Dating And Concealed Carry
Dating can be complicated enough; is concealed carry going to make it even more complex? Not necessarily. However, it may take require some tact on the part of the carrier, and maybe a little forward thinking.
Granted, dating is only as complicated as one makes it but then again it's also not like there's a "Dear Abby" for people who carry.
So, what to do about your concealed carrying while you date? We'll go over that, as well as a refresher on some concealed carry practices and how to apply them while navigating the murky waters of going a-courtin'.
To Disclose Or Not That You Concealed Carry
As a general rule, it's nobody's business if you're concealed carrying unless it happens to be an officer of the law and you're in a duty to inform state. This would more or less extend to someone that you're seeing socially.
However, there is a serious quandary when it comes to dating.
On the one hand, again, it's nobody's business if you're carrying. On the other, people have a wide range of attitudes regarding firearms and some people happen to be very uncomfortable around guns.
Regardless of the right or wrong of a person's convictions, there's something to be said for honesty in relationships. You don't want them concealing something that might be a dealbreaker for you (drug abuse, doesn't have a job, is rude to people, is a Vikings fan, etc.) and neither does the other person. Like it or not, guns may be a no-no for some people.
Obviously, the preferences of others don't trump your right to carry, bear and protect yourself if need be. However, it is a good idea to get an idea of what their attitudes on guns are before disclosing that you carry. If the person you are starting to see is inimical to Second Amendment rights, then you probably aren't compatible.
How To Tell Your Date That You Carry A Concealed Weapon
The best time to disclose that you carry a concealed weapon is early on but - and this is important - at an appropriate moment. If you tell a person that you're carrying a gun apropos of nothing, they're liable to start jumping to conclusions and rightly so. You need a segway.
The good news is that shouldn't be difficult. When you first start seeing someone, there's a lot of "getting to know you" talk including things like hobbies, enthusiasms and so on. That gives you an opening to mention shooting, or collecting and thus land on the concealed carry question. It would probably go something like this:
"What am I into? Well, I like A, B, C and a bit of E every now and again. What about you?"
"I X, sometimes I Y, and I also like shooting."
"You like shooting, huh? So do you have guns?"
You probably get the general idea. If you steer the topic in that direction, you should be able to find a way to mention, imply, hint or otherwise that you carry. Or just say that you also concealed carry.
If they ask you what concealed carry guns you have...you're in business.
Best Practices For Concealed Carry And Dating
There are some best practices for concealed carry and dating. Mostly these are no-brainers, things everyone knows to do or not to do already (sort of like the four rules of gun safety) but bear some mention in the context of concealed carry while out and about.
First, dating usually involves things like going to restaurants, bars and so on to some degree. As everyone knows, you can carry or you can drink; there is no option C. Leave the gun or do your drinking at home after putting the gun in the safe.
There may be situations in which you have to disarm, such as going into a building where firearms are not allowed or if you know you'll be engaging in vigorous activity such as a run, rock climbing, a bike ride, whatever. If signage doesn't carry the force of law, you'll have to decide whether you want to risk being asked to vacate the premises. If signage must legally be obeyed, it helps to have some sort of implement of storage in your vehicle.
A car safe or holster mount out of view can be a great tool in such instances.
Concealed Carry On Valentine's Day And Other Big Date Nights
There's a saying in scuba diving: plan your dive, and dive your plan. When it comes to more elaborate date nights, such as what one might go on for Valentine's Day, a bit of planning goes a long way. Planning will also dictate what you do about hauling around your heater.
For instance, state laws on carrying in restaurants, bars and so on vary from state to state. In some states, you can carry but cannot be served and in others, you can't carry. Be aware of those laws and plan accordingly.
While planning out an elaborate date night, you'll have to plan to carry, plan not to, or have opportunities to disarm and safely store your firearm if needs be. For instance, if staying in a hotel for the night, find out if the room has a safe. Or, alternately, if you're driving, keep a car safe in your vehicle for depositing your pistol for safe storage should you need to take it off.
Naturally, most people who carry prefer to (and should) every day. If you can stay armed while on a date night, do so. If not, take care to ensure your safety by avoiding high-risk areas and behaviors. A carry gun is for when danger presents itself; risk avoidance and awareness go a long way to ensuring it isn't there to begin with.