2a

Off-body carry is a lot like treating a gun like a talisman. If just having a gun somewhere nearby would ward off criminals, then it’s great. But if you actually need to use your firearm, well…not so much. Actually drawing and presenting a firearm from an off-body carry solution is generally more difficult than most people appreciate. Give it a try sometime. Stick an (unloaded or training) gun in a briefcase, purse or backpack, close it as you would if you were walking down the street, then try to draw and present under time pressure. Then try to picture how long it would take you to do that under real stress . . .

That was enough to convince me that off-body carry wasn’t worth it. Then, when you add in the necessity of keeping your briefcase, purse, day planner, or fake iPad case with you at all times, well, that’s enough for me. The firearm stays on the hip, in a pocket, over the shoulder, or even a compression T-shirt holster, as the situation warrants. If the gun comes off the body, it’s secured.

I remember the anxieties I had when I first joined the ranks of the armed citizenry, and briefly entertained the idea of going down the off-body carry road. That was back when when the idea of carrying my (in retrospect, hilariously tiny) Kahr MK9 in a OWB holster underneath my leather jacket seemed like an edgy move. I do, however, understand why people new to the whole concealed-carry lifestyle might be attracted to off-body carry.

It is to them in particular that I say: it’s not a good idea. In time, you will figure out a workable on-body carry solution. There are a lot of options out there. There are quality holster makers who offer money-back satisfaction guarantees. You will find something that works for you, what you carry and how you dress.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, this happened.

A 3-year-old boy shot his father and pregnant mother over the weekend inside a hotel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Police say the boy removed a handgun from his mother’s purse Saturday and fired one shot, striking his father in the lower backside.

When heading out beyond the wire carrying a firearm of some kind, maintaining control of it is one of the day’s most important objectives. With off-body carry, you are risking both loss of control as well as sacrificing ease of access — generally for the sake of fashion and convenience. If fashion and convenience are your highest objectives for the day, then either reevaluate your priorities or leave the shootin’ iron at home. Your mind isn’t in the right place for carrying a firearm today. Know thyself.

If plan “A” involves a method of carry that the only alternative is a situation where you might end up leaving a firearm in a place where it can be accessed by someone else or stolen, well, it’s time to opt for plan “B”. Never forget: the best of intentions do not count for anything in the world of firearms — not in firearms law, not in trajectories, not in penetration, not in financial consequences, and certainly not in moral obligations.

Social norms and fashion in 21st century America being what they are, this issue is salient among women who choose to carry a firearm. Since women are increasingly purchasing firearms for their own use, this is something that our community should address.

I have, in my time, also heard more than one well-intentioned (there’s that phrase again) significant other from the male of the species who is so tickled pink that his wife/girlfriend is thinking about carrying a pistol that he’ll suggest that she “just throw it in her purse” without thinking through the risks that it entails.

Kathy Jackson, a firearms instructor from the Pacific Northwest, who has spent a bit of time thinking and writing about issues related to women who carry firearms agrees that off-body carry isn’t always the best policy.

I’m not a fan of carrying a handgun off-body. While I understand that some women literally have no other viable choices, my suspicion is that most women who carry in a purse do so as their default option, or because they have never given on-body carry the serious consideration it deserves….

Ms. Jackson hits it out of the park here:

One of my biggest concerns with purse carry is that it is very socially awkward to treat the gun purse with the respect it must be treated. Because it is socially awkward to give the firearm-containing purse the respect it must be given, the human tendency is to disregard the safety rules “just this once” and leave the purse and its gun in an unsecure location. One problem with this is that “just this once” is literally all the time it takes for an unexpected tragedy to strike. And the larger problem is that “just this once” has a nasty tendency of turning into an ongoing bad habit.

For instance, few women keep their purses literally on their laps the entire time they are visiting friends, even friends with children. Most women toss their purses casually over the back of their chairs in a restaurant (with the attendant risk of walking away without it). We shove our purses underneath our desks when we get to work, and don’t think about them again all day. We plunk our purses into the shopping cart in the grocery store, then turn away to pick out tomatoes. But it literally only takes a split second for a purse-snatcher to do his thing — and even less than that for a child or grandchild to get into your purse when mommy’s not watching as carefully as she ought. There is literally no safe place to set a gun purse down if it is not locked up. But physically holding onto your purse all the time will definitely earn you some odd looks from your friends. You must be prepared for this fact, and consider ways to cope with it.

While it is easy to think, “Oh, that won’t happen to me,” there are enough horror stories out there about this that it really gives one pause to think.

Ms. Jackson has published a lot on the ways a woman can dress around a gun at her site, corneredcat.com (which is a good site for firearm novices, regardless of gender.) She also spends some time talking about how to safely carry a firearm in a dedicated holster purse, for those who are determined to take that path anyway.

Though I can’t think of one at the moment, there may be a rare confluence of circumstances in which off-body carry is the best option. For all I know, there may be thousands of people who do it in a safe, secure way every day. But I know that it wouldn’t work for me. I’ve walked away from briefcases, left electronic equipment on the roof of my car before driving away, and know that, at some point, the odds would catch up with me. I suspect the same is true of others, too, which is why I say, carry on-body, or not at all.

 

(NOTE: It should go without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – that nothing in the above endorses a legislative solution to issues centered on individual responsibility.)

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132 Responses to Carry On-Body Or Not At All

  1. Okay, well here is a legitimate question then. I have two small children, a 4-year old and a one year old. With having small children I will inevitably have to carry one of them during an outing and this presents a difficult situation. I know hip carry is the preferred method, but with a child on my strong side I have them riding on top of the holster causing a lot of printing and impeding the draw. With them on the weak side hip, it tends to pull my cover garment and again causes printing. Pocket carry is difficult to manage with only one hand freed up, though if I got a small enough gun I suppose I could do back pocket carry with a wallet holster. I’ve tried appendix carry, but I drive a lot for work and this tends to be uncomfortable. Same with small of back carry which is what I was using for a time. Right now, I’ve been going with ankle carry when I carry. It’s not ideal, but I’ve practiced it a lot one handed (boot cut jeans give me enough room to slide them up one handed). Any better suggestions?

    • Depending on what you wear and the climate perhaps try a good shoulder holster. If you live in a generally hot area, and can’t wear a light jacket/button up shirt try a pocket holster. Ankle isn’t horrible if all else fails, better than off body I guess. Also, depending on where you live, don’t be so concerned about printing. Some states it can be an issue but in most its not because open carry is legal anyway. If you live in a state that has no issue with open carry don’t let printing bother you. Most people don’t notice anyway.. And the ones that do? Who cares? Your carrying to defend yourself.

    • with a child on my strong side I have them riding on top of the holster causing a lot of printing…With them on the weak side hip, it tends to pull my cover garment and again causes printing.

      Printing is not against the law.

