Question of the Day What Are Your Concealed Carry Don’ts?

SPOILER ALERT! Jarhead6 doesn’t think you should carry an unloaded gun (no sexual metaphor intended). He also reckons you shouldn’t be an operator (someone who buys a tacticool gun who doesn’t carry it everyday). Or cocky. And don’t not use a holster or wear a belt. And don’t tell people you have a gun. Pretty basic stuff. Let’s add to that list. My top three. 1. Don’t worry about caliber choice 2.) Don’t talk to the police after a defensive gun use and 3.) Don’t not carry at home. What’s missing from the list?


  1. avatar Zora says:

    Don’t miss?

  2. avatar PeterC says:

    Don’t give advice unless specifically requested.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I’m on board with this one. Offering is fine, but if your offer is met with anything short of enthusiastic positivity, just let them be.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Hey, it’s Matt in Fl … where have you been?

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Working a lot, and occasionally lurking here when I have a free moment. And by free moment I mean “in the john.”

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Gives new meaning to “shitposting”? 😀

        3. avatar Geoff PR says:

          TTAG is better than a magazine…

    2. avatar RenegadeDave says:

      Good grief I was at the range yesterday next to this guy lecturing these poor kids who were at the range with him. They all owned their own guns but he basically proselytized all of is ideas on guns and what they aught to be. Then he sent a stick on reactive target down range taped to the target. I did take that moment to inform him that he could stick that target on and not just tape it up with the backing.

      It’s easy to go that route. if you are enthusiastic and not careful.

    3. Unsolicited advice is irritating, I like good advice but you usually don’t realize the merit of the advice until you have experience anyway.
      My first job was outdoors in the Atlanta summer heat. One senior employee told me “you need to get a hat or your head will burn up”. Not an hour later another senior employee told me, “don’t wear a hat or your head will burn up”.
      I was at the range practicing conceal draw. I had a habit of crouching as I presented the gun. An instructor was two bays down and between strings he told me that my shots would be more accurate and faster if I would remain upright when I drew and fired. My thought was, “screw you, I got this”. Well I started using his technique and saw competitive shooters on Youtube using this method. My shooting seemed to get faster to the first shot.
      Well recently I started shooting on the move or moving while drawing and shooting. Guess what? You can’t move quickly standing straight up. Turns out that my natural stance came from my athletic background and a desire to be able to move in a defensive shooting situation.
      If you want to shoot fast on steel, eliminate unnecessary movement. If you want to avoid getting shot, get in a low ready stance and move.

    4. avatar -Peter says:

      What are you talking about? I love it when range officers come up to me and start telling all the neat things they’ve read somewhere about the gun I’m trying to shoot. It’s like “hey bud, I know I’m paying by the hour to shoot here, but how much do I need to tip you in order to keep these nuggets of wisdom flowing?”

      Or, “No, really, keep talking! I can zero in my new optic any old time. Your story about how your brother-in-law almost bought this same rifle but then decided it wasn’t worth the money is just so fascinating.”

      1. avatar asdf says:

        My sentiments exactly.

  3. avatar Jeremy in AL says:

    Don’t not test fire your gun after disassembly before carrying it.

    1. avatar NoID says:

      Breaking that rule right now.

      1. avatar Jeremy in AL says:

        Break it down to clean it, fine. Just run a mag through it after you put it back together. It is still clean.
        Any time you take apart a machine, you run the risk of something not being quite right when you reassemble.

        1. Not for a basic field strip. My gun has a barrel, recoil spring, slide assembly and frame that houses the trigger assembly. As long I don’t disassemble the slide or the frame, and I do a dry fire test after reassembly, that is satisfactory.

    2. avatar Gman says:

      That is circular logic. Don’t not test fire your gun after disassembly before carrying it. Now my gun is dirty, so I have to clean it. Disassemble, fire, oops, disassemble, fire, …
      Never get to carry.

      1. avatar Dale says:

        Yeah… Some people’s definition of dirty is a little different than mine. For me, dirty is 500+ rounds of wolf. It’s still “clean” for the first 100 rounds. Ha

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Well, yeah, but you’re getting to shoot a lot!

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      If you can’t field strip a Glock, clean and reassemble it without having parts left over, maybe have a gunsmith do that complicated stuff for you.

    4. avatar -Peter says:

      I prefer: “Don’t carry a gun so complex to assemble that you can’t verify its function with dry-fire.”

    5. avatar Skippy says:

      I test fire after disassembly by dropping a pencil down the barrel erasure first and putting a little mark on my ceiling. I’m not going back to the range for a couple test rounds; It always works the next time I go.

