Friday, June 26, 2015

Concealed Carry: Making Carry Easier

I was talking to a law enforcement friend of mine the other day. He was commenting on my concealed carry. He’s one of the few people I share that intell with. He said that he looks and doesn’t see me as carrying a weapon. He’s never seen my gun print and he’s never seen the gun itself. I am happy with that. If someone who knows I’m carrying can’t tell, then I’m doing something wrong. He says he looks at most people that way. He looks for a weapon and, of course, he knows what to look for. Many people that concealed carry don’t do it very well. Even though open carry is legal in this state, if you’re going to conceal you need to conceal.
These are some mistakes that newcomers to concealed carry may make and should watch for.
Get trained. I mean really trained. Don’t let the requirements for a concealed carry license be your training. Some states don’t require much training for the license. But you should care enough to get training. If you’ve never had training through another source (ie. military, private, etc.) then go out and get it. There’s nothing worse than a untrained person carrying a gun. Do some research before taking a class. Find one that has instruction that will give you opportunities to ask questions and will help you to be competent and safe. Besides training you should practice. I’ve heard every excuse for not practicing but not practicing is not an option. Being responsible to yourself and your loved ones, and the general public, means practicing. There’s an old football saying that says: “Ever day you’re getting better or worse… you never stay the same.”

Most people who carry are responsible. That’s why they bothered to become legal. They wanted to take their security into their own hands. They also want to avoid conflict and would love to never draw their weapon. Carrying a gun does not make you invincible. You must do all you can to never be in a situation where you could possibly take another’s life. If that means backing down from a jerk then do it. If it means leaving somewhere because you can see things escalating then do it. You have to have your situational awareness in high and be vigilant about staying away from trouble. Be respectful and responsible.
Always Carry
There’s nothing more sad than not being able to defend your loved ones when you have the legal right, the knowledge, and the experience. We would never let fire alarms not work or throw our seat belt aside, then why would you leave the legal means of self-defense at home in a safe? Carry legal and carry always.
Knowing Laws
It’s your responsibility to know the gun laws where ever you are. Whether you’re in your home state or not, you should know the laws when you carry. States and cities vary on their gun laws. There are federal laws. Be aware. These laws a readily available and you have no excuse. Even if you are sure about laws don’t argue with law enforcement. You can hash out who is wrong and who is right later.
Practicing With What You Carry
Some concealed carriers practice with a different gun or different ammo. I may get flack for this but I think you could practice with a cheap ammo. You should find a self-defense round that you like and that your gun will shoot but I don’t think you need to practice with that same ammo. You should be very familiar with your carry weapon and with what ammunition you use in it, but I feel you can practice with a cheaper ammo. I practice 2 to 3 times a week and don’t feel I need to use the ammo I carry every single shot. I know my carry ammo and I know what it does and doesn’t do. If you are not absolutely sure how your carry gun and ammo works, then you had better practice until you do. Your life may depend on it.
Not Concealing
Printing is exposing your gun through fabric. In other words, it’s clear what you have under that shirt. Exposure is showing your gun accidently. Both are clearly not concealing and in some places illegal. Know your laws. Even it is legal do you really want someone calling the police because they see a man with a gun? Be careful and take a minute to look and see if you are printing or may expose your gun. Most people are not paying that much attention but make sure you stay concealed.
Checking You Gun
This is common with first time carriers. It’s a temptation to make sure the gun is there. Fight that temptation because all that does is bring attention to your weapons location. If you have taken some time to choose a good quality holster then your gun is safe and sound. You need to be aware of it but not have to touch it to ensure you still have it.
Making Adjustments
If you must adjust your load in public be discreet. In fact I would wait until I could make an adjustment in private. I know it’s not always possible so just make sure if you must adjust in public that you are careful. I try out new things in the way of carry positions, holsters, or carry systems. Some have not worked for me. Some work but not as good or better than others. I like options so I test almost everything that comes along. But with each system I ensure that my weapon is safe, secure, and comfortable.
Carry System
Do not just buy that $6.00 nylon holster and expect it to be functional and comfortable. It will more than likely not be. I am generally a frugal guy. My wife says I’m cheap but that’s another article. I don’t usually go cheap on a carry system or holster. I hate that they are as expensive as they are, but I know that you get what you pay for. And if you don’t pay, you get barely adequate. Number one on my list for carry system is retention. Then number two is comfort. It’s not comfortable you won’t wear it. Third is protection of the weapon. Forth is weight. I like leather but it’s heavy so there is give and take there. If you know you will be out a short time test your new holster or system. I do it all the time and that gives me lots of options. It’s worth it to me to buy different systems and find several that work for me even at the cost of several that won’t. Don’t go cheap!
There are a couple of problems with clothing. One is that the clothing really doesn’t conceal or prints. The other is that you look like a SEAL just getting off an Osprey after a hairy mission. In other words, don’t look tactical. On occasion you can wear a pair of 5.11 pants but be careful about screaming GUN! In your dress and appearance. I know how comfortable Blackhawk! clothing is but I resist looking like an operator. Be creative and you can wear almost whatever you like and still carry a gun. It is known that dark clothing conceals better than light colored clothes.
There are several mistakes you can make in concealed carry but if you think about what you’re doing you can carry safely and securely for a lifetime.
Semper Paratus
Check 6