Preparing For a Concealed Carry Class

Holsters

Whether new to training or a veteran to the discipline, there are a few simple things to do in order to improve your overall experience. They are three areas you need to focus on when preparing for class. Notice how I said focus, there are other areas you should put some attention to, but these are the big ones. The first is to review the course information, paying particular attention to the required gear list. Then, go over your logistics. The when and where are what I’m talking about. Last preparation for the class is to double check your gear and plan for some contingencies.

Know the Course Material

Drawing from concealed in the real world

Every school is a little different, but they will all usually have some type of course description. Some students will use this solely as their criterion for decision. Others will have “shopped around” through internet searches or word of mouth. I encourage you to know what you need, not what you want. For instance, if you need a better understanding on the drawstroke. Find an instructor who is known for doing an excellent job on the subject. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what you need, you don’t know what you don’t know and that is perfectly acceptable. Have a broader goal in mind, to expand your knowledge base for example.

Review the Gear List

Read through the course description, all of the available material. If there is something you don’t understand, then do a little research. If there are terminal objectives or goals of the class, do they meet your needs. A good course will be well thought out and have an agenda or curriculum. The curriculum will guide the student towards the terminal objective through enabling objectives. All the information is important, but probably the most important is the required gear list and in this case the importance of your concealment carrying system. A lot of times, students will think of this as a suggestion. It is not, it is a list of required gear to ensure you have the best chance of doing well in the class. Don’t convince yourself you do or don’t need something. Read the list, even print the list out and check each item to make sure you are good to go. Think of this as an IQ test, can you follow simple instructions. Then at class, it is nice to be prepared and of course to not be “that guy.”

Do a Map Study and Plan Your Route

Logistics are a big thing to me. The old saying, “amateurs argue tactics and professionals argue logistics” is incredibly accurate. Start by knowing where you are going and how you will get there. Give yourself a little fudge factor on day one just to cover your basis. Don’t just know where you are going, but know the surrounding area. For instance, are there eateries near by or are you going to be packing a lunch or snacks. Something else to consider is how long is the commute. After a long day of training I suggest you consider the drive home. Be extra alert when going home since the fatigue of the day can affect your situational awareness as you drive home.

Get Your Eyes On Everything

The final preparation for your class will be to review your gear, like literally lay it all out and get your eyes on them. It is one thing to go over the required gear list and say to yourself I have that in my range bag. Only to realize you took it out to clean, replace or repair and failed to return it to your range bag. Some items are less important, a flashlight is not essential to a day light course. But a magazine pouch can make or break your experience in the class. Go over each item and ask yourself is this ‘thing” good to go. Has it been cleaned, or maintenance recently. Are there fresh batteries in use or am I running on empty. The devil is in the details so really go through the list.

Have a Plan and a Backup Plan

Think about the essential items. Your handgun for instance. Even though I have done a good job of picking a reliable model along with routine maintenance, things do break. Having a backup on standby has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. Spare magazines are another example. If you have the minimum as prescribed in the gear list that is great, but what if one of them goes down or you leave it in the hotel. There’s a myriad of reasons, so planning is key. Contingencies can go beyond your gear to your plan. Any physical activity will take its toll on your energy level. If you are planning to get lunch nearby, but all the local places are packed and you have to make a decision between being late or skipping lunch you might consider packing a lunch or some snacks.

Holsters, Be Prepared

Weak Side Carry 2
Be prepared with good, quality holsters

When it comes to our Concealed Carry classes there are three main failures from the gear list. The first is not having an “on the waistband” or OWB holster. You may try to justify you don’t need it because you have an IWB holster. That would be a mistake. The purpose behind the OWB holster is to start from a known and safe condition. Before we dive into the deep end of drawing and holstering from concealed, we have to ensure you have well developed and safe drawstroke from the lowest risk condition possible. That would be open carry, on the waistband.

Bring All The Required Clothing

The second mistake would be in failing to have all of the required clothing. In this class, you will be forced to work from a variety of cover garments. Not your favorite or go to, but a wide array to ensure you are prepared. It never fails, there is always that one person who thinks they know better. Trust me, you don’t. Bring all the clothing listed. Even if you don’t have something on the gear list for whatever reason you can probably borrow it from a family member or friend. Most of the items are pretty normal, but if you don’t have a rain jacket and you don’t want to buy one, they ask around to get a loaner.