    6. avatar Texsylvanian says:

      Ummm… function check?

  4. avatar Youzernayme says:

    don’t worry. no one notices your gun but you (and the other gun guys). so stop fooling with your shirt,

  5. avatar NoID says:

    Retention, retention, retention. Or perhaps know the level of activity you can partake in with the holster you’re using. Or perhaps(er) just assume that you might need to partake in unexpected aerobics while carrying and plan accordingly, IE DON’T BUY A CHEAP HOLSTER!

    I once had my P226 fall out of a cheap Uncle Mike’s holster at the small of my back while playing with my kids in the driveway. Neighbors saw. It was awkward.

    1. avatar forrest says:

      “Don’t buy a cheap holster” would be my rule also. At this point, I have just as much invested in holsters as i do in the pistol.

    2. avatar ShaunL. says:

      Not all cheap($$$) holsters are BAD holsters. My sig938 resides in a $24 Sticky brand IWB holster while the myriad of other, MUCH more expensive holsters, remain in the giant holster box at home.

      I work for a living and am often found crawling around under things dragging welding leads without a single mishap. It’s also on me when I’m working on the property digging, wrangling the donkeys(not a metaphor), tending to the other animals, stringing fence or whatever else comes along.

      Money doesn’t always equal quality and if it doesn’t fit or conceal well enough for your needs you’re less likely to carry it.

      1. I don’t like retention on a concealed holster. I have enough shit to worry about getting my articles of clothing clear to make the draw. I don’t want a retention device or a thumb safety for that matter to be an extra thing to go wrong when I need to be shooting already.
        Get a holster customized for your gun and as long as you can hold the holster upside down without the gun falling out, you have proper retention.
        Mine was $40 and works great.

        1. avatar BigDinVT says:

          Same here. Mine was $30, hold great and comfortable – more so than one that was supposed to have sold for around $80 (but got at a discount).

  6. avatar IllinoisShooter says:

    “Don’t not carry at home”


    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Double negative.

      Don’t not home carry = DO home carry

      1. avatar IllinoisShooter says:

        ugh. missed the double negative. Skipped right over the not.

        1. avatar 357M28 says:

          I’m guilty of that too.

        2. avatar protaganis says:

          An alternative to that is my buddies rule, “the best place to keep a handgun is wherever you’ll be close to it”. In his case that’s everywhere in the house. He’s also running into the old rule of “when you can’t remember offhand how many guns you have, you’ve got enough… For now”.
          Downside is, he has to use a checklist before the grandkids come over to “clean up the house”.

  7. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Don’t carry in schools or federal buildings.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Or New Jersey.

    2. avatar jim says:

      Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6

      1. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

        Same thing in NJ.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Nothing personal, but I try to avoid places like New Jersey altogether. Why go where my gat is not welcome?

      2. avatar Nathanaelf says:

        True, but the odds of each aren’t necessarily equal. If they were, carry, even where illegal or prohibited, would be a no-brainer. If the odds of losing your job, or facing criminal charges, are the same as those of losing your life because you can’t defend yourself effectively, then carry. The dilemma comes when you realize that while both are unlikely, the odds of being discovered carrying where you aren’t allowed to are great than those of needing a gun to defend yourself while carrying where you aren’t allowed to.

        1. My rights and my life don’t play those odds. If I am not required to go through a search, I have my gun. Period.

          Oh yeah, don’t tell anyone you are carrying. Oops!

      3. avatar Ralph says:

        @Jim, if I gain any more weight, I’ll have to choose between being judged by twelve or carried by twelve.

    3. avatar Zach says:

      Hah! I live in Utah, sucker, where my rights are protected even in public schools. Federal buildings, not so much. So, for Utah guys, I amend this: DO carry in schools. But not federal buildings.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Last summer I had to go to the local social security office. I knew it was a federal ‘gun free’ zone so I left my gat in the truck, but I was surprised to find an armed guard at the entry. I asked about the policy and as long as you don’t try to get it passed him you’re fine. Anyway, I’m a little bit less offended when they actually provide security when they tell you to disarm yourself.

  8. avatar John L. says:

    Don’t neglect your proficiency: get your range time in.

  9. avatar Lurker_of_Lurkiness says:

    Do not not not use mutlpile negatives when a single or zero will do.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      You’re not not right.

      1. avatar -Peter says:

        I don’t disagree.

        1. You can’t underestimate how stupid someone never won’t be.

  10. avatar Dustin Eward says:

    #1, don’t conceal unless forced to by tyrants.
    #2, never, ever carry a useful size or caliber.

