13 Things You Should Never Do While Concealed Carrying
The decision to carry a concealed firearm is a personal choice that can either be a lifesaver or a “life taker.” It is a choice that may leave you taking the life of a fellow human being or disfiguring them. Therefore, how you conduct yourself will determine whether you protect yourself or put others in danger. Whatever you do, you should never make these mistakes while carrying a concealed gun.
- Leaving the concealed carry permit at home
The first mistake, especially for veteran concealed carriers, is to leave their licenses at home. You can talk yourself out of situations, but police officers will hear none of it. Unless you are in a state that allows the free use of guns, always have your permit.
- Buying a holster without testing it
Many first-time carriers fall victim to this mistake. When you purchase a holster and fail to check it, you will be subjecting yourself to potential physical and financial pain. Make sure you buy a holster that fits your body comfortably. Read as many
online reviews as possible and consult veteran carriers for advice. When testing it, ensure your body will feel comfortable when you carry the firearm. Next, choose between a leather holster and a Kydex holster.
- Acting unnatural
Unfortunately, some concealed carriers do not behave normally, which often raises eyebrows. The moment you start looking uneasy, you are subjecting yourself to police scrutiny and potential theft. Although you may feel a little uncomfortable
with your hidden treasure, avoid making it evident. Besides, if everyone knows you have a gun, what is the point of concealed carrying?
- Removing your handgun to show-off
The importance of concealed carrying is to keep it unseen. That implies that irrespective of how excited you feel about having a gun, you must not show it off. Even your friends don’t need to know you have something inside your garments.
- Firing warning shots
Apart from not showing off your firearm, you shouldn’t fire warning shots. There are many tense, ambiguous situations out there. You don’t have to use your gun in all of them. If you feel threatened, it is okay to act accordingly, and that is all it goes down to. If your attacker does not believe that the gun is loaded, they are welcomed to find out the tough way, and not through a warning shot. Some municipalities consider the discharge of ammunition without the intention of self-defense to be illegal. So, if you must exchange fire, ensure that the first round counts.
- Getting drunk and carrying
Some states prohibit the habit of getting drunk while carrying a gun. Others stipulate that one must not go into an alcohol-selling shop with a concealed weapon. Firearms and alcohol don’t mix. Otherwise, you will be serving two masters at a go, which will not be well with you. It is a known rule, and when it comes to concealed carrying, never beating the classics is imperative.
- Taking marijuana
Although marijuana is accepted as a medicinal drug, it affects your judgment. So, even if you are allowed to take it, you should be careful not to take it and carry it.
Not only would you set yourself up for trouble when the police show up, but you won’t do your neighbors any justice. The same applies to all prescription drugs that put you at risk of impaired judgment. A rule of the thumb would be that you must
not consume anything that you wouldn’t if you were driving.
- Instinctive shooting without training
If you haven’t been trained on instinctive shooting or you haven’t trained, do not expect it to show up when you hold the pistol. Make sure that you get trained on all kinds of firing before concealed carrying. The skills are non-existent in your reactive mind, which is the part of your brain that responds to emergencies.
- Carrying while under severe emotional distress
Life has seasons; some are sunny, while others are rainy. If there has been a lot of rain in your life lately, you should reconsider concealed carrying. Give it a rest and allow yourself to heal first. If you carry a firearm and you are carried away by the
emotional distress, it might impact your judgment. Before you know it, you might have shot someone or caused harm to yourself.
- Escalating conflicts
Violent crime is a considerable risk irrespective of the location. However, you can always mitigate it. One way of managing risks while carrying a firearm is to avoid escalating disagreements. As a licensed carrier, you have a deadly weapon, which can go either way. Therefore, you are tasked with ensuring that you don’t get into small rifles. Errant clerks at a store or a traffic dispute do not warrant you to discharge. Be diligent because the world needs it.
- Disregarding the basics of firearm safety
Whether you are licensed to use your gun for hunting or protection, you must not ignore the fundamental gun safety rules, because they will keep you out of trouble.
Many concealed carriers assume that they are immune to the laws. However, you must account for every round when the feds arrive. If you didn’t follow the rules diligently, you would be in hot soup.
- Allowing other people to borrow your gun
Your firearm is meant to protect you and your loved ones. However, if your spouse isn’t licensed to carry a weapon, you must refrain from lending it to them. Why should you jeopardize or risk your life and that of others to please your friend or relative?