Have an Open Mind

Last mistake we see often is when students fail to have an open mind. It doesn’t matter what you think or know, be open to new ideas. If you say to yourself while reading the gear list I don’t need this or that you would be demonstrating someone who has a closed mind. Don’t be that guy. Instead it should pique your curiosity. You should be wondering what are we going to be doing with that and why. Curiosity is your super power as a student. It is the single greatest characteristic that leads to expanded knowledge base. Back it up by understanding the why you are doing something a certain way or why you don’t do things a certain way.

If you take the time to review the course material paying attention to the required gear list, you have the best chance of succeeding in class. Or at least you won’t be held up because you don’t have this or forgot to bring that. Knowing the logistics will help you ensure you are not late or miss any course material. Some instructors will not allow you to participate if you miss the main emergency and medical plan brief so don’t be surprised if you have to sit down initially why the rest of the class trains. Double check and even triple check your gear. Have a system so you make sure you have all the gear you need and it is centrally located so when you load out early in the morning probably in the dark you don’t leave that one bag on the work bench. These are not just suggestions, they are observations over decades of training to help ensure you as the student have the best chance of success in our training classes.

Micro-Compact Versatility

Professional Development 2

The New Multi-tool

With the growing popularity of concealed carry there are more than ever a broad range of options for carry pistols. While there may be a trend for carrying larger framed pistols, sales numbers show an unprecedented interest in the micro-compact pistols.

Defensive Ammunition 2
Small Is Sometimes Better

The Logic is Undeniable

I’ve been a big fan of these pint size blasters for a while. I’ve talked a great deal about the value they bring to the table. A major obstacle for many is the perceived difficulty some will have shooting these smaller framed pistols. Most of the time, this is a perception based on a few observations. These pistols have a shorter barrel length and frame height, making them smaller obviously. The real issue is how much lighter they are and the effect recoil has with less weight. This perception is backed up by the laws of physics. How many will comment the physics involved is irrefutable.

It is Always The Indian

That may be the case, but science isn’t the only reason. Ignorance or lack of understanding come into the picture. I have been shooting these smaller platforms extensively for some time, at least the last couple of years. My round count log on these platforms puts me at several thousand rounds combined. What I have learned is like anything, this is a learned skill. Once you learn how to adapt your stance, mount and grip along with a few common errors you quickly learn the disadvantages often quoted aren’t as signifiant as once believed.

It’s All About the Size

This allows us to then expand on the versatility of these micro-compacts. There are a couple of these platforms that can cover a broad range of carry options. My original thought process was the smaller and lighter pistol made it easier to carry. Without a doubt this is true. It just makes sense from a longevity point of view. Add some extreme weather conditions and going with these micro pistols is a much easier decision to make than previously considered. When you are in it for the long haul, size does matter.

Not Just a Pretty Face

Being able to adopt other carry options such as pocket and ankle carry is a huge advantage. You may frown upon these methods. You may even talk down to those who choose to carry them because they are different from your own methods. That is certainly your opinion, but it is shortsighted. There are several reasons to consider these lesser known carry methods. Wardrobe restrictions, inclement weather and personal choices are all often the reason when you take the time to ask why they our popular.

Don’t Be That Guy

Some will look at these micro-compact pistols and feel they are out gunned and under supplied with ammunition. Shooting like anything takes practice. Someone who is competent and proficient at the fundamentals will not have a difficult time transitioning. The novelty of the new platform takes a short while to “figure out” then it is full speed ahead. It is those who lack the proficiency or ignorance into these micro pistols capability who are the biggest naysayers.

The tricked out pistols are not going to go away anytime soon, but their popularity is much smaller when compared to the popularity of the micro-compact pistols. Some will look at this as a who’s right type of equation. Truthfully, you’re wrong if you fail to see the benefits of both options.

The Importance of Pressure Testing

Pressure Testing Your Gear

Take Care Of Your Gear & Your Gear Will Take Care Of You

Early in my Naval career it was impressed upon me to always evaluate your gear. It is my best method for assessing whether my gear will perform to my expectations. We don’t often appreciate the importance of pressure testing our gear.

Breaking It Down

A lot of times we don’t know how to pressure test our gear. Or, we don’t do a good job. For me, I start by defining what I  intend a specific piece of gear to accomplish. What is its mission. This has helped me keep my sanity since it is so easy to find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole. When you have some left and right limits it helps you to stay focused on what is important. I have used a time tested method of asking myself three questions; does it work, is it necessary and will it work under stress. The first question is pretty easy. When I say work, this is code for performing to a minimum standard. Is it necessary means, do I have to use it or can I use soemthing else to accomplish the same goal. Will it work under stress is the one most often overlooked. I start by defining “stress”. What is stress to me and how does it help.