      • Also, even though a criminal might “make” you when your handgun prints, the outer garment makes it next to impossible for that criminal to suddenly relieve you of your handgun. (The outer garment makes it extremely difficult for a criminal trying to sneak up from behind and snatch your handgun before you can react.)

      • Thank you for making this point. I have often thought that the near-obsessive-compulsiveness with “printing” is way overblown. Sure, people who carry are more likely to notice themselves printing – and are the ones most likely to notice a fellow carrier to be printing. But who cares? If someone else who is carrying is observant enough to notice that I’m carrying, fine. He knows that the two of us are of a like mind.

        Most other people aren’t ever going to notice – and even if they do, they’re not likely to realize (or perhaps even consider) that what is printing is a firearm.

        • This is very dangerous advice. Depending on each state’s laws, printing may very well be a criminal offense. Rank speculation as to what “most people” will notice is a useless exercise, when it only takes one person to call the cops on you.

        • This is dangerous advice. Depending on the states laws, printing may very well be a criminal offense.

          Do you know of any states, specifically? I’m researching this issue, but thus far, most of the States I’ve seen have laws that either allow both OC/CC with permit, have CC via permit and constitutional OC, or have statutes that indemnify inadvertent disclosure of CC. In all such cases, printing would not be illegal.

          The only thing that I’ve been able to find are brandishing statutes – but brandishing (and similar offenses) require intent to threaten with the firearm – a standard not met by mere printing.

          So, do you know of any States, specifically, where mere printing is illegal? That would be useful information to have, if true.

        • This is very dangerous advice. Depending on each state’s laws, printing may very well be a criminal offense.

          foosball, there is no state where printing is illegal.

        • Alabama. If someone else can tell you’re carrying a firearm, as in the weapon “prints” through your shirt, pants etc., it’s considered the same as brandishing and is a misdemeanor offense. They tell you when you get your CCW at the Sheriff’s office. It’s the only example I know of, and for all I know it may be the only state with such a ridiculous law. I carried IWB with a Springfield XD .40 and never had a problem, you just have to make sure you’re extra careful when you choose your clothes.

        • Alabama. If someone else can tell you’re carrying a firearm, as in the weapon “prints” through your shirt, pants etc., it’s considered the same as brandishing and is a misdemeanor offense.

          Open carry is legal in Alabama, so I do not believe that to be true. In fact, it is explicitly allowed, and rebuts a claim of disorderly conduct:

          §13A-11-7.
          (a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience,
          annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he or she does any of the following:

          (c) It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in a
          public place, in and of itself, is not a violation of this section.

          Information from handgunlaw.us:
          http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/alabama.pdf

          I cannot find any reference to a “brandishing” offense in Alabama.

          There is “menacing”:

          Section 13A-6-23

          Menacing.

          (a) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by physical action, he intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

          That doesn’t seem to apply to printing, either.

        • Alabama. If someone else can tell you’re carrying a firearm, as in the weapon “prints” through your shirt, pants etc., it’s considered the same as brandishing and is a misdemeanor offense.

          Angry & Irish, that is not correct. Alabama is an open carry state! You don’t even need a carry license for OC. You can show your firearm or not, it doesn’t make a difference. There is no law against printing in Alabama. Please cite if you believe otherwise.

          Where do people come up with this stuff?

        • The issue isn’t whether “printing” is against the law per se. The state-specific issue is whether (i) it is against the law to carry an unconcealed weapon, (ii) there is a mental state attached to the unconcealed element, (iii) whether there is case law or political motivation to prosecute for negligent/reckless failure to conceal. I realize Danny is making some definitive statements on this, but I think he is oversimplifying the issue. Danny, have your undertaken a 50-state analysis of state penal code, case law, and prosecutorial leanings? If so, I would encourage you to publish this in a law review.

        • The issue isn’t whether “printing” is against the law per se.

          True. Printing may be unlawful for one of two reasons (are there more?):

          1. It is considered insufficient concealment where open carry is unlawful
          2. It is considered menacing/brandishing/etc. similar offenses

          The state-specific issue is whether (i) it is against the law to carry an unconcealed weapon

          Open carry is legal in Alabama. Concealed carry is legal with a permit.

          (ii) there is a mental state attached to the unconcealed element,

          In Alabama: by statute, the mere carrying of an unconcealed firearm on one’s person rebuts a claim of disorderly conduct. By statute, there is no offense of “brandishing”. By statute, the offense of “menacing” requires explicit action on the part of the accused.

          (iii) whether there is case law or political motivation to prosecute for negligent/reckless failure to conceal.

          In Alabama, there is no “failure to conceal” offense, whether done negligently nor recklessly, because open carry is legal.

        • The issue isn’t whether “printing” is against the law per se.

          Actually it is because you flat out stated that “Depending on each state’s laws, printing may very well be a criminal offense.” Printing is not a criminal offense in any state code, so no, your statement is false.

          The state-specific issue is whether (i) it is against the law to carry an unconcealed weapon

          Now you are changing the argument. There are six states where open carry is not legal, but even in those states printing is not illegal. If you think otherwise, please cite the relevant statute(s).

        • OK Danny, split hairs if you will. You can be king of the Internet for today. But as you know, “printing” (as we use that term amongst friends) could-hypothetically-constitute a criminal offense even if the applicable statute doesn’t use the word “printing.” For example, in Texas, there is no law against “running a red light,” verbatim.

          In Texas and Florida, there were recent changes in the law to decriminalize inadvertent or negligent failure to conceal (paraphrasing). So there are two examples of where “printing” may have constituted a criminal offense–even without using the magic word “printing.”

          So Danny, I will repeat and clarify my question because you obviously have very strong views on this subject: Have you done a 50 state analysis of code, case law, and political leanings and are you sure that no one will ever be convicted of any crime because they “printed,” as we say amongst us friends?

        • The recent changes to FL and TX law were only clarifications. Even the legislators stated that. They didn’t actually change the law. It’s too bad some laws aren’t written as clearly as they should be.

          You say that printing can be illegal. Therefore the onus is on you to show cites where printing can be illegal. Since open carry is legal in 44 states, we can throw those out altogether. That only leaves you with six states. Should be pretty easy to find cites in at least one of those six states to back up your assertion. Go for it.

        • Danny, you’re the one making definitive statements, and I’m the one cautioning against approach due to the very type of “clarification” that was needed in TX and FL. I say that printing “can be illegal” in a general sense because I recognize that laws aren’t legislated, executed and adjudicated by men as wise as you–they’re often drafted poorly; executed arbitrarily, capriciously, and politically; and adjudicated emotionally. Danny, as the one making the definitive statements that “printing” is “not illegal,” you can keep your onus. Looking forward to your 50-state survey.

        • Danny, also, your statement that “[Texas legislators] didn’t actually change the law” is patently false: the law was amended (i.e. actually changed) in Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 72 (S.B. 299), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013. See http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/SB00299F.HTM.

