Three Common Concealed Carry Mistakes You Really Don’t Want to Make

concealed carry mistakes

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Maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans who carry a firearm regularly. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are. How many of us are there? John Lott pegged the number of permit holders at 14.5 million back in 2016. That was more than two years ago, though. and we now have 14 constitutional carry states where permits aren’t required to keep and bear arms.

But there are a number of common concealed carry mistakes that many of us make, whether we’re new carriers or have been packing for decades. While most are minor, here are three critical ones that could cost you your anonymity, your gun rights, or even your life.

1) Checking and adjusting your gun repeatedly

This is mostly a problem for newer carriers. Those who are new to concealed carry are always more conscious about that thing they now have on their waist. They go on your first Wally walk and try to forget about it, but they’re convinced that it’s as big as a watermelon and everyone can see what’s on their hip. Because fo that, they tend to adjust their shirt or jacket often, changing the position of their holster or just patting their pistol to make sure it’s still there.

The truth, of course, is that most people go through live in a perpetual state of condition white. Not only do they not notice any bulge under your shirt, their level of situation awareness is low enough that they wouldn’t know what it was if they did.

Continually fidgeting and adjusting your gun only calls attention to it. People who wouldn’t otherwise give you a second thought might notice you and what you’re doing.

The point of concealed carry, after all, is staying on the down low. To blend in with everyone else and not call attention to yourself. Assuming you have a good belt and a quality holster…relax. Leave it alone. Your gun isn’t going anywhere. You don’t need to pat it or check it or move it. You pistol is right where it needs to be should you ever need it. And let’s hope that never happens.

concealed carry mistakes

2) Not knowing your state and local laws

This is a big one. If you have a concealed carry license you probably were required to take a course to qualify. Your instructor likely went over the applicable concealed carry laws for your state. But that’s usually a quick overview and the quality and thoroughness of that review can vary widely.

Does your state have a castle doctrine? A stand your ground law? Do you know what those are? Do you have a duty to retreat? Are you aware of facilities and buildings — both federal, state and local — where concealed carry is prohibited (think hospitals, public transportation, government offices)?

How about reciprocity? Do you travel to other states frequently? Do you know if your concealed carry permit is honored in those states?

Does your state have a preemption law that prevents cities from enacting gun laws that are more strict that state level laws? Or do different cities have their own unique requirements and prohibitions? Are you required to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying if you’re stopped?

These are all important aspects of concealed carry. In some states, walking into a business or building that’s posted as a gun-free zone will result in your being asked to leave. It could be a misdemeanor. In others, it can result in a felony charge and the loss of your gun rights. Forever.

There are lots of resources out there where you can find out the laws in your particular state and city. The NRA, USA Carry, USCCA and many others have online resources where you can find out the federal, state and city laws that apply to you.

You may not like that you have to familiarize yourself with these restrictions, but they’re a reality. As a responsible gun owner and concealed carrier, you need to know the laws that apply to you if you want to maintain your gun rights, your bank balance and your freedom.

concealed carry mistakes

courtesy Bravo Concealment

3) Not carrying whenever you can

There’s no end of reasons you can use to justify not carrying. It’s a hassle. It’s heavy. I’m traveling and don’t want to deal with it. I’m going to the post office and don’t want to leave my carry handgun in the car. I’m just running to the store for a minute.

It’s easy to get complacent. But you went to the trouble of getting a concealed carry permit. You may have paid for some proper training to hone your skills. You have a gun and gear that work for you. The fact is, no one knows when they’re going to need to protect themselves. No one has ever left the house and thought, “This feels like the kind of day I’m going to need my gun.”

The reality is, you could be required to defend yourself in any place and at any time. There’s simply no way to predict or anticipate the need for armed self-defense.

First, remove any excuses you may have for not carrying. If your gun is too heavy or too big, get a new one. If your holster rubs or is a hassle to put on, get another one. There are dozens of good concealed carry holsters out there. Use it with a real gun belt that supports it adequately. Switch to an OWB holster and an un-tucked shirt if an IWB carry rig isn’t for you.

Do whatever you can to make carrying your firearm as simple and comfortable as possible. Any gun you carry will be better than none at all. The last thing you want is to reach for your gun and learn the hard way why it’s important to make carrying every day part of your routine.