Feeling Stress Can Be Good

Stress is any type of change that causes a physical, emotional or physical strain. If I had to go from shooting indoors, to shooting outdoors in the Texas summer heat, that can cause me stress. That stress can manifest in many different ways so what is important is how I deal with that stress. I like feeling a little stress, it helps me evaluate not only my gear, but my techniques and a major reminder of the importance of pressure testing. If you had a little bit of stress to something, you may find it doesn’t work as well as without the stress. Being exposed to cold may make my hands less functional and operating a handheld light as I conduct a search of an area may be more challeing. Stress mostly is associated with a negative outcome, but in truth we should consider the positive.

It Is Good To Be Challenged

Meaning, what happens when I apply a little stress. Does my gear and technique handle the stress or am I left to adapt or modify. I like feeling stress, it helps me to also shut off a part of my brain. That part is normally responsible for overthinking and paralysis analysis syndrome. So, it is not all bad. Recently, I had the chance to attend the first ever Sig P365 EDC Championship held at the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire. The premise was pretty simple, using a Sig P365 or variant and working from concealed navigate over a dozen different stages designed around every day tasks and activities. First, it was AWESOME! I haven’t shot a match like event in so long it is hard for me to remember. My loadout was simple, it was my default gear I carry on a regular basis. I carries not just my handgun, but my other gear such as knives and OC spray. I don’t normally carry a spare magazine, but due to the guidelines provided I opted to have one on me for every stage.

After Actions Review

What I did well. My training. Pure and simple, what I have been doing over the last 2-3 years speficically have really paid off. My focus has been on accuracy primarly. Then trying to be as fast as I can guarantee the hits for the courses of fire. This has allowed me to go fast, not just for the sake of going fast. I’ve seen consistent improvements and what I like is I’m not practicing a test, I’m developing a broad base of skills. When I got to one goal, such as a three round drill at a certain par time, I’d either add a 4th round, extend the distance, reduce the target or lower the par time. Then, I’d work to achieve that as my next goal etcetera. What I did poorly. My first shot. I was not happy with the varying degree of first shot par times. Granted, a lot of this had to do with defeating my cover garment or poor firing grip. These are two areas I see spending more time in the future. My cover garment was simple, but add a little time pressure and you can see the effects of stress in a poor grip. What I want to add. More work from other positions. While we started from a seated position on a couple of stages it reminded me that I’m not doing enough work firing from these positions. That will be added to my future skill development as I continue to value the importance on pressure testing my gear.

Overall, I could not be happier with my performance. I got out of it, exactly what I put into it.

3 Tips For Shooting Snubby Revolvers

Shooting Snubby Revolvers 2

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Practice

The trick to backup guns is being competent enough to use them well when you need them the most. That takes hard work and discipline, but using this 3 tips for shooting snubby revolvers well will speed up the process.

Shooting Snubby RevolversThe Close Range Pickle

The first thing I discuss with anyone considering carrying a snubby revolver is do you plan on training. If you don’t, that’s cool, but it might not be the saving grace you thought. On the one hand, they are easy, but on the other, they are hard. What I mean is should you resort to drawing your snubby revolver, chances are you are in a pickle, but it is a close range pickle. So, marksmanship requirements may be less stringent. Plus, the added benefit of contact shots with a revolver can sometimes be reason enough to consider. This by no means is a pass on your shooting skill, you will still need a high degree of controllability to continue to deliver effective fire. It is controability you should put the lion’s share of your training for shooting snubby revolvers.

Perfecting Your Firing Grip

The first tip is to really look at your grip. While it is very possible you can retrograde a semi-automoatic grip to work with a revolver, you would be wise to avoid this temptation. If you are thinking it helps maintain continuity it really doesn’t. What you get is added exposure to injury and poor grip mechanics. While there are some that can shoot these well using their auto grip, they are anomiles and not the norms. Positioning on the available real estate is critical. You have to take up as much useable space, beause you don’t get that much. From there, it’s all about the friction. The more friction you can achieve the better it will help control recoil. I use an over thumb grip, but I do it slightly different than most. I literally point my thumb’s tip downwards. Most don’t get a fully downward pointing thumb, it is more angled. Not terrible, but it doesn’t allow me to take advantage of tip number two for shooting snubby revolvers well.

