There are many considerations when you first start to carry concealed—it can be overwhelming. And it almost should be. It’s an enormous decision you’ve made for you and your family. Below are some basic suggestions for concealed carry for beginners that will make the process a bit less daunting.
- Keep your concealed handgun concealed. It’s exciting to have a new gun. And it’s tempting to show it off, but save that for the safety of your home or the range. Don’t make yourself a target by exposing your gun. You also do not want to be mistaken for brandishing a firearm, which can have very serious legal consequences.
- Know the law. You learned much of it in your concealed carry class, I hope. And it’s fine to ask advice from those you know and respect, but always double check. Some concealed carry laws are nuanced. And laws do changed over the years. Stay up to date. Inform yourself. You can find state and regional law verbatim online.
- Don’t ignore the law. It’s also known as breaking the law. Don’t give a reason for groups who want to put limits on concealed carry to criticize gun owners. Take pride in being a responsible gun owner and citizen of your state and country. If you don’t intend to follow the law, you shouldn’t carry. If you want to carry somewhere where it’s prohibited, either go and don’t carry or stay home.
- Make sure you’re not printing. Check yourself in the mirror from different vantage points. Rotate your body, bend over, raise your arms and see if your handgun is visible through your clothing. Sometimes textiles can be too clingy or translucent to adequately conceal. Make smart wardrobe choices.
- Don’t cheap out on a holster. You need to be comfortable in your carry. If you are currently using a holster that is unsteady, chafes or is just plain uncomfortable, ditch it and buy a new one. No one wants to spend money needlessly, but a well-fitted holster is essential.
- Firearms are an inflammatory subject in some circles. Be a great ambassador. Don’t get political, don’t attack, don’t name-call, don’t get emotional. Arm yourself with the facts, laws and meaningful statistics, and you will come away from a discussion looking like a level-headed gun owner who might just plant a seed in someone who is apt to make stereotypes about the “gun crowd.”