Tips For Getting Comfortable With Concealed Carry

By Rob Morse

Concealed Carry Woman Holster
Tips For Getting Comfortable With Concealed Carry
Second Call Defense
Second Call Defense

USA – -( If you're like many gun owners, you don't carry a firearm every day even though you have your concealed carry license.

Maybe it's because while you realize the importance of being armed, you just don't feel comfortable carrying in public. Maybe you're worried everyone will know you have a gun. Or maybe you're concerned you might make a mistake, like dropping your gun in the cereal isle at the grocery store.

That's okay. All it takes is practice to make carrying a firearm feel safe and familiar.

First, you need to get familiar with the gun itself to build proficiency and safe habits. Yes, you may have passed your concealed carry course. Maybe your state doesn't even require a course, but it is time for you to take a firearms handling class. Here is what you'll learn.

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There are easy and safe ways to load a firearm and put it in your holster. Why not learn those techniques from a professional instructor?

There are easy and safe ways to load a firearm and put it in your holster. Why not learn those techniques from a professional instructor? You can learn “best practices” rather than learning from your own mistakes.

You already know how to shoot from a bench at a square range. Now you'll learn how to safely and efficiently take your gun from a concealed holster and shoot a target. You will learn more than abstract techniques. You will experience how it feels to move with a gun on your body. You will build a personal library of sensations that make concealed carry feel familiar.

If you take a day-long class, then you'll get lots of practice loading and unloading a gun. You'll verify the gun's condition over and over. All that practice makes it feel familiar to touch, to walk, and to sit with a gun on your body. Yes, it feels different when you're carrying. Give yourself the gift of time so you can experience those feelings without surprises.

Next, it's time to deal with your hesitation to be armed in public. Here's a list of small steps you can take to build more confidence. Advance at your own pace and let yourself succeed. You will carry for the rest of your life, so who cares if you want to practice a few more days?

Wear your empty and concealed holster at home. Do that as long as it takes to feel comfortable. You're also learning how to dress while carrying a firearm.

  • Wear your empty and concealed holster as you go familiar places outside the home. That reminds you where guns are allowed and where they are forbidden.
  • Buy some snap caps and practice safely loading and unloading your firearm the way you were taught in class. Keep building safe habits.
  • Carry your loaded and concealed firearm at home. It feels different at first. Put the gun away properly when you're done carrying it.
  • Carry concealed as you go someplace familiar outside your home. It helps to travel with other people who carry. You can be the armed passenger so you don't even have to drive.
  • Go get gas while you are carrying concealed. Yes, you're carrying in public by yourself, but you don't have to interact with anyone just yet. Please plan your first trip in the daytime rather than at 2 in the morning in the wrong part of town.
  • Wear your concealed firearm on a simple shopping trip. You've done this a million times before. Aren't you running low on eggs and milk?
  • Go out to eat with friends who carry.
  • If it is allowed, add your work and church to the places you carry.

More tips are listed here.

None of this is intimidating if you take it one step at a time at your own pace. You might not even remember why you were concerned about carrying a few months ago.

Rob Morse works and writes in Southwest Louisiana. He writes at Ammoland, at his Slowfacts blog, and at Clash Daily. Rob co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast, and hosts the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast each week.

  • 8 thoughts on “Tips For Getting Comfortable With Concealed Carry

    1. Thanks for your advice to take a day long class to get practice loading and unloading a gun and verifying it’s condition! They say practice makes permanent, so I can see how spending the time practicing that would be really helpful. I would also imagine that taking a class would make it much easier for you to get your permiThanks for your advice to take a day long class to get practice loading and unloading a gun and verifying it’s condition! They say practice makes permanent, so I can see how spending the time practicing that would be really helpful. I would also imagine that taking a class would make it much easier for you to get your permit in the first place.

    2. Also “train” your family/spouse. If something goes down, you want them to be able to react appropriately for their own safety. Stay calm and don’t be in a panic and end up grabbing your gun arm. Step away from you, if possible, if a critical event occurs so they’re not in direct line of fire. Too many to list here, but there are lots of things to train yourself about and be aware of if you’re going to carry concealed, but training the family becomes part of your responsibility, too. As an example, my wife knows where I want to sit at the table in a restaurant and to walk on my left.

      1. Training is not as effective as education. Teach your family how to be safe, and they will reinforce their education by continuing to evaluate every different situation, acquiring situational awareness as they go.

    3. oldshooter’
      Excellent advice, If You want to carry, do it all the time. Practice makes perfect, it doesn’t take long before the pistol on your hip becomes a Non Issue. Practice drawing from your carry position, Unloaded Pistol first, and Carry all the time unless you are in the Post Office or County. State, or School building. Like a wallet, watch, or Pen Knife, it quickly becomes part of You in public, Comfortable feeling when You realize You are there. and have the ability to defend Yourself and Loved ones if needed,
      Enjoy the Ride, Its a good place to be and the education never ends. Good Luck. JP

    4. Good article and I liked “oldshooters” approach as well. I’m one that does the training, shoots regularly in IDPA and USPSA but doesn’t feel comfortable with everyday concealed carry. Time for me to get over that. My wife even thinks I am carrying when I’m not, so her comfort level is higher than mine I guess.

    5. Good article – comfort and familiarity breed confidence. It’s unfortunate so many people live behind locked doors and drawn curtains and miss-out on simple pleasures like taking a walk/hike for fear of something happening. A firearm, proper mindset and training does wonders for one’s sense of safety and security. So simple, so effective…and so nice to get out of the house with an increased sense of security.

    6. I prefer living in a state, county, and city where I can exercise my right to bear arms in whatever way I wish, without the infringement of qualification, training, or testing that won’t make me any better at it than the average police officer, which are members of a group of gun users with the poorest safety record in the handling of them and the highest percentage of suicides using them.

    7. As a psychologist I tend to think about the mental side of things a lot, and I have found a way to train yourself to carry all the time, wherever you are, comfortably. It is simple, but not necessarily easy, at least at first. Once you are generally familiar with carrying concealed, you need to develop the HABIT of carrying all the time. Carrying only when you think you might NEED a gun is patently ridiculous. If you are going someplace where you think you may need a gun – change your plans and don’t go there!
      Getting into the habit of always carrying, can best be done by deciding that you will carry NO MATTER WHAT every day, all day, for 60 days. That’s the simple part. Then just DO IT. That’s the hard part. Each time you think it will be inconvenient, or you’re only making a quick trip to the store, you can’t carry in what you wear when mowing the lawn, etc. STOP and remind yourself that you have decided to carry all the time – then DO IT. If necessary, change your clothes so you can, or change your plans and use a different store (that allows carrying), etc. But carry all day, every day, for 60 days -No matter what. At the end of 60 days it will have become a habit and you won’t even notice you have the gun on your hip (or wherever). In fact, this will probably happen gradually over the first 30 days, and by day 60 it will be normal for you to be armed. I always carry a full-sized, competition model .45, with a 5.25 inch barrel, and a double-stack magazine, along with 2 spare mags; not by any means a small or lightweight loadout, and despite the weight and bulk, by day 60 it felt so normal that I had to check to be sure I actually had my pistol in the holster. The trick to this is developing the habit by forcing yourself to do it ABSOLUTELY CONSISTENTLY, every day, for 60 days. After that you will wonder why you ever thought it was difficult, or even inconvenient.

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