Shooting Strong Hand Only Provides Gifts

I subscribe to a reverse thumb grip. It is reverse in the sense, my weak hand thumb rests on top of my strong hand thumb. Because I pointed the tip of my strong hand thumb downward there is somewhat of a shelf formed by the second digit. This shelf allows me to rest my weak hand thumb more securely allowing me to apply grip pressure more evenly and consistently. Speaking of grip pressure, I apply inward pressure with my pinkies of both hands. It is very similar to my auto-grip, but not with the same grip force. I make up for it a little by applying pressure downwards from the weak hand thumb. This process produces a firm and secure grip capable of rapid fire. The bonus is when you shoot strong hand only, pressing the thumb down and pinky inwards produces great results.

Downward, Not Rearward

The last tip is the direction of the trigger finger’s movement. Contrary to the norm, I squeeze more downward than rearward. It seems odd, but the curvature of the trigger makes me change the movement direction slightly. Since it is nothing more than a lever and I want maximum leverage making this change helps. As the trigger moves rearward, the angle of the trigger’s face changes. I want to press more downward than rearward once it reaches the apex of it’s movement. It is subtle for sure, but it has made a difference for me.

I do value what a snubby revolver offers me in the form of a backup gun. I carry them more frequently currently than I have in the past partly because I have made huge strides in shooting them well using this tips.

Safety Vs. Preparedeness

Safety vs. Preparedness

Adapting To Your Enviornment Is The Key

As we start to come out of what I call the “great, big stupid” how will you adjust or adapt your carry loadout. Since most of us are creatures of habit, you probably adjusted your loadout with a view of safety vs. preparedness.

Downgrading For Comfort

In the beginning, things got pretty bad. It is not difficult to believe how a pandemic can bring out the worst in the human species. At the time my primary carry was a sub-compact pistol. I had evaluated my situation against potential risks and felt comfortable with this lighter loadout. Summer time in Texas can also have a reason for the frame downgrade. It is nice to carry something lighter when you are wearing less clothes and sweating more in general. I have discussed it before when it comes to selecting your primary carry firearm, the specific characteristics. One of those characteristics is a 10 round minimum magazine capacity. A huge bonus is many of today’s modern sub-compact pistols easily accommodate this requirement.

safety vs. preparedness Upgrading For Preparedness

So, from a preparedness point of view I felt ready to handle the most likely scenario I could face as a private citizen; aggravated assualt or robbery. The pandemic changed all that almost overnight. Or at least when consumables and supplies started to be in short supply. I opted to upgrade to a compact frame. My rationale was wanting to reduce the chances of having to reload along with hitting faster, further away. It was about a year I had been carrying the sub-compact so it was quite the change. I went back to a heavier loadout, literally and felt it every day for at least a month. Given the new situation, I felt I needed to up my preparedness to match. What I find is many people are creatures of habit. How many else found the situation evolving a reason to re-evaluate their carry loadout in order to be more prepared? Not as many as I thought as I discussed it with students in the classes we were running at the time.

Time Is Never On Your Side

Another way to look at safety vs. preparedness is from a safety or access point of view. It should go without saying that unauthorized access to firearms in the home should be a top priority. This is where safety was something to consider. Once the pandemic was in full swing, we see violent rioting in major cities. Still to this day in fact. When the threat of moving to the suburban areas was announced, many took it seriously. Investments in extra fire extinguishers and other fire retardation options became a top priority. Along with keeping a long arm handy. By handy, I mean at the ready. In my home I have no children or grandchildren, not yet at least. So, keeping firearms at the ready was an easy decision. On top of keeping them in strategic locations they were all in condition one. Should I have to defend my home from an organized group of violent rioters who intended to burn my dwelling time was of the essense. Hence, the upgrade from safety to preparedeness.

Back To A Lighter Loadout

These were a few examples of what I did over the last 16 months to adapt to the new situation of safety vs. preparedness. Those of you who carry a single loadout always, did you feel compelled to change. Those who carry on the lighter side might have, but what about those who carry on the heavier side always. Did you make any changes? Now the threat has somewhat diminished I plan to lower my level of preparedness at home. Preparedeness now is less important than safety. Time will always be an unknown, but at this point it doesn’t trump safety. As for my carry loadout, I have already dropped down to a sub-compact frame for about half the time I’m carrying. I imagine within a month or so, it will be the majority of time. Especially as we reach the peak of summertime.

