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I’m not sure Woolrich Elite Series Tactical makes the world’s best concealed carry clobber. A friend of a friend was not enamored with their twill jacket; one of the buttons was hanging by a thread within a week, the Velcro breast pocket wasn’t properly positioned for an effective draw and the rubber band pocket inserts wouldn’t hold Glock mags. I recently purchased a Woolrich shirt with a false button at the bottom that really needs three magnetic closures. But hey, Woolrich is doing well with their CCW clothes. So well that The Old Gray Lady has worked-up a snarky review of their work from their usual anti-gun perspective. Only it’s not snarky. Or anti-gun. To quote Poombaa, what’s goin’ on here? Check it out . . .

The chinos, which cost $65, are not for commandos, but rather, the company says, for the fashion-aware gun owner. And Woolrich has competition. Several clothing companies are following suit, building businesses around the sharp rise in people with permits to carry concealed weapons.

Their ranks swelled to around seven million last year from five million in 2008, partly because of changes to state laws on concealed handguns.

That’s it? No reference to racist tactistupid Old Fat White Guys (OFWGs)? No blood in the streets or Wild West metaphors? Nope. Are you ready for this?

Gun experts suggest that there are many reasons for the growth in the number of people with concealed-carry permits. They say it is partly due to a changing political and economic climate — gun owners are professing to want a feeling of control — and state laws certainly have made a difference.

After a campaign by gun rights advocates, 37 states now have “shall issue” statutes that require them to provide concealed-carry permits if an applicant meets legal requirements, like not being a felon. (A handful of other states allow the concealed carrying of handguns without a permit). By contrast, in 1984 only 8 states had such statutes, and 15 did not allow handgun carrying at all, said John Lott, a researcher of gun culture who has held teaching or research posts at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago.

Only one state, Illinois, now forbids handgun carrying in any form, but the legislature is considering a change.

A majority of states have long allowed the open carrying of handguns, said Mr. Lott, who also provided the data on gun permits. But the reality, said Mr. Lott and other gun experts, is that people do not want to show others that they are carrying a weapon or invite sharp questioning from the police.

While the Times editorial board is pro-gun control all day long, the appearance of gun neutral copy in the paper’s U.S. section is, in a word, fabulous.

Before you type the word “winning” in the comments section below, remember that the struggle to defend and extend American gun rights is a never-ending battle. And unfurl your umbrella. Flying pigs have been known to defecate from time to time. [h/t Don]

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  1. I don’t wear “concealed carry” clothing. That is like shouting out “I have a gun.” I have found that LL Bean, REI or even Macy’s sell shirts that look stylish and can cover a full size pistol and a magazine pouch without printing.

    • Except for the over the top “cameraman” vests, I doubt 99% of the people on the street can identify concealed carry clothes. Most of the “tacticool” pants look 95% like the pants that many world travelers wear. I think they hardly shout “I have a gun”.

      • My wife claims that 98% of the people on the street don’t even notice open carry. I am not concerned about the 99%. My concern is the po-pos and the bad boys.

        • on the day 9/11 happened, I was walking around with a .357 S&W Mexican style in my pants (I didn’t have a holster yet) and walked up to a cop asking where the line was to give blood @ the Red Cross – he didn’t even bat an eye or ask for my CCW.

    • Duluth Trading. Durable, comfortable and generously sized. Plus, your shirt will stay tucked in if you get the LongTail versions.

      5.11 pants were originally designed for rock climbers. The vast majority of non-RKIs on gun issues wouldn’t recognized tactical clothing if it bit them. It makes you look like a tradesman or camper (and there is nothing wrong with that), but short of a shemagh and a plate carrier most people cannot identify “tactical” clothing.

      The photographer’s vest, though, has become pretty much like a fanny pack, a red flag that you’re armed.

      • see my comment above. I am not worried about the average man on the street. It’s the people who know what they are looking for who concern me. First rule of cover: Look like everybody else.

    • I actually wear tailored clothing and I don’t print either. You can dress up and still be concealed.

  2. So the Time’s fashion editors think that tactical pred-a-porte is tres chic. And very butch. But they’d positively swoon if there were guns in them.

  3. The more government expands the use of cameras, other monitoring and recording equipment to track American citizens going about their daily lives, I think we should all start wearing the shemagh or keffiyeh headscarf as a political-fashion statement. Of course if that were to occur then government would require us to carry a national ID card with a tracking chip everywhere we go.

  4. Not winning, mainstreaming. Thats the key. Get enough folks to carry or know someone who does and firearms will become as controversial as eating meat… even if you don’t carry, you are looked at as an oddball if you criticize those that do. Its happening.

      • Anyone who receives the American Rifleman has nothing to say about advertisers. And influence. And Zoysia grass. And gold. And …

        • Yes, American Rifleman is yet another publication that never met a gun it didn’t like. It’s still a good read though.

  5. “My wife claims that 98% of the people on the street don’t even notice open carry.”

    i remember once i was open carrying an m1911a1 holstered, in civvies, walking and chatting with a friend, a police officer on duty, in uniform. (i’m not a cop) the only one who paid any attention was a guy driving a crown vic with new york plates and an nypd pba member’s plaque on the grill, and he nearly wrecked looking at us while trying to make the left turn from main street onto high street. vermont is a different world.

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