  11. avatar Jim R says:

    Don’t pick the wrong gun to carry. There is no one “right” gun for everybody, but there’s one out there that suits your needs. Not everyone can conceal a G19 or a full-size 1911.

    1. “Not everyone can conceal a G19 or a full-size 1911”
      Not everyone is WILLING to conceal carry a G19 or a full size 1911.
      If you can conceal carry that pint of Jack Daniels into the the premier of American Sniper, you can conceal carry a Glock 19.

      1. avatar paulWTAMU says:

        Not everyone can conceal it without dying of heatstroke or getting made 😛 I’m not carrying a 1911 in shorts and a t shirt (prints awful), and I’m not wearing tons of clothes when I’m hiking in 90+ degree weather.

        1. Like I said. Where there is a will there is a way.

          This was my first time drawing and shooting from my drop leg rig I invented for cargo shorts. I was trying to go very slow and smooth. Smooth is fast right? I was going to work up to a faster draw but the RO made us stop. Even though I was trying to be slow and deliberate, and I have a retention thumb brake on the holster, I got the first shot off in 2 seconds. Prior to that I did dry practice sitting on my couch with a 1 second PAR time without retention and beat the clock.

      2. avatar -Peter says:

        So YOU were the guy sitting behind me in the theater.

        1. Yeah, I was out of silver rum. Sorry for the smell. I didn’t fart though so we are even.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Coulda been worse.
          It could have been Pee Wee Herman behind you….

      3. avatar Texas Anomaly says:

        Somewhat true, but I don’t think that my 5’2″ 100 bound wife can carry one. I’m 6’1″ and 230 pounds, and while I could carry a full sized handgun ( I have carried a Beretta Storm Px4 a time or two), I would never do so consistently or without great discomfort.

        1. Maybe if you untie her she could do it.

        2. The Glock 19 is not a full size.

  12. avatar Joe R. says:

    Don’t tell your doctor.

    Do, get a big gun safe and fill it, get ammo, baby wipes, cleaning kit, bottled water, etc., etc.,

    : )

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Do, ask your doctor (if questioned by him/her about guns) what qualifications and/or certifications they have to counsel you on gun safety. Inquired in their malpractice insurance covers issues that may arise as a result of counselling you on gun safety.

      (And take pictures/video of their reactions to such questions…)

      1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

        Don’t stoop to their level, just say “no I don’t own guns, but thanks for the advice doc” smile and be on your merry way.

    2. avatar Bill says:

      I’m lost, why would you stock up on baby wipes?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        For the children.

      2. avatar Joe R. says:

        I’m just saying, if you are going to carry ‘Live There’, make it a part of you, come for the duration, pack light but equipped to stay the night, etc., etc.,

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Protein bars, Stacker 3, NVGs, . . .

          : )

  13. avatar Mark says:

    Don’t Ever make a smartass comment to a cop about “My guns bigger than yours”!! Not good, not good at all!!!

    1. If I was a cop and you said that to me, I would laugh at you and say “well you had to pay for yours, and you had to pay for mine”.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        This made me LOL

  14. avatar Cameron S. says:

    1. Don’t disarm unless the charge is federal
    2. Don’t let anyone know you’re armed
    3. Don’t f*** up

  15. avatar MikeC says:

    Don’t play show-and-tell. The gun comes out of the safe and into the holster, and stays in the holster until it goes back into the safe. Period.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Pretty sure I expressed this exact sentiment on a story about a man getting assaulted at walmart after some jackass saw him put his gun in his holster in the parking lot before going inside… and I got trampled in the comments for it. Go figure.

  16. avatar Doug says:

    Its a lot easier to state the top 3 do’s than mess around with don’ts.

    Do think before you open your yap or pull the weapon.
    Do maintain your skills with your selected weapon in case you do need to pull it.
    Do carry all the time (or at least have said weapon within reach) so you can pull it.

  17. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    First thing I thought of. Classic

  18. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Don’t leave your firearm in the bathroom stall.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      If you don’t have a pocket big enough to hold your piece securely while crapping, your piece is too big!

      1. Use your crap time at home to practice handling a large weapon while doing so. Another advantage to home carry.
        I think this goes back to having a good belt. Learn how to hold onto your belt while you do your business with the other hand.
        I think you are more likely to lose a small gun than a big one.

