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Should You Have a Concealed Carry Badge? The Pros & Cons

As a concealed carry holder, you might have considered whether you should get a concealed carry badge along with your permit. However, it is always difficult to decide without having a clear idea of the issue.
concealed carry badge in a wallet

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There are several advantages and disadvantages that are associated with purchasing and carrying a concealed carry badge. 

Getting a concealed carry badge can be used for identifying yourself to law enforcement officers and the public you are licensed to carry. However, obtaining one of these badges can also be seen as a way of impersonating a law enforcement officer, and they can also take away concealed part of concealed carry.

Whether you decide or not that a concealed carry badge is for you based on personal preference, you should keep reading to learn more about each of the pros and cons that concealed carry badges have to offer. 

The Pros of Concealed Carry Badges

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There are a few pros for obtaining a concealed carry badge depending on your personal preferences and what you are hoping that the badge will achieve.

Although these badges are not popular among law enforcement officers or other concealed carry permit holders, it does not take away from the fact that there are some reasons for obtaining one that is worth mentioning. 

Keep reading to learn more about the pros of concealed carry badges, and they might help you decide why you should consider getting one for yourself. 

It Can Help With Identification

When you have a concealed carry badge, others can identify you as a concealed carry permit holder…or at least that’s the idea. The badge can be easily used for identification purposes in certain scenarios.

It is much easier to flash a badge that shows you have a concealed carry permit than to go into your wallet, search for your license, hand it to an officer, and then have the officer look it up to verify you are a carrier. 

Although to be clear, this will probably happen either way, depending on the circumstances. Again, you are required to provide your state-issued license as required by your respective jurisdiction.

Also, on some websites such as badge and wallet, you can personalize your badge with your permit number, last name, and state. This makes the process of identifying you and verifying your permit license a lot easier to manage. Plus, it makes the badge more unique for you if that’s what you’re looking for. 

Carrying a badge is the best way to separate yourself in the event of a shooting. In shooting, it is hard to tell who is the “good guy” or the “bad guy.”

You can possibly provide some recognition as to being a law-abiding citizen by presenting your badge. Law enforcement officials will hopefully identify you as the “good guy” as well. 

You Could Be Considered a Good Guy

Typically when someone sees a badge, they think of law enforcement officers, not criminals, right? In the heat of a moment, someone might not look at the badge and read “Concealed Weapon,” they will just be relieved, so see the “good guy” in their line of sight. 

Keep in mind this can be both an advantage and disadvantage of carrying a concealed badge. 

However, the likelihood of a “bad guy” purchasing a concealed carry badge and using it in a self-defense scenario is almost slim to none. These badges can be expensive to the average person – most prices ranging from $60 to $100. 

It is recommended that if you do have a badge and are conceal carrying, you should put your gun in the holster, take out your badge, and raise your arms. You don’t want to be seen as a threat by any means, as that would be the easiest way of getting shot. 

A Badge May Prevent Public Fear

While the point of concealed carry is to conceal or hide your weapon, sometimes you might still find yourself accidentally displaying your firearm. Some folks believe that by carrying a concealed carry badge you can prevent further worry from those in public who may see your weapon. 

Most badge holders will place their concealed carry badge beside their firearm so that any people looking will assume they are licensed to carry. Therefore, people will be less concerned about carrying a gun as long as they see the badge.   

Again, this is awfully similar to what legitimate law enforcement officers do, so keep that in mind.

The Cons of Concealed Carry Badges

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While there certainly are pros to carrying a concealed carry badge, the cons outweigh the pros. There is no secret that most concealed carriers and law enforcement officers are against those with enforcement authority to have concealed carry badges.

Here are some of the things you should consider when determining whether carrying a concealed carry badge is for you. 

People Might Have the Wrong Motive for Getting One

While some people carrying a concealed carry badge might be positive and surely mean no harm, other individuals have known to purchase a badge for the wrong reasons.

One common reason people will use the badge is to help them get out of trouble with the law or other authorized officials…or at least try.

Many individuals think that by simply flashing a badge, they won’t have to deal with any of the consequences associated with the event that it was a part of it. There is some evidence that people have tried to use them to get out of tickets. 

Further, the “good guys” are not the only ones that can get a concealed carry badge. Anybody can purchase them. There are no identifiable laws against purchasing a concealed carry badge in any state.

However, some laws have been placed that include non-law enforcement officers not being able to carry a concealed carry badge, but we will get more into that later. 

Concealed carry badges can also be obtained by individuals who don’t hold a concealed carry permit. This is because you are not required to provide any permit or license information with the purchase, and there are no other verifiable checks in place. 

They said that these are dangerous and deceiving motives for getting one.  

It Will Look Like You Are Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer

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As mentioned earlier, people who notice your badge will likely assume that you are some law enforcement officer when you certainly aren’t. 

