Concealed carry is absolutely worth it if you want to be able to defend yourself, your family, or others at a moment’s notice. Law enforcement often takes minutes to respond to a crime, and concealed carrying allows you to respond instantly, potentially saving your life or those of your loved ones.
Concealed carry, the act of legally carrying a concealed firearm in public for the purposes of self-defense, is a great way to be able to ensure you can protect yourself, your loved ones, or your property at a moment’s notice.
While the process to concealed carry and the considerations you have to make might seem a little daunting, concealed carrying is more than doable in most states assuming you do just a little bit of homework before you start the process.
To concealed carry, you’re first going to have to make a decision as to whether or not you are willing to take your defense into your own hands if you must. If you are, then it’s time to acquire a firearm, get a permit to carry if necessary, and then go about the training that will make you much more able to respond to dangerous situations calmly should they arise.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to use a firearm, but we have a Constitutional right to defend ourselves with force if necessary. It’s pretty clear, then, that concealed carry can be a great option to defend yourself from harm should harm try to find you.
Why would I need to defend myself?
Cases, where you might need a firearm to defend yourself, do happen from time to time.
One Montana woman came home from work one evening to find a stranger on her couch. She then pulled her firearm and kept the intruder where he was until he was arrested, though he was himself armed.
After a robber pulls a knife on a man on Magazine Street in New Orleans, LA, the victim pulls a gun, NOPD says. I believe, at one point in time, I heard something about bringing a gun to a knife fight.
If you are interested in trying to keep up with current self-defense stories, the NRA has a running feed called ARMED CITIZEN.
Once you’ve made the decision to concealed carry, it’s time to do a bit of the background work and learn what is necessary to conceal carry in a legal, intelligent, and safe way. While there is a little bit to this process, it is more than doable.
The obvious thing that you will need if you want to conceal carry is the firearm. Many of us already have firearms when we begin the permitting process, and chances are your firearm is fine whatever it may be. If you’ve inherited a firearm from a loved one and have never fired it, one thing we would recommend is taking to a gunsmith to verify that it functions properly, then to the range to make sure that you know how to shoot it.
When I mean learn how to shoot, I mean you need to obtain quality firearms training from a vetted instructor.
If you need to buy a firearm, the easiest and cheapest way to get something you’ll actually carry on a daily basis is to shoot as many as you can prior to purchasing one. You’ll want a firearm that meets two basic criteria.
First, you have to be able to shoot it well. Spend some time and find out what your are comfortable with. Believe it or not, there will firearms you shoot better than others. Try a few out and see what you can make consistent hits with.
Second, you want to be able to conceal carry as comfortably as possible. It might seem sound to take the biggest, baddest gun you can in case you need it. But, if it’s uncomfortable for you to carry it, you’ll leave it at home and that is where it will more than likely stay.
Basically, try out as many firearms as you can until you find a pistol that you shoot well and would carry every day. That said, even if all you have and can afford is the gun that’s been in a box in the closet since the 1980’s, make do with what you have..
Once you have the firearm, the next step is to make sure that you can carry it legally in public. This can vary greatly by state so it’s worth mentioning the way this might go. The one thing every state has in common is that you cannot be a felon and carry a firearm or even own one. So, if you are a person in such a situation, we recommend that you abandon this idea or face major criminal repercussions.
In the most open of states, you can legally carry a firearm concealed without a permit whatsoever. In those cases, we still recommend you take enough firearm classes to be proficient.
Many other states issue permits to citizens with some basic requirements. For example, a common setup is that you will find a class at a range that meets the state requirements and will be advertised as such. If you can’t find one, call a local gun retailer and ask, they’ll know.
Once that’s done, you often have to make an appointment to turn in the required paperwork, the certificate of completion from the class, a small fee, and have some fingerprints taken. Then, after an untold amount of time, you eventually get your permit in the mail. Keep in mind, it is more and more common for a lot of the paperwork to be completed online nowadays. However, mailing it in is always an option.
The most restricted states will ask you to jump through many, many hoops, including asking permission from local law enforcement, taking several classes, additional permits to purchase firearms or ammo, and invasive home inspections.
These can be onerous and take many months, but even in these most restrictive states, people do manage to concealed carry. If you find yourself in such a state, it’s wise to find someone who has gone through the process to help guide you a bit.
Once you have the permit in hand, keep it on your person at all times. Some states require you to present it automatically when stopped by law enforcement, and some merely encourage it. Just throw it in with your driver’s license and call it a day.
Really, there are two pieces of gear outside of a firearm that every concealed carrier needs: a holster and a quality gun belt (with a few exceptions like ankle holsters, belly holster, shoulder holsters, etc.). Some prefer inside of the waistband, others outside. Again, the thing to remember here is that comfort is in the eye of the beholder.
Ignore much of the marketing and bad advice you will get and instead try things out until you find a solution that will work for you as an individual. I have boxes of old holsters that weren’t up to snuff. That’s okay, it’s an investment in yourself.
As it’s mentioned above, many states will require you to take some kind of class in order to get a concealed carry permit. But, let’s be honest, they are minimal at best. They don’t teach you how to shoot and barely have you demonstrate proficiency.
Beyond those, it’s a great idea to take as many pistol classes as you can. These can cover basic fundamentals, tactics, lowlight, and more. They will make you a safer, more proficient shooter, and they’re also fun as a bonus.
Shooting a firearm well, under stress, is not a natural thing. It is a learned skill that will degrade over time if you don’t practice. So, take some time, at least once a month, to go to the range and make sure that everything, especially you, is on target.
With all of this said, we highly encourage you to look into concealed carrying if you want to defend yourself and others from harm. There is a little work to the process, but if you go at it slowly and systematically, it can certainly be done.