Nothing should be set in stone when it comes to your personal safety plan. When necessary, you should be ready and able to adapt to new situations as you face them.

 

Off Duty Carry

Concealed Carry For Off Duty

Violence directed at law enforcement is far from over no matter what happens in the near future. The need to carry concealed off duty is growing now that the genie is out of the bottle.

The Need For Change

Off Duty Concealed Carry Briefing

Recent discussions with two different departments regarding the subject of training have helped illustrate a few concerns. In my experience, off duty carry hasn’t been popular across the law enforcement land. Talking with senior officers and training personnel it is a common complaint of theirs. This is changing and changing fast. As it changes we are seeing more requests for off duty or concealed carry training. I’m thrilled and excited to be working with many who are not just looking to carry, but doing it better. Traditionally, off duty training was non-existent; which was also part of the problem.

The Unlikely Concealed Carry Choices

In these discussions one of the subjects was regarding the type of firearm to be carried and how. Opinions are plenty on this subject, but my number one priority is to get people to carry. The old adage, “a gun is better than no gun.” drives this thought. It doesn’t matter what the carry within reason, getting more people to carry is the goal. A lot of times there is an aversion to anything that doesn’t have a boatload of likes on social media. At times I have had to work with students who brought firearms I wouldn’t use or own. Again, it doesn’t matter what I would use or own. Instead, you have to find ways to work with what the student brought as long as it is safe.

The Off Duty Gun No One Likes

I enjoy seeing a variety of firearms on the firing line. It is nice and I try to learn the reasons why a particular firearm was chosen. Excluding a department policy, the most common reason I hear for selecting a firearm is size. In this case, smaller is better. The smallest caliber I have had come through a class and do well was a 380ACP. While this round can get a lot of bad press regarding terminal ballistics I still haven’t found a volunteer willing to be shot by this caliber. When I have circled back with these students I’m not surprised to learn they have “upgraded” to a different firearm. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why I am so open to seeing a variety of firearms. It is my belief through a trial and error process the students learns about their choice and future choices.

Your Carry Gun & Magazines

Granted, I typically encourage new shooters to go with larger framed firearms. It can make learning the basics a lot easier and help the student achieve a positive experience. I’m trying to get students to carry off duty as often as possible. My objective is to increase the frequency and consistency with which they carry. In classes it means I end up modifying the curriculum to a degree with some of these small platforms. These smaller platforms generally means more reloading due to the smaller magazine capacity. My one request is to bring as many magazines as possible to facilitate the least amount of down time. This enables the student to participate in the most amount of range time with the little blaster.

I don’t mind seeing these smaller firearms, my goal is to educate the student with what they currently have. My hope is they become more comfortable carrying and my belief is they embrace their new lifestyle.

The Not Good Enough Go To Gun

You need more than your one gun for life

Over the last couple of weeks I have found myself having to adapt to some unique environmental conditions. How often do you review your loadout to manage the wardrobe variety life can throw at you then realize maybe your go to gun is not good enough.

More Than One Gun Option

Most everyone has their “go to gun” system they rely on for the majority of the carry needs. There is nothing wrong with this setup. It has been researched, tested with countless hours of service and good results. Maybe over the years you might modify it here and there, but it remains largely unchanged. How often have you been faced with enviornment conditions where your go to gun just doesn’t work. Most of the time folks have failed to develop other options. They are a one go to gun type of person. Maybe, financially you have no other options. Or maybe you really haven’t given it consideration.

Not All Go To Guns Are The Same

Until it happens to you it might not be important enough. When it does, you either push a bad position because you know it violates the carry directives you developed. Or, you hastily put something together as a last minute solution. Something until that moment you didn’t give much thought. Solving these problems are not difficult. The handful of times you might need to dress in formal or business wear may not justify the investment or maybe it does. I’m reminded of a saying, “everything works, until it doesn’t.”

Don’t Make Excuses

There may be internal dialogue that will say, its only a couple of hours, it’s not that obvious, nobody really cares or I can make this work. When in truth you would avoid this thinking with your go to gun like the plague. Making do is not a strategy and downplaying the situation is only burying your head in the sand. Put some thought into at least a secondary system, a complete second system. To include a different firearm, holster and belt. You may even consider a backup system bringing your entire carry inventory to three go to guns. In the grand scheme of things this is not a bad idea.

