Concealed Carry Mistakes, Don'ts, and Blunders
These are tips that are very valuable to have if you are just starting to concealed carry or even if you have been for years. These are mistakes that can be avoided to save time and money but also to keep your freedom and save your life. By following these ten rules and making sure you aren't making them it'll keep you significantly more responsible and safe.
1. Selecting the wrong firearm for you
There are so many options to choose from when selecting a concealed carry firearm. You don't want to base your decision on what you think looks cool or pretty. You want to take into account the action (double or single) and the size of the firearm. Your decision hinges upon certain things,
- How you're going to carry
- Your physical size
- The time of year
Always try before you buy. You wouldn't buy a car without testing it out, the same goes for firearms. Head to a range that you can get a rental for the gun that you think you want to purchase. You might love the gun or you might hate it but thats why you try it before you buy it.
2. Having a personal protection plan only about firearms training, and not about conflict avoidance and situational awareness
Too many people get comfortable with the fact that they have a gun. They believe that a gun will keep them safe from any problem or situation that arises so they never focus on anything except firearms training. The best way to stay safe is to avoid unsafe situations when possible. Many people are already aware of Cooper's color code but for those who don't its a great way to asses any situation and know your surroundings.
- Condition White – Being completely unaware of your surroundings
- Condition Yellow – Relaxed but aware of who or what is in your surroundings
- Condition Orange – You have identified something of interest that alerts us to a possible threat
- Condition Red – There is a threat to your person, this is the time you might find cover or you might draw your firearm at this point and you will not be surprised by any attacks
Overall just spend more time on situational awareness and conflict avoidance and not only on firearm training. You'll be more comfortable and safer for it.
3. Finding the right gun but the wrong holster
Once you have the best handgun for yourself you want to be sure to have a great holster. You don't want to have a cheap, bad quality holster that provides no stability or safety. There are two things you need to keep in mind when choosing the correct holster,
- It is molded for your specific firearm – you don't want a one size fits all holster
- The holster needs to completely cover the trigger. You don't want any accidental fires.
If you choose a holster that sits on the outside of your waistband you need to have a belt that is designed to hold the weight of a firearm. Always choose a holster that works best for you.
4. Believing that you have had enough training
Training is a constant thing. You have to do it over and over, just because you've taken a one concealed carry course it does not mean you are done with training. Be sure to change up your training don't always do the same thing and make sure you're ready for any situation. You should always train as much as you can possibly fit into your lifestyle.
5. Doing the wrong kind of training
Being on a gun range with a paper target is not going to build the kind of muscle memory that you may need in a dangerous situation. You need to train your automated reactions, things are not always going to go the way you have trained so you need to be prepared to be able to switch up your reactions. The quantity and quality of training is key in this situation.
6. Not preparing for the legal and financial aftermath of a self-defense shooting
You never know what the outcome can be in a self-defense shooting. You might do everything right and still be convicted and sent to jail. There can always be human error and the law can be used against you. You need to understand your state laws, the laws on deadly force and know that everything you did is going to be scrutinized by the police, jury or judge.
Financially, after a self-defense shooting you can be in for a huge shock. You may need to pay for a lawyer or multiple lawyers and this is never inexpensive. You do have some options for helping you in the case that you do need to find a lawyer after a self-defense shooting. There is CCW Safe and USCCA as insurance options in the case of a firearms related incident. They both help you cover either part or all of your legal fees if such an incident does occur.
A common theme after a shooting, even when you have done everything right is emotional aftermath. If you are ever involved in a shooting please seek immediate help. Many marriages have ended, people take up drinking or drugs and it is an overall emotionally taxing experience. Not only you will be effected by this but you family too. Seeking help from a counselor or friend is not a sign of weakness and will help you through the situation.
7. Not testing your self-defense ammunition
Whatever handgun you decide on be sure that you practice with the type of ammo that you are going to use when you concealed carry. You don't want practice with ball ammo and then carry hallow points. You want to know how the ammunition is going to work in your gun and know exactly what it will do. So be sure to practice with at least 200 rounds of the ammunition that you are going to use when you carry. It might not be cheap but you will know that it is going to work if you get into a bad situation.
8. Not building consistency into your carry practices
Be consistent with your carry practices. A lot of people will have a few different carry guns and they may be placed in different spots on your person. This can set you up for failure. You want to have that automated response and know exactly what gun you are carrying and where it is going to be. In a critical incident your mind is going to do what it has trained to do, and if you have 3 or 4 different guns or carry locations it might not do what it is supposed to do. Always remember to carry in the,
- Same Place
- Same Gun
- Same Holster
- Every time
9. Not properly maintaining your carry gun and ammunition
You firearm is not only an expensive piece of equipment but a critical one. You want to be sure that it is always maintained and clean. You want to know that your firearm is clean and ready to go and wont have a mechanical failure when you need it most. Be sure you know how to field strip your gun and clean it and oil it. With proper maintenance your gun will last you for year if not a lifetime.
10. Not understanding your state's laws, or the laws of states you visit
All state laws are going to be different from state to state. You may be allowed to carry in a bar in one state but then get yourself in trouble by carrying in a bar in another. You can research the laws from your own state website or your states governing body. For a quick and easy concealed carry law info check out US Concealed Carry for CCW reciprocity information. You are responsible for understanding the laws of your state and any that you travel to. Ignorance of the law does not give you clemency.
You can also check out this full video on Concealed Carry Mistakes, Don'ts, and Blunders
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