          The legislature provided some helpful background information on this change, part of which states “Current law prohibits the intentional failure to conceal a handgun by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun. Many concealed-carry licensees fear that this language is too broad, and that it could lead to prosecutions in situations where the display of the weapon is inadvertent or where the display of a handgun takes place in a private place in an unthreatening manner, like the home of a friend. These individuals point out that similar occurrences have resulted in criminal charges against concealed-carry licensees in other states.” See http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/analysis/html/SB00299H.HTM. Read that quoted portion again.

        • I should have clarified not state wide, but in Mobile County Alabama is where I was told this, at the County Sheriff’s Office. So when I’m wrong, I admit it, and I am truly wrong here, and I apologize for not more thoroughly explaining my information or where it was received from.

          This wasn’t something I just made up or found on the internet and believed as true. From 1999 when I first was able to get a concealed permit up until 2013 (the last time I renewed my AL CCW Permit, which occurs at the Sheriff’s Office) and every time I would renew they would go over the states with ALabama reciprocity, where you can and can’t carry and that you can’t be intoxicated or be consuming alcohol while carrying concealed, and they would, every time, expressly state that “No one can ever tell that you are carrying concealed, even through a shirt, if your weapon prints, it’s the same as brandishing, and a misdemeanor offense.” Perhaps they meant gangster style, in the small of your back sans holster? I’m not really sure.

          I sat there for an hour and a half last time I renewed in 2013 and this was said to every person who would come to the counter to pick up their CCW permit once it was finished processing. This could be just a Mobile County issue with bad or outdated info. Either way, this was expressed by the Sheriff’s Office employees every year I picked up my permit.

          Here’s what I found on the Alabama gun law reform of 2013, which aimed at clarifying a lot of Alabama’s vague gun laws.

          SUMMARY:
          To amend Section 13A-11-7, Code of Alabama 1975, to establish a rebuttable presumption that the carrying of a firearm under certain conditions does not constitute the crime of disorderly conduct;

          EXPLANATION:
          It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in a public place, in and of itself, is not a violation of the Disorderly Conduct Law. A person cannot be charged with Disorderly Conduct for the Possession of A Firearm that is Openly Carried in a holster.

          A person may not display or brandish a pistol in his or her hand in a public place or inside a private business. A person violates 13A-11-7(a)(1) of the Disorderly Conduct statute if he possess a loaded or unloaded pistol in a public place or private business. A person must have the pistol holstered or secured to be within the confinements of the law. A pistol is not secured in a person’s hand. A person forfeits their defense if their pistol is not holstered or secured.

          Furthermore, a person may also be charged under Section 13A-6-23 with the Crime of Menacing if the person’s actions are placing a another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

          I hope this clarifies things.

        • It’s hard to believe they would tell licensees that garbage when it is blatantly false. Next time they tell you that, ask them how open carry is legal, then, if it is against the law for someone to see your pistol. Another data point for never getting law advice from a LEO. Alabama has always had open carry. There are court cases going back at least as far as 1840 reaffirming OC.

          The State v. Reid, Supreme Court of Alabama, 1 Ala. 612; 1840 Ala.

          Also, since Alabama has preemption, neither Mobile County nor any other local unit of government can make their own firearm laws that are more restrictive than the state’s.

          It’s also hard to believe they would spend the time going over all 27 states that honor Alabama’s license. Do they bother telling you about the states that don’t, but it is still legal for you to carry there? Some states that don’t recognize Alabama’s license to conceal will still allow you to open carry there.

        • Ap9logirs for the brevity of the reply, but it’s late.

          A holstered, concealed firearm that is printing is, by definition, not *in the hand*. This point would seem to nullify the argument that a printing firearm can be considered as “brandishing”.

        • No they wouldn’t go over every state individually, they would just point out the list of states on the pamphlet they gave you with your CCW permit. As in “Okay, here’s the list of states that honor AL permits, it says here you can’t carry in a bar or consume alcohol while carrying, or go in a courthouse while carrying and so on, about a 30 second spiel (obviously rehearsed) and then say how no one could ever tell that you were carrying and that it was considered brandishing. And that’s what they said, every time I and anyone else that was there when I renewed.

        • Okay, I have time for a longer response:

          I should have clarified not state wide, but in Mobile County Alabama is where I was told this, at the County Sheriff’s Office. So when I’m wrong, I admit it, and I am truly wrong here, and I apologize for not more thoroughly explaining my information or where it was received from.

          This wasn’t something I just made up or found on the internet and believed as true. From 1999 when I first was able to get a concealed permit up until 2013 (the last time I renewed my AL CCW Permit, which occurs at the Sheriff’s Office) and every time I would renew they would go over the states with ALabama reciprocity, where you can and can’t carry and that you can’t be intoxicated or be consuming alcohol while carrying concealed, and they would, every time, expressly state that “No one can ever tell that you are carrying concealed, even through a shirt, if your weapon prints, it’s the same as brandishing, and a misdemeanor offense.” Perhaps they meant gangster style, in the small of your back sans holster? I’m not really sure.

          I am open to correction, but I searched and could not find a criminal offense for “brandishing” in the Alabama statutes. I found one for “menacing”, but that requires explicit physical action, as well as intent, on the part of the accused:


          Section 13A-6-23

          Menacing.
          (a) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by physical action, he intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

          There is absolutely no way that a gun “printing” meets the statutory definition of “menacing” in Alabama.

          I sat there for an hour and a half last time I renewed in 2013 and this was said to every person who would come to the counter to pick up their CCW permit once it was finished processing. This could be just a Mobile County issue with bad or outdated info. Either way, this was expressed by the Sheriff’s Office employees every year I picked up my permit.

          It may be an issue with the Mobile County sheriff giving out incorrect legal advice. But note that it is not a statutory issue limited to Mobile County, because Alabama statutes also provide for State preemption of firearms-related laws.


          11-45-1.1

          No incorporated municipality shall have the power to enact any ordinance, rule, or regulation which shall tax, restrict, prevent, or in any way affect the possession or ownership of handguns by the citizens of this state. The entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature. This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict the power of a municipality to adopt ordinances which make the violation of a state handgun law a violation of a municipal ordinance to the same extent as other state law violations, or to limit or restrict the power of a municipal court to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the district court over violations of state handgun laws which may be prosecuted as breaches of a municipal ordinance.

          So, State law regarding the legality of open carry, and the legality of permitted concealed carry, apply in Mobile County.

          Here’s what I found on the Alabama gun law reform of 2013, which aimed at clarifying a lot of Alabama’s vague gun laws.

          SUMMARY:
          To amend Section 13A-11-7, Code of Alabama 1975, to establish a rebuttable presumption that the carrying of a firearm under certain conditions does not constitute the crime of disorderly conduct;

          EXPLANATION:
          It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the mere carrying of a visible pistol, holstered or secured, in a public place, in and of itself, is not a violation of the Disorderly Conduct Law. A person cannot be charged with Disorderly Conduct for the Possession of A Firearm that is Openly Carried in a holster.

