Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Concealed Carriers, Consider These

For example, if you want to carry concealed, make sure the weapon is really concealed.

What is the purpose of carrying a concealed weapon? For me, it's the ability to defend myself or my loved ones if we are violently attacked. The key is concealment. If you really want to fly under the radar, it's not enough to simply hide your weapon - too many "concealed" carriers advertise the fact that they have a weapon. How? Body language and clothing are the top ways.

Easy To Spot

Many times I can spot a guy who's carrying the instant he stands up because odds are, he's going to grab his waistband or belt and adjust it. Or he's going to keep plucking at his shirt to make sure he's not printing.

And, think about this: If you were a terrorist looking for an easy day, who would you shoot first: the guy in the tactical pants, army boots, and "cold dead fingers" shirt, or some dude in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt?

The Hawaiian is nice and loose and makes it easy to conceal a full-sized weapon, but doesn't shout that the wearer is a gun guy. Seriously, that's why my instructor at Shooters' World calls BDU's "shoot me first pants". (BDU's are military pants. It means Battle Dress Uniform.)

Make Sure It's Really Concealed

If you want to carry concealed, then make sure it's really concealed. Constantly patting or touching your gun gives you away as much as a too-tight shirt. There are so many great holsters out there that you should surely be able to find one that is comfortable and makes you secure enough that you don't have to keep adjusting and touching your gun.

You don't need to wear baggy clothes all the time, either. A great holster makes all the difference; so don't try to make do with a cheap one.

Practice Is Essential

Getting a lot of practice with your firearm is essential, but the range has limitations, especially for those who want to conceal carry. It's impossible to get any practice drawing your weapon out of the holster at a range. It's simply not safe and not allowed.

You can do it at home, and it's best if you pony up the money for a blue gun and target. The blue guns, like the ones LaserLyte makes, are made to replicate almost any firearm you'd be regularly carrying. Get one that is identical to the gun you normally carry, and get the laser and target too. This will allow you to practice actually getting the gun out of the holster and ready to fire.

You may be shocked and dismayed by how long this takes, especially since you are probably already aware how quickly an assailant with a knife can get to you.

LaserLyte Makes Possible Home Drills

Those LaserLyte guns and targets also let you do drills at home that you couldn't do at the range. You can have your partner hold the target and "break down" the door, home-invasion style, and see if you can get your weapon and hit the target before he gets to you.

You can have him storm down the hall in the dark, or even come up behind you while you're getting in your car. (I'd avoid doing this in full view of the neighbors, by the way!) These are also a great way to teach kids about site acquisition and trigger control. Sometimes the range is so loud that kids get jumpy. Heck, even I get jumpy when people with really loud guns are shooting in the bay next to me.

'No Weapons' Posted

When you regularly carry a concealed weapon, you realize that there are many times when you need to leave your gun in the car. There are places with "No Weapons" posted on the door, for example.

You have three choices in this situation: 1) You can choose not to go into those places at all; 2) You can ignore the sign (I heard a guy say one time that you have to remember that "able" is not the same as "allowed"), or 3) You can leave your gun in the car.

GunVault Boxes Secure

As for me, I have lock boxes by GunVault in both my vehicles. These are keyed lock boxes that have cables so you can attach them to something in the car like those great metal rings in the trunk, or something else that won't move and is very hard to break off. Simply lock your gun up and head on in.

As for carrying your weapon into a store that has a no-weapons sign, I have heard arguments for and against it. Many people contend that if you are legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon, but you can't because of the store policy, then if you are wounded or killed by a criminal who brings a gun into that store, the store is liable.

Know The Laws

That's the trouble with making rules and laws: Criminals don't obey them anyway, and all you do is disarm responsible citizens. As for me, if my gun isn't welcome, then I shop somewhere else. Easy.

Of course, there are many places where you just flat out aren't allowed to carry a weapon, CCW permit or not - Federal and State buildings, airports, etc. That's why you need a GunVault. If you try to wear your weapon into a place with metal detectors, maybe you aren't smart enough to carry concealed.

You also need to know the gun laws in your state, and check to see if your permit is honored in any state you plan to travel to (or through). You are responsible for knowing the laws.

Biggest Mistake

I would say that the biggest mistake people make when they decide to carry is carrying part time. If you're going to carry concealed, do it all the time. Get all the training you possibly can, buy the best gear you can afford, and develop the mindset that keeps you aware of your surroundings all the time, so you can avoid situations rather than having to react to them.


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