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.
Here at GrabAGun.com, we pride ourselves on being all about guns – and that includes being all about gun safety. Being able to fully enjoy your firearm is only attainable through proper handling, storage, and care of your firearm. Guns are our right, but it is our responsibility to have respect for them and exercise proper safety guidelines when we own and operate them. Here are some helpful tips to use as a guide for proper gun safety, handling, and storage.
There are four major rules to follow when you are the primary person using a firearm. The first and primary rule of gun safety is to always treat it as it if is loaded. This means that no matter if it is loaded or not, if the firearm were to miraculously fire, it would not cause harm or damage. You need to constantly be aware of where the firearm is pointed and by extension, understand the safest direction.
Second, always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Third, keep your finger off the trigger unless you are ready to fire. Many firearms have finger guards to rest your finger on. Utilize this, or your trigger finger along the side of the firearm. Fourth, know your target and what is beyond it. An added level of precaution is to always have the safety on until you are ready to fire the firearm.
Now that you know the four most important aspects of gun safety, let’s take a closer look at some of the safety procedures used for gun operations.
- Become an expert on your firearm.
Learn as much about how your firearm operates as possible. Know the parts and components, how they function together, and the exact type of ammunition that your firearm should use. The more you understand about your firearm, the more likely you will be to catch problems that could arise in its use.
- Evaluate your firearm for safe operation.
Before you fire your gun, make sure that it is working to the standards you are used to. Check that the mechanisms all seem to be working properly. Routine cleaning and proper storage will help prevent problems from arising and also maintain the gun’s overall upkeep. IF you see something suspicious, take your firearm to a specialist before firing.
- Properly store and handle your firearm.
As I briefly mentioned in the last bullet point, proper storage of your firearm is pivotal to its functionality. Using a range bag or carrying case to transport your firearm to and from where you will be firing it is a major step in gun safety. This extends to how you transport your ammunition and firearm accessories. A satchel can keep all of your other necessities in a safe location as you take it to and from your home. Storing your firearm with a gun sock can also prevent most debris and dust from accumulating inside your firearm.
- Keep your firearms stored so they are inaccessible by others.
When your firearms are not in use, they need to be kept in a manner that prohibits any unwanted persons from using them. Cable locks and trigger locks are two of the most common ways to keep your firearm secured. Consider using a gun safe in addition to individually locking your firearms.
- Utilize equipment that keeps vital items close by.
Being able to have your firearm snug against your body with concealed carry holsters such as a paddle holster is a great way to keep others from accessing your firearm. Additionally, a concealed carry purse can keep all of your items safely stored in one location without allowing unwanted people access to them. With your gear close on hand, you will decrease the likelihood of people teaching your equipment without your permission.
These are just some of the ways that responsible gun owners should be handling and storing their firearms. Keep you, your family, and others safe by following these tips. Remember, it is always wise to continue to educate yourself on gun safety. Be safe, and enjoy your next time shooting.