Get in the mindset and habit of every day carry. Make it part of your muscle memory as you’re getting ready each day. Keep a small lockbox in your car to secure your gun when you have to enter a “gun-free” zone. You can get one for about $30. It’s better than stashing it under a seat or in the center console.

Whatever you do, carry your gun. And don’t make excuses.

 

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Yes. Have a gun. Carry it.

    Any gun is better than no gun.

    1. avatar Whoopie says:

      When I first got my CCW 25 years ago, the sheriff who issued it saw me at a party and pulled me aside and said “Now that you have your concealed carry license, make damn sure you never leave home without your gun.”

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Amen

      2. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Well-thought out article, Dan. I view situation 2 as the primary issue for those of us who travel or live in multiple states. I’m fortunate in that my 2 residence states require signs posted if guns are verboten, both must ask the person to leave first before any charges might be filed and they also allow alcohol consumption and carrying up to the .08 limit, same as for driving.

        Perhaps public posting requirements should be universal and reciprocal even prior to any 50-state reciprocity law. Some states seem to love “Gotcha!” regs, guns, driving, drinking. In IL they even have you by the shorthairs if you now would like to sell your property and move to another state. It’s amazing what we will put up with.

        1. avatar Clark45 says:

          Wait – what Ill-annoy short-hair grabbing hijinx is this about moving to another state? I’m in Ill-annoy, and seriously thinking about getting out.

        2. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Check out the “exit taxes” you’ll have to pay if you own your property… True commies, complete with an Iron Curtain. IL, among others, cannot afford to keep up the spending on ridiculous things if those with means leave.

      3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        I have walked back into the house to get my forgotten gun. (smile)

      4. avatar Kyle says:

        Guessing you dont live in ol CA!

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      would hope most folks would already know this stuff…

    3. avatar L. Elliott says:

      Get to the point where you feel naked without your carry gun.

    4. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Yes. Was the the colonel that said:

      Gun
      Shot Placement
      Caliber

      First you have to have a gun.

      Then you have to be able to hit something.

      Then carry the largest caliber you can carry, train with, and hit something. It doesn’t do any good if your ‘Ultra-slayer super crimson carry MK12-46 super holinator’ is sitting in your safe because it is to big to conceal, or you don’t like to carry it because it is ‘too heavy’. It doesn’t do grandma Jane any good to have a gun she cannot operate the slide on, or is too ‘painful’ for her to shoot and get proficient with.

      /snowflake comments…yadda…yadda..

      Wish I could find the original attribution.

      1. avatar Frekki says:

        There’s been a lot of study on caliber. Turns out there is almost no difference from 36 to 45 caliber in lethality. Now these are statistical studies, so don’t argue with me, I like my Glock 19 at 9mm, but carry a little Ruger LCP with .380 dum-dums. Fits in my pocket and is always there. The LCP has a 7 round modified mag, and I carry a spare. With 15 rounds per mag on the glock, and two spare mags, I can put a lot of holes downtown if I want to carry large. Works for me.

  2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “No one has ever left the house and thought, “This feels like the kind of day I’m going to need my gun.”

    i believe the numbers are considerably higher than none. one, at a minimum.

    1. avatar Napresto says:

      Ha. I was thinking that myself.

    2. avatar Bloving says:

      If I genuinely feel I’m going to need my gun that day – I’m staying home with my rifle.
      🤠

    3. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      I can’t carry at work, or if going into my daughters school. Recently the mid West had some very frigid temps, I chose not to carry those extremely cold days because I knew the bad guys weren’t going to be out. Crime was at zero in my area for those 3 days. Now that it is nicer out, I’m carrying when allowed.

      1. avatar David Walters says:

        Cool analysis of the absolutely lazy criminal mind.

  3. avatar Darkman says:

    I never have and never will leave my carry firearm in my car. It goes where I go. That includes post office,bank,courthouse and police station. Been doing it for years. I’ve been in the sheriff’s office numerous times and that’s where I took my class for my carry license. Why Because concealed means concealed. Most most importantly it’s about attitude and how one carries their self. Being the so called Gray man is the important factor with concealed carry. Don’t be a Rambo. Don’t skulk around like you are trying to hide something. Act as if you belong there. Do your business and move on.

