Owning a firearm sets you apart from non-owners. Your responsibilities increase. When you decide to obtain your concealed carry permit, you assume a new set of duties that are beyond that of simply being a gun owner. Getting your permit is a decision that requires plenty of consideration. Some questions you might want to ask yourself before you start down that path are:
- Will I continue to educate myself of best practices with my weapon and the laws of my state and country?
- Do I plan to carry every day?
- Am I dedicated enough to practice with my firearm and maintain a high level of aptitude with it?
- Am I aware of the financial obligation to supply my firearm with everything it needs to function properly and safely?
- Do I fully understand what it means to concealed carry, and am I willing to use extreme force in the face of imminent threat?
There are numerous factors to take into account before you make a decision to concealed carry. If you feel that you are ready for the responsibility, here are some best practices to adhere to once you acquire your permit.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Every time you make the decision to carry your weapon, you must be 100% aware of the consequences of your actions. Your firearm is a tool capable of deadly force, but it is your mind and mental state that dictates how that tool is implemented. When you immerse yourself in an environment with other people, you need to exercise extreme, judicious discipline. Going out of your way to avoid confrontation is crucial to limiting any sort of conflicts that might arise while you concealed carry.
Your weapon should only be used in dire circumstances after all other avenues have been explored to de-escalate the situation. Many situations can be resolved without the use of your firearm. Remember that you carry it to protect yourself and your family. Keep calm and remain levelheaded. A good rule of thumb is you should only use your weapon if your assailant has the ability to physically harm you, has the opportunity to do so, and is putting your or someone else’s life in danger.
Be a Student of Gun Laws
So much of owning a weapon is having the proper mindset and knowledge to use it. The only way to attain this is through education. Each state has a set of laws that differs from the rest, and they can often take federal law a step further. Use of deadly force, where you can and cannot concealed carry, what to do after a shooting, and several other factors change depending on where you live in the U.S. Find a reputable source and educate yourself on national laws, state laws, and any local requirements that might be enforced in your area. Make sure that if you are traveling, you have done your research on where you are going.
Continued Training is Critical
As you continue to inform yourself of the laws surrounding firearms and as you keep practicing the correct mental state, you must continue honing your abilities with your weapon. Long before you decide to conceal carry – or even own a weapon – you should seek professional classes to begin your training with how to properly operate a firearm. It should cover the fundamentals of gun use, safety, and different techniques in weapons operation.
Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced concealed carry techniques. Proper concealed carry holster use, an overview of concealed carry laws, and how to access and fire your weapon from its concealed location should all be outlined in the course. Additionally, it is wise and recommended to take refresher courses periodically. Not only will you stay sharp on your abilities, but you will also stay current on the latest trends of concealed carry and become aware of any new developments in the field.
Once outside of a professional classroom, you need to practice on a regular basis. This includes more than just going to the range and shooting your handgun. Being comfortable with the accessories you use, like a concealed carry belt, must also be regularly checked and practiced. As we put wear on our equipment, their functions can alter. Being aware of these changes is vital to successfully carrying concealed. Some of these points leads to the next practice.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Concealed carry demands that you be aware of the environment and situation, but it also requires you to play close attention to your attire. From the shirt you wear to the holster and belt you use, all need to be carefully chosen to successfully conceal your firearm and its accessories. No one but you should be able to tell that you are carrying. If you are wearing the wrong clothing, you will be prone to adjust your handgun often, which will draw attention to your firearm. Avoid frequently checking and adjusting your weapon by wearing the right clothing.
Make the Choice to Carry, and Carry
Once you have made the decision to concealed carry pistols, it is an option that you should exercise all the time. If you choose to only concealed carry some of the time, you will find yourself becoming desensitized to the severity of the situation. Constant vigilance and dedication are a must when you decide to carry concealed. Finally, you will be ready for what the world brings your way. By carrying all the time, you can face the world around you with a mindset you would not have if you were not carrying concealed.