Citizens legally carrying a concealed weapon are not a threat
In the entrance of a Walmart in Brandon, Florida, Clarence Daniels walked in looking for coffee creamer. A law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit, the Tampa Bay Times reported that once inside the building, a concerned citizen saw him place his pistol into his inside the waistband concealed carry holster and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Michael Foster, unarmed, then decided to take matters into his own hands and restrain the concealed carrying Daniels. This resulted in Daniels, who even reportedly announced that he held a permit, to be placed into a strangle hold until Florida deputies could arrive on the scene.
In almost every state of the union, there are legal precedents set forth under which a person may carry a concealed handgun on his or her person. This unfortunate incident, which occurred right here in the beginning of 2015, marks a dangerous precedent in people becoming increasingly wary of those who have the legal authority to carry a concealed firearm on their person.
Legal Responsibility: Protecting the Right to Conceal Carry
Mr. Foster's actions, done in what he believed to be the defense of those around him, highlights a lack of education about the right to bear arms. This is only made worse by headlines touting gun violence and gun-related massacres. However, in virtually all of those cases of gun violence, a concealed carry permit holder wasn't even involved. The perception that someone with a concealed carry permit is not allowed to bear arms should never supersede the right to do so.
At the bare minimum, concealed carry permit holders must:
- Undergo a thorough federal and criminal background check
- ...And in many “may permit” states, applicants must also undergo a screening by their local county sheriff or law enforcement authority.
- By the time they receive their concealed carry permit, most have undergone a concealed carry firearms course which covers proper procedures, handling, and discharging of their pistols.
These are not just people who pick up a pistol for the first time and sling it on their hip. As such, charging at them is very much not advised. But even more ill advised would be the continued perception that a concealed carrier does not have the right to bear his or her arms in a lawful manner.
Ways to Distinguish Between Lawful and Unlawful Concealed Carry
This is a topic best held for attorneys and law enforcement officials as the precedents and laws for each state where concealed carry is allowed change drastically. In many states, there are delicate reciprocity laws which allow certain resident concealed carry permit holders to carry out of state. This map is constantly changing and its best to check with your state beforehand.
In general, the “tactical” look is very much in. Many concealed carry holders like to pack an inside the waistband concealed carry holster clipped to a thick, sturdy belt. Some many even carry outside the waistband holster for ease of access. Especially in cold weather environments, the majority tend to rely upon a hybrid holster that can switch back and forth. But most of these concealed carriers have nothing to hide and are pretty open and forthright as long as they can detect your intentions.
Being lawfully armed is an important concept for our society. In many cases, a concealed carry permit holder may be the first line of defense against unlawful firearms use and assault situations. With that in mind, they try to stay in line with law enforcement in terms of operating. Many vendors tend to make plenty of clothes which look professional and still allow for seamless concealed carrying of firearms.
Overall, if you see someone and they have a gun – your best bet is to have a police officer confront them. In all cases, a concealed carry permit holder must show his permit to a law enforcement official upon request and in plenty of cases, they willingly do so without being asked. Generally speaking, most are on the same side of police and have only the best intentions.
We wrote a lengthy guide on how to handle yourself when somebody spots your concealed carry pistol.
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.