Do The Work With Other Guns

Do the work to train and periodically field your secondary and backup system. If they are supposed to be good enough for those conditions, then get comfortable with them. This provides all sorts of insight that will only sharpen your edge with these additional carry systems in your inventory. While I wouldn’t necessary encourage you to enroll in a high intensity class with your backup gun, you can still rotate it into service and login some trigger time. While it makes sense to try and keep within the same family of guns even that may not cover all the bases.

The Same Guns, But Different

My primary and secondary are both striker fired firearms. The primary is a compact model and the secondary is a subcompact model. Both have their own holster and belt to complete the system. I will periodically run through my professional development with my subcompact to stay current. My backup gun is a 5-shot revolver and surprisingly I see a lot more carry time with this blaster. Mainly because of new roles I have discovered I can use the revolver in where it makes sense. For my backup I have the most variety when it comes to holsters, not just belt holsters, but ankle, pocket and even off body. This inventory allows me to tackle just about any enviornment condition I may find myself with a solid performance history for the added confidence.

Life comes at you pretty fast and sometimes you are either ready or you are not. When you have a well thought multi-level carry system there is just about nothing you cannot do where you can legally go with a gun.

Gun Free Workplace

The ability to protect yourself requires three key elements; awareness, ability and preparedness. All are important, but ability, having the tools available, will be essential.

Be Prepared

If you are aware of your surroundings and can see bad things developing you are potentially solving the problem before it is a problem. Your taking action to avoid has accomplished one of the greatest feats in the tactical world. If you are aware, but cannot avoid this moves us closer to preparedness. How well you prepared will be on display through your response and actions. If you are aware and have prepared, but lack the ability it may all be for not. The way I define ability is the tools to to defend against a violent attack. There are many different tools at my disposal, but probably the most efficient tool with be a firearm. Having a firearm to defend against a violent attack will move you closer to altering the outcome in your favor.

The Long Game

When you are lacking a firearm it does not mean you are unarmed, it means you do not have a firearm. It becomes increasingly important to have other abilities to defend your life. While the list is vast, it still will be challenging to effectively alter the outcome in your favor. So, why would you voluntarily go to a location where firearms are prohibited. Many places such as this exist in our daily lives, but none more important than our workplace. The average American will spend a disproportionate amount of their lives in the workplace. As young adults, once we enter the workforce it is pretty much the landscape until retirement.

Its All About Balance

Getting to retirement is the goal. Choosing a career path that provides for your family while at the same time fills your passion to create or belong is the balance we all hope to achieve. It may not start off there in our young adult lives, but if we can keep it in the back of our minds it will be a part of our decision making process. It may mean we end up working in a non-permissive environment for many years until we can find a better path or it may be our only path is through an NPE. It is challenging to stay true to your beliefs of awareness and preparedness when you have no ability. My suggestion is to tread lightly and keep in mind your decision could have long standing consequences.

The Best In The Business

If you are going to pursue ability in an NPE then your skills have to be on point. Not just your ability or concealment skills, but your awareness and preparedness skills. Carrying in an NPE is by far the most challenging skill set to develop in the concealed carry world. Most have no need and therefore have no thoughts. Those who might often forgo in an effort to avoid trouble. Those who do represent some of the best at discreet carrying. When I have talked with these individuals, we share some common observations. The biggest one being compromise. We compromise on the firearm we are going to carry as well as the location we choose to carry to achieve the highest level of discretion. The firearm I choose to carry is not ideal, but it works quite well. The location is also suboptimal, but it affords me longevity. It allows me to do this day in and day out. What this means is I have a whole different subset to my concealed carry skills that afford me the ability to carry in non-permissive environments.

Carrying in the workplace is not easy and it comes at a steep price where I have to divert time, talent and treasure. In the end, it is worth the challenges to achieve the status of an armed defender versus an unarmed victim.

Workplace Concealed Carry

Over the years we have seen more and more interest in carrying concealed. As this interest grows you eventually come face to face with workplace concealed carry.

Unwilling Victim

A problem many Americans face is working in a gun free zone. Working for a business or organization the prohibits firearms at work. It makes things challenging and my suggestion is not to do anything to potentially threaten your employment or career. What you can do is ask for clarification or an explanation. If you have unique or special circumstances such as being the victim of domestic abuse, violent crime or have someone under a restraining court order it might be worth mentioning. You can voice your concerns for your safety and ask for special permission to carry discretely. If you still are denied you can consider other types of weapons or worst case scenario improvised weapons. You might be unarmed, but that does not make you a willing victim.