- Not paying attention to what is around your target
If you find yourself in an active shooting environment, remember to stay put. Take note of what is in front, at the side, and behind your target. If you decide to spray rounds of ammunition in the general direction of the threat is a sure way of injuring or killing innocent people. It only takes a few milliseconds to do this, yet the result is the possibility of saving a life or several lives.
Article by Josh Montgomery
Josh Montgomery, MMR’s founder, runs Minute Man Review in his spare time and actively documents the Texas secessionists’ movements from his home in Austin, Texas. Since its inception in 2013, Minute Man Review has been covering gear reviews, citizen’s rights, and reporting on what Josh believes to be the crackdown on free speech and activity both in the US and worldwide.
Posted in Handguns Tagged with: CCW, Concealed carry
A look at the pluses and minuses of off-body and on-body techniques
Like most men in law enforcement, I have little or no fashion sense. My closet contains clothes in “earth tones” (brown, green, black and tan),
along with the occasional blue (jeans) and white (T-shirts). I dress as if I’m preparing for some sort of tactical event, where the ability to camouflage myself is the key to survival.
You’ll find no chartreuse, periwinkle or mauve in my wardrobe! My wife, on the other hand, has a mix of different types of clothing. As a fellow law enforcement officer, she also has some drab colored stuff, but for her, that’s for wearing while on the job or on the range.
The rest of her gear is what I categorize as “girlie stuff” – dresses, blouses, skirts, etc. True, not what you want to be wearing during an end-of-days scenario, but it all looks a heck of a lot better during date night.
CARRYING CONCEALED MEANS THAT
my wife, like most women, has to decide how to “tactically accessorize” before going to work, shopping or just out on the town.
In other words, she has to pick a carry option for her firearm that works with what she is wearing.
Both of us are very strong believers in carrying concealed all the time. We do it to protect our children, each other, the public and ourselves.
Tactical accessorizing is pretty easy for me. I pick a weapon I like
to pack and I choose my carry options, generally carrying it either OWB (on the waistband) or IWB (inside the waistband).
At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, I can generally frame handgun with relative ease, especially given that I generally purchase clothes with concealed
carry in mind. I have plenty of “cover coats” and “cover shirts” designed to wear as over garments to cover up my weapon.
This usually consists of a shirt or jacket one size larger than I would normally wear. For women, it’s not so simple. The average American female is 5-foot-4, while the average male comes in at 5-foot-9. Men are obviously bigger and heavier, so, in simple terms, more body mass equals more space to conceal a handgun.
A 115-pound female isn’t going to be able to conceal an M1911A1 on her person, regardless of whether it is carried inside or outside the waistband. However, she can generally hide a small- or medium-frame gun with little or no difficulty. From a fashion standpoint, most women aren’t going to want to wear extra-large clothing to cover up their piece.
Women do have a distinct advantage, though, in terms of additional options for concealed carry.
They can opt for off-body carry. This involves the use of purses, handbags and other accessories to carry a handgun. Now I don’t want to exclude my brothers who have embraced their more feminine side and opted to carry a “murse” (man purse). They are popular in Europe, so maybe there is something to it.
I use a tactical murse to carry at the gym, so I’m not totally opposed to the idea, especially if it goes with your man bun hair-do … Generally,
though, women are the ones who carry purses on a regular basis.
OFF-BODY CARRY HAS both advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few: Advantages of off-body carry Ability to carry a larger weapon:
If a suppressor-equipped HK USP .45 SOCOM is your preferred carry weapon, you can carry it in a purse. For more practical applications, though, large-frame handguns such as a SIG P226 or .45-caliber Glock 21 can also easily be carried in this manner. This means more firepower.
Also, it allows female law enforcement officers to have the ability to carry the same weapon on and off duty. Carrying extra magazines: This is
crucial and often overlooked when doing concealed carry. You can run
through a single magazine pretty quickly during a gun fight, and then
an empty gun is just an expensive club (especially that .45 USP).
Carrying other weapons systems: This includes OC (pepper) spray, a Taser or stun gun, impact weapon, etc. Also, it’s nice to have items like handcuffs and tourniquets available.