  19. avatar notalima says:


    To paraphrase:

    Rule #1: Have a gun
    (It doesn’t matter if you have a Mega 50 Brutalizer 9000 if you don’t carry it because it is too heavy…or to pretty/expensive get get your man sweat on)

    Rule #2: Shot Placement
    (it doesn’t matter if you carry a Mega 50 Brutalizer 9000 if you don’t practice because the recoil hurts your fingers so you can’t hit a Chevy at 10 yards)

    Rule #3: Caliber
    (Carry the biggest you can as long as you comply with rules 1 & 2)



    • Don’t be an idiot.
    • Don’t not train/practice (you are not a rock star because you own a guitar)
    • Don’t end up on the NDotD list
    • Don’t post pictures of yourself showing your concealed piece
    • Don’t tell people you are carrying
    • Don’t carry in a manner that is going to print or expose your piece if you bend, stretch, etc. Getting SWATTED or tackled by some liberal yahoo doesn’t help anyone
    • Don’t drink and carry
    • Don’t be an idiot
    • Don’t be an idiot
    • Don’t be an idiot
    • Don’t conceal carry when naked. (Because no one wants to know where you are concealing…) 😀

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Had to chuckle at that last one. Reminds me of the post several months ago about the gal who carried her NAA 22 revolver in her “wha-cha-ma-call-it”

  20. avatar ShaunL. says:

    Don’t play stupid games if you don’t want stupid prizes.

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Heh, I like that.

  21. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    “Don’t carry an unloaded gun”. WTF? That somebody feels that such advice is necessary would imply that there are people who would do so. Please, tell me nobody is stupid enough to carry a concealed firearm but not bother to load it…. Please? Ah, damn it…..

    1. avatar notalima says:

      This video itself is referring to not having a round in the chamber (RF description might be a bit misleading).

      There are a number of CC’ers that don’t carry with a round in the chamber. I’m not one of them, and I don’t agree, but some do.

    2. By “loaded” he means one in the chamber. Several people carry in that condition. It even has a name “condition _______”. I forgot what it is called because I never considered it.
      The reality is with first timers, whom this video is geared toward, are very apprehensive with the idea. My wife took about three months before she became comfortable with a hot firearm on her purse. For my next trick, getting her to carry on body. She doesn’t own a belt that isn’t less than an inch wide or made of cloth so this one’s going to be tricky.
      I know people that have owned guns all their lives that never carry and only keep the gun locked in a drawer separate from the ammo and magazines.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        I think it’s called “condition just pretending to be armed, but not really.”

        1. I remember now!
          Condition Butterscotch!

  22. Don’t ask a question of the day then answer it before letting your readers contribute.
    Just poking fun RF.

    I agree with everything he said but he presented it as if they were in order of importance and that is what I disagree with. I agree with carry in hot condition being the most important thing and being a Glock carrier, I am in hot hot condition. But I would put “don’t carry without a holster” right up there ahead of don’t carry a tacticool gun. I am not even sure I would put that one on the list. He mentioned the Glock 17 with a light mount as a poor carry option. I disagree. His point was that you would stop carrying it because it is too cumbersome. What are we talking about…2″ in any direction larger than a sub compact gun? My advice would be, don’t let the size of your handgun prevent you from coming up with a way to carry it concealed. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you must downsize, however, you have several excellent options.
    This is my big “DON’T”. Don’t let a GFZ sign disarm you.

  23. avatar preston says:

    Don’t not train with what you shoot. alot of dolts out there say ” well when i shoot someone i dont want to lose my expensive gun so i shoot my expensive gun to train with but carry a cheap-o” such a stupid train of thought.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      No offense, but many perps have met their maker at the hands of people who went out and bought a handgun, loaded the cylinder/magazine and never touched the trigger until the day their door got kicked in.

      Does it mean that’s the best way of doing things? No, but having 100 comments every thread telling people to they had better be training is a lot like opening your mailbox and sifting through the 8000 catalogs full of coupons and credit card offers to find the one or two pieces of mail tha you actually need to read.

      1. You’re not wrong, but I think you missed preston’s point. He wasn’t saying you have to train to be effective in a DGU. He is saying don’t train with a different firearm than the one you carry, or at least train with it some.
        Think of it this way. Have you ever seen a Major League Baseball catcher miss a pitch that went right by his head? He got “crossed up” which means he did not expect that action on the ball. If he was not looking for a slider when the pitcher threw a fastball, then he would have caught it.
        With guns that have different feel, grip, action, trigger break, sure you could use it for the first time because you have no expectation of the response. But when you train with a different gun, you have reinforced memory of a totally different response to your trigger pull and it may cost you.

  24. avatar JR_in_NC says:

    Lot’s of good stuff posted already. I’ll add a couple that are important to me.

    Do: Have a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence and deescalation.

