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By William W.

So, I’m a normal guy. I have an average build, average height, average weight…just an average 44 year old. The only thing that changed about me today is that I received my concealed carry permit. I did a lot of research before taking the CCW class, including my state’s laws and what firearm I think best suits my needs. I went with a Smith & Wesson M&P shield 9 mm as my intended daily carry gun. I’ve been around firearms most of my life so I’m comfortable around them but, as I found out, it just felt different wearing one IWB outside my house . . .

Coming home from a jam session, my brother asked me to drop him off at a bar. Not a problem, since I wasn’t planning on going in, but on the way, a police car pulled in behind me and I suddenly got a little nervous.

I’m a law-abiding citizen, I pay my taxes, my car is inspected and in good condition and I hadn’t been drinking…what did I have to worry about? Even so, I prepared. I had my driver’s license and permit together in their own wallet on the opposite side of my firearm.

If you hang around the Internet at all, you too have read plenty of stories aboutLEOs and CCW holders interacting. And most of them aren’t that great. (My own experience with law enforcement in the past has been quite positive).

Anyway, I dropped my brother off at the bar and the cruiser went on past. I drove home, wrote the babysitter a check and sat down and enjoyed the rest of my evening by reading some updates on TTAG and watching a few hickock45 videos. Finally, my wife made it home and we went over the normal married couple things. All the while I was still carrying my pistol IWB. When it was time for bed the Shield went in the DeSantis pocket holster and was put to bed where I know I can find it in the dark.

It was just another normal day for me. Only not really.

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  1. Congratulations, William, and welcome to the club!!

    Whether you choose to open carry or continue to conceal carry, just treat it like a seat belt. Strap it on every time and don’t worry about it.

    The rest you already know – practice and clean it regularly.

    Carry on!

  2. My first time carrying, the experience must be similar to what Will Smith’s character felt like during Enemy of the State. I had the unshakable sensation of a spy sattelite somehow tracking my every move through the produce section. I swore any second id see the local SWAT team break down the aisle and prone me out.

    Of course , my previous city of residence WAS Chicago. It seems old habits really do die hard.Now i’d sooner visit North Korea than willfully visit my old haunts again unarmed.

  3. Welcome to our side, William. Keep in mind that your Shield is just your first carry gun. You’ll get others, more than likely. It never really gets easier, but it does get more comfortable.

  4. Hopefully, someday all states will recognize exactly what our 2nd Amendment really means, such as my state, Arizona…….

    Open carry, NO problem.

    Concealed carry, NO problem, and NO stinkin’ permit either to carry concealed!

    Anything less than that, just shaking my head……….

  5. I’m also expecting my license any day now. Until that comes I’ve been wearing the iwb Old Faithful holster (empty) to work, out around town, doing yard work, etc. to get myself use to it. When I get home I do put my shield in the holster and wear it around my house. Great firearm, great holster!

  6. Good for you Sir! You’ve taken a big step in becoming a responsible citizen. Notice I said citizen and civilian. Civilians are unarmed sheeple who rely on the good in their fellow man to survive. A citizen takes responsibility for their own safety and understands that bad things, or bad people can sometimes happen to bad people and there will NOT be a cop around when you need them. So I salute all you CCW’s, men and women, who own up to reality and take the awesome responsibility upon themselves. If more were like you, crime would be almost non-existent and we might just achieve the dream of a peaceful, civil society.

  7. I’m used to carrying, and using, multiple weapons in war zones. However, I know I will have the author’s same feeling when carrying out in public when my CHL finally does arrive. It’s only been two weeks since I turned the paperwork in, but it feels like 2 months.

  8. William, do the Wally Walk my lad, and all your CCW worries will be eased.

    If you don’t grok “Wally Walk,” google it and be enlightened.

  9. Great choice with the shield 9mm. Consider yourself part of the lucky few. I cant find them in stock anywhere that isn’t MSRP prices.

  10. I’ve had my permit for over 5 years now, but I still remember what it was like when I started carrying. Is it printing? Did it fall out? Can anyone notice? I got over all that. Carrying is routine now.

    I started with an IWB holster. Eventually I switched to a fanny pack. I’m happy with it, but it may not be for everyone.

    I also started carrying a full-sized 1911. That was actually no problem. They’re as easy to conceal as a smaller gun. Then I started reading about flash mobs, and decided 7+1 might not be enough. Now I carry a gun with a bigger magazine.

    Whatever you end up choosing, remember to carry it everywhere that it’s legal to do so. There won’t be any warning on the day you find you need it.

  11. In WA State OC & CC are both OK, so I don’t sweat whether I print. My EDC goes OWB @ 3 o’clock with 2 more mags @ 10 o’clock, with an untucked shirt over it. So far (since Nov. ’92) no screams of “OMG!! He has a GUN!!”

  12. Just got my first Pa ltcf. Or ccw permit. I actually was going to Walmart anyway way today and I just saw the Wally walk About to leave for my first time off private property carrying. I’m glad I finally got it. I have been waiting 45 days and it felt like an eternity. I am carrying a pf9 at 4 o’clock iwb. In a custom made kydex and leather holster similer to a crossbreed holster a buddy made me. I don’t even notice it. Have been carrying recently at home and no one has noticed.


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