Ever wondered what it would be like to carry a firearm? Are you new to it and not sure what to expect, or if what you are feeling is normal?
Carrying a loaded firearm has both psychological and physical challenges associated with it.
First, I’d like to talk about the psychological aspect.
Carrying a loaded firearm in private or in public is definitely something you don’t take lightly, and the first few times you do it you’ll feel very self conscious. It will seem as though everyone’s eyes are focused on your firearm, the truth is, almost no one will notice, even if you are carrying openly. People go about their day, checking their phones, reading email, posting on Facebook, etc, they aren’t concerned about you or the gun you now have on your hip. For most people, if they see someone with a holstered gun they are going to assume you are some sort of law enforcement, they simply don’t realize the general public can legally carry. It’s no surprise since it’s not advertised or promoted by the media outlets.
Once you’ve carried for a while it becomes normal, and you feel naked without it. You start buying your clothes to accommodate your firearm, and acquire various holsters and belts for different outfits or styles of dress, it’s part of you. At this point you are more comfortable knowing that your gun isn’t going to go off by itself, you keep it properly holstered to ensure this, and you know people aren’t staring at your gun everywhere you go. If you get invited to an event, you start thinking about which gun you’ll carry and how you’ll carry it, then you decide what you’ll wear to go with that choice.
Though most people will be oblivious to you carrying, it’s almost unavoidable that someone will notice and either ask you about it, or call the authorities. Some people are genuinely curious, and may have an interest in carrying themselves. Please exercise courtesy when asked why you carry. While “Because it’s my right! or “None of your business!” may be true, it’s best to be polite and remember that you are in the minority, your action speak for every person carrying. We’re not asking you to be a spokesperson, but please do your best to positively influence the community.
If someone calls the authorities you’ll just have to roll with the punches. Law enforcement is required to investigate a man with a gun call, it’s just the way it is. You will be inconvenienced, but the best way to minimize this is to obey their orders. They will be nervous, they don’t know you, and you have a gun. Now isn’t the time to play lawyer, it’s time to be polite, let the officer know you have a permit to carry and will comply with their demands. They do have the right to disarm you during their investigation, some will, some won’t. This is the main reason why many people with a permit to carry choose to carry concealed, it’s not because they have to, but because they’d rather not deal with the public’s opinion or encounters with man with a gun calls.
The physical aspect.
Walking with a loaded gun inside your waistband, on your belt, etc is noticeable. I don’t care how small it is, it’s there and you will know it. Even so, when you first start carrying you’ll have the uncontrollable urge to make sure it’s still there every 15.3 seconds, and if carrying concealed, you’ll be checking your cover garment to make sure your firearm isn’t exposed at the same time, try to resist the urge to do this.
If you have a proper holster, your gun isn’t going anywhere without you knowing it. Checking for it and re-covering it 3 times a minute just makes you look, well, suspicious.
Other aspects you’ll notice if you carry:
Inside your waistband:
Pants fit tighter! You’ll need larger pants and a larger belt. Get a good belt made for carrying guns, there are lots of varieties out there to suit anyone’s needs, from Velcro to leather and about any color combination you can dream up.
In your pocket:
You are now short one pocket, because the only thing in that pocket should be your properly holstered firearm! Do no put your keys, change, phone, or any other item in the same pocket as your firearm, period.
Over your crotch:
Yes, they make holsters that you wear under your pants and over your crotch, and they are quite effective for deep concealment. The main drawback here is a slow draw and finding the right position to carry it there that is comfortable to walk and sit.
On your belt:
One of the most comfortable ways of carrying, and also allows for a fast draw. However having your gun on your belt absolutely requires a good gun belt, that’s a lot of weight on one portion of your belt, so don’t try to get by with the Walmart belts here, get yourself a good gun belt that distributes the weight better and doesn’t sag.
We covered many methods of carry here, and there are certainly many other carry options out there, such as purse, shoulder, ankle and thigh carry. Perhaps we’ll cover more of those in another post, as we could certainly go on and on about different ways to carry, holster materials, their advantages, and disadvantages, etc.
As you can see, there are a lot of changes, both mentally and physically that you encounter when you decide you are going to carry, but they are minor and you will adjust to suit your own tastes and lifestyle.
Please feel free to leave your comments, or if you have ideas for another article!