What Is Concealed Carry?

What is concealed carry? When a person possesses a firearm that is not visible, they are concealed carrying. What about when a person has a firearm visible on their hip? That is called open carrying. Those are the two ways to carry a firearm, open or concealed. Each method of carrying has their strengths and weaknesses. The chosen method of carry will depend on the individual, the situation, and laws. Much like when you operate a motor vehicle you need to have a license, the same applies when you conceal carry a handgun. There are different names for the licenses that some states issue to their citizens that permit them to legally carry concealed:

  • Concealed Pistol License (CPL)
  • Concealed Handgun License (CHL)
  • Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP)
  • Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW)

When to conceal carry? Concealed carry applies to handguns which are meant to be carried when trouble is not expected and just in case. You would not carry because you were going to a bad situation or unsafe place. If you are expecting trouble somewhere, you would not go there in the first place! You carry when you are going about your daily life, running errands, shopping, normal circumstances. You are prepared for the worst and hoping for the best, so always carry!

Anyone and Everyone!

Who would carry concealed? Anyone who wants to have a handgun as a tool at their disposal.  Anyone who is prepared to defend their life and that of their family.  Mostly law-abiding citizens carry concealed, there are tens of millions in American.

Where would someone conceal carry? Some people carry everywhere legally allowed and do not go to places where it is banned. Others carry in prohibited places because criminals attack these places, and no one will know that they are carrying, so what’s the harm? Others only carry when they go to “bad neighborhoods” or in certain circumstances when they think it is a good idea. People who don’t carry, often don’t understand why people choose to carry to any place and don’t see why. Here are some places where people conceal carry:questionmark

      • home
      • work
      • pharmacies
      • restaurants
      • shopping malls
      • grocery stores
      • gas stations

Why would someone conceal carry? Everyone has their reasons and it is a personal choice. People want to protect themselves and their families from crime or terrorism. No one wants to be a victim and a handgun is a good tool to have available to stop the worst from happening.

Some people have been, or know people that have been victims, they recognize the harsh realities of life and want to take ownership of their safety. The government and police cannot and will not provide safety and security to it’s citizens. They will come after the fact and draw the chalk outlines around the bodies.  They are a reactive force and cannot be everywhere. They have no duty to protect you and that has been upheld in the courts. When seconds count and your life is on the line, police are minutes away. Intelligent people know this and choose to arm themselves and take responsibility for their own safety and security.

I conceal carry because I enjoy it and feel confident going about my life. I use situational awareness, training, and common sense to avoid unnecessary, potentially aggressive encounters. Criminals prey on people who are not paying attention and appear to be weak. I do not think criminals will target me or my family, but it is possible. It gives me personal satisfaction to exercise my freedom to own a pistol and carry it. I carry for self defense and am prepared for any life-threatening situation that might arise. I feel more responsible and alert when carrying. That is the affect concealed carry has on me. I believe an armed society is a polite society.

Thinking about buying a gun?

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Not so fast.  The 2nd Amendment gives all law abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms.  However, many people simply do not have the right mindset for gun ownership.  Some people do not think they need to dedicate time to learning safety, practicing, and training.  This is all particularly important for people who want to conceal carry.  Before you start shopping for a gun, learn about safety.  Check out books from your public library and view enough online sources until you are confident you would be able to competently handle a firearm.

There are many different versions of the gun range safety rules. One easy one to remember is treat, never, keep, keep.

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Never orient the firearm toward anything you do not intend to shoot.
  • Keep you finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
  • Keep the weapon on safe and pointed downrange until you intend to fire.

There are NO Accidents!

If something bad happens, it’s because one of the rules was broken. If something bad happens you will lose your firearm and probably go to jail.

Always wear eye and ear protection! There’s no reason to lose your sight or hearing.  Don’t be afraid to double-up on ear protection, use both in-ear and over-ear to attenuate sound. One of my shooting instructors has trouble hearing due to a permanent loss of hearing. He said it has a negative impact on his relationship with his wife, when she is talking and thinks she is being ignored, but he simply could not hear her speak. I double up on my ears and encourage you to do the same.

Of course there is a lot more to know, but you can be safe following these basic rules while acting in a responsible manner. Use common sense and if unsure, consult a range safety officer, or experienced shooter. Everyone remembers when they were a newbie and they will be glad to help you learn.