Concealed Carry Basics
Before you decide to carry a concealed handgun, you need to understand what concealed carry actually is, what the laws around it are, and how to keep yourself and others safe while carrying covertly.
This guide has you covered.
What is Concealed Carry?
Concealed carry is, legally speaking, the act of carrying a concealed handgun on your person. In order to carry a gun this way, you usually have to have a permit from your state or whatever state you're currently in – and you have to abide by all local CCW laws and ordinances.
How to Get a Concealed Carry Permit
In most states, getting a concealed carry permit is a pretty straightforward process. Because carrying firearms is a state's rights issue, every state has its own laws and requirements – some states don't require people to get a permit.
Generally, you'll have to participate in concealed carry training or a basic gun safety course and pass a background check before getting a CCW permit. Some states require that you take a written exam or pass a handgun qualification course, or both.
After you complete your training or exams, you work with a local or state law enforcement agency, or another agency to apply for your permit. You'll have to provide proof of your identity and pay a fee, and in many cases, the law enforcement agency fingerprints you.
Dos and Don'ts of Concealed Carry
Once you have your concealed carry permit, there are things you should and shouldn't do. First thing's first, though: Always keep a copy of your CCW permit on your person while carrying.You'll have to produce it if a law enforcement officer asks you for it.
Here's what you should do if you intend to carry a concealed gun:
- Get familiar with your state's concealed carry laws. If you violate the law, you can lose the privilege of having a CCW.
- Practice drawing and firing your gun at the range as often as possible.
- Use a good concealed carry holster or holster pouch that you can rely on in an emergency.
Here's what not to do when you're carrying:
- Don't tuck your pistol in your pants without a holster.
- Don't forget the fundamentals of firearm safety if you need to use your gun. Law enforcement will investigate every shot you took and scrutinize every move you made after the fact.
- Don't forget a backup magazine.
Traveling With a Concealed Carry License
Most states don't accept concealed carry licenses from other states. If you move, you'll most likely need a new concealed carry license – and if you're just passing through, make sure you check every state's laws to keep yourself out of hot water.
Must-Have Accessories for Concealed Carry
You need the right tactical accessories to be as effective as possible. You can find men's holster shirts and tactical belts that help keep you mobile and keep your gun within reach if an emergency pops up.