Concealed Carry Tips for this Holiday Season
Brace yourselves because winter is coming, and with it comes the holiday season, a magical time of festivities, special dinners and observances, and ample time spent at family gatherings. (Which is disgusting.) However, the holidays and the winter season bring with them the requisite adjustment needed for concealed carry in winter.
There are also some additional things to bear in mind for the holiday season regarding concealed carry beyond the practicalities of winter carry.
Here's what you should know about concealed carry during the holidays.
Concealed Carry Practice Should Include Drawing From Under Layers
Concealed carry practice at an indoor range, drawing from an OWB holster that you use for range work isn't without value. After all, you are getting the mechanics of drawing the pistol, presenting, getting the sight picture and then firing.
But where that kind of practice starts to fall short is that once winter enters the picture, most people are going to have additional layers to deal with. You'll have at least a winter coat, if not additional layers underneath it, which is something to be aware of when it comes to wintertime concealed carry.
That means you need to practice drawing from under multiple layers.
Shooting ranges can vary widely. Some are fairly casual, others are heavily regimented with range officers to deal with and the whole nine yards. Some allow drawing from a holster, some don't and this applies equally to indoor and outdoor ranges.
Public ranges don't have as many rules, and certainly don't have any ROs that you'll have to deal with...but they also won't have any amenities to speak of. You have to pack everything in and out.
In any case, you need to be at a range that allows for drawing from a holster. Just as with any other shooting technique, you should start slow and build up toward a faster draw. Remember: slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
Concealed Carry During Festivities
Another aspect of concealed carry during the holiday season is what to do during the various dinners, parties, get-togethers and other festivities.
At home, it's your choice. Many would consider a best practice is to keep a holstered handgun on you at all times. However, if you like to hang up your gun when you get home, a possibly alternative is to store your concealed carry gun in an easily-accessible location in a holster mount.
A decent holster mount can securely hold a gun in a hidden location with a bit of creativity. Just remember to keep it well out of the reach of little ones.
Naturally, if you're going to keep your gun on you, you'll need to carry in such a way that makes it possible to sit down while still wearing the gun and holster. You'll need to experiment with your carry rig to find what that is for you; some people do just fine carrying in the 2 o'clock position with an appendix carry holster and others need a traditional IWB somewhere further to the rear on the waistline. Whatever works best for you is what you should do.
If going to someone else's house, you should be aware of how they feel about guns and/or concealed carry.
If you know that you and your concealed pistol aren't welcome, then consider either leaving the gun in the car or possibly not attending.
Additionally, there's the topic of holiday cheers, meaning knocking back a few belts. Guns and alcohol don't mix, ever. If you're going to having a few glasses of mulled wine, a few beers or a stiff eggnog or two (and a high-test eggnog is a dandy libation) then your pistol needs to be off your person, whether you're at home or at a friend's house.