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TTGA Publisher Robert Farago printing with his GLOCK 19 in an outside-the-waistban holster (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

If you’re just beginning the process of exercising your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, the gun world can seem a strange and intimidating place. A world unto itself, with its own unique expressions. Maybe you’ve heard this one: “concealed means concealed.” If you haven’t, you should. It imparts an important lesson for anyone who carries a concealed firearm. Simply put, it means . . .

If someone doesn’t know you’re carrying a firearm, there’s no reason to tell them.

Once you tell someone you’re packing heat, you lose a major strategic advantage: the element of surprise. It’s better to maintain “operational security” (yeah, there’s lots of jargon). This is why some gun owners will never open carry a firearm — an entirely defensible position. So to speak.

The People of the Gun (that’s you!) also use the expression “concealed means concealed” as a nod and a wink to fellow gun owners. It’s code for “I wear a gun in places where I’m prohibited because I can do so without anyone knowing.”

Far be it for me to recommend violating a legal “gun free zone” (a.k.a., a target rich environment) by carrying a concealed weapon where it’s prohibited by law, or banned by a private property owner. But some concealed carriers do because they prioritize their self-defense, and so carry stealthily. Their choice.

At the risk of being labeled a hopeless pedant (nothing to do with kids), concealed does not always mean concealed.

“Outside of the obvious suspicious bulge, or an actual gun butt protruding from someone’s clothing,” opines, “it is virtually impossible to know if an individual is carrying a concealed firearm.” Yes, about that bulge . . .

In the gun world, a bulge in your clothing does not always mean you’re happy to see someone. But it can mean they see you (happily or not). When a firearm protrudes from clothing, that’s called “printing.” Some people only carry in an inside-the-waistband holster to eliminate printing.

In the picture above, I’m carrying a GLOCK 19 in an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster — my preferred method for comfort and quick access — under a fairly tight polo shirt. Look closely and you can see the gun’s edge protruding. I’m printing. (When I want total concealment with my OWB holster I wear a bigger, looser-fitting shirt and/or carry my slim Commander-sized 1911.)

If you’re printing, concealed does not necessarily mean concealed. “Necessarily” because you probably don’t look like a potential perp and hang out where perps hang out. By the same token, most people aren’t cops and don’t notice anything. Also note: printing isn’t illegal. If you’re not looking for ultimate concealment, don’t sweat it.

So concealed means concealed — unless it doesn’t. Clear?

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  1. I only conceal as a concession to the pearl clutcher brigade. The second my state gets open cary, my pistol is going into a OWB rig. I’m one of those people who was taught to tuck in their shit and quit looking like a goon.

      • That shirt looks like he slept in it. It shows a “slovenly and unprofessional appearance” as my grandad would say.

        • Showing an example of printing in a shirt would have been pretty hard to do open carrying, which is what he would have been doing if he had tucked in his shirt.

        • JWT – not necessarily. Doesn’t he use an AG CT holster? They do allow you to tuck in your shirt. What it does to your response time might be horrific, and you’ll be even more likely to print (or at least show your clips), but it would still qualify as CC.

    • Anyone who has known me would be FAR more curious about an untucked shirt than a bulge inside a tucked in shirt. For me this translates to a tuckable IWB holster or open carry.

    • Why not just use an IWB that allows you to tuck in your shirt over it? That’s how I roll at work where ties and pressed shirts are the norm. Packing a sig -320c with no problems.

      • This doesn’t work for everybody. I am a tall slim guy, and every time I have tried the tucked shirt route, there is an obvious asymmetrical distortion in the waist of my pants, especially when seen from behind. This was even the case with an LC9 and S&W 442 in good holsters. It’s not the shirt that prints, it’s the pants.

        If I want to go tucked-in and conceal, an LCP in a pocket holster is my only option, unless I am wearing a jacket.

        There are certain shirts that look a lot better untucked than others. A straight hem shirt (square at the bottom with no tails) and doesn’t hang too low can look neat enough and is more comfortable than tucked in hot weather. It just has to be long enough to stay below the belt line when you raise your arm up to grab a top shelf item at the store. Not having it too tight around the shoulders helps with this. It can be hard to find ones that aren’t ‘athletic’ or ‘slim fit’ cuts due to current clothing trends, but they are out there.

