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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 03/04/2020 in Concealed Carry

12 Concealed Carry Mistakes to Avoid



12 Concealed Carry Mistakes to Avoid

Carrying a concealed weapon is a tremendous responsibility. Your life and the lives of those around you could depend on the decisions you make under pressure. For this reason, it's essential to think about the things that could go wrong and make a serious effort to minimize these risks. Here are 12 mistakes to avoid when carrying a concealed handgun. 

1. The Wrong Mindset 

You are responsible for everything that happens as a result of your decision to bear a firearm. For this reason, your objective should be to avoid confrontations, making every effort not to engage in conflicts over petty problems and dangerous situations that could escalate. 

Keep in mind that if you're grappling with someone on the floor, they could reach for your weapon as soon as they realize you have one, under the assumption that you plan to use it. That is why it's best to keep your distance and avoid fighting unless your life is at stake. 

2. Inadequate Training 

Using a firearm for self-defense is not like using one on the firing range. The practice targets probably won't move toward you as you fire at them. For safety reasons, your local range won't permit you to practice drawing and shooting rapidly. 

Developing advanced skills requires training beyond the minimum guidelines for getting a permit. Specialized courses focus on teaching you thoroughly, rather than moving quickly through broad concepts. Remember that there's also nothing wrong with retaking courses to refresh your memory. 



3. Insufficient Practice 

You owe it to yourself and society to carry responsibly and know what you're doing. Make sure to practice often enough to feel confident with your firearm, comfortable with it, and familiar with its habits. You also must be prepared to use your weapon at a moment's notice, should the need arise. 

Practice shooting from various distances and get accustomed to aiming at center mass, so you'll minimize the chances of missing. Remember that you are responsible for where that round goes. You'd have a hard time convincing a judge that you acted responsibly if you struck a bystander while trying to shoot the gun out of a perpetrator's hand. 

Note that different types of firearms perform differently, and some are more prone to jamming. It takes practice to learn how to clear a malfunction quickly. Trial and error will help you figure out which types of ammunition work best with your handgun so that you can minimize the chances of this occurring. 

4. The Wrong Holster 

If you're going to carry in public, you should always have the right type of holster. It should also be appropriate for your body type, choice of clothing, and the laws in your area. Whether you choose to use a waistband or shoulder holster, your best bet is to use one specifically designed for your firearm. 

Just because it costs more doesn't mean it's the best holster for your needs. Regardless of what it's made from, it should fit comfortably and be easy to access. Remember that you may need more than one type of holster for different clothing styles and non-typical situations. You should never have to struggle to draw your weapon. 

5. Lack of Readiness 

As a concealed carrier, your job is to stay prepared. One of the most critical aspects of readiness is your willingness to use your firearm when the time comes. You may be the only person who can put an end to a bad situation, and the last thing you need is to freeze up. 

Remember that even in a self-defense situation, there can be some legal ramifications to shooting someone. You must be aware of those possibilities. If you know the law, are aware of your surroundings, know your weapon, have a clear shot, and are willing to defend your actions in court, you can consider yourself ready. Otherwise, concealed carry may not be for you. 



6. Poor Clothing Choices 

Always wear the proper clothing for the carry setup you're using. Be aware that formfitting fabrics could make the outline of your handgun more visible to others. That may not be acceptable, depending on whether printing is an issue in your area. 

Whether you like loose clothing or not, it's easier to conceal a handgun when your clothes aren't tight against your body. Try to select clothing that doesn't draw unnecessary attention. Tactical clothes or camouflage colors can lead others to suspect that you might have a weapon. Remember that it's also easier to conceal a gun under dark clothing. 

7. Exposing Your Weapon 

Printing is the most obvious way to reveal your weapon, but it's not the only one. At first, you may be self-conscious about the fact that you have a firearm, but as time goes on, you're likely to think about it less often. 

Unfortunately, it's far too easy to move the wrong way and expose your weapon. While many people aren't paying enough attention to notice, it's still not worth the risk that someone may see it and panic. Try to avoid activities that involve running and jumping on the days when you're carrying. The last thing you need is to drop your gun and cause a negligent discharge. 

8. Adjusting Your Weapon 

You should also avoid adjusting your concealed firearm in public. That attracts too much attention and can be a dead giveaway for someone who is unusually perceptive. If carrying is that uncomfortable, you might have to try a different type of holster, clothing style, or firearm. 

If your holster moves around, it's because something is wrong. Regardless of whether you're wearing it incorrectly or your belt isn't tight enough, it's in your interest to fix the situation. Keep in mind that carrying a concealed handgun is not the most comfortable thing to do. While it does restrict your freedom of movement, it should not have you tugging at your clothes constantly. 



9. Ignorance of the Law 

Always be familiar with the laws in your area and any location where you choose to carry. Gun laws vary, and it's your responsibility to know what they are. Although a growing number of states now allow for open carry, you can get in serious trouble carrying openly in one that doesn't. 

Depending on your location, the consequences of using a firearm for self-defense can also vary. While some states are known for their "stand your ground" laws, others emphasize a duty to retreat. A quick internet search can save you lots of legal headaches. 

10. Lack of Situational Awareness 

Learn to scan your environment and the people around you for any signs of trouble. Be aware of the different variables at play in each encounter or situation. While this might sound easy, it requires focus, close observation, and frequent practice. 

Keep in mind that stressful situations tend to narrow a person's focus, causing them to direct it toward a limited number of things at once. That is why it's so easy to miss important details. Focusing on the bigger picture can give you a tremendous advantage, allowing you to become aware of threats before others catch on. 

11. Not Cleaning Your Weapon 

If you haven't already noticed, just about everything operates better when it's clean. Your weapon is no exception. You can't expect it to work correctly in an emergency if you haven't taken it apart and cleaned it in several months. 

The best policy is to clean your gun after each use. That includes short trips to the range, where you might fire only 100 rounds through it. Cleaning it, this often might seem excessive, but at least you'll know that the weapon by your side is in top shape and less likely to malfunction at a critical time. 



12. Removing Your Weapon 

Remove your firearm only when necessary; otherwise, keep it holstered securely. When you use the restroom, keep in mind that your gun could easily discharge if it falls out of your pants or off the top of a toilet. 

You also could forget to pick it up again, leaving it behind, where it could get stolen or confiscated by law enforcement. In most cases, preventing this comes down to choosing the right combination of handgun, clothing, and holster that allows you to carry comfortably for hours, so you won't be tempted to remove it. 

In a perfect world, no one would get put into a situation that requires they defend themselves with deadly force. Unfortunately, crime exists in every corner of the globe, and only certain countries allow their citizens to bear arms. If you're fortunate enough to have a carry permit in the United States, it's up to you to do everything in your power to ensure that you exercise this right responsibly. Remember that lethal force should be your final option, not your first one.

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