Your first time carrying a concealed handgun involves many factors to consider. You don’t just go to the local gun shop, pick out a gun and holster, strap it on and go out and defend yourself and the rest of the world.
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Carrying that concealed handgun also means carrying a huge responsibility that goes with it. Remember, the item you are carrying in your pocket, inside the waistband holster, stuck in your waistband, is there to potentially end somebody’s life to stop them if you are attacked.
How you carry, secure, and use that item will determine whether you secure your and your family’s safety or end up in prison. A simple mistake or simple stupid behavior can change the rest of your life.
Learning to use the gun is the fundamental first act of carrying a concealed handgun. Get help from an experienced friend or go to a gun club or certified instructor to learn to properly handle and shoot the gun. Then get some practice with it.
You won’t be ready to carry until you learn to use.
Properly Secure Your Handgun
Next, determine how you will secure the gun when you are carrying it. Taking a revolver or a semi auto with a de-cocker and sticking it in your pocket will work fine.
However, carrying a striker fired semi auto such as a GLOCK loose in your pocket or down your pants without a holster, you WILL eventually shoot something you don’t intend to shoot. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
And having your gun go off in a public place, assuming that you, yourself survive it, is a criminal act that you WILL be arrested for. Doesn't matter if it was just an accident.
And if you accidentally shoot somebody, you WILL go to prison. Make sure you carry a handgun properly secured.
When you start carrying a concealed handgun, especially if you frequently carry a full size semi auto like I do, you will have to adjust the way you dress. I have never before in my life, worn loose clothing on a daily basis.
Now, jeans, a t-shirt and a loose button up outer shirt are common apparel for me. My usual tucked in form fitting shirts just won’t work for carrying a full size pistol around town.
Today, many people are carrying things on their belts that cause a bulge under their shirts or jackets. So, a slight bulge will not bring any notice. But the clear outline of a large handgun should be avoided, even with a CCW license. “Concealed” means concealed. It must be worn in a way that does not draw notice and scare people in public around you.
On the other hand, don't obsess over it. People are not examining your belt line or ankles to see if you might have a gun.
If you carry a striker fired semi auto concealed handgun such as a GLOCK or Taurus 24/7, don’t bother carrying it with no bullet in the chamber to be “safer”. Ditto with a 1911 style pistol.
If you don’t feel comfortable carrying it ready to fire, get something you do feel comfortable with. It took me a while to get used to carrying a GLOCK 17 and 22 ready to fire. I carried it in all types of situations, including out in the woods working out which means vigorous activity.
I am now supremely confident that they will not go off unless the trigger is pulled.
If I were a criminal, and I intended to assault you, there would be no way you would have time to get your clothing out of the way, pull the gun, rack the slide, aim the gun and shoot me. You would be down, injured, robbed and I would take your gun. Carry something you are comfortable carrying, ready to fire.
Finally, don’t just learn how to operate and shoot the gun. Learn to draw and shoot it from the concealed position that you carry it in. This means ongoing practice with your gun and carry gear.
Gun handling, carry and concealment are diminishing skills that need to be worked on regularly. Learn to use, carry securely, practice regularly. Exercising your second amendment rights takes responsible action.
Don’t mess it up.
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