  2. I carry my 1911 Officers 45 most days or a P938 IWB usually with a t-shirt tucked in. If anyone was aware enough. They would notice the 2 leather straps around my belt. Or at the least the extra mag next to my phone case on my belt in a SHTF mag carrier. Maybe they do and don’t have a clue. Or folks just don’t say anything. I don’t go out of my way to be noticed. Concealed may be concealed. But nothing is 100% hidden. 100% of the time. I cant let this bother me in any way anyhow. Its the best I can do. And yes it goes with me into posted places too at times.

    • People are more oblivious to their world than one would think. I am sure that the invention of the smart phone has made the average concealed carry permit holder’s job much easier.

      • Cell phones have made carrying spare mags eaiser. I wear a generic cell phone case that carries a pocket knife, spare mag and flash light. No one has ever noticed that the case does not carry a phone. People often see what they want / or expect to see.

      • On a walk through a crowded park in Arlington, VA my dog’s leash got wrapped around the grip and got yanked out of the holster. No one notice the guy with two dogs bending over to pick up and reholster his pistol. Most people don’t see a gun because they don’t think gun.

        • TDI,
          What kind of holster/gun was this?
          I would be VERY concerned about a carry system that allows the gun to fall out so easily — if a dog leash could pull the gun from the holster, how hard would it be for a criminal to do the same? Were you carrying OWB, or how did the leash get around the gun in the first place?

          I live not far from Arlington btw. With the number of anti-gun people in this region you were lucky that no one noticed and called the cops about a man brandishing a firearm in the park.

        • It was actually a OWB De Santis holster. I only use a retention holster for urban open carry which I seldom due. It was fluke and nothing like that has ever happened again. It just goes to show that Murphy’s Law always applies. Basically, the leash got underneath the untucked shirt when I bent over to clean up. Coonhounds being coonhounds just got me all wrapped up.

          It was in Bluemont Park on the East side of Four MIle Run.

  3. I live in NH where the RTKBA is fairly well entrenched and so I don’t worry so much about an accidental exposure or even “printing” because I’m legal. I nevertheless do my best to keep it concealed just to avoid the discomfort of dealing with LEO or citizens that want to make problems. For example, Babies R Us prohibits concealed weapons in their store and we have to go there often for the little ones, but I carry in the store regardless. They’ll never know.

    On another note, even if you were identified or found to be “printing” but didn’t actually expose the weapon it would require further search and invasion of privacy for someone or a LEO to confirm that the item was actually a weapon and not a cell phone or something. Just another firewall for the legal carrier I guess.

  4. Yeah, when I was CC’ing, it was a Glock 30, compact .45ACP, IWB at the appendix carry position. I did that for years. No one knew I was carrying, unless I told them. Even in summer, wearing a T-shirt and shorts, no one knew. I still have my Glock 30 for those rare occasions when I do CC.

    Now, of course, for the last 8 years, OC all the way!! No drama with the cops or the citizens either.

  5. From that article: “Law-abiding Americans have a right to own firearms. Some EVEN have a right to carry concealed firearms.”

    In other words, “O. M. G. People shouldn’t be allowed to carry concealed firearms. Unless they’re a cop.”

    (added emphasis in quote)

  6. Don’t let the idea of “printing” bother you. No one notices, and if they do, they aren’t going to think “Gun”. Unless they’re carrying too.

    • I usually pocket carry and sometimes I think there is substantial printing.
      Today somebody sitting at pocket level pointed at my pocket and asked “what’s in your pocket? Is that a weapon?”
      For a moment I was stunned and silent. Then I reached for the metal clip below the gun carrying pocket and said “what, this? This is my beard comb.” I was then made fun of for having a beard comb.

      Staring right at the pistol in my pocket complete with fading all around the grip from a distance of 16″ the person never noticed it.

  7. Once you tell someone you’re packing heat, you lose a major strategic advantage: the element of surprise. It’s better to maintain “operational security” so you have the “first mover advantage” (yeah, there’s lots of jargon).

