Concealed Carrying on Vacation - 5 ccw tips that will keep you safe
It's that time of the year again! No, not tax time. This is where the Griswolds of the world pack it all up into a station wagon (or Ford F-150) and head off to parts unknown. Having a great summer vacation doesn't mean leaving one's concealed carry weapons at home. Quite the opposite – this is an opportunity to get to know several good tips to turning this summer vacation into a CCW adventure.
Know Your CCW Permit Reciprocity
There are handy, dandy updated maps that help tell you where you can take your concealed carry handgun given your state's credentialing process for CCW permitting. While no website outside of the state you plan on visiting should ever be considered the gospel for what laws are being regulated, it's a quick first step to learning where in the United States your CCW permit is accepted.
It's vacation – you earned it. Designated driver – designated decision maker. It's a good rule to always have at least one when the call of the wild hits. While we all love to kick back with a tasty beverage or two, there is no known state in the union that's cool with drinking and conceal carrying . Have a sober buddy who's properly licensed be the designated marksman or wingman – whichever he's cool with – just don't carry and drink.
Don't Be Afraid to Fly, Drive, or Ride a Train
Vacation doesn't mean disarmed. There are procedures through both the TSA and Amtrak to book your preferred CCW weapon. It's on your part to know CCW reciprocity to ensure that this works out. Obviously, if you're in Tennessee and want to visit upstate New York, you're on your own.
The best method is simply to keep the weapon locked, secured, and out of reach (i.e. trunk) when traveling through states that heavily restrict firearms.
Securing Your Concealed Carry Firearm at Amusement Parks
Six Flags and other amusement parks surely await! However, when whipping around a tilt-a-whirl or similar gravity defying ride, make sure to always have complete and total accountability for your weapon. There is no excuse for dropping a concealed carry weapon in a place where it is accessible to strangers or minors. If that means leaving it at home – that's your call.
Step 1: Have a secure inside the waistband holster. Take a look at the important form factors for a concealed carry holsters.
Step 2: Bone up on whether an amusement park or summer event allows firearms in the first place. In many states, this has to be posted in clear, visible placards. Familiarize yourself with places that don't allow concealed carry.
Step 3: Find out if the facility has a secure, locked container into which your firearm may be discretely placed should you decide to take a wild ride.
Some Activities Are Just Adamantly Anti-CCW
Scuba diving, sky diving, building sand castles, and jury duty. All can be amusing in their own right and pretty much all of them are anti-CCW by proxy. That doesn't mean you can't secure your firearm in an accessible, secure place where it will be ready for you when you're ready.
Do you carry on vacation? What are some tips you have to having a safe, fun summer getaway? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
About The Author
James England (@count_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan for L-3 Communications. He presently lives in New Hampshire where he advocates for veterans issues through the Veterans of Foreign Wars.