Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Concealed Carry Mistakes

There is more to concealed carry then simply, getting your permit, buying a handgun, and strapping it on. If you are considering getting or currently hold a CWP you need to read this article.

Mistake #1: Settling for the Minimum
One of the biggest responsibilities of being a gun owner and CWP holder is making sure that you are proficiently trained on the use of your firearms. Just because your state says you only need a 4 hour basic handgun safety course to get your permit doesn't mean that is all the training you should do. Look at more advanced classes covering tactics and techniques. Train until the use of your firearm is second nature, then train some more. Regular training also means safer and more effective habits.

Mistake #2: Improper Attitude and Mindset
Carrying a concealed weapon comes with a huge responsibility. The proper mindset and attitude should be a given but is overlooked by many. Just because you have a CWP doesn't mean you can carry your firearm into a courthouse, school, post office, or any other place restricted by law. You must know the laws of your state and abide by them.

I don't care how busy you are, what you are doing, who your are with, saying that your forgot you had a firearm on you is no excuse. Responsible CWP holders know where their firearm is at all times and they follow the law. If you are caught violating the laws of your state, not only do you risk getting arrested but you also run the risk of losing you CWP.

In regards to "Attitude" as stated in mistake number one, shooting ability is a skill that is easily lost without practice. Training is important and a responsibility all CWP holders should take extremely seriously. The state minimum is not an acceptable level of training. Training should be a life long process. You need to seek out additional training from qualified instructors and practice the skills they teach you regularly.

Mistake #3: Wrong Size Gun
Just because you have a CWP doesn't mean you should carry the biggest hand cannon you can find. Guys are more likely to make this mistake than women. They run out and buy the biggest caliber full size pistol for concealed carry then later realize that it is too big and/or too heavy to use for the purpose. A small caliber, compact pistol is sufficient for concealed carry. When it comes to a life or death situation, getting shot with a .32 or a .40 isn't going to matter if it stops the attack.

Mistake #4: Improper Holster or Carry Method
Buying a holster is like buying clothes or a car. You don't just buy one on a whim and expect to be satisfied with it. Your holster needs to be comfortable and ergonomic. You need to be able to access your firearm without too much trouble. Different types of clothing will require different types of holsters. A shoulder holster may be perfect if you are wearing a suit, but if you are wearing a t-shirt an inside the waist band holster may be better. Same goes for an ankle holster. You won't want to use an ankle holster while wearing shorts or a skirt. Purchase multiple holsters for multiple different clothing types.

If you own a pocket pistol make sure you have a correct pocket holster for your firearm. Don't just stick it in your pocket freely. Anything from keys to pens could potentially catch on the trigger causing it to go off accidentally. Additionally for the ladies, don't just toss a gun into your oversized purse filled with everything but the kitchen sink. Chances are you won't have the opportunity to get your gun out in a hurry if needed.

Mistake #5: Wrong Dress of Concealed Carry
The clothes you find on the runways of New York, Paris, and LA, don't have the CWP holder in mind. You are going to need to loosen up on the clothing if you plan to carry concealed, but you also want to make sure your clothing allows quick and easy access to the firearm in the case of a critical incident.

Darker colored clothes with lines and designs around the area you keep your firearm and holster will disguise them better. You may have to go up a size, no matter how much it upsets you.

Finally, you MUST practice concealed carry in your home, unloaded or with dummy ammo before you ever head out into public with a concealed firearm on your person to excercise your second amendment right.

In closing, it is important to remember that concealed carry is more than learning a few laws and jumping through red tape. It is a huge responsibility that requires nothing but a proper and mature mindset. It also requires a lot of time and money for training and the correct equipment. With a little safe planning and experimentation you will be confident that you have the skills necessary to protect yourself and your family.

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