    Often stated without proof or any supporting evidence. I think we can just write this off as myth and let it die a peaceful death. Unless, of course, you intend to be the criminal attacker, which is the only way you can be the ‘first mover’.

  8. And open means open.

    I have rigs for both open and concealed carry that work very well and I use differing setups depending on a number of factors.

    Yes, open carry involves some risks that are not present with concealed carry. This should hardly be a problem for a culture that constantly bellows “You have to accept some risk in life!” as a justification for carrying guns *at all* despite risk of accidents, risk of prosecution if used, etc.

    Perhaps your risk envelope and comfort level is such that you consider open carry not worth the trade offs. That’s fine. Mine’s different, and I’m ok accepting the *different* (not necessarily greater) risks that come with intermittent open carry.

    I’ll play the game my way, you play it yours. No harm in that. If there’s a gray area (“poorly concealed”?) that works best because of comfort and access concerns, I see no problem there unless it could get you in legal hot water.

  9. Here in WV we have had conceal carry for some time now and open carry for much longer . I very much appreciate the freedom of this choice and use it when I feel it is appropriate too . There are times when one choice is preferred over the other and all states should allow both .
    My example would be thus ;
    When driving to Walmart I have my IWB , appendix carry pistol , exposed , shirt tucked behind the grip . When I get out of the truck , I pull my shirt out and cover , conceal . I go in and do my business and upon leaving the store I will usually put my shirt tail back behind the grip , once again revealed open carry , through the parking lot to my truck .
    Why do I open carry upon returning to my truck ?
    I have found that it deters beggars and solicitors and potential hooligans from approaching me . I have actually had people approach me and as they draw close enough to see my fire arm , turn and retreated . On to their next potential victim . This has happened on more than one occasion .
    I don’t walk through the parking lot to the store revealed however , because I do not want some Walmart , or Lowes , or Home Depot employee or customer seeing me conceal my weapon and traumatize their fragile safe world view . I am not after any altercations or misunderstandings .
    I thoroughly enjoy my choices .
    I am also happy WV recently passed their CC legislation that allows our law abiding citizens to CC without paper permit and fees .

    • I’ve noticed the same. I generally carry concealed, because I hate getting noticed for anything. However, I do open carry when driving, so that means open carrying while getting gas, in a sketchy part of Dallas because I was running late for work and didn’t bother to get gas closer to home that morning.

      I’ve noticed that in my attire (office dress clothes) and a Glock in a Safariland holster, it almost screams “cop”; loiterers, homeless, and other motorists occasionally notice and leave me alone or see me and completely leave the premise. Same thing, this area is usually ripe for beggars, you know for “gas”.

      • I walked out of the Kroger two Saturdays ago and went to my car. I put my groceries in the back seat, then got my rifle (cased) from the trunk to put it in the backseat, so I’d only have to open 1 door when I got home. A freakin beggar STILL hit me up! But he did stay 2 meters away.

        • Meters? I’m as pro 2nd amendment as anyone, but I’d consider exceptions for anyone that uses the metric system in normal life.

  10. There’s concealed and then there’s “concealed”.
    One is where most people won’t realize you’re carrying.
    The other is when no one can even suspect you’re carrying.
    I forget which is “which”.

    • I think “concealed” (with double quotes) means most people would not notice.

      I think concealed (without double quotes) means no one, even veteran undercover law enforcement officers, would even suspect (much less know) that you were carrying.

  11. There is a difference between private premises where the owner can ask you to leave and a place like a school where you can be charged with a felony.

  12. Sometimes I do in fact open carry for the sole purpose of making a statement. I’m not obtuse about it though. I’ll maybe pack the ol’ Beretta 92 openly back and forth to the range, ice cream, gas station in between, so that I can better protect my classIII items should someone with bad intentions get observant. Any other time it’s a Glock 27 IWB. But recently I’ve been IWB with a CZ75 P01. Best of both worlds?

  13. ‘If someone doesn’t know you’re carrying a firearm, there’s no reason to tell them.’

    I’d just add that one should be aware if they live in a locality that has a “duty to inform” statute. Additionally, even if you don’t have a duty to inform you may want to do so anyway because a police officer may, um, overreact if he suddenly notices you have a gun.

