Despite calls to increase gun regulations and limit constitutional Second Amendment rights, there’s been a significant increase in the number of Americans who hold concealed carry permits.
According to a Washington Examiner report from 2020, there are nearly 20 million permit holders in the country. (That means roughly 10 percent of all Americans over the age of 21 have a concealed carry permit.) And contrary to what the biased news media reports, the biggest increases in concealed carry permits are among women and minorities.
If you’re a relatively new concealed carry permit holder – or are thinking about applying for your license in the near future – you must understand how to carry a firearm legally, safely, and for optimum self-defense. Read on to discover how to do so with ease.
6 Concealed Carry Tips
If you have a clean background and follow the basic steps in your state, you’ll have no trouble obtaining a concealed carry permit. But having a piece of plastic that gives you the right to carry isn’t the same as being prepared to actually carry.
Here are a few tips to make you a more comfortable and safe concealed carry permit (CCP) holder.
1. Don’t Choose Based on Size Alone
Size plays a key role in any gun selection – particularly one that will be used exclusively for carrying. However, you shouldn’t make 100 percent of the decision based on size alone.
If all other factors are created equal, the smaller gun is usually the best option for the purposes of carrying. The problem is that all factors are rarely created equal. Smaller guns tend to be more difficult to shoot (particularly for newbies). So while you might be able to conceal it well, it could prove ineffective in a situation where you actually need to use it. Thus there’s something to be said for choosing a slightly larger gun that’s more accurate…and then learning how to conceal it properly.
2. Start With the Gun…Then Everything Else
There’s an old saying that goes, “Concealed carry is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.” In other words, it’s about the safety it provides you, not how physically comfortable it makes you. (Though it’s usually possible to be both comforted and comfortable.)
Always start with the firearm. Purchase the right firearm and then consider your wardrobe and method of carrying. The firearm is the first priority. You can always find options that work based on the gun you choose.
3. Get Adequate Training
Concealed carry permit classes are not the same as firearms training courses. With a CCP class, you’re simply learning the basics of concealed carry law and checking off a box that gives you the legal right to carry a firearm on your person. In addition to taking a CCP class, it’s highly recommended that you take some sort of firearm class to learn the basics of how to handle guns, shooting for accuracy, proper storage, cleaning procedures, etc.
4. Carry as Much as Possible
Carrying a firearm feels weird at first. You’ll find yourself constantly shifting and touching the gun to make sure it’s still there. And the only way to break yourself of these habits and feel comfortable carrying a gun is to do it frequently.
Most experts recommend carrying your gun everywhere you go (with the exception of gun-free zones like public schools, churches, government buildings, etc.). The more you carry it, the more natural it will feel.
5. Be Mindful of Printing
Printing is the name for what happens when the outline of your gun is exposed through your clothing. This typically happens when your gun is positioned in a place where it’s tightly pressed against clothing.
When you first start carrying, it could take some time to figure out where you can and can’t carry in order to avoid printing or exposing. Test out different options and movements before going out in public.
6. Stay Abreast of the Law
Always stay abreast of gun laws within your state. Rules and regulations are constantly changing and it’s up to you to ensure you’re abiding by the concealed carry laws within your jurisdiction.
Carry With Confidence
Want to know what makes a safe and effective CCP holder? The answer is simple: confidence. If you want your concealed carry permit to be an asset to you and those around you (rather than a liability), it starts with confidence. And by mastering the tips outlined above, you can gradually improve your confidence over time. Good luck!