          A person may not display or brandish a pistol in his or her hand in a public place or inside a private business. A person violates 13A-11-7(a)(1) of the Disorderly Conduct statute if he possess a loaded or unloaded pistol in a public place or private business. A person must have the pistol holstered or secured to be within the confinements of the law. A pistol is not secured in a person’s hand. A person forfeits their defense if their pistol is not holstered or secured.

          Furthermore, a person may also be charged under Section 13A-6-23 with the Crime of Menacing if the person’s actions are placing a another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

          The key point in this explanation is a pistol in his or her hand. A holstered, concealed firearm is by definition not in the hand, and therefore the rebuttable presumption would remain applicable. A holstered firearm, carried openly, carried concealed, or carried concealed but “printing”, cannot, in and of itself, constitute grounds of disorderly conduct.

          So, how would printing apply to the following?

          Brandishing: no Alabama statute
          Menacing: no “physical action”, and no evidence of intent
          Disorderly Conduct: explicitly rebutted in the statute

          It would appear that the good sheriff is simply giving people bad information.

      • This one irritates me to no end. “Printing” should be stricken from the vocabulary of POTG.
        For that matter, here is a list of stupid shit “gun experts” say:

        Just rack the slide on a shotgun and the bad guy will run away.

        A WML will become a target for the other guy.

        I carry a .45 so I only have to shoot once.

        If you can’t operate a thumb safety then you shouldn’t own a gun.

        You shouldn’t own a gun.

        In some cases it is preferable to fire a warning shot.

        I don’t carry a gun because with my wardrobe, it would print.

        The best gun to have in a DGU is whatever gun you have with you.

        Get your girlfriend/wife/mother a .38 revolver.

        I live in an apartment so I can’t have an AR15 for home defense.

        Lasers on a gun will distract your eyes away from the target.

        I load my shotgun to first fire rock salt, then bird shot, then 00buck, then in case they hide behind a couch, slugs.

        You can’t protect yourself in your home with a long gun. The bad guy will hide in a doorway and take it from you. And handguns aren’t powerful enough. You need an SBR.

        And one of the stupidest things of all:
        Carry on-body or not at all.

        • Out of curiosity; what issue do you take with “The best gun to have in a DGU is whatever gun you have with you.”?

        • Because you could have gone down to the local gun shop and bought a real gun. We are talking about “the best” gun to have. There are several choices but to say “have any gun” is ludicrous.

        • “Because you could have gone down to the local gun shop and bought a real gun. We are talking about “the best” gun to have. There are several choices but to say “have any gun” is ludicrous.”

          Please add this to your list of stupid shit.

        • “I load my shotgun to first fire rock salt, then bird shot, then 00buck, then in case they hide behind a couch, slugs.”

          That sounds a lot like my wife’s loony grandpa. He once told us he keeps it loaded with birdshot, buckshot, then slugs because “If they are still standing after the first shot they will be running away.” I cringed so hard and hope nobody ever tries to break into his house, because if they do, he will get himself thrown in jail.

        • And here is a few more:

          If you don’t get professional training in gun fighting then you won’t be able to defend yourself with a gun.

          No matter how careful you are, you are not immune to a negligent discharge.

          It is people like you (pro 2A absolutist) that has caused us to be in this situation (Liberal infringing laws). (even though I have never murdered anyone with a gun or otherwise).

          Glocks never fail.

          Don’t mount anything on your AR but a red dot and BUIS because it will make it too heavy. (too heavy for what?)

          If you get pulled over for a traffic violation, you better tell the cop you are armed.

          Never draw against a drawn gun.

          I’m a school teacher so I can’t have a gun at work.

          I’m too fat so I can’t conceal carry.

          I’m too skinny so I can’t conceal carry.

          I won’t carry a Glock, they’er too ugly.

          I won’t carry my Dan Wesson 1911, it is too pretty to get confiscated after a DGU.

          Glocks don’t naturally point right.

          I have large hands and Glocks are too big for my hand. (after only holding a Glock 21)

          All guns are loaded (that one is stupid by design)

        • Hmm, but on the surface a gun that you have with you is a far superior gun than one you do not have with you, thus, the best gun to have is the one you have with you. Your assertion that one could just go to the gun store and buy a better gun is great, except for a few factors: a) if it is at the gun store, the gun you have with you is better than it is for fighting and b) there may always be a better gun at the gun store, but not everyone can afford to buy THAT gun, so the one they CAN afford is far superior, since, once again, they have it with them.
          If the saying was “the gun you have with you is the best possible gun to have with you.” or something, then I could see your argument, but, the fact that remains it is a tautology: if you must fire a gun at any given moment, the gun in your hand will propel a projectile far more effectively than a gun in a safe or in a gun store somewhere.

        • You can get a fine defensive handgun in the $300 to $600 range or you can have a POS at any price. The point of “which is the best gun to have in a fight?” is the same reason we have gun reviews at all. Anyone that says “what ever gun you have with you” is simply trying to be quip and it has absolutely no purpose in helping you determine your best choice in what to carry. Therefore it is a stupid comment.

    • Tim – I have found that my Kahr P380 in a pocket holster fits well in a blazer or jacket inner pocket, or in the holster-pocket of a compression shirt like the 5.11 tactical shirt (http://www.511tactical.com/holster-shirt.html). Works really well for ‘long travel in a car’ situations.

      Any kind of draw will be tricky with a toddler in one arm.

    • You might want to check out a Remora or a Sticky holster. They are clipless holsters which can easily be positioned anywhere IWB or in the pocket if the pistol size allows for it. Remora also has ankle and OWB options, but I have not tried them. The nice thing about these clipless holsters is that you can easily move the gun around to different positions depending on your needs at the time.

      Running errands without the kids? You can wear your gun at 3:00. Running around with the kids? Throw it in a pocket. Driving long distance? Throw it on an ankle.

      Regarding the comment on one-handed pocket draw: I find it is pretty easy with a Kahr P380. I can pull it off with an S&W Shield too, but it’s a bit big for the pocket. A Kahr CM 9 or Beretta Nano may be your friends if you want a 9MM that can be carried IWB most of the time but which can get thrown in a pocket in a pinch.

      All of these are just my opinions, I am sure others will have contributions as well.

      • I swear by my sticky holster. No holster is perfect for every carry position for every purpose. But for everyday, all day carry, my P229 in a Sticky Holster carried appendix is the ticket. Fast also. Damn fast. I’ve practiced and practiced to enhance muscle memory, also known as procedural memory. I want my hand to go to the same spot with the same motion…instinctively. I don’t want to think, I want to act. I’ll save my brain for the situation, not getting my gun out.

      • My wife uses a Remora holster at the 4 or 5 o’clock positions and will carry a three year old on either side, but mostly her weak side. It works good and we talk about what we’d do if we had to draw with children around.

        But especially with children around, carrying off body is deadly dangerous. Also we carry in the amber status.

