I Got My CCW Permit - What Do I Need To Know Now?
You finally got your permit to carry a concealed handgun (or equivalent for constitutional carry states). With great power comes great responsibility. Let's go over what happens after you get your concealed carry handgun – and things to help you along this life-long journey.
Commit to carrying concealed everyday
Each day is a new day. Start it by safely equipping your concealed carry handgun in a comfortable high-retention gun holster. This will make sure you're comfortable throughout the day and you have reliable access to your firearm.
Gun Safety first – always
The fundamental rules of firearm safety are:
1.) Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.
2.) Keep your finger clear and off the trigger until you're ready to fire.
3.) Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
4.) Know what is in front of and directly behind your target.
These rules aren't just for the firing range – they're for every single moment you have a firearm in your possession. If you are physically in custody of a firearm, you should obey these gun safety rules at all times.
Teach your children and loved ones about gun safety
If you live in a household with children, it's important to let them know about the seriousness of firearms. Guns can be a lot of fun when used in a safe environment with the right mentality. They are not toys – and many kids are pretty understanding of that.
Practice drawing and re-holstering
A big piece to building your confidence around your firearm is regularly practicing drawing and re-holstering. Just this simple movement will help you get a better idea of how you behave around the gun. Remember: the gun is a tool and you are the wielder of that tool. It cannot do anything that you do not want it to do.
Inform your close family of your decision to conceal carry a firearm
This is an optional choice because you decide who to inform. That said, for those living with you and in close quarters, it's a good idea to let them know about your decision to carry everyday and to answer any of their questions about safety or use. Like it or not, you're the resident expert when it comes to carrying concealed for your household.
Constantly familiarize yourself with your everyday carry rig (EDC)
You can never know too much about your gun, your equipment, and how it functions best. Commit to educating yourself about your daily carry gun and how it operates both in and out of the holster. It may one day be your lifeline – learn as much as you can about it now.
Concealed Carry Confidence - Never be too confident
Now that you're armed, you may feel you have some additional power behind you. Well, the truth is – your gun is no guarantee of good outcomes. All bets are off the second a gun leaves the holster in a real-world scenario. Keep a cool head and always attempt to de-escalate where possible. Also, if you ever have the option of leaving versus engaging in conflict, take that option. Safety should always be a number one priority.
Final parting advice would be to familiarize yourself with concealed carry reciprocity so you know where your permit is honored. Knowing this we made a concealed carry map that you can familiarize yourself with.
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.