Those of us with carry licenses sometimes must choose between discretely carrying in sensitive areas or forgoing our ability to defend ourselves. Plenty of us choose to ignore non-legally binding policies and carry anyway. Frankly, for many of us, “concealed means concealed”. We do not want to forfeit in a deadly encounter by failing to carry a safety rescue tool.
Many employers have policies against carrying weapons on company property. Realize that ignoring that policy will probably cost your job if discovered. You must weigh the cost-benefit ratio before carrying in such a workplace. At work, don’t ever tell a soul that you carry. Loose lips will sink careers. If you’re the boss, you still don’t tell anyone. Practice discretion or it could cost you business, customers or even your life.
Even if your employer allows carry, a minor mistake like leaving your piece in the restroom after doing your business may well leave you unemployed.
Other private property locations may have “no guns” policies that do not carry the force of law. While time spent at these locations is often low-risk, walking to or from the venues may pose a very different threat. Bad guys always prefer dark alleys and parking lots to ply their trade.
In these sensitive locations, your goal should be zero printing and no tell-tale clues. Small-framed semi-autos and revolvers in pocket holsters will serve you better than any full-size gun where you need maximum discretion. Tuckable holsters have those tell-tale clips that the average Joe won’t see or recognize, but the trained eye will pick them out instantly. Ankle holsters provide great concealment with the right gun, but make sure you left the high-water trousers at home. The wrong pants or holster might reveal more than some ankle when you sit. In short, concealed means concealed.
Practice safety as well. Keep your heater in a holster of some sort. A holster or pouch will keep the gun oriented in the same position at all times. What’s more, it’ll break up the outline of the gun and greatly reduce the potential for a negligent discharge. It keeps stuff like and keys (and lipstick tubes for you guys with chapped lips) from getting inside the trigger guard and/or interfering with deployment.
Remember, while the sheep are clueless about printing and other clues, you may find yourself around other gun aficionados or skilled law enforcement working a second job as security. Avoid any tell-tale clues that might single you out for extra scrutiny from an zealous security guard. A knife or flashlight clipped to your pocket may earn you that unwanted scrutiny. Product branding on your clothing may do much the same.
Practice camouflage. Instead of wearing your GLOCK shirt, wear your Moms Demand Action shirt. (You can’t have mine as I shot holes in it.) Need a drink carrier? Take that Whole Foods or Sierra Club drink bottle. Leave anything that screams “tactical” at home, including 5.11 clothing. Embrace your opportunity to put to work those revenge gifts you received from thoughtless relatives suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome.
At home, make sure your family members – including kids – know and understand never to mention that concealed carry gun. They should never joke about concealed carry, or mention it to friends or extended family. Make CCW “the topic that shall never be mentioned” outside your home. The same goes for inside your home when guests visit.
Also, leave the reloads at home or in the car (as allowed). Each reload you carry will require that same deep concealment, just like the gun. Unfortunately, even speedstrips will print through pockets in certain conditions. The fewer objects you need to hide well, the better.
So practice good concealment and you can carry stealthily almost anywhere.