    • If I get pulled over by the police for some reason, I have considered including my pistol license, along with the license and registration to my car. that way, they know… and the word gun never gets mentioned.


      • Depends. Are you in a “Must Announce” state? Then that is a VERY good idea.
        A CSP trooper (Colorado is not “must announce”) told me that they prefer “I am a Colorado CHP holder, it’s IWB at 5:00, and my ID is in my back pocket. How would you like to proceed?” CO peace officers have authority to disarm a legal carrier for the duration of the stop or interaction, but except for the People’s Republics in Denver, Boulder, and Aspen they don’t bother, from what I hear.
        The word “gun” is never mention in this scenario, either.

    • Really. Looking closely was unnecessary, the sharp edge to that bulge being an instant giveaway. Didn’t it once upon a time illegal in Texas to print? Or was it only inadvertent exposure or a holstered firearm that would get you busted?

      I usually wear 5.11s or similar and pocket carry. The pockets on the front of the pants create great cover, breaking up outlines. No one notices. Alternately, I have a lovely pancake holster that does an excellent job of keeping the grip of my Kahr close, and an overshirt such as a Chamois is more than sufficient for “full” concealment. To date, I haven’t found any holster that will conceal the grip of a 1911, so I leave that at home.

      • “To date, I haven’t found any holster that will conceal the grip of a 1911, so I leave that at home.”

        Depending on your physique, you may be able to carry a full size 1911 at the 2:30 position (between appendix and hip carry) with an inside-the-waistband holster and a loose shirt. Will it never print no matter what? Doubtful. I think all methods of carry could print at some point if conditions are just right.

        • I beg to differ. There are only two styles of holster that are proper for a 1911.
          1. Vintage military pattern, the kind with the flap that completely covers the gun.
          2. Shoulder rig under the arm horizontally not vertically or at FBI angle.

          The 1911 is a classic design with class and grace. It deserves to be carried in a manner that matches its inherent attributes.

  14. Someone who happens to notice a bulge in the wrong spot and is nosey enough to ask will get this answer. “I’m diabetic and it’s my insulin pump.” They don’t deserve to know the truth. And since I’m a non-insulin dependant diabetic I have enough knowlage about that kind of stuff to pull that answer off.

    • It hasn’t happened yet, but if it comes to that, my answer will be similar- “It’s a medical device, a pump” If questioned further, I intend to say- “It’s a lead pump, it’s designed to inject lead into those who need it.”
      Hat tip to Robert Downey Jr’s character in ‘Tropic Thunder’- “I’m a lead farmer, mother-f*cker!”

  15. I live just north of Chicago, and unless I really want to conceal, or I will need to take the pistol on and off a lot threw-out the day I just wear a leather OWB holster and a simple cover garment. Even with the holster poking out at the bottom.or just having the shirt or jacked bunched up, there have had no issues with suburban or CPD cops. It is so much more comfortable than a IWB. Helps to not look like a gang banger, but you don’t need to wear business causal, “White Hispanic”, Wranglers, untucked button shirt and hiking boots

  16. The pic shows pretty obvious printing for those in the ‘know’. If by chance I print and someone makes a scene my practiced response is going to be something along the lines of “you insensitive SOB! What you are looking at is a medical device that keeps me alive”.
    I’m going to do this loudly so one, they leave me the hell alone and two, they feel that the chance of being publicly shamed for discriminating against a person with a ‘medical’ device is not worth the risk. I haven’t had to use this line yet but since I work at a university that has a policy against CC I have to make sure I don’t ever look like a deer caught in the headlights. And now days with public shaming being all the rage at universities I will fit right in.

    • HA! I use a Sneaky Pete, which for gunowners is so obvious it’s ridiculous, but most others it’s invisible, and it was undeniably concealed when that was necessary here in TX. My plan is to just explain that it’s a toolkit, in case I need it, and if asked what kind of tools (I saw this one here and stole it), explain that it is a “random orifice generator”.

