Concealed Carry Considerations For Independence Day
There are some special considerations that a person should be mindful of if carrying concealed on July 4th. Holidays tend to attract very large crowds, especially if doing the traditional activities such as watching fireworks. There is also something of a summer festival atmosphere and everything that entails.
Concealing and carrying in this environment can certainly be done. However, it requires attention be paid to certain details and vigilance.
Concealed Carry Also Means Inconspicuous Carry
The point of concealed carry is to have a gun that other people can't see. This is fairly easy to accomplish, either with an IWB holster or high-riding OWB holster and most shirts. Yes, you'll print if you wear a bicycle jersey, but your average T-shirt won't print enough for anyone to notice.
However, what's something that will make a person stand out in a crowd? What will easily identify them as a concealed carrier? Gun culture accessories and clothing. A Multicam "operator" hat that says "MOΛON ΛABΣ," 2nd Amendment or other gun-related design T-shirt, BDU or obvious tactical pants, duty boots and so on.
Does this mean there's something wrong with wearing these things, or something wrong with people who do? Not at all. But do they scream "I probably have a gun on me"? Absolutely. The only way it could get more obvious is open carrying in a thigh holster and tactical gear.
Situational Awareness Is Paramount
Large crowds in large public spaces are not ideal environments for concealed carry and situational awareness is paramount. There are multiple dimensions of the surrounding environment that one should be concerned with.
Be aware of the people around you. Keep an eye out for anyone that stands out. Is anyone wearing clothing that's obviously out of place for the time of the year? After all, wearing a bulky coat in the summer is a sure sign that someone is hiding something beneath it.
Does anyone else seem out of place? Are they, for instance, purposefully scanning the crowd rather than people-watching as some people do? Does anyone seem abnormally anxious, jumpy or behaving erratically? Be sure to keep an eye on anyone that is.
You may be in close proximity to people who are drinking. The 4th of July holiday is a summer holiday, and people like to gather in proximity to bodies of water to consume alcoholic beverages. If you encounter a boorish drunk who is looking for conflict, don't give in. If de-escalation is not possible, just walk away. If attacked, defend yourself, but don't try to escalate the situation - better to leave and let an idiot shoot his mouth off than anything else be shot off.
Ensure Adequate Holster Retention
Holster retention while carrying is critical, especially if carrying in an area that's populated by dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of other people. That isn't to say holster retention isn't important while carrying if one isn't amid a large crowd of people, but that it becomes even more important.
Retention is vitally important in case of two scenarios: in case you drop or somehow lose your concealed carry gun, or it gets grabbed by someone.
In the first scenario, your ccw gun could fall out of the holster. If one is adrift in a sea of people, there's a chance a lost gun isn't going to be able to be found. It could be seized by police - and good luck getting it back - or picked up by someone else. A criminal could use it for their own purposes or sell it for a tidy profit.
In the latter case, there have been instances where guns have been stolen from the people carrying them. Effective concealment and a holster with good retention are the best counters. The former ensures you don't get identified as carrying and the latter ensures your gun won't come out easily. It would be a good idea to adjust your IWB holster for as much retention as you're comfortable with.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..