Uniform Policy

If you are one of those few who does not have a restrictive work policy count yourself lucky. Being able to carry concealed in your workplace is unique. Hopefully becoming more popular as the number of Americans who carry concealed continues to increase. It does pose a few problems. A big one being work environments usually have some type of uniform policy. The formality of said uniform can vary from khakis with a polo to a coat and tie. It all depends on what is considered normal and acceptable. The later challenges your weekend carry choice in the workplace. You may have to consider a backup gun or at least a subcompact handgun. While at the cost of some performance, the smaller size allows for more concealment option. Remember how a gun is better than no gun when thinking about the the tradeoffs.

Working Off The Waistline

When you move to carrying a subcompact it offers more carry options. An important consideration since it is quite common to remove one’s jacket after the pleasantries. The two most popular are pocket carry and ankle carry. I like both, but they are not without their limitations. The biggest compromise for ankle carry is the slow draw stroke. The mere distance you must travel to obtain a firing grip along with reorienting to the threat make it challenging. Pocket carry in the front pocket limits your access when in a seated position. Sitting is the norm in an office setting. You can opt for carrying in your back pocket instead. As long as the pocket is deep enough and you can still quickly gain a firing grip.

Deep Concealment

We eventually work our way to deep cover options. While these may do a great job, they are not without complications. The drawstroke for these is typically more complicated or at a minimum slower. I’m fond of the holster shirt especially in the summer months. Gaining access through your dress shirt is the most complicated task. For some it can knock this option off the table because of the difficulty in accessing. The belly band gives many the option to carry a firearm and other supporting equipment. I have had the most luck with carrying a belly band for extended periods in these conditions. They are comfortable, but they also create the opportunity to sweat profusely in hot climate conditions.

My hope is workplace concealed carry grows in popularity as we educate the public. The more it becomes our norm, the less we have to worry.

Carrying At Home

5-Shot Power Play

These days, most of us are not leaving home, we are sheltering in place to help fight the spread of the Chinese Flu. As tensions grow higher for a variety of reasons do you carry physically on your body inside your four walls.

Brave New World

Back when things were normal, you would return home from your daily activities and secure your firearm load out. Most states have laws restricting unauthorized access to firearms whether loaded or not. The intention of these laws is to prevent tragic accidents, such as children accidentally shooting themselves or others. The states have taken a hard line on this subject and as the adult you are expected to do the right thing when nobody is watching. With our new landscape and the understanding of unauthorized access how do you go about ensuring a high security posture if you cannot leave firearms accessible.

Proper & Secure Storage

There are plenty of secure storage options. These options typically reside in the master bedrooms. Relegated to night time access when we are asleep in our beds they may not be convenient for our daily activities. There are other cleaver hiding places, but again the states have pretty strict rules about hiding and unauthorized access. There is always the personal choice of talking with your family and children to ensure they understand the consequences. While I strongly encourage you do this in an age appropriate manner the states don’t care. If you left a loaded firearm accessible to a child you broke the law. Granted, I doubt the law is going to be going door to door to enforce this law. It will be something to manage after the incident.

It’s Down To Two Options

In the end, you are pretty much left with two options. Improvised weapons strategically staged throughout your home. Or, you can carry on body. Truthfully, I encourage you to do both. Most of the time, the improvised weapons already are in place, you haven’t looked at them in this manner before. They are benign objects. Now is the time to consider how they may be used in a deadly force incident within your home. These can be just about anything, use your imagination. The fact you have worked through some scenarios might be all you do, but it would be nice to have a plan in place just in case.

Casual Home Carry

When it comes to carrying on body in your home it is often not your primary carry. Your primary carry is typically larger and heavier, especially in this current situation. Instead, your on body choices are smaller, lighter firearms that promote the carrying in “real” casual wear. Let’s face it, most of us are in gym attire, maybe even pajamas these days. Not the most ideal support carry system. Carrying something even 10-15 ounces can get old real quick. However, there is a lot to be said about any type of blaster you have on body to deal with an emerging threat at your door or worse, inside your home.

I doubt anyone will be citing ballistic theories or pointing to Instagram likes at that moment. Instead, you will just be glad you had an option, thought it out and even practiced for such contingency.

Trident Concepts
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