    1. avatar george lortz says:

      Great advice. My motto is, “if it’s concealed, how will they know?”

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        the post office is a no-no…though frequently disregarded…that’s a federal rap….

        1. avatar DamnYankee says:

          And? Until they start putting metal detectors in post offices, who is going to know? Also would you rather be dead than risk the felony?

        2. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Sometimes I wonder how productive and sensible it is to even be discussing matters such as advocating law-breaking in open forum on the internet… It’s not like this is a closed locker room or something. I’m hardly one to be considered paranoid, either.

        3. avatar StLPro2A says:

          There are metal detectors in my local Post office in St. Louis, County, Missouri. Had never paid them any attention until I started carrying. First trip to PO, I set off the alarm….got a lot of looks as I spun around and left. Carrying is the equivalent of my alternative life insurance….so that my son doesn’t pre-maturely collect on my traditional life insurance. Just as with my homeowners, car, and all my other insurance policies, I don’t plan on having to use it any day, but when I need it there are no allowances for pre-existing conditions…..can’t ask perp to wait while I go home to get my gun. I carry for same reason that LEOs do:
          -Evil and violence exist,
          -On a bad day, evil and violence may come calling at my door,
          -evil and violence often come calling in units greater than one,
          -Evil and violence do not call ahead to make an appointment,
          -SCOTUS has held multiple times that LEOs are not liable for not protecting me…..I am on my own,
          -plus about 53 additional similar reasons.

    2. avatar KTR says:

      There always seems to be the one guy who has to whip his out because it’s “bigger” than everyone else.

      Go ahead, carry in the Post Office (or in the parking lot). Maybe you’ll have internet access while in Federal PMITA prison so you can to let us know how things are going with your new buddy Bubba.

      1. avatar Stev says:

        I knew a guy who always pulled his 1911. Beautiful gun but geez, we’re not in the mob.

    3. avatar Okiedokie says:

      Are there not metal detectors at your courthouse and police station?

      1. avatar arc says:

        Who pays attention to those unless its some special day?

      2. avatar arc says:

        Damn no edit button. And no, the CHs and Po-po stations out here don’t have any of that dumbassery, what, do you really expect people to get a pat down every time to go in and out of the building!? That would make farmers markets real interesting when trying to use the toilet.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          my courthouse has metal detectors…and those boys (and girls) are pretty good….even caught my “credit card knife” in my wallet….I was impressed…’

    4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Darkman,

      Being the “Gray Man” and properly concealed doesn’t always work. On a recent trip I had security staff at two different “gun-free” locations stop me and accuse me of carrying concealed in violation of their “no guns” policies. They were not satisfied until I lifted up my shirt and showed them my empty holster on my belt. Note that my soft holster is a little over 1/4 inch thick and forms to my body — becoming absolutely invisible under my casual, loose-fitting clothing. To this day I have no idea how those two people were so confident that I had to be a concealed carrier — and that I almost never disarm in such private venues. (It was kind-of happenstance that I left my handgun in my car at both locations — I pretty much never do that.)

      The only thing I can figure is that I had an untucked shirt and a family — perhaps making me a likely person to be an armed defender? I certainly did not have anything bulging under my shirt.

      1. avatar SoCalJack says:

        @uncommon_sense
        Some folks (Mil/Vets/LE and conceal carrier) have that body language of authority/confidence. Aside fom the clothes, the clean haircut, trimmed facial hair, tattoos (what they may represent), being muscular/fit (looking at their hands and forearms, these are give aways. I’m going out on a limb here, but you may have dressed like a gray man, but you had that aura of a hard target?

        1. avatar arc says:

          Mhmm, DOD regulation haircuts + muscle = probably LE/MIL. Just about everyone is a soyboy or diseased flab bag these days, so anyone that gives a damn kind of stands out.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          SoCalJack,

          I apparently fit most/all the criteria that you listed because two different people “made” me. I never imagined that being alert, reasonably fit, well groomed, and wearing nice casual clothing would suggest “CONCEALED CARRIER”. (For reference I do not have any tattoos.)