    • I suggest an immediate, “Huh?” followed by a 3/4 second pause, and then, “oh that’s my medical device that keeps me alive you insensitive SOB!” And make sure you do NOT pause between “oh” and “that’s …”

      The immediate “Huh?” response conveys genuine bewilderment at the person’s suggestion that the bulge on your waste is a handgun. That is the response that we naturally expect if the bulge on your waste is not a handgun (even though it is but you are purposely trying to throw them off). If the bulge is a handgun, we naturally expect you to stutter or pause while desperately trying to think of a way to deflect. (But you won’t be doing that because you are already prepared.)

      The 3/4 second pause conveys that your brain is processing their query to determine to what they might be referring. (Of course you know exactly to what they are referring but you are throwing them off.)

      Then the, “oh that is my medical device that keeps me alive …” without any hesitation or stumbling is the response that we naturally expect if you indeed have such a device on your hip. (Again, you don’t really have a medical device on your hip but you are throwing them off.)

  17. Here in FL, we don’t have open-carry yet. That Republican-in-name-only Diaz de la Portilla made sure of that for this legislative session. He values tourists over residents.

    Anyway, by the letter of the law, you can be printing in FL til the cows come home. You could wear a spandex shirt so tight that someone could read the serial number of the gun under it. Still concealed.

    But, people are oblivious, they are too busy staring at their phones to notice someone might be printing. You tend to get over it after awhile. I’ve been “made” twice, once when I wore a loose shirt and a hurricane-force gale hit, and another time when a co-worker bumped into me. Fortunately our company owner is a gun fanatic and regularly has gun parts and full firearms in his private office plainly visible, so no one cared.

    • Well, fortunately I have extensive training in defending myself from assailants armed with fresh fruit. I am particularly adept at defending myself against people armed with a banana.

  18. As some have noted, printing doesn’t necessarily blow your concealment. For a newbie CC person, what’s worse than printing is fidgeting around with the gun – patting it to make sure it’s still there or hasn’t moved, making obvious physical contortions to “enhance” the concealment, locking an arm down rigidly over the covered gun, etc.

    Once you get familiar with CC, and more comfortable about it, you’ll find about the only concession you ,might need to make is bending at the knees to pick up a dropped object, instead of bending over at the waist.

    • When you first carry concealed, you think everyone is looking and notices you have a gun, especially when around cops. Over time, you do realize almost no one is aware enough to notice such things.

      Don’t let the “confidence plateau” get you in trouble though. One of my friends has his Airline Transport Pilot license – he says that there’s a huge danger between 100 hours of flight time and 1000 hours of flight time, where you are skilled enough to fly the plane, but you overestimate your abilities since you most likely haven’t encountered a problem yet.

      POTG probably go through the same process. You get confident to carry and shoot, but since nothing happens, you overestimate your skills or methods.

  19. Unless I’m wearing shorts, I like an ankle holster for a compact pistol or a snubbie, depending on my preference on any particular day. I think open carry is just an invitation to “Shoot me first”.

    • If you are ever on the west side of Chicago, “printing really badly” is more likely to NOT get you shot (just don’t look like a victim or a banger)

  20. A question. RF allowed that “printing” was not illegal, and I know in TX that was correct even before OC. But I understood there were places where “printing” was illegal when concealed was required. Anybody know it there is any truth in that?

    • I think there was a indecent in Florida with that actual sparked the requirement for mostly concealed in Illinois law.

  21. My concealment method is an OWB pancake Aker leather holster and gun belt with my Springfield XDs 9mm at about 2 o’clock. With the wrong shirt it still prints slightly which I generally don’t worry about. I usually carry this way when in public. To reduce printing (depending on the shirt) I will cinch my belt one extra hole if I’m feeling sub-conscience or if the attire doesn’t hide the gun well. Around home I carry at about 3:30 or 4 o’clock, sometimes concealed sometimes open, belt at a comfortable tightness. I will carry this way in public about 20% of the time, or when I go on walks with my family, etc. If I want to print slightly less I’ll cinch the belt one more hole.

    I also have the same setup for my Springfield XD Mod.2 4″ 9mm. It’s a double stack so it doesn’t hide quite as well so I wear it much less frequently.

    As for an extra mag (which I always carry when I leave the house), I usually just put it in my front left pocket, but the metal edge cracked the glass screen protector on my iPhone so I ordered some snap on mag holders from Aker Leather. Once I receive those I’ll carry my extra mag at either 8 o’clock or 10 o’clock (we’ll see which covers better.

