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Concealed Carry at Family Gatherings

August 25, 2017 3 min read

Sometimes carrying a concealed handgun in a family situation can cause some anxiety, but really, it’s easy if you are prepared ahead of time.

Decide How You Will Carry

If you are dressed in your finest Easter clothing, it may be necessary to carry in a way that is more unfamiliar to you.  Women may be wearing dresses that they don’t normal wear and may decide that purse carry is the way to go.  And there are some gorgeous purses available for concealed carry these days.   IF you decide to carry a handgun in your purse in a family situation, remind yourself that you cannot set your purse down anywhere and walk away.  There may be children present (or perhaps even nosey relatives).  You are responsible for what happens with your firearm.  There are other options available for carrying in that special clothing depending on exactly what you are wearing, so you are not limited to purse carry.  Your best bet is to do a “dress rehearsal” and decided and practice ahead of time with your concealed carry method if it’s a choice that you’re not used to using.

The Hug

During festive family gatherings, there is usually at least one “hugger” in the bunch.  If you are carrying on your person, you might want to think about how to handle The Hug when it happens.  One solution is to turn that part of your body away from the hugger if you don’t want them to wonder what they just bumped into.  But considering where your firearm is in relation to a hug or friendly arm around your waist ahead of time will eliminate awkward last minute evasive actions on your part. 

Where’s the Party?

More and more, families are skipping the big home cooked meal and choosing to dine out at a local restaurant.  Rules in every state may vary with regards to concealed carry in a restaurant.  Make sure you know the laws applicable to your situation.  The restaurant may have the option to regulate firearms in their establishment.  It’s good to know that ahead of time so you can secure your firearm in your vehicle (if that’s lawful) before going into the restaurant.  There are many types of vehicle safes that you can use rather than just locking it in the console which a thief can usually breach pretty easily.

Curious Relatives

It may come up that you have a firearm with you and your relatives or close friends might be curious.  Decide ahead of time exactly what questions you want to answer and how.  Politely indicating that you’d rather not talk about it right then is always an option.  We don’t need to be told that some of our relatives can be pushy with their opinions and questions.  Rehearse some answers in your head before the event so you aren’t caught off guard.

So the key to a smooth, joyful family gathering with a concealed firearm is preparing a little bit before the big event.  Most of the time, the celebration goes off with a hitch.  In fact, it’s much like carrying any other time.  Be aware of what could happen, keep your handgun secured and concealed and go on with the day!


Written for GunGoddess.com by Tracy Hughes. Tracy is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, facilitator for A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League and the owner of Brilliant Backstraps.