          This could be important as well if I ever happened to be in a situation where criminals were getting ready to do something, like rob a bank. I imagine that street-wise criminals could very well be just as good at determining who is likely armed.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        There are a zillion potential tells. It’s not worth it to list them all or even consider most of them.

        What one needs to realize is: Life is complicated and solutions like “concealed means concealed” are childishly simple “solutions” to a complex situation.

        The best solution is to recognize that “concealed means concealed…most of the time” and being prepared to live with the consequences of this realization. That allows you to maximize your concealment while at the same time minimizing the consequences of it’s inevitable failure. If you’re good and lucky you can hopefully limit failures to times, places and ways that will usually mean no one who matters will notice.

        Camoflauge doesn’t always work. If it did chameleons would rule the world.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I guess I’ll point out the example that taught me part of this:

          When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I didn’t really know fuck all about the situation and not much of it was explained to me very well. I started carrying around my newly acquired extra gear in a bag that I already possessed which had some exterior pouches on it. It was a bag I’d been using in my car and which I just happened to have. The pouches made carrying and accessing a tube of test strips and other stuff like this pretty convenient. They also have the bag an undesired “tactical” look. But I didn’t really think much of it figuring people would see a “murse” rather than a “tac bag”.

          As it was I was out with my wife carrying this dark green bag over my shoulder when I overheard two older guys talking about me. One said to the other “Heh, look at that bag. Think he’s got a gun in it? What an idiot”.

          As it happened I didn’t have a gun in the bag. I had my USP in an IWB holster. That’s a pretty small technical difference. I was fucking busted and I knew it. If that kind of thing happened in a “prohibited location” when I got stopped I might not have a gun in the bag but they’d find it on my hip soon enough and the result would be the same.

          This kind of thing can happen because of what you wear, how you carry yourself, how you look around and, as I said, a zillion other tells that can give you away if the right person sees you at the wrong time.

    5. avatar Kyle says:

      I understand your sentiment and even agree with it.

      Bad idea to brag about it though man.

    6. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      Our courthouse has metal detectors and prohibit firearms and even small knives.

      I need to talk to the Sheriff about that.

    7. avatar David Walters says:

      Nah.

      I leave my weapon in the truck when I go into the credit union where it’s forbidden (along with caps and sun glasses).

      But I leave the armed wife and my 110 lb. German Shepherd in the car to await my return to retrieve my licensed weapon.

  4. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Maybe it’s my body type (round), but I frequently feel like my pistol shifts downward. The other stuff in my pockets doesn’t help, either. Maybe someday my waist will be narrower than my hips and that problem will be fixed.

    1. avatar JMR says:

      I had this problem until I bought a really nice belt.

      Leather ones never worked because the holes were always off.

      Went to a KORE bet and that was better, but I broke the belt in about a month carrying everyday.

      Now I wear a Blue Alpha Hybrid EDC, and I haven’t had that problem, with a M&P 2.0 9c, and a bunch of keys, and tools that always end up in my pockets throughout the day.

  5. avatar L says:

    #3 is by far the most important. Why some people have a concealed carry license and don’t carry or only occasionally carry is beyond me. Personally, leaving the house without my CC is like leaving the house without my wallet. It doesn’t compute. Whenever I’m about to step out the door I hold out my hand and tap all five fingers… phone, wallet, keys, gun, knife.

    1. avatar Napresto says:

      Depends on your job and lifestyle. I work in higher ed – carrying daily is simply a no go. This means that sometimes I have to make stops on the way to or from work, also unarmed. Frustrating, but that’s how it is. I carry as often as I can, especially evenings, weekends, and at home.

      1. avatar L says:

        Could just not comply. May be totally illegal or some nonsense but… words on paper kinda go out the window when some f’ed-in-the-head shows up to school with a gun and starts shooting kids though, don’t you think? Just my pair of pennies.

        1. avatar napresto says:

          It is, in fact, totally illegal. Not just an employer rule, but a federal crime. Moreover, because I teach and am “on display” in front of classes of students every day, the chances of discovery are incredibly high – reaching high up on a whiteboard, kneeling to help a student with a problem, etc.