    I have yet to open carry in public, but do open carry in my car for easier access to the firearm. But it’s barely visible from outside the car.

    I am not one to wear Hawaiian themed, large patterns or prints, or baggy shirts, so I have to be careful choosing the right material and color. of my shirts. Dark colors hide printing, as do shirts with a rough texture.

  22. One day I want the kind of job one wears a suit and tie, so I can carry under the shoulder… There’s just a really classy feel to that.

  23. I was at the Kroger the other day and saw a middle aged guy with a big ring o’ keys on his belt loop. That being a fashion faux pas, I then looked at his belt and saw a black clip under it. Looked up and saw the butt print under his shirt. Now, I’m sure that nobody but a concealed carrier or a cop would have noticed, but still – don’t attract attention to yourself. Concealed means concealed

  24. im a big guy (6’2″) 230 lb,,,,its hard and uncomfortable to carry concealed,,and besides i live in indiana where open carry is legal, ,,,so i carry open,,i have a glock 19 that i carry ,,but i also have a glock 21 full sized 45 that i also carry into bad areas when i have to be there,,,the big full sized glock really keeps people from doing stupid stuff in my presense,,,,i cant count how many times ive seen thugs walk into a place. ,see that big ass glock and turn right around and walk out,,,but on the other hand ive had women and mothers with children stay close by in bad hood type stores and places,,i really think that someone who carrys responsibily and looks nice (polo shirt and well groomed) ,,well they feel safe around me,,so ill open carry here,,i know not everyone will agree

  25. My advice is to dress to conceal rather than to be fashionable. Don’t carry a little gun of questionable effectiveness other than to make you feel brave. Dress to accommodate a serious weapon and for a sense of security that is more than a fantasy..

  26. I have carried for some time now and have gone through these iterations of concern as a beginner back then. In Pa., open carry without a license is perfectly legal, however with changing laws over the years, getting into your car OC without a license is a violation. Its considered concealed in the car. So I have always had a CCW permit.

    Now to the article, in winter I have little concern, I usually have a jacket on etc., so concealed is concealed for the most part. In summer, I used to carry IWB with an Aker leather holster, G27. I gave that up, IWB is very uncorfortable. I now OWB, 7TS ALS holster, G27 under Deluth Trading long tail tees. Very comfortable.

    Yes I print a little and I don’t care. I look a little sloppy, yes, but again I don’t care. Pactice has me drawing and on target within a second or so. To me quick access when needed is way more important than looking neat and having to fight to get at my own weapon or a little printing. Unless a cop ask me it’s nobodys business what’s under my shirt and that is the polite answer they will get. No one has noticed or cared to ask. Yet.

  27. Reading all the RESPONSES I’m going with “It’s my medical equipment. Since I have a bad BACK I wear a Tens until or used too. But don’t. But that’s great advice. Living in So California I’m around so many people not 1 has ever asked me!! So either I’m wearing it pretty good which is OWB but it tucks very close to my body. A 3” 1911. Kimber Eclipse Ultra II Beautiful gun to nice for daily carry until I get my XD45 compac short grip version which is sold out everywhere.

  28. Florida actually does allow open carry. Learn your local laws. Anyone can open carry while fishing, hunting, camping or legally target practicing. AND WHILE GOING TO OR FROM SUCH ACTIVITIES. I always have my fishing license and my kayak on my Jeep. Therefore even if I don’t intend on fishing when questioned that’s my response. I have been confronted by multiple LEO’S. I have the Florida Statue saved on phone to provide LEO’S with because many are unaware of the statue. And the only time I open carry is in bad urban areas and or during fishing/hunting/camping. We have bears, gators/panthers/bad guys down here.

  29. One thing that seems to be overlooked is-why do we feel the need to answer any question someone asks uninvited. A complete stranger comes up and asks about “the bulge in your shirt”. What makes people think they respond at all, in any manner? I know this is a radical idea in today’s world but I just as soon mind my own business and expect other to do the same.

