Let’s not get too crazy here, but there are things that every person, who is carrying a firearm, should be doing in preparation for daily carry. It’s something that should never be taken lightly, and we should be doing all we can to be a proficient and safe as we possibly can.
Here are 9 things that every concealed carrier needs before leaving the house.
1. Knowledge of Gun Laws
Do you know the laws of your state, county, and municipality as they apply to your carriage of a concealed and loaded firearm? It greatly depends. We’ve written a couple decent guidelines such as Duty To Notify and State/Employer Restrictions — those are only meant to point you in the right direction, though. Your knowledge of the law must be iron clad because it is the law you will be tried by if something goes afoul.
Tips: Once you find the laws governing the area you’re in, print out the “cliff notes” edition on a set of laminated index cards. Bind them with a key ring and keep them in the vehicle. That way, they can act as a quick reference if you’re confused about something.
2. The Right Gun For The Occasion
There’s not one concealed option for everyone and not all situations demand the same firearm. Did you pack appropriately? A couple factors you’ll need to consider before stepping foot out the door:
- Does your clothing provide adequate coverage of the firearm? (Printing)
- Have you trained yourself how to properly use that firearm?
Both being answered in the affirmative – you’re generally good to go.
3. Safe, Reliable Holster
Putting a firearm in your pocket is dangerous because there’s no way to protect or secure the trigger guard. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot shot Alien Gear holster or just a simple nylon one. Inside the waistband, in the purse, in the pocket – the choice is yours.
Here’s the following key features your holster should always have:
- Trigger guard control – your trigger should never be exposed until you want it to be.
- Firearm retention – you want the firearm to stay put even when you move around.
- Secured to the body – this is preferable. Something on your body is much harder to take than something in a bad or briefcase.
- Accessibility – you can get to your firearm at a moment’s notice.
There’s a lot more factors that are helpful in a holster but those are definitely key.
4. Spare Magazine
If you’re carrying a pistol, chances are good you may think one magazine is perfectly sufficient. However, taking a spare, loaded magazine means you have the ability to do a magazine change. This is especially helpful in events where the immediate threat has been neutralized but it’s unknown if other threats are still out there. It’s also a good thing to practice in general.
Tips: If you’re able, put that extra magazine in a spare pocket, glove box, or anywhere where you can reasonably get access to it if you need it.
5. Training For Everyday Carry
The greatest weapon a person can employ in their own survival is their mind. The mind is an incredibly instinctive thing. When stimulated by fear or adrenaline, it tends to become a lot simpler. However you train yourself is precisely how your mind will react to danger. Just like a dog can be trained to fetch the newspaper, your mind needs to be trained to react in certain ways — differentiating friend from foe, keeping your head on a swivel, voice commands with bystanders, etc.
Tips: Every day is an opportunity to train. Even if you’re running non-firearm related drills such as communication, spotting, or coordination exercises – you’re helping develop a skillset that will serve you a lifetime.
6. A Round In The Chamber
Is your firearm loaded with a round in the chamber?
If the answer is no – ask yourself whether you are willing to spare the time it takes to load a round in the chamber in the middle of a gunfight. Part of being an everyday carrier is taking responsibility for your firearm. If you have trained properly, have the proper holster, and understand the law reasonably well – you should carry with a round in the chamber. If you’re worried about a negligent discharge, refer to the fundamental principles of firearm safety.
7. The Fundamental Principles Of Firearm Safety
- Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire.
- Do not point your firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Know what is in front and directly behind your target.
Live it, love it, breathe it. These four rules dramatically reduce the chances you will put a round in the wrong place. Even if you’ve grown up hearing those words, keep them fresh in your mind at all times.
8. A Clear, Sober Mind
If you’ve been drinking – leave the guns locked up at home. If you’ve been drinking at home, leave the guns in a safe. When your perception has been altered, you’re not thinking clearly. No matter how much you’d like to think so – whatever you do with a firearm will be brought before a prosecutor. And even if you think you’re straight – he or she may not.
9. Situational Awareness
This one may be a bit more quixotic to pin down but if you’re upset, depressed, angry, or just plain irritable, you have to maintain your focus. Your ability to gauge a situation largely depends on you being able to observe it.
“The first step to avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence.” – Thufir Hawat
With these, and maybe even more, we can be safe and prepared armed citizens. It’s up to us, as individuals, to make these smart decisions.
Have anything to add? Don’t agree with something in the list above? Hit the comments section below and chime in.