a skittish horse I guess.)

    Or you could always get a laminated ID card holder and keep it somewhere away from your handgun, like the inside or outside pocket of your jacket for instance, they cost all of 2 or 3 dollars. The Badge thing just seems like a really bad idea to me.

  60. I can envision one use for these things: mitigating your chances of getting shot by cops/other CHL holders.

    I believe I recall studies and experiments done to cut down on the incidences of undercover police officers getting friendly fired by backup who couldn’t distinguish between the undercover and another “guy in street clothes with a gun”. Ultimately they found that the best thing for the undercovers to do was to literally take their badge and wave it over their heads as they shoot one-handed, and that was the one with the least amount of friendly fire incidents. They still happened, mind, but it cut down some.

    So, perhaps, a shiny holder for your CHL, and in the event you happen upon a shooter situation and pulling out your gun is the best choice, have that in your other hand?

  61. Now I read a lot of the comments and I agree that wearing a badge negates the conceal and the element of surprise. But with the new law in the state of Texas with open carry allowed by conceal permit holders only would it be a good idea for those that will support the open carry to have the badge to identify that they have a permit.

  62. To me where the badge holster comes in handy is if you actually have to use deadly force. Your in the mall or whatever and an active shooter breaks out. When someone sees you reach for your once concealed pistol they may also see the badge on the holster, instantly informing you are a good guy who can help and not the active shooters accomplice.
    http://www.armslist.com/posts/1734354/madison-wisconsin-holsters-for-sale–concealed-carry-holster-with-cc-badge

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