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should you carry multiple guns

Multiple Concealed Carry Handguns - Does it make sense?

No. There's no other way of putting it. There is no reason to have a backup to your concealed carry handgun. And we'll go over why. Let's begin...

Scenario 1: Your firearm is knocked from your hands

Unless you're up against some expert sharpshooter, you're not getting your gun shot out of your hands. The most likely scenario where a firearm is knocked out from your hand is because you're in close quarters and your assailant has it or, in the heat of the moment, you dropped it.

Neither of those scenarios are going to end better with a second firearm.

Scenario 2: Your malfunctions

Your gun jammed. Rack the upper receiver back and load another round. If that fails, check to make sure your safety is off. If it is, eject the magazine. Lock the upper receiver to the rear. Re-insert the magazine and close the upper receiver. Proceed to party.

    If it's a hard jam (as in something broke), run. This likely happened because:
  1. You chose a cheap handgun that you didn't test prior to now.
  2. You didn't do routine maintenance.
  3. Crap happens.

Either way, you need to be on your way out pronto.

Scenario 3: You're out of ammunition

If you didn't bring (or lost) your back-up magazine, a second firearm isn't going to help. If you fired six or more shots and your assailant isn't dead or beating feet, you need to be. Yes, you can legally “stand your ground” in most states (sorry, New Mexico). That doesn't mean fighting like a blind idiot.

Before you're out of ammunition, you need to be on your way out. You should never have run out of ammunition in the first place because you have been steadily making your way to the nearest exit.

If you think this scenario may apply, bring more magazines or get a double stack.

Scenario 4: (Unlikely) SHTF

If you're in a situation where there's a rolling gun battle going on – you are wrong. You are not law enforcement or military and you're certainly not Bruce Willis. There is no such animal as offensive fighting for the concealed carrier. Defensive operations. That's our animal. Everything we're doing, we're doing to get our family and ourselves away from the active fighting.

If you're on your property and a rolling gun battle starts, you should try to break out the heavier small arms – not your concealed carry pistol. If you're at the store or in the mall and fighting erupts – your only job is to get yourself and your family to safety. That's it. Anything else and hopefully you've got really good legal counsel.

should you carry multiple guns

Having A Second Concealed Carry Handgun On You Won't Help

Let's break it to an analogy: your concealed carry pistol is a life jacket when you are forced to abandon ship and jump into the ocean. It's only meant to keep you above water long enough to get to safety. Is having two life jackets useful? Not particularly. One will do.

That's not to say you can't have other firearms secured in a vehicle safe or a safe at home. That's fine. Not every pistol goes for every occasion. Maybe you need to switch from your full-size Glock 17 to a Glock 43 – good to go. There's no reason to carry both on you. One comes out of the safe, one goes in. Easy as pie.

If you think you may be heading into a really rough area, reconsider what you're doing. It's your legal responsibility to avoid situations where you know violence or escalation of violence is imminent. That's not to say you shouldn't defend your home or your family – but truly do consider whether what you are doing is necessary. If you think having a second handgun is better than just carrying another magazine in a mag pouch, you're probably not thinking through the scenario realistically.

And if I'm wrong and you actually do get to use that second handgun, send in a link to the police report in the comments section below.

James England

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.