      • One fatherly caution against Remora/Sticky — they are only but so sticky and only so retentive. I used to carry in a Remora exclusively until an impromptu wrestling match with my kids. That loosened up the grip enough for my heavy S&W 640 to come tumbling out onto the floor (both tykes stopped immediately and stepped back — at least I know they took my training seriously). Since then I have preferred retention holsters that fastened to the belt, even though my lads are too old to tackle me at the door now (sniff).

    • Carry your child on your weak side, keeping your gun hand free. Adjust your shirt as needed. To anyone looking it will simply look like you’re adjusting a shirt that the weight of your child has displaced, which you are. It’s not that big of a deal. Or carry appendix. The issue isn’t the carry method, it’s the holster and the wearer. Wear your pants high, like stereotypical old man high, tighten your belt and if you have a gut, lose it.

    • My main carry method is appendix carry and just like you, I drive a lot for work. I suggest having a holster system in the car where you can access your gun easily in case you need it. I get in the car and place my gun in the holster under the dash automatically now. I’ve practiced unholstering from my belt while in the driver’s seat and bucked-up and it is very inefficient. Holster under the dash method is very fast. There are lots of different options out there. Hope this helps.

    • Thanks everyone. Some excellent advice. I have been wanting to pick up a Remora holster but haven’t got around to it yet. Sounds like I need to though.

      • I have to sympathize with the fat guy issue. I sold my Sonny Crocket S&W 45 to a buddy who has a great big fat belly. The weapon is too large for him to carry. There is no way he could carry that in a Sticky Holster. He’s too fat for a belt, he’s just too damn fat to carry the gun. He has to carry it in a coat or a bag or off body carry.
        If you haven’t seen too fat, well it’s a little hard to visualize. There is no way on earth he could carry appendix.
        About the only thing would be some sort of shoulder rig, and those suck! He carries it un-chambered with the safety on. If he needs it, it’s going to be too late anyway. By the time he fumbles around with the gun with no practice, the bad guy will be home in bed.

        • He could stash the gun under one moob and a couple spare mags and flashlight under the other. Problem solved.

        • I usually try not to reply this far after the fact but dear God JerryDelta, your comment made me laugh until I cried.

      • Yeah I mean it can make some carry options more difficult but by no means all. Sounds like an excuse for someone too lazy to think about their carry method…

        • Spoken like someone who has zero experience in the subject matter. I bet you could have QB’d the Super Bowl better too.

          In point of fact, I do on-body carry, but printing, concealment and draw problems are amplified immensely when overweight. Yes, there’s more body area to help conceal, but everything is pushing out. Clothing, instead of draping from the shoulders, conforms to the profile. OWB draw can be impeded unless hanging far outboard (thus negating concealability), and IWB draw with any speed can be nearly impossible. Shoulder holsters aren’t an option unless wearing a heavier jacket.

          All of this is generalization based on my experiences in trying to conceal a pistol of reasonable caliber about my person without feeling like I stick out like a sore thumb. It is possible, but is by no means trivial. But then, I’m too lazy to think about any of this so undoubtedly none of it is true.

  2. Like anything else, I think context is king. When I run longer hauls, I often use a mil-spec monkey adapt pack to haul a hydration bladder. The front pouch is set up with a velcro panel that works nicely for concealed carry and the fact that I’m hopefully staying in motion mitigates accountability issues. The same could apply to biking or motorcycle carry. Does it fit every situation? What does?

  3. It may make a lot of sense for more people but as I have been carrying for several years, I simply PREFER carrying off-body. I am a small person (5’6″) and I like carrying a full-size pistol because I am comfortable and shoot well with it. Like caliber and brand, YMMV but I would appreciate it if others don’t make it appear that on-body is dogma. Sure it makes sense but this is a free country, right?

    • I’m 5’7″ or 5’10” depending on which doctor I’m seeing and I’ve only ever carried a Glock 17 with a TLR-1 weapon light IWB. It’s not that uncomfortable, no difficult. I put up with it because off body presents enough of a safety issue that it outweighs any added security I gain from having a firearm with me at all.

    • I agree that on-body is preferable, but the “or not at all” part leaves me cold, should have been left out. We’ve had at least one active shooter stopped by a man who had to run to his car to retrieve his pistol, that is serious off body but it worked. I have no little kids around any more. Ladies should not allow their purses to be stolen whether there is a gun in it or not. Imagine it has your life savings inside, in cash. If it takes 30 seconds to get your gun into play, that is better than not having one. In the café attack the hostages had 12 hours to retrieve their guns, the problem was “not at all”. A better headline would be “Carry on body or not, but carry every day”.

  4. On occasion if cold enough down here in Florida on the motorcycle.
    Rather then IWB. I will carry a full sized gun usually my S&W Model 66 2.5 inch in an inside jacket pocket.
    Does that fall under Off body??
    I don’t think so.

  5. I carry a compact pistol that is easy to hide while working and keep a full size in a easy to reach hidden compartment on my messenger bag. I am fully capable of operating just my carry weapon but its nice to have options. when I am not carrying my bag it is locked in my desk. It’s especially nice in the Texas summer to carry something smaller.

  6. A PURSE is a particularly BAD idea — as it is a target for snatchers looking for a wallet. Now they have your gun too. At least a back-pack is less of a target and harder to just pull off of someone.

  7. I carry my 1911 .45acp or 9mm SA Mod 2 in my 511 bag. I really have no choice. At 57 years old I’m a US Army retiree/100%DAV. My back from top to bottom is an orthopedic and neurological mess. Have tried an NRA conceal carry vest. The downward pressure of the gun caused way too much pain. No IWB or OWB either. Too much stress on the lower spine from using a stout belt translates into lots of pain. That is both nerve pain and osteoarthritis pain.
    But if anybody has a sound recommendation, I’m all ears.

    • Have you tried a small revolver or semi-auto pistol in an ankle holster? While that method of carry is anything but ideal, it is better than nothing. And an ankle holster can actually enable very fast access when seated.

    • Thank you for your service. Have you tried a fanny pack? They are kind of off-body on-body. I actually use a 5.11 version when I hike or run, not sure if that would be too much strain on your back.

  8. Off-body carry is pretty much useless for a sudden attack from a garden variety thug.

    I can only think of one fairly decent application for off-body carry. If someone has a job which makes it virtually impossible to carry a firearm on your body, off-body carry enables that person to have a firearm quickly available to defend against a spree killer, workplace attack, or terrorist attack — assuming that they are not the first victims of the attack and have at least 10 seconds to get their firearm ready before having to repel the attackers.

    If you think you fall in that category, make certain that children will not be able to access your firearm.

    • Yup, that’s pretty much it. It goes in the bag in the morning, in the safe at night, and on my hip any other time. All due respect, Paulsen, but I’m a grown-up, and I’ll carry the way that’s best for me in my judgment.