        2. avatar L says:

          What’s more important, the lives of your students or a federal felony? I mean, obviously the choice is up to you and nobody wants a felony, but as always… “I’m just sayin”.

          Also, concealed means concealed so if you’re displaying while “reaching high up on a whiteboard, kneeling to help a student with a problem, etc.” then you’re doing something wrong.

        3. avatar napresto says:

          That’s correct. The thing I would be doing wrong is committing a felony.

        4. avatar -Peter says:

          If you work somewhere that you can carry day in and day out, good for you. You’re probably in the minority.

          Most of us have jobs that–either by location or nature of the task–do not allow for going armed. Given the extremely low risk of encountering violence versus the extremely high personal cost of being discovered with a firearm, you’d have to be stupid to risk carrying a gun.

        5. avatar L says:

          The only person who allows or disallows you to do anything is yourself. If you think you will not be confronted once by any evil that is going to use violence in your statistical 80 years of time on this Earth, that is up to you, but personally I call that wishful thinking.

          I live thirty minutes away from that SunTrust in Sebring. I haven’t been in that bank personally. But it still does kind of hit close to home (literally). Every employee in there was ordered onto the ground where each was summarily executed. If each one could be, right now, given a chance to redo things to either follow the rules like they had been doing or to think for themselves and make a tough decision… what do you think each would say? What would you say?

          I don’t really think there’s much else to say because I will end up repeating myself too much if I go on… like concealed means concealed. So I’ll leave this discussion here. And of course, everything I’ve said up until now is purely theoretical 🙂

        6. avatar Ing says:

          L, the question is not just what’s more important, but what’s more likely.

          I’m in a similar situation to Napresto, work-wise (although not teaching). I have to consider that the odds of getting caught carrying — a crime that would ruin the rest of my life — are a LOT higher than the odds of lives being lost because I’m unarmed.

          End result: The law is stupid and I hate it, and I shouldn’t have to make this kind of choice, but since I can’t opt out of the consequences (and other people depend on me), I have to obey the law.

        7. avatar strych9 says:

          “The only person who allows or disallows you to do anything is yourself.”

          Keep telling yourself that. Your behavior will provide endless hours of amusement for the guards who really do allow or disallow you to leave your little box or, well, do much of anything else. But be nice while you’re amusing them.

          Don’t get angry and lash out at them for laughing because then they might decide to allow or disallow bubba unfettered access to your asshole.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Because a lot of Fudds get a permit so they can carry while bow hunting. I suspect a majority of permits issued in Wisconsin are held by bow hunters. Some may go on to carry for defensive purposes but that’s not why they got the permit.

      1. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

        I believe you would be suspecting wrongly.
        I don’t think I know anyone that got their permit here for hunting-carry and I know a lot of people and not just in the shooting sports.
        Every single person that I personally know that I have talked to that carries, got that permit for protection of themselves and their family. I can’t say that they carry every day but I can say that they got it for that reason.
        I had forgotten about my carry gun and hunting until I went hunting 2 years ago with a PoPo friend of mine. When he called me to remind me what to bring on the trip he made sure to tell me to bring my CC. He reminded me that it would be good to have in case of animals of either 2 or 4 legs created a dangerous situation.

        Just my experience…

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Well, that may be your experience but just about every now hunter I know both here in Wisconsin and back in Virginia, and that’s a lot of people, got a pool permit so they could during bow season. A few would have gotten the permit anyway, and few started carrying after they got it but the largest group doesn’t carry.

          Just my experience.

        2. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

          Thanks for replying tdiinva. I am genuinely surprised by your experience. We must live in different circles but after all, it is a big state.

  6. avatar MLee says:

    In my opinion, the biggest mistakes people who wish to carry or for some who do carry, they lack training and and formal experience and knowledge. I see far too many folks who got their CPL or for folks who live in Idaho and Arizona where there is constitutional carry, they exercise that right and carry a pistol with zero formal training. As such they make any number of huge carry errors.

    In my view, not knowing the laws of the jurisdictions they are in or visit and what constitutes lawful use of that firearm is a huge blunder.

    Unfamiliarity with firearms, methods of carry, equipment and holsters is another. Some of these people are so afraid of their own weapon, if they carry it, it’s without a chambered round with the manual safety engaged. I don’t have to go into how worthless that is.