  30. Solved the printing n comfort issue long ago for every day conceal carry…. A Desantis Nemesis pocket holster for one of these 3 is flawless no printing 100 percent comfort- S&W
    Bodyguard 38 revolver, M+P Shield or Bodyguard 380

  31. I wear an IWB with either a Sig .380 or a .45 with a simple golf shirt that works just fine to conceal. Just learn the stoop instead of bending. Only CCW holders seem to notice. Seems like we’re a pack of protective dogs sniffing one another while sizing each other up. In the gun store the other day there’s three others and myself. Within less that three minutes we all knew what each other was carrying without a word. Then a nod from all and a smile. In the winter I’ll go OWB if I will be wearing a coat or sweater for a little more comfort. People just don’t want to see a gun today unless it’s on a law enforcement.

  32. A – Most people have no clue
    B – Even in CC states, printing is not illegal
    C – I open carry (Colorado still respects RTKBA) and most people STILL don’t notice – too busy texting or just no situational awareness whatsoever
    D – If someone did notice – who cares? It is a right that cannot be taken away by some idiot incapable of understanding freedom

  33. In my messed up state , Illinois you do not have to tell the officer if you are pulled over….they already know and some other states do too…when they run your plates/tag it will come back that you have an active CCL….this way they know there could be a loaded firearm in the vehicle before they even approach you and I’m OK with that

  34. The thing is, if it’s legal to carry concealed or open…& you’re legal to own a handgun, it’s nobody’s business if you print. I’m not saying be blatant about it but do the best you can & be done with it.
    If you go into a place that bans CC (circle over gun w/line through), the most they can do is ask you to leave…but more than likely, they’ll never know unless you’re über obvious. If you try to carry in a legally restricted place (felonious carry), then you’re stupid & probably shouldn’t be carrying anyway…& if you get caught, you won’t, ever again (legally, that is).
    Beretta PX4 Storm Compact, 5:00 position, IWB AG Cloak Tuck 3.0. Hawaiian print or similar, made for a fat guy shirt. Covers nicely.

  35. One of the things people need to realize is that “concealed means concealed” some or most of the time.

    There are numerous ways your concealment can fail and I won’t address them all here, merely the two that have more to do with the person than the gun, gear or clothing.

    First off, you touch this thing A LOT. I know most people don’t think they do, and some will vigorously argue that they don’t, but they do. This has to do with the way your brain works. Unless you have spent some serious time training yourself not to touch the gun you’re carrying, you do it subconsciously. In fact you do it with everything that’s important to you and on your person. Ever go to leave the house and pat your pocket to see if your keys are there or your wallet or your phone? Of course you have, and you do it consciously. What you don’t realize however is that you do this many times throughout the day without realizing it. It has to do with the way your limbic system functions and without serious training you really can’t avoid doing it.

    I’ve had a lot of people tell me this simply isn’t true (“I never touch my gun! Never! You’re full of it!”). Well to those people I say, go join the USMC and take the Combat Hunter Program or, for an easier way of learning, just read “Left of Bang” by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. Most of those people have come back a week or so later and sheepishly admitted that they do touch their gun and that they never even realized it until it was brought to their attention.

    The second issue is that adding something to your body, such as a gun, changes the way you move. It limits your range of motion or changes the way you would naturally carry yourself or complete some tasks. To someone who is paying attention, your touching your belt line gave them reason to think you have something important there. If they continue to observe you wandering around the grocery store they will start to notice that you carry yourself in a way that’s not *quite* normal. It could be as obvious as you going out of your way to not break concealment by say extending a leg when bending to get something in such a way as to prevent printing or your shirt pulling up or it could be as innocuous as you changing the normal way you would approach or pick up and object because your gun physically stops you from moving in the most natural way possible.

    The bad news is that even with your clothing covering the gun 100% of the time (which they’re not btw, life happens) someone with experience can “profile” you and figure out that you’re carrying and where you’re carrying the gun on your body without ever seeing it.

    The good news is that the number of people who know this is possible is small and the number of people who actively do it is smaller. On top of that 95% of people are completely oblivious to their surroundings and usually don’t even notice if you’re OCing.

    So carry on, just be aware that your concealment isn’t perfect and that one day you might make a slip that gets noticed by someone who doesn’t have the good graces to keep it to themselves. In that case, present your permit (if required by your state) to the cops when they come to talk to you.


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