      I’m also annoyed by the assumption that I’m not aware of the difference in time it takes to get a gun from my bag vs. off my hip. I practice, you know? I practice drawing from the bag in a variety of positions. Maybe everyone else doesn’t; I don’t know. But since I sometimes have to carry in a bag, I practice with a bag.

      For the record, when I do carry, it’s in a Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack, which is designed for the job. I was worried it would look a little tacticool, but most folks have assumed it’s a camera bag if they’ve wondered about it at all.

        • Is it that much of a surprise? Most of us would do the same, if we were in a position to do so without flagging ourselves as mall ninjas.

        • I carry using a Jumbo Versipack every day. At my job, carry is forbidden, but I’m not walking outside the facility without my CZ insurance policy. So I keep it on a hook by my desk while I’m in the office and in a locked drawer when I’m not. Plus, if I do have to travel somewhere, I typically have to take a selection of tools…guess where they ride? That’s right…and no questions are asked.

          Sure, I’d love to holster carry everywhere I go, but I can’t. Off-body carry is the best answer for the situation. So, the whole “my way or the highway” idea can kiss right off.

      • I can draw out of a versipack almost as fast as from an IWB holster. The carry pocket on the bag is perfectly placed for rapid access. Like anything, you just need to practice drawing and firing from it until it is second nature.

  9. I worked with a gal who made her own cargo pants, with a cargo pocket up high on each side. She made the outer of the pocket with two layers, with an opening so she could slide in a plastic sheet she cut from a broken storage box; the sheet stiffened the pocket side so (a) her handgun didn’t show and (b) the pocket was rigid enough to draw from without much trouble.

    It was workable, though I already carry so much in my cargo pockets it wouldn’t be my choice.

  10. So, if the kid shot his parents, the weapon was obviously in condition zero. But off body carry is such a casual thing, I doubt women (I include that mom who was recently, tragically killed by her 2 year old in the supermarket) who toss guns into their purses actually have them in a proper, rigid, retention holster. Which means that in at least 2 tragic cases, a gun had a round in the chamber, a loaded magazine, and was loose, bouncing around other things where anything could have bumped the trigger.

    I’m genuinely surprised that no one has covered this yet, but it’s worth learning from. DONT CARRY IN CONDITION ZERO IF THE YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE A COVERED TRIGGER GUARD! I mean, Jesus. It’s not rocket science. You’re basically guaranteeing yourself an ND if you do that.

    • It is a country of 340 million people. king a coup0el of anecdotes is pointless. Data matters: per civilian concealed carry permit holder serious injury gun accidents are 1/7th of what they were 25 years ago.

      On the same week as the firs or second accident there were literally millions and millions of carry hours without incident. There were also serious injuries and deaths of kids playing sports, falls from ladders etc. None of them carried by the national press, or as the case of these tow gun accidents, international press

    • Sorry to be picking nits, but that woman whose toddler shot her didn’t just throw her gun in her purse to let it rattle around. At least the way I remember the story, her purse was one of those ones specifically designed for concealed carry (built in holster).

      Do I know the gun was “properly” stored inside that purse and if so that the trigger guard was covered? No. But neither can we assume she was as lackadaisical in her carry as you are asserting.

      The child got hands on the gun and pulled it out. That could happen with any “proper” holster, retention or covered trigger guard included. If you doubt that, I’d question how much time you’ve spent around toddlers.

      • I haven’t seen a video, do not know exactly what happened, heard she had it in a zippered pocket. Still, leaving it where a 2-year-old could reach it before she could reach the 2-year-old was stupid, at least in retrospect. And she apparently had several kids of various ages with her for some reason. I absolutely hate the whole concept of carrying with the pipe empty, but come on, there is a reason for everything in some circumstance. You only have to carry like that for a few years, until the child is old enough to teach,

        • “Still, leaving it where a 2-year-old could reach it before she could reach the 2-year-old was stupid, at least in retrospect. “

          I’m not commenting on that. The only point I was making was it was not just a loose gun tossed into a purse with no security whatsoever.

          I thought I had read that she had received an actual carry purse (whatever that actually means, eh?) as a gift.

          I could be misremembering.

  11. I used to have a man-purse similar to one of these from 5.11 http://www.511tactical.com/push-pack.html. The gun was the only thing in a particular compartment. I would have been able to draw just as quick or quicker from the bag than having to draw from under a shirt. I always kept that compartment open for quick access. The bag was always at a height where my hand could reach in there without me needing to stoop down. The gun was right where my hand naturally hangs. You could actually have your hand on your gun in your bag and nobody would even know you were holding a gun, they would just think you have your hand in a bag, it’s completely inconspicuous. Also, if a threat ever did start to present itself (slowly and incrementally), you could have your hand on the gun and potentially fire from the bag without ever having to present the gun. There are some advantages of bag carry, sometimes you gotta just weigh your pros and cons.

    • “You could actually have your hand on your gun in your bag and nobody would even know you were holding a gun, they would just think you have your hand in a bag, it’s completely inconspicuous. “

      Sorry, but no. I doubt anyone not in a very cold Condition White would see you standing around with hand in a bag and dismiss it completely.

      Belt checking and hand checking are first in threat assessment. You have your hand hidden in a bag? That’s going to set off a few warning bells.

      Don’t kid yourself; that posture is not as inconspicuous as you believe, and it may be telegraphing “potential threat” to more people than you realize.

      • Sorry, but yes. My bride has a carry purse, zippered compartment, and if she sees she is being followed or approached by a shady character, for example, her hand goes in the compartment and collects her gun (revolver, obviously). If whoever is scaring her decides that is scary, that person is free to go elsewhere. If she has to shoot through the purse, I will buy her another. Meanwhile, her weapon is concealed as per the law, and she is not brandishing as per the law. You seem to be advocating an operational draw at the slightest provocation, probably followed by being an operating operator, and not all of us are there.

      • Sorry, but yes. My wife carries a revolver in a carry purse, zippered compartment. If alerted, she can reach her hand in the purse and collect her weapon, face the threat completely ready to fire through the purse without violating OC laws or brandishing laws. If whoever is scaring her takes that as meaning he’s about to catch an HP, and therefore gives up his intention of giving her a winning lottery ticket, fine. She’ll be happy just to see he is turning his life around.

        • Again…as above, you are missing my point. It’s not a criticism of ‘purse carry’ or whatever. It’s a criticism of the assertion that know will will notice a hand in a bag in combination with whatever other body language goes with “I see a threat so I’ll put my hand on my gun.”

          Anyone not in a hard white seeing your wife with her hand in her purse eyeballing someone is quite likely to know she’s packing. Deny that all you want (like the OP was claiming…), but that’s reality.

          OP used the term “inconspicuous.” That’s what I am addressing. It’s not “inconspicuous” at all; it’s quite noticeable, and will very likely be noticed.

  12. One use case for off body carry is pregnancy. When my wife was pregnant, she couldn’t wear a belt, had few usable pockets, and an ankle holster was unusable. Her only options were shoulder carry or off body. Neither option works all that well, but off body was more practical.

