Concealed carry is becoming law in most states if you wish to carry a firearm. We as shooters tend to focus on what is the best gun to carry concealed or what caliber should I be carrying or what ammo won’t get me in more trouble if I am forced to use my weapon. (Arguments for another time) Once we have made those decisions we stick it on our belt and are out into the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen it is time to address some all too common mistakes people make while carrying concealed. We have all made these mistakes or at least thought about them at one point or another.
This is the act of touching your firearm with your hand or elbow. This is normally done because the wearer wants to make sure the weapon is still where he put it or to adjust its position because it is uncomfortable. This act may not seem noticeable to the wearer but it is very visible to others around you. In fact your adjustment may bring unwanted attention to the fact you are carrying.
2. Buying cheapo holsters
Why spend $400 or more on a weapon you are going to trust to save your life and then put it in a crap holster or no holster at all. You will save yourself the pain of an ill-fitting holster and maybe find yourself indexing less if you buy a holster molded for your weapon that fits your body well. Unfortunately there are few ways to find what fits without buying what doesn’t first.
3. Changing holsters day to day
This is a scary one. An instructor once relayed his experience with this one in Afghanistan. During a Protective Service Operation meant to protect a foreign emissary he chose to wear a shoulder rig because it would offer better concealment. Little did he know, less than 6 miles from him when he made this choice, Al Qaeda personnel had made a decision to launch an attack against this dignitary. Luckily this story has a happy ending. During the course of the PSO he was forced to protect the dignitary. He went for his gun like normal (to the hip). He stated at that moment he had a small heart attack. His gun was not in its normal place….Happy ending everyone was fine. Now you will probably never be faced with Al Qaeda terrorist operatives. However when Billy Badguy decides today is the day he is going to rob you leaving work do you really want to have to remember which holster you are wearing? Pick one, stick to it, practice with it.
4. Poor clothing choice
I am not saying you need to wear 5.11’s and a tac vest everywhere you go. In fact I would say that is still a poor clothing choice. On the other hand you do not need to wear your shrink to fit skinny jeans and a s-medium shirt while carrying. You will look like a cyclist trying to smuggle a tube of chap stick. Seriously though, clothing should be loose enough to conceal and also be able to be pulled up and out of the way to retrieve your weapon if necessary. You won’t be able to eliminate all printing. There is no magic combination of clothing that will allow you to bend over at the waist and not look like you have cancer on your side. However, your average t-shirt and jeans with a good gun belt and proper holster will normally be sufficient.
5. Bathrooms and Dressing rooms
Nature calls. I’m not telling you to avoid the bathroom. I’m also not telling you to leave your gun at home clothing shopping. What I am telling you is to be aware in these situations. In either situation you will more than likely be removing your weapon from your waist. Where are you going to put it? There have been multiple weapons found across the United States left behind in dressing rooms and bathrooms due to the wearer taking it off to accomplish which ever business applies to the aforementioned areas. My suggestion is put it in your clothing. That goes for both places. Seat of your pants in the restroom and still on your pants in the dressing room. Do not hang it by the trigger guard on the coat hanger or set it on the TP dispenser. Its also important to remember that a firearm makes unnatural thuds when contacting man made objects. These are sounds that are out of place in a bathroom or dressing room. The gun at right was left behind by a security guard in the office of a Senator.
So some of these things should seem stupid. They are. However I wouldn’t mention them if they haven’t happened before, A LOT. This obviously is not an all inclusive list. Add your own in the comments. We need to remember that we are the ones responsible for where that firearm is at all times. We should also attempt to keep the rest of the public in the dark on our choice to carry. Be responsible, be safe.