Before Leaving Your House with a Gun - Remember...
Life is hectic and often times it's hard to keep track of everything going on. That's why we've come up with a handy concealed carry checklist to remind yourself if you're ready and equipped to carry your concealed firearm.
One in the chamber
Got a striker fire pistol? If you've ever fired it at the range, you'll probably notice that nice, smooth first trigger pull that SA/DA rarely have without the hammer cocked back. That may leave you a bit nervous about leaving one in the chamber. However, your first priority should always be attention to firearm safety principles and not to developing a bad CCW habit. One in the chamber means a bullet from your magazine is already chambered. It means you're prepared to deal with a threat – immediately.
If you're nervous about carrying with a round in the chamber, a big first step is getting the right inside the waistband concealed carry holster. An IWB with a high-retention holster shell covering the trigger guard is definitely the way to go.
Got CCW Permit?
Always check your wallet (or purse) to ensure you have your concealed carry weapon license/permit on you. Almost every state (other than the constitutional carry ones) require you to demonstrate your permit to law enforcement in the event they request to see it. Some even request you notify them before they begin their interaction.
Know Your Concealed Carry Restrictions - “Can I Carry There?”
Concealed carry permits authorize you to carry a concealed firearm in a way the rest of the population cannot. This comes with some very specific federal and state guidelines as to the places you may carry. Do you know what those concealed carry restrictions are?
A big problem some concealed carriers run into is that they are under the faulty pretense that ignorance of the law is somehow an excuse. Sadly, it is not. So before you leave the house, understand where you may carry a concealed firearm.
One of the ways to quickly address this question is to know your route ahead of time. Obviously, life doesn't always play by the rules and you may have to divert off schedule. But just having a rough overview of where you plan on going can help you find out if any of those places restrict your carriage of a concealed firearm.
Have You Equipped Your Situational Awareness?
Unfortunately, there's no pair of goggles you can throw on that automatically detect incoming threats and notify you. You have to trust your eyeballs and your ears to inform your mind that there's a potential threat on the horizon. This is called situational awareness. Every single day you leave the house, you need to equip it. That means having a sound mind and the ability to focus.
If you're in a frenzy, hurried, rushed, or altogether stressed out – your situational awareness may suffer as a result.
This suffering will spread like a disease to every aspect of your life. The way you carry yourself, the way you detect threats, and even your response time will all be affected by all that static going on in your mind. Clear it out and face the day head-on – with both eyes wide open.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.