Like the ubiquitous hammer in search of a nail, a firearm is not the
solution to every tactical scenario, so it’s good to have options.
Disadvantages of off-body carry Weapon retention: Naturally, it’s easier to retain a handgun during a violent physical encounter if it is strapped directly to your body.
Most holsters, whether they’re made of leather, kydex or nylon (or some other material), are generally fairly robust and can withstand someone trying to pull on them. As long as they are matched up with an equally strong belt, they should hold up.
Also, a purse or handbag can be taken away more easily, especially if it’s worn casually over one shoulder. Handbags get stolen all the time while their owners are wearing them.
Lack of proper handgun holders: Most purses don’t come with a built-in holster with a retention system. Generally, these types of holsters need
to be purchased from vendors that manufacture purses specifically for
Off-body carry options Purses/handbags: There are a variety of purses and handbags on the market that contain an integral holster. Cameleon handbags has some nice ones, as does the NRA Store. A word to the wise for any men reading this: Don’t purchase one of these for your special lady without consulting her first.
If you are fashion-challenged like I am, you will buy her a bag that
she won’t use because it doesn’t go with anything she owns. True story, happened to me. I bought my wife a gun purse that she has never used. That’s what they invented gift cards for. Tactical handbags: Think murses
for women. Not too fashionable, but definitely practical. 5.11 makes
some good ones. Backpacks are good as well.
Techniques for off-body carry: Like any carry option, you need to train with it. I recommend carrying the purse bandoleer-style, that is, slung over the neck with the bag on the weak side. This allows good retention if someone tries to take it from you. Dry-fire practice followed by live-fire range training is a must.
The shooter needs to clutch the bag with the nondominant hand. Then, open the bag and retrieve the handgun with the dominant hand.
A variation on that is to use the non dominant hand to open the bag. Either way works, and with a little practice it can be drawn as fast as from a holster on the hip or waistband. As with any concealed carry technique, there is an inherent risk of striking yourself during a negligent or accidental discharge.
So, again, get in plenty of dry-fire practice first. Also, if you routinely carry a handgun on your hip, you need to retrain your brain to draw from the purse. Through years of muscle memory, you may be conditioned to go towards your waistband to retrieve your firearm.
One thing that needs to be avoided at all costs is carrying a handgun (either in or out of holster) in the main compartment of the purse with no form of retention anchoring the gun to the purse itself. In other words, tossing a loaded gun in a purse without attaching it to the bag somehow.
From a safety standpoint, this is inherently dangerous.
From a tactical standpoint, it eliminates any advantages that off-body carry offers. From a “don’t get your stuff stolen” standpoint, an unsecured gun flopping around in a purse is an enticing item to a would-be thief.
Similarly, if you off-body carry, it is essential you keep the purse on your person at all times when out in public.
ON-BODY CARRY SIMILARLY has pluses and minuses to consider. Advantages of on-body carry Ease of draw and re-holster: Since this is the technique that most men and women use, we train on it most frequently, thus making us better at it.
Weapons retention: It’s easier to retain a weapon that is attached to you in some way. As with drawing and re-holstering, most people practice some form of weapons retention technique while the weapon is in the holster. Generally, all it takes to retain the gun during a struggle is to put one hand on top of the handgun, covering the back of the handgun and the holster’s retention device.
Can be drawn with one hand: Off-body carry always involves both hands, one to draw the weapon and the other to hold the purse. On-body carry may require both hands if an over garment needs to be pushed out of the way to draw the weapon, but generally the non-firing hand isn’t being used. That frees that hand up to do things like delivering a strike while
trying to create distance.
Disadvantages of on-body carry Printing: In concealed carry terms, printing is when you can see the outline of all or part of the firearm under clothing. The only way to avoid it is to wear loose-fitting clothes. Most women aren’t going to want to cover up an attractive outfit with a sweatshirt just to hide a firearm.
Clothing options: If a woman is attending a Kenny Chesney concert and wants to wear her favorite “skinny” jeans and a tight top, it’s going to be pretty hard to conceal a handgun on her person.
On-body carry options Outside the waistband (OWB):
Arguably the most common method for both men and women. Before the advent of IWB, this was the only show in town. Probably the quickest to draw from but harder to conceal.