  13. I can think of one situation:

    I am a college student; imagine poof! campus carry becomes the law in my state. I am not particularly worried about getting mugged on campus; but in the statistically unlikely chance a shooting goes down I don’t want to be a fish in a barrel. A .45 in the backpack would not be a terrible idea then imho, even if kept in a locked case. With campus emergency text odds are one would know about a shooting in time to grab it anyway.

    • What POSSIBLE advantage does that have over on-body carry? I can name at least two significant disadvantages (less control over firearm and longer draw time)

    • What is so bad about IWB carry? Backpacks get stolen, left, dumped, separated from you by circumstances… If you are going to carry a gun, carry it loaded on your person in a proper holster. Safe, secure, fast, ALWAYS with you. Once you simply get used to carrying in a proper holster (that’s the key- not the cheapo nylon holster at the gun shop) a gun is in no way burdensome or uncomfortable, and you are always printing less than you think you are printing, if at all. No one notices or cares.

      Like some other commentors said, there are informed people who make an experienced decision to do off body carry and practice with it. But I really think it should be avoided if at all possible, ESPECIALLY in a crowded, busy place like college where you are constantly moving from room to room and building to building, with other students all over the place all the time. Having to keep track of a gun in a bag in an environment like that all day everyday just doesn’t make sense to me compared to simple on-body carry. So many ways for off body carry to go horribly wrong.

      • In all fairness, if you’re the type of person that would let your firearm bearing backpack be ‘get stolen, left, dumped, separated from you by circumstances…’ you’re also the type of person that would leave your firearm on the toilet paper dispenser of a public bathroom.

        • Not necessarily.

          How do you define the type of person that “let’s something get stolen?” Are we back to blame the victim, now?

        • The vast majority of the time backpacks get stolen is when they are left unattended. It may only take a second, setting it on the ground while you do something and you turn around and it’s gone, but if you have a firearm in you bag you need to have it secured 100% of the time. If you’re jumped by a group of men and beaten in order to steal your backpack that would be different. But if you’re careless with your backpack and it gets stolen with your firearm in it then yes, it is the victims fault for letting it be stolen.

      • “Once you simply get used to carrying in a proper holster (that’s the key- not the cheapo nylon holster at the gun shop) a gun is in no way burdensome or uncomfortable, and you are always printing less than you think you are printing, if at all. No one notices or cares. “

        +1000.

        Well said.

        It sure seems a lot of folks spend more time worrying about printing and all that than shopping / researching for a GOOD (ie, good for THEM) holster/carry rig.

        It makes ALL the difference. Once you get there, no one notices.

        Shoot. Few people even notice OC.

      • fwiw I don’t have a ccw, or a handgun. (not much point atm). And I don’t deny that on body would probably be better most of the time, but I don’t think in my scenario that keeping a gun in backpack would be too terrible.

        But as for comfortable holster rigs, what is a cheap good one for a 1911? (yes I realize 1911-s aren’t considered “cool” for carry, but the history + feel is so awesome)

  14. Fanny pack,bulldog holder or Sneaky Pete would easily work. Nowadays so many people have gigantic phones,I-Pads or tablets nobody would have a clue. And if they do LIE. None of their business unless you care to share…

    • I refer to my SneakyPete as a “tool kit”. A great way to carry, so long as your gun is not too big, I suspect I can get my gun out quicker than I could with IWB, where I’d have to pull out my shirttail first.

  15. Personally I’m kind of tired of this tripe. On body is preferable to off body. Off body is preferable to being disarmed. If you’re going to carry off body or holsterless (pocket, Mexican) keep the chamber empty, especially if you have toddlers around. Pretty simple rules. I don’t carry off body because I don’t carry a purse and nobody wants to see me in tight form fitting clothing. I’m not going to throw stones at those who want to show off their tight sexy bodies since I personally appreciate their displays. When the shooting starts it’s better to have a firearm 6 inches away than not to have one at all.

    • This.

      It amazes me that that people fail to see that the simple act of clearing the chamber (condition 3) is just another level of security.

      • By the time a child is old enough to chamber a round he or she should be old enough to understand what firearms are and know better than to do that. There is another task involved in making the firearm ready, but if you have young children the extra step is well worth the added safety. Of course chambered and holstered on body is best.

        • Most times, by the time your kid can chamber a round, he/she can also probably shoot better than you can.

  16. I have never been comfortable with any kind of off body carry. Small revolver can be pocket carried, in winter in deep pocket jeans, in summer cargo pants, both with a good ladies gun belt. If sufficiently committed to on body carry there are a number of garments that can accommodate on body carry. I have an entire wardrobe built around concealed carry. Granted, I’m semi-retired, do some pet sitting to support my gun habit, able to wear causal clothes but for dress up have a red leather bag with strap that can be carried cross draw. Worn it for a Christmas party, looked dressy and no one was aware of LCR revolver it had in it. There are coats, jackets, pants, that easily allow on body carry. Just do web search for “concealed carry apparel” even business attire is available

  17. It’s non-nonsensical to carry off-body. If off body it may as well be wired out and locked up, like putting in the trunk of a car. You’d never get to it if you needed. I think people who do this have watched too many Hollywood movies and see themselves doing some judo kicks and springing to a place of safety where they acquire the weapon, lean out and engage a fight. Classes should address this issue seriously.

    • Absolutely correct, if you believe the only way you will ever need to access your firearm is when you are being a tacticool operator operating operationally. IOW, what utter BS. Again, a dozen people in a café recently had some 24 hours to access their firearms, except they had no firearms. All the way back to teachers at Columbine, time required to retrieve was not a factor, NO GUN was the important factor.

  18. The only time I ever carry off-body is when I train, and then the XDs goes in a hidden pocket of my gear bag. My instructor teaches SWAT courses on the side and he always has a full-size XD handy, and I figure muggers are probably looking for easier pickings than a gym full of Krav students anyway. In all other scenarios, the XDs rides IWB and the LCP is strapped to my ankle.

  19. This is an excellent blog and the comments and dialogue are terrific. I am pleased to see that so many CCs understand the risks associated with carry that is not on-body. This is a wonderful example of how CCs and gun owners in general, exercising their freedom while thinking and acting responsibly. Given this line of thinking, I would not be surprised and I hope to see “On-Body” as the only acceptable form of carry and adopted as “Best Practice” as we mature as CCs. I know that is not good news for the purse / handbag / backpack manufacturers. However, if we continue to read about accidents involving “Off-Body” carry, we jeopardize having our right infringed upon. We must continue to work together to drive and communicate responsibility through training and communicating the value of CC not only to the individual, but the public at large.