If someone were close enough to read the badge, they would find it does say concealed carry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are one of the good guys. 

In the heat of the moment, you’ll find that even law enforcement officers may see the badge and assume you are one of them. This is somewhat deceiving and will certainly be followed with scrutiny and possibly other consequences. 

Keep in mind that law enforcement officials can look up to see if you have an actual concealed carry permit. They will also have to identify the situation and determine whether you were fit to carry the badge in that capacity as it relates to how you were using it.

A Concealed Carry Badge Is Not Official

It should come as no surprise that a concealed carry badge isn’t official. You will find that it can be purchased almost anywhere – in many places and online. Often, they are cheaply made and come in a one size fits all look.

That isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t badges that can be customizable. There are some concealed carry badges that make it easier to identify the carrier and make them seem more official.

But, they don’t hold up in the court of law as they are not recognized as actual, legal badges. Your state-issued license is the only valid physical item that should be used in this capacity.

Not to mention, when purchasing a concealed carry badge, you don’t have to provide any proof of having an actual concealed carry permit. That means that anyone who wants to spend the money to get one can obtain it easily.

This can be eye-opening for some individuals because even the “bad guys” can carry them. It concerns some that people who don’t know any better might consider these badges as official. 

Further, this type of badge will not hold up in most, if not all, situations. These badges do not mean that you are above the law. They are simply a means to show that you do carry a concealed firearm with you.

If you were to be stopped by a law enforcement officer, you would still need to prove that you are licensed to carry a concealed firearm via your license. They will need to verify your information to make sure it’s true. 

Carrying a Badge Will Take Away the Element of “Surprise”

The most significant reason for obtaining a concealed carry permit is to carry a concealed (hidden) firearm in public. Most carriers want to keep a low profile and to avoid any conflict. This is their means of protecting themselves and others if needed.

Carrying a concealed carry badge, whether around your neck or with your firearm, takes away from the actual aspect of remaining low key when they are displayed. 

Further, it takes away from the element of surprise. Suppose there was an event where a “bad guy” shooter was present. Your badge could be easily visible, depending on where it is placed.

They see your badge beforehand and you would quickly lose any advantage that you may have had over the “bad guy.” As you can tell, this certainly wouldn’t be beneficial in that kind of event. 

Your State Might Prohibit Them 

Each state has a different approach to handling concealed carry permits, but there doesn’t seem to be an absolute requirement or lack of requirement of a concealed carry badge amongst different states.

As we mentioned before, you don’t have to have a concealed carry license to purchase a badge. 

However, some states do have laws in place to prevent concealed carry badges from being carried by average citizens. In some states, carrying these types of badges can be illegal. 

Take New Mexico, for example. Their law specifically states:

Only a law enforcement officer may carry a badge, patch, card, or any other indication of authority to carry a concealed handgun in New Mexico […]”.

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Luckily, this way should make it easier for any individual trying to identify a law enforcement officer. Few people will be likely to carry the badges, so it will also help prevent law enforcement impersonation.

However, you always want to make sure that you check your specific state’s laws and requirements. Like we mentioned before, the laws do vary from state to state. You would also want to keep up to date on these laws as they are subject to change. 

It Can Be Used Against You

For example, let’s say that you had used your concealed firearm for self-defense against an active shooter. But, after the event is over, most likely, there will be a trial, and one of the things they may use against you is your concealed carry badge. 

Why? Because it made you seem like you were a law enforcement officer in control of the situation. Others may have also believed you were acting in an official law enforcement capacity and therefore acted differently than they may have in a different scenario.

They might see it not as an act of defense but rather as an act of a vigilante impersonating the law. Depending on the context, this can be a real problem for you. 

Hypothetical and out there? Maybe, but almost anything can be turned around in court. 

It Is an Extra Item to Carry

No matter the badge you carry, it’s going to be one more thing you have to carry. You will also have trouble figuring out the best way to place the badge in order for it to be visible when it needs to be.

Some people carry it around their necks and others place it near their firearm on the belt line. It all depends on personal preference. 

Final Thoughts

To recap, here is a list of the pros of carrying a concealed carry badge:

  • It helps with identification
  • You may be considered the good guy
  • Carrying a badge can help prevent public fear

While the list is short, those are the pros most often cited. But, there are many more cons associated with carrying a concealed carry badge:

  • People might have the wrong motive in getting one
  • It will look like you are impersonating a law enforcement officer
  • A concealed carry badge is not official
  • Carrying a concealed carry badge may take away from the element of surprise
  • Your state may prohibit having them
  • A concealed carry badge is something extra to carry

Carrying a concealed carry badge has several pros and cons associated with it. However, it all depends on your personal preferences as to whether the concealed carry badge is right for you. 

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