Women may tend to avoid this one since it definitely requires a larger over garment to cover it up. Also, OWB doesn’t work as well with a woman’s hipline. Since women tend to be curvier this can cause the holster to extend further than intended, causing excessive printing.
Inside the waistband (IWB): This is the way to go for women. This
style of carry conforms better to a woman’s contours. It allows for
maximum concealability while still allowing for quick draws.
Whether it be in front (appendix carry) or towards the side or closer to the back, this is the optimal on-body carry solution. Many companies
make good quality leather or cloth holsters, such as CrossBreed.
The Kydex ones are great too.
Shoulder holster: I’m not a particular fan of this form of carry, but in very limited circumstances it has a very useful application. When my wife was pregnant with our first child she was working light duty at her police department. In the latter months of the pregnancy, a belt-mounted rig was out of the question, so she used a shoulder rig to carry her Glock 26. Galco makes high quality, attractive leather rigs for anyone looking to purchase one.
Ankle holster: Ankle rigs are great because that is one of the last places a person generally looks when trying to tell if a woman is armed, especially if they aren’t familiar with alternative carry techniques. Using an ankle rig requires some extra training to successfully draw it in an emergency situation. It basically requires the user to get on a knee to access it when drawing from a standing position. This actually provides a
unique advantage when dealing with an armed suspect because it briefly
takes the user out of the suspect’s line of sight and fire.
Obviously, this needs to be done quickly and without errors, thus the need for practice. Unfortunately, they don’t work with a lot of women’s clothes. It is an obvious no-go in a skirt and wouldn’t work in tapered pants. It also isn’t as fast as a belt-mounted rig.
Belly bands: The belly band is as good, if not better, than IWB holsters
in terms of concealment. They leave little or no print. They are made of
elastic Velcro or cloth and generally have room for a medium-frame
handgun and an extra magazine.
However, it can be difficult to quickly draw a handgun from a belly band.
Depending on what clothing is worn, you may have to untuck your shirt to
get to it. Most use a Velcro retention band to hold the gun in place, which requires two hands to access it.
Yoga pants holster: A couple of companies manufacture yoga pants with built-in holsters. They provide great concealability, but limited retention. Most have a strip of cloth with Velcro on it as the retention device.
Bra holster: I would put this in the gimmick category, like those
bayonets you can buy for Glocks. The holster attaches to the front of the bra and can carry a small frame handgun like a Ruger LCP.
They aren’t very concealable and have limited tactical applications. I
bought my wife one for Christmas as a joke. She laughed, and never
took it out of its package.
SO THERE YOU HAVE it. I encourage women to try all of the aforementioned techniques and pieces of equipment (except for the bra holster). Find which one, or ones, work for you. No single carry technique is going to work all of the time. Sometimes off-body is the best bet; other times on-body is the way to go. Whichever ones you choose to use, make sure you spend lots of time both at home and on the range, practicing deploying your preferred weapon system from them.
Editor’s note: Nick Perna is a sergeant with the Redwood City Police
Department in northern California. He has spent much of his career as
a gang and narcotics investigator.
He served as a member of a multijurisdictional SWAT team as an entry team member, sniper and team leader. He previously served as a paratrooper in the US Army and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a regular contributor to multiple print and online periodicals dealing with tactics, gang and drug investigations and veterans’ issues.
Story by Nick Perna
Posted in Women and guns Tagged with: CCW
Story by James England
[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”5″]C[/su_dropcap]oncealed carriers in Virginia and around the country collectively let out a sigh of relief when Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe agreed to a Republican-backed measure to ensure concealed carry reciprocity with the majority of other states. There was a serious scare a little while back when the Attorney General decided to take drastic measures to reduce reciprocity with neighboring states like Tennessee. This resulted in a huge débâcle for cities like Bristol, which lie on the border. For concealed carriers driving through Virginia, it was also an incredible burden.
Thankfully, it looks like this political quagmire is over. As the Washington Post reports, the governor and legislators all seem peachy-keen on the new deal set to take effect on July 1st.
via Washington Post
“This is a bipartisan deal that will make Virginians safer,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said. “It also demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans can work together on key issues like keeping guns out of dangerous hands.”
Read the entire story at ConcealedNation.org here.
Posted in Politics Tagged with: CCW, Concealed carry, Governor Terry McAuliffe, gun permits, James England, Reciprocity, Virignia