    Finally, the big blunder I see has to do with training and practice. It’s the inability to cleanly and quickly draw your weapon. I have to say that I have practice drawing my weapon 10s of thousands of times maybe more after the 40+ years I’ve carried. It’s critical to be able to cleanly and quickly draw and present your weapon.

    A person needs confidence. A confident person carries themselves different. Bad people recognize confidence and many times will choose what they view as a softer victim. A person needs that confident resolve and experience so that when something does happens, they are able to confront that threat and be the successor not the victim. That’s only going to come after training, experience and practice.

    1. avatar Rv6driver says:

      Most people don’t need to go off to “gun camp” for formalized training. I have an issue with most of the tactical type training and trainers.

      I have no doubt that current or former LE and military folks have a vast knowledge in self defense. However, their experience doesn’t necessarily relate to the civilian world.

      People defend themselves with guns everyday without shooting into a burm 1500 times, tactical reloads and scanning sectors.

      My approach on ccw mainly focused on situational awareness and as a last resort using my gun to break contact with a threat.

      As for gun handling, most folks would benefit much more from dry practice than lead farming at the range.

      1. avatar MLee says:

        A person doesn’t know what they don’t know. You say you have an “issue with most” How would you have an issue if you have not gone to one or experienced it? Sounds to me you have taken training. Otherwise, how could you be qualified to make that comment?

        However, I’ll confess the person I was trained under came off like a galactic knob also. He was at the top of his game, owning a large North Idaho gun store,who travels around as a expert witness in gun cases, but as training goes, I thought he was an idiot. Maybe he was having a bad day. If I had not prepaid for the course with no refunds, I would have walked out. So I understand your position, I really do. That being said, I disagree with your stance as a whole. I think all newbies and those entering the world of concealed carry should seek out and take some classes. There’s a wealth of knowledge and insight to be had.

        1. avatar Rv6driver says:

          So you confirm my point and go back to
          using circular logic…. Using that logic how would anyone know anything to begin with???

          You’re correct that I have taken a course but instead of learning additional skills I spent the afternoon worrying about being accidentally shot by other students and thinking about the liability waiver I signed before the class….

          I’m not against people getting formal training. I just don’t think it makes a lick of difference in reality. We live in an era where information is readily available and it doesn’t cost a dime….

          When I read about defensive ccw type shootings hardly any of the folks who successfully defend themselves with firearms have any formal training.

          Your type of thinking adds more mandates, restrictions and red tape on our constitutional rights.

        2. avatar MLee says:

          Your choosing to ignore the bigger picture. I get it though, you’re the “I’m right” type of person who doesn’t like to be told anything. Fine. Wallow in it.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        RV6Driver,

        Exactly what he said.

        The overwhelming majority — something like 95% or greater — of attacks will involve one or two attackers who are looking for an easy score and will be standing just a few feet away from their victim. Victims who produce a handgun and start shooting at their attackers will prevail virtually every time — like 99% of the time.

        Note that everyone, without any previous training, is capable of drawing a handgun and shooting at attackers who are a few feet away. Also note that you can miss your attackers and prevail virtually every time since virtually every attacker will immediately try to leave when you produce a firearm and start shooting.

        Formal training is hugely beneficial for an extremely limited set of engagements that most people will never, ever face in their lifetimes.

        Don’t get me wrong. I think training is excellent and I encourage people to train as much as they can. All I am saying is that people don’t need hours of formal training to be able to effectively and responsibly defend themselves from the overwhelming majority of attacks.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          edit: I meant exactly what RV6Driver said, NOT what MLee said.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          “Formal training is hugely beneficial for an extremely limited set of engagements that most people will never, ever face in their lifetimes.”

          This. Where “formal” training comes in IMHO, is the legal education. I don’t think it needs to be hours long but it needs to be properly introduced and covered. Most of the time you won’t even need to fire your gun to get the desired effect which means your largest concern statistically is making sure your rear is legally covered.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      IMHO, most folks do need initial training, not the 16hours of class and range time I had to do, but just enough so that they walk away with the basics of their local laws, CCW mindset, and live fire feedback from the instructors. TBH, I was glad a few of my fellow students were taking the CCW training, because dayum!

