Carrying a concealed weapon affords you an extra degree of safety, but we all make mistakes. Whether you’ve just started carrying or have been doing so for years, it never hurts to revisit the top 10 mistakes you can avoid just by refreshing your memory. Some of these common slips can compromise your ability to remain anonymous, but others could result in costly consequences. Read on and see what you need to be more diligent about.
- Education Problem #1: Inadequate Training – Depending on where you live, the requirements regarding gun safety will vary. If you’ve taken a course designed to teach you about hunting safely, those skills won’t necessarily translate to carrying a weapon on your person. To be sure you’re really prepared for real-life scenarios, research different courses and really focus on those with informed instructors and core subject matter. Completing a course quickly isn’t the goal, so beware of courses that promise quick training without in-depth content.
- Education Problem #2: Ignorance of the Law – After receiving your CCW permit, you’re expected to carry responsibly and know the laws that govern your area. This means understanding when and where you carry and whether or not you’re in a “Stand Your Ground” state. Setting time aside to understand the firearm laws where you live or travel is time well spent.
- Education Problem #2: Not Testing Your Ammo – When a self-defense situation arises, are you certain your gun will protect you and your loved ones? There are several types of self-defense ammo, and learning which one your gun feeds most effectively is key. You also need to practice shooting with that same ammunition. The old phrase “practice makes perfect” really applies here. Don’t wait until you need to fire your weapon to find out if your ammo is a good fit.
- Clothing Problem #1: Dressing Discretion – Carrying your weapon on a daily basis means adjusting your wardrobe to accommodate your gun comfortably. You don’t have to dress like a tourist in a beach city, but you do need to keep your weapon in mind when buying clothes. Dark colors like navy blue and black are naturally slimming, and they also hide the outline of your firearm much better than light colors like white and tan. And if your daily apparel includes a sport jacket, consider one designed to your exact specifications, including a holster insert for your specific weapon.
- Clothing Problem #2: Printing – This one seems like a no-brainer. Who would go to the trouble of getting a CCW permit only to give themselves away by letting their weapon show? When you first begin carrying, you may be ultra-concerned about people noticing your weapon, but if you’ve been carrying for years, you might not be as diligent as you should be. Seeing the obvious outline of a gun through your clothes is bad enough, but what if you simply reach for something on the top shelf at the grocery store and inadvertently expose your weapon? Chances are you’ll be doing some serious explaining to the police if someone witnesses that error and panics. It only takes a few seconds before leaving the house to double-check that your weapon is fully concealed.
- Holster Problem #1: Comfort – There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a holster, but the best advice is to try before you buy. Holsters are available in all types of material and equally different price ranges. The best holster for the money is the one that holds your weapon properly and feels comfortable on. You may even want to invest in a few different ones depending on the apparel you’ll wear over it. After all, an uncomfortable holster is simply a waste of money.
- Holster Problem #2: Checking/Fingering Your Weapon – Speaking of comfort, the trouble with an ill-fitting holster is that you may find yourself checking it repeatedly throughout the day to make sure your weapon is still in place. While that sounds like a good idea, if you’re constantly tapping your fingers against your gun, you’ll be tipping off others to the fact that you have one. It may take time to get accustomed to not checking its position but learning to keep your hands off it is essential.
- Holster Problem #3: Slipping – Even on a good day, things go wrong. You may have the perfect holster and still occasionally experience a situation where it slips out of place, and you need to readjust it. Before you do, hold everything. You cannot do this in a public place without drawing attention to yourself in an obvious way. If you need to adjust your holster, simply head out to your car or into a locked bathroom stall. Discretion is key and with security cameras everywhere, you must be extra careful.
- Consistency Problem: Carrying Sporadically – Think of all the things you do on a daily basis. Most of them become second nature over time, which is how you should view carrying your weapon. The more frequently and habitually you carry, the more ingrained these tips will become … and you’ll be less likely to make a mistake. Also, there really are no truly safe places anymore (as if there ever were). You may be called upon to protect yourself anywhere at any time … and your weapon is your protection.
- The Ultimate Problem: Thinking Irrationally – Every responsible gun owner hopes they never have to defend themselves. A CCW is a form of insurance, but how you think about carrying also impacts your behavior. Being prepared for the worst makes sense, so doing everything in your power to avoid an altercation should also be a priority. Your weapon does not make you invincible, so keep your eye on the big picture: out of sight and out of mind until you’re left with no other choice.
We hope you found these tips insightful. Please share our article with those you love who are either new to concealed carry or could use a quick refresher. Thanks for reading!