Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Time Concealed Carry Concerns

If you are reading this, you either have just gotten your concealed carry permit (or got your first handgun and plan to carry for those states with constitutional carry), or you are planning on getting yours, and you’re nervous about carrying.  It happens.  When I first got mine, you feel as if everyone is watching you, and you get worried.  Allow me to give you some tips to calm those nerves!

Carry and get it over with
One of your main concerns may be that you think people know you’re carrying.  Well, if you are carrying concealed, and carrying concealed properly, then no one will ever know.  You may feel as if eyes are on you, but not many people are observant enough.  Just make sure that your firearm does not print or become exposed.

Side note: “printing” is when the outline of a firearm can be seen through clothing.  In some states (like Florida for example) it is completely legal for a firearm to print.  In other states, it is highly illegal.  It is best to check with your state laws for information on that.

One of the best ways to shake all fears is to carry in a crowded area.  For example, the next time you go shopping, carry.  If you are armed in Walmart or something like that, you will notice that no one pays any attention to you.  That’s both good and bad.  Good because you can feel less concerned, bad because if you are someone up to no good, they will probably go unnoticed as well.  After doing that a couple times, you’ll start to get used to it.

Carry Consistently
If you carry three different guns at different times in multiple different ways, or if you only carry a couple times per month, you won’t be ready.  Carry consistently.  Find a firearm that you know, like, are comfortable with, and can conceal and stick with it.  Carry it the same way all the time.  This will get you used it.

Practice makes perfect.  Along with carrying consistently, when you are home, practice drawing your UNLOADED firearm.  Know how to get to it.  Know where it is at all times, what articles of clothing to get out of the way, and so on.  If you carry, but can’t draw fast enough, it may be too late in a very unfortunate situation.

You need more then that though.  You need to know your firearm.  Go to the range and fire off some rounds.  Know the recoil.  Know where it shoots.  Know what to expect.

Use a Good Holster and Good Ammunition
If you have a cheap “universal” holster that cannot safely secure your firearm, or takes too long to draw out of, you probably will never feel 100% safe and calm.  Spend a little extra to find a good holster, and your problems will be solved.  I recommend Tread Softy Concealment holsters.  They are high quality, at a price that even I can afford.

Just as important as the right holster is the right ammunition.  As I mentioned earlier, you need to go to the range and practice shooting.  Doing so is a great chance to try out different types of ammunition.  So long as it’s legal in your state, I would suggest a good hollow point round.  Since it can get expensive to try out many different brands, look up some hollow point reviews and get one or two brands that you feel confident about.  Try them in your firearm to make sure they cycle well (don’t cause jams or other malfunctions) and so you know how the recoil will be.

Know the Laws
I am not saying to become an attorney or police officer, but to shake off nerves, do some research about carry laws in your state.  Remember that laws vary from state to state.  Know your state, and know what you can and cannot do.

I DO NOT recommend going to forums for this information.  There is always someone who will say so confidently that he or she knows something is correct, then that person is either wrong, or is correct, but you are asking about one state, and the information provided is for another.

That is a reason why I normally don’t go into laws here since they can be so different, and if I do, I list the state I am referring to.  Your best bet is to either go to your state’s website for information, or call your state or local police department and if they cannot help you, they will be able to tell you where to go to get the correct information. 

ALWAYS know they laws.  Any law you break while having a firearm on you (even legally) could ruin the rest of your life.  Please, please, please always do your research.  Know where you can carry, and where you can’t.  To this day, even though Florida (my state’s) law is very straight forward about where you can carry, I will still call the police or the place in question about carrying if I am unsure.

Be Confident and Smart
The last thing is to be confident and smart.  That doesn’t mean be an ass or think you are a cop.  You are simply a responsibly armed citizen.  Know you are armed, but don’t let others know you are armed.  If you do what was mentioned previously, then you should very quickly get rid of your nerves.  Carry on, be safe, and be smart.
  • Carry and get it over with
  • Carry consistently
  • Use a good holster and ammunition
  • Know your state’s laws
  • Be confident and smart
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