If you're new to shooting or just got your concealed carry license, the thought of carrying your gun on your body can raise a lot of internal questions - what's the best way to carry, how do you know when you're ready, and what kind of gear do you need?
The quickest (and best) way to alleviate your fears is to get informed so you can start carrying a gun safely and effectively. Here are 5 of the most important things you need to know about concealed carry before you dive in.
1. Know Your State's Concealed Carry Laws
The first thing you need to do is learn the concealed carry laws in your state. While there are a few states that heavily restrict carrying a firearm, most states allow concealed carry with a permit/license. There are even some states that will allow you to carry without a permit (Constitutional Carry).
Once you figure out what the process is for carrying a gun in your state of residence, it's time to start following the procedure for getting your permit (if your state requires it). Your state may require a live fire test as part of the permitting process. If that's the case and you're a new shooter, skip to #2, then start the process of getting your permit.
2. Learn How to Shoot Accurately
Carrying concealed may save your life someday, but only if you are competent with your firearm. If you're not able to consistently make accurate shots, you could do more harm than good if you ever use your firearm in self-defense.
The best (and fastest) way to become competent with your gun is through a combination of live and dry fire training. Practice until you are able to place your shots consistently from distances between a few yards to at least 10 yards away.
3. Know What Kind of Gear You Need to Carry Safely
There are a lot of options when it comes to the gear you'll need for carrying, but not all equipment is made with the same quality standards. To make sure you are carrying safely, you're going to need a gun belt that is specifically designed for concealed carry and a holster that's designed for your chosen method of carry. A proper carry belt will be reinforced and have a secure closure method (heavy-duty buckles or levers). A high-quality holster will be made from Kydex (or similar rigid material) or stiff leather that will positively retain your gun.
4. Cultivate a Defensive Mindset
Carrying a gun for self-defense is more than just putting your gun on and heading out the door, it's a lifestyle. It's critical to understand how and when it's legal to use your firearm, and when a situation does not meet the definition of a lethal threat. It's also important to fine-tune your situational awareness skills and be aware of potential high-risk situations or locations.
5. Know How to Comfortably Conceal your Firearm
You may have heard the saying “carrying a gun is not supposed to be comfortable; it's supposed to be comforting", but that's not the case! With a little forethought, it's easy to carry a firearm comfortably. Experiment with both inside and outside-the-waistband holsters and different locations on your body until you find a method that works best for your body type.
Carrying a gun is a big responsibility, but it doesn't have to be scary. Following the above steps will help you gain confidence and ensure that you are carrying concealed in a safe and responsible fashion. If you have any questions about concealed carry, please reach out to us so we can help!