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        SoCalJack,

        In my opinion a two-hour class would be plenty of time to provide significant and effective “formal” self-defense firearm training to people who are clueless and have zero experience with handguns.

        The first hour would teach students how to verify that firearms are unloaded, basic dry-fire practice, carry methods, and finally a few rounds of live-fire practice.

        The second hour would review basic situational awareness, self-defense tactics, and self-defense laws.

        Note: dry-fire practice would include how to hand a firearm to someone else, how to draw, how to shoot, and how to re-holster.

  7. avatar NORDNEG says:

    I have several sub compacts I rotate carrying, 9s & 45s,,,my state is concealed carry, I really like my belly band belt, works fine for me.

  8. avatar Yarbles says:

    “Let a man never stir on his road a step without his weapons of war;
    for unsure is the knowing when need shall arise of a spear on the way without.”
    The Hávamál (verse 38)

  9. avatar PWinKY says:

    Suggestion for the new carrier: your end goal should likely be to attain a level of comfort and familiarity with your firearm so that you can carry with a round in the chamber. If you aren’t at that point right away that’s OK, start without one in the chamber. Racking the slide is still faster than running back to your car (or house) to get a gun you weren’t carrying.

    I didn’t grow up around guns so the first week I carried (almost 7 years ago now) I left the chamber empty on my Kahr pm9. I quickly realized that my holsters worked well and nothing was getting in that trigger guard on accident. Don’t get scared off at first though. Take steps to build your own trust with an end goal of 100% readiness in mind.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Ehhh…before I ever carried I had a gun shaped Kimber Pepper Blaster in my pocket. Never ever “made”. My gun in a nemesis? Everyone is self-absorbed looking at their phone or talking on a freakin’ Bluetooth set. Whatever😄😊😏

  11. avatar Charles O. Slavens says:

    The gun yur gonna carry is the one that causes the least hassle. I’ve had the right pockets of my cargo shorts and pants replaced with heavy canvas. My snubby is absolutely invisible. I can use my seat belts, wear a t-shirt, etc., and go anywhere. Wake UP! You’re not an under cover operative in the Middle East….. if you need more than 5 shots… you’re dead anyway.

  12. avatar John Linkul says:

    Its a good idea to carry. and have it handy in your home. I had a instance several years ago when I retired for the night ,6 pickup trucks came up the hollow firing their rifles occasionally along the way , ‘ what got my attention. I went outside to investigate after all 6 just stopped in front of my house for awhile.The one truck pulled up on my lawn yelling curse words at me and saying “Who are You” using the F word at me. and appearing to try to run me over on my lawn. I live in the country with not much police protection 6 miles away. I am ’76 and busted up over the yrs back and replaced hip and other hip replaced. I had my Ruger Black hawk 44 special tucked in my back pants .alot of options went thru my mind then.In seconds I will do anything to try not to injure anyone yet I didn;t want to be run over either.4 of the 5 trucks ran off the last one tried to run me over ,I jumped back and at that moment it was action time, do I shoot and kill the 2 or wait. I waited and they backed up and drove off and crashed into a parked car a mile down the road .They got away but I have wondered if I did the right thing . My point is always be prepared. Only you will know .what to do .Every life is precious . I choose to let it all play out and it worked , but they were on drugs, drinking and armed, I was fortunate and made the right decision I felt. but It could have turned out much different .Readers be prepared always even in your bed at night..You may someday save someone else s life

    1. avatar possum says:

      I think you did the right thing, you’d have went to blazing it would have just ruined the whole night. Plus it sounds to me you may have been outgunned on that one.

    2. avatar joel says:

      when i was in junior high, my uncle told me “when the pack surrounds you, pick the leader and make sure you hurt him, you won’t win a fight that’s 4-5 to one, but you can make sure one of them hurts as bad as you do.” He added that taking out the leader usually ends the fight. I found his advise to be very true.

      In your situation, i would have probably done as you did. I hope i never have to find out though.

