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concealed carry laws

CCW Laws – The Difference Between A Criminal and Law Abiding Concealed Carrier?

Every state and local ordinance governing the legality of that pistol in your inside the waistband holster is important. There's too much idle chatter on the internet about people talking about carrying in places they know they're not supposed to, doing things they know they're not supposed to do. You know who else talks like that? Criminals. Are you a criminal or a law-abiding concealed carrier?

There's an important scene in Better Call Saul that describes the converse flip of the concealed carry argument “I carry where I want”:

Mike Ehrmantraut: The lesson is, if you're gonna be a criminal, do your homework.

Price: Wait. I'm not a bad guy.

Mike Ehrmantraut: I didn't say you were a bad guy. I said you're a criminal.

Price: What's the difference?

Mike Ehrmantraut: I've known good criminals and bad cops. Bad priests. Honorable thieves. You can be on one side of the law or the other. But if you make a deal with somebody, you keep your word. You can go home today with your money and never do this again. But you took something that wasn't yours. And you sold it for a profit. You're now a criminal. Good one, bad one? That's up to you.

I'm not comparing concealed carriers to pharmaceutical drug dealers. What I am saying is that if you're going to make the extremely poor decision of carrying a concealed firearm somewhere where you're not supposed to, you could at least do your homework first.

Restricted premises

restrictive premises for ccw

There's places you can legally go with a concealed carry handgun. Then there's restrictions. There are arbitrary “gun free zones” that are mandated by both state and federal law. Know those places and don't carry there. If you walk into a post office and someone spots a concealed carry pistol on your hip, congratulations – you're now facing federal charges... Something to consider. Take a look at our article on restrictive premises for concealed carry to learn more.

CCW Permit Requirements

concealed carry permit

If you live in a constitutional carry state, you may not need a concealed carry permit at all until you travel across state lines. Almost every constitutional carry state has processes in place to obtain a concealed carry permit for the purpose of travel. Your constitutional carry privilege does not extend to any state outside of your own and most have specific provisions for out-of-state travelers.

Interstate Travel

interstate gun laws

“Shall not be infringed” is a phrase I hear every single time someone on the internet thinks he's bigger than he is. Step foot into the State of New Jersey with a concealed handgun on your hip and no permit. It happens all the time and that concealed carrier is then up against felony charges which, after processed, will effectively eliminate his right to carry ever again. The phrase “shall not be infringed” holds absolutely no weight when talking to a sworn officer of the law. Make sure the state you're traveling across or into has reciprocity with your state's concealed carry permit or pursue a non-resident permit where applicable. Take a look at our previous article that talks more about concealed carry while traveling across state lines.

Drinking While Carrying A Firearm

guns and alcohol

Some states allow concealed carriers to carry into alcohol-serving establishments. Some are very specific on what establishments. Some don't allow concealed carry at all. Which one are you in? Look it up.

There's no state in the union that allows the concealed carry of a handgun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That doesn't exist. Some states have definitions for what “under the influence” means. So be honest with yourself when you step foot into a bar. You're not fooling anyone but yourself when you sit down to a beer and a shot of whiskey. Take a look here for more info about concealed carry and alcohol.

Use Of Deadly Force

use of deadly force

Know the definition of permissible “deadly force”. Permissible deadly force, though the term may change from state-to-state, is the law's requirement for using deadly force against another person. If you step outside this definition, you've opened the door to serious criminal charges.

And deadly force doesn't mean killing someone – it includes the use of weapons in using force that could reasonably be considered deadly.
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.