    Don’t: Think of the concealed firearm no one even knows you are carrying as a magic talisman that gives you extra power.

    Do: Carry the gun.

    Don’t: “I’m just going to the store, I’ll be right back. What can happen?”

    1. Don’t leave the gun range unarmed.

      All gun ranges that I know of have a standing rule:
      No Loaded Firearms Behind Firing Line!

      Fuck that! I go hot with my defensive ammo before I step off the line. I holster it and conceal it right before I start sweeping up the brass. They have me on video doing this and if they want to say something about it then I will never set foot in that place again. After two years, they have not said anything.

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        This! I felt a bit of trepidation the first time I loaded up and reholstered on the line but now I’m with Michael (not like “We’re having a romantic Valentine’s dinner this weekend” but “in agreement”) on the “If they don’t like it, they can stop receiving money from me.”

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Fortunately my favorite range is fine with a holstered firearm anywhere. (They want it unloaded if it’s in a rug or case.)

  25. avatar Retired LEO says:

    Don’t intenionally expose your weapon. Concealed is concealed.

    Besides being illegal it’s plain stupid & dangerous.

    1. I am carrying and drinking right now. These are two freedoms I routinely celebrate together.

      It is not illegal. It is illegal to discharge your firearm under the influence with a clear exception of a DGU.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      It might be illegal to drink while carrying in your jurisdiction, but it’s not in mine. As far as it being stupid, well, that’s your opinion, and mine happens to differ. I’m an adult, and can make my own decisions, thankyouverymuch. Personally, I feel that laws that tell me I can’t enjoy a beer with my burger just because I have a gun on my hip are stupid. I think laws that make enjoying an adult beverage and carrying the means to defend myself mutually exclusive options are asinine in the extreme. Be an adult and know your limits.

    3. avatar JohnF says:

      What about prescription drugs? Some of those are worse than the illegal kind. And if you are over 50, you might as well throw all your holsters away, because you’re on something. Hell, the framers of the Constitution were probably drinking with they wrote 2A! They used to drink all the time back then.

      1. I am recovering from rotator cuff surgery. I have a prescription for Percocet. That is why I have been flooding TTAG with comments lately. Not because of the drugs but because of the time on my hands.
        Not only am I carrying just a regularly as before (more so actually) but now that I am one handed for 8 weeks, I am training one handed.
        The drug makes me feel warm, relaxed and somewhat pain free. It doesn’t make me stupid so I continue to carry my gun.
        My comments were stupid before the drugs if you want to say that proves anything.

  26. avatar bayareabill says:

    get regular and high quality training if you can afford it

    1. Don’t expect training replaces common sense.

      But do train with a professional. Just don’t let it change your mindset that you are now some sort of bad ass.

  27. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    If you carry a semi-auto pistol with a round in the chamber, do NOT carry it in a pocket or your belt unless it is in a properly fitting carrier that completely covers the entire trigger guard area.

  28. avatar JohnF says:

    Don’t wear an ankle holster with shorts.

  29. avatar J O E says:

    Don’t not positively use double-negatives.

  30. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Concealed Carry Don’ts? Concealed carry – don’t.

  31. avatar L,John says:

    Opinions are like [email protected]@holes. Everybody has one and they all smell.

  32. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Don’t shoot what you’re not willing to eat?

  33. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Don’t carry in public without reading your entire state firearms code. Twice.

    1. avatar Dennis says:

      …at least monthly.

  34. avatar PW in KY says:

    Don’t twirl your carry piece on your finger. Don’t pick your nose with your trigger finger.

  35. avatar mike says:

    My main rules for carrying besides the basic rules everyone should already follow are 1. Don’t let anyone know you are carrying unless you absolutely have too. 2. Don’t carry in a kid establishment. (If Im at a small child’s like my nephews birthday where I might be playing games with them) 3. I personally don’t carry in any of my family members households because not all of them are entirely comfortable with it. So out of respect for them I’ll lock it in my car

  36. avatar Mark says:

    How about “don’t carry any weapon you are not familiar with and well-practiced on.”

  37. avatar Rory Walters says:

    Never carry if consuming alcohol;

  38. avatar Mikey says:

    Always carry at least one or two spare magazines or speedloaders/speed strips. Take that $10 nylon holster, set fire to it and buy a real one. Having said that, buy a real gun belt too. Check your temper and foolish personal pride and remember that displaying a holstered firearm or brandishing it to gain leverage in an argument can and will guarantee that you never legally own a firearm again. Stay out of trouble and mind your own business. Check your temper! Don’t let somebody cutting you off in traffic or taking your parking spot turn into a day you will never forget.

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