      1. avatar John Linkul says:

        great advice from your uncle I was outgunned about 12 to one . Dark out and couldn.’t tell who the leader was. Decided I wanted to live. I’ll sure remember what your uncle said. Thanks

  13. avatar Pg2 says:

    The author is describing privelages, not rights.

  14. avatar possum says:

    I worked construction, moving state to state, made sure I knew the laws on concealed carry and reciprocity. The only adjustment I made in the states with a no no was switched to a smaller gun…. This State went to constitutional Carry, my youngest son was Whoopi I can carry concealed. This I told him, ” Your gunn is like your penis, the only time you pull it out is when your going to use it. And don’t get cocky, because everybody has a gunn.”

  15. avatar Mitch says:

    I fell almost like as if I had forgotten to put my shoes on if I forget my pistol.

  16. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    If a gun is not comfortable most people eventually only carry it when they feel threatened and as time goes on they carry less and less. The bigger and heavier a gun is the less likely you will carry it all the time. Its just human nature. The people who carry all the time are people that usually carry very small guns. Women are lucky as they carry purses but men on the other hand are stuck with carrying them on their body unless they always carry a money pouch which in my area is so uncommon it draws way to much unwanted attention. The .25 auto slipped into the pocket and in a pocket holster is likely to be carried always and without fail. It becomes so natural some people often forget they are even armed. On the other hand the big bore 1911 blaster is the one most likely to get left at home or in the car which means having no gun is way worse than having at least a small one on you at all times.

  17. avatar joel says:

    I think #3 should be moved to #1. I can’t tell you how many conversations i’ve had that sounded something like this… (other person) “Hey do you carry a gun?” (me) “only when i have pants on.” (other person) “me too. i have a ______ but i only carry it ________” (me) “well that’s why i pocket carry a small gun. i always have it.” (other person) “wait….your’e carrying one right now?!?!?!” (me) “I;m wearing pants aren’t I! ” (-;

  18. avatar Jan the Man Unusual says:

    ” work in higher ed – carrying daily is simply a no go.”

    I work in higher ed – college prof. At least in my state, perfectly legal at a state institution. I’ve carried every day for 6.5 years, in front of ~120 students/week, numerous people in the halls, administrators, anti-gun profs, etc. Never had a problem, not much worried about.

    Tomorrow I’ll wear jeans, a dress shirt and a sweater vest. LCP worn IWB and the LCP is tucked, so that nothing except the clip shows even if the sweater gets pulled up. No bullet in the chamber (yea, I know that means I have to rack it but in a building with 400 people in it I’m very unlikely to be the first target and it makes a negligent discharge physically impossible) and spare magazine in left front pocket.

    On the street it’s a different gun (LC9s usually), covered but not tucked. Different circumstances, different carry.

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    We kid ourselves if we think we have the RKBA. The rules, restrictions, and no go zones make it ridiculous to carry unless you’re a cop.

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Perhaps, but in a normal day I don’t find it difficult to stay away from GFZs. And as for private property/businesses, I just choose not to go where they won’t accept me.

  20. avatar Sora says:

    Isn’t “Leaving it in the car at post office” a FEDERAL FELONY?
    I remember federal court ruling that USPS parking lot is the same as inside the USPS building.

  21. avatar Grant. says:

    Always have a gun on me.
    I have 4 ready to go next to me every night, and extra ammo. Cameras cover all points outside the house. Have phones nearby. I carry as I type this.
    I don’t even sleep with ear plugs for this reason!
    Gotta protect what you love, and I love a lot, so I gotta protect a lot.
    God Bless all of you, stay safe and CARRY!

  22. avatar Bruce says:

    There seems to be a conflict in your list. You have #2 (knowing the law), and #3 (carrying everywhere), but then list the post office in the list of places you carry. That is problematic. Post office parking lot (and drive through) appears to be fine. But walking into the post office armed is a federal crime, unless on official business. Not that it doesn’t happen every day at a number of rural post offices around the country, but it is still a crime. And at least the one where we get our mail in MT has a small sign indicating such.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      we were assigned to protect a post office…and they still didn’t want us to have a gun…most guys just took it out of their holster and tucked it away somewhere else…I know i did…

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        the fact that people get caught at airports all the time…give you an indication just how many are carrying…often without thinking about it…

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