  20. This would all be a moot point if open carry, or even partially concealed OWB, were culturally acceptable. However, even where I live in an open-carry-legal state, it is not culturally acceptable. To me off body carry is mostly a problem for women and older people, where dress situation or physical condition makes concealment difficult. To me, if casually dressed, the fanny pack solves many of the problems, mostly because you see women and older people with fanny packs all the time, especially joggers and young moms. They blend into the background, double as purses or phone cases by design, and of course, use one designed to carry a weapon. The issue with gun purses is that too many women do not follow the old rule about how to prevent purse-snatching; choose a purse with a long strap and carry it across the body like a messenger bag. For a gun purse, this means cross-draw. It should virtually eliminate the opportunity for theft, loss, child access, etc. Granted, this does not work for those intending to make a fashion statement at a cocktail party. Purses notwithstanding, as a male who wears dress clothing to work, I have plenty of problems figuring out how to not print. Small of the back or 4 o’clock carry even of a “compact” 9 mm prints under a suit jacket, and I have plenty broad shoulders. I have decided that a .380 pocket gun in a pocket holster is the best solution. As others have noted, it can go in the front pockets of jacket or pants, interior pocket of jacket like a wallet, or even the wallet pocket of pants, and at least for me is invisible. Easy to relocate to the pocket of an outer coat as necessary for the weather. I would love if someone could come up with a better solution for larger guns that did not require buying all pants one size over, but I can’t envision it.

  21. Good information but as in the Albuquerque case that you cite, if someone living in a hotel room with two small children hasn’t already given this matter some thought, it’s not likely they’re going to in the future. It’s unfortunate but some people just don’t get how serious this shit is.

  22. I get flack for this but carry WITHOUT a round in the chamber. (*ducks* at the keyboard commandos).

    Obviously this is not advice for law enforcement.

    • “I get flack for this but carry WITHOUT a round in the chamber. (*ducks* at the keyboard commandos).
      Obviously this is not advice for law enforcement.”

      I used to, no longer. I had an EDC that was not the most reliable, my biggest issue with it (and why I started to carry with one in the pipe) was a random failure to go fully in battery when manually racked. As soon as I could afford to, I sold it off and got something better, but the habit has stuck. Honestly since I’m not carrying a piece with known issues that might make carrying +1 a dangerous proposition, I have continued the practice.

  23. Personally, I normally IWB carry, but that is simply not an option when I go to Tae Kwon Do classes with my daughter. For that, as I’m changing, I transition to Off-body carry, using a positive retention holster I sewed into my bag. That bag remains in my sight during class, placed out of reach for the smaller children in the dojo. The master and I both know it’s there, and make sure nobody is messing around anywhere near it.

    • I know several people, myself included, that have a gun inside my softball bag when I play. I played with a team of cops and one day someone noticed a group of young men meandering among the cars in the parking lot. One player whips a Glock 21 out of his bat bag and runs toward them. They may have been looking for cars to break into.
      If you are worried about your bag being stolen with your gun inside, I assure you, the gun didn’t cost as much as the 4 softball bats and two gloves and your wallet that you left in there. Besides, people steal guns out of cars too.

  24. I myself am just now entering the world of CC, having applied a couple weeks ago and now waiting for my permit and to save up enough for an EDC. I already own a gun I bought myself as a Christmas present a few years ago, but it’s far too large for EDC, among other complications it would present. Wanting to be responsible, I’ve been doing a lot of research to determine what would work best for me, and while I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll exhaust all on-body options before I even attempt off-body carry, I can certainly see why some people prefer it, or feel as if they have no choice.

    My stepfather, who is a former Army Ranger and a retired federal agent, always carries off-body in a leather fanny pack which holds both a gun and a taser, in separate pockets. I didn’t realize until I was older why exactly the fanny pack was so heavy, and I’ve never asked him why he prefers to carry off-body, but I expect that it has something to do with pleasing my mother, who is definitely not firearm-friendly, and would potentially raise a stink if he insisted on carrying on-body when they were out together.

    So. I can understand why off-body is sometimes the only/preferred option, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it out myself anytime soon.

    (That said, any recommendations for a good carry position for a first-timer wanting to start with IWB and maybe eventually transitioning to OWB?)

    • “(That said, any recommendations for a good carry position for a first-timer wanting to start with IWB and maybe eventually transitioning to OWB?)”

      You are just going to have to experiment to find what works best for you. No one can answer that for you.

      The gun-holster-belt-position-clothing-body style comprise a “system” with a many, many variables. You are going to have to distill down that variable list in the way that meets your need.

      But absolutely DO whatever work is necessary for YOU to find a comfortable (read: “I will do this EVERY day”) carry method. If it is uncomfortable, you will be looking for reasons to do it (and mostly not finding them) rather than just carrying.

      First Rule: Have a Gun.

      Common Problem: Choosing a gun based on “cool” or “style” and then try to force a carry style around that.

      SOMETIMES that does not work well. Be very careful what you select as your EDC firearm, as it will make the other pieces fit into place much easier. You will have more options with a smaller gun, of course, but don’t choose a small gun if you don’t like shooting it….that’s the sort of thing to consider. Lots of trade-offs, and it’s all a very personal decision.

      Also, don’t be surprised if your “dream gun” does not fit for you to EDC, or your first holster no matter how “good” everyone on the Internet says it is for them. Don’t be afraid to ‘trial and error’ til you get it right. Some of us literally have a drawer full of holsters and have tried several carry positions, etc.

      When it ‘clicks’ into place, you’ll not fight carry at all and it will become part of “what you do” without a second thought.

      Good luck.

  25. “Carry On-Body Or Not At All”
    Really?… Really?!?!?!!!

    Proof positive that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Yes it would be optimal to have your side arm in a velcro holster on top of your plate carrier accessible to your strong hand, but if you in your briefcase that’s better than having it at home. If you are the target and the perpetrators are any good at all it won’t matter where you are carrying (e.g. officers in NY, Las Vegas etc).

    If the argument is your have to keep it from a kid or someone else getting access to it I have just one thought. Don’t be careless, it is a gun after all.

  26. I totally agree with the main point about on-body carry. My daughter has her CCW, but can rarely carry because so many of her waking hours are in a hospital where it’s illegal, by statute, to carry. She does carry a knife off-body though and I was giving her crap about it one day.

    Me: “OK, I’m attacking you now, get the knife out.”
    *fumbling with purse*
    Me: (mimicking her voice) “Hold on mister mugger! It’s in here somewhere! Just a second!”
    *more fumbling*
    Me: Hurry up! I don’t have all day.
    *helpless laughter from her* “OK, I get it, I get it!”

  27. cabelas.com carries some rangler cargo pants that are the best solution that I have found. really deep cargo pockets, with snaps, which I don’t fasten, and a kahr pm9 or a ruger lcr or lc9 in a desantis pocket holster sits upright in the pocket without shifting, and sits deeply enough that the grip doesn’t show. been carrying like this for 8 years. in the other cargo pocket is a walmart cheap $1.99 glasses holder, in which i carry an ammo strip with 8 rounds of .38 spec, or a mag. for one of the autos

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