First Time Carrying In Public: What To Expect


So you’re a concealed carry virgin. We’ve all been there, and many of us probably had an anxiety-filled first time out into the world as an armed citizen. What is it going to be like while carrying out and about? What should I look out for? Will anyone notice? Is my Glock showing?

It’s a concern for many who are venturing out into the world for the first time with a firearm on them. Sometimes there is a little paranoia, sometimes it’s a little scary. Other times, it’s a moot point.

Based on my many discussions with people on carrying for the first time, there are a few things that always come up. Let’s touch on the top two.

Everyone will know I’m carrying

This is one of the top concerns with new concealed carriers. The second they step foot outside their home, anyone and everyone they come into contact with will somehow know they’re carrying a firearm. But the truth is, they’ll have no idea… as long as you’re concealing properly.

Remember; this is sadly how most people walk around now:

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Get it? These young ladies are literally about to walk into each other because they’re buried in their phones. They have absolutely no idea what’s going on around them. And it’s not just the young people. Folks of all ages are consumed with their electronics while out and about, they can’t even focus on much else, let alone your firearm that’s (hopefully) properly concealed and not printing.

And even if you are printing, most won’t even notice.

The keys to success start at home. With your rig on, check yourself out in the mirror. That’s right, you’re looking good! Make sure that your firearm and holster are concealed correctly. Bend down, bend over, make movements that you would make while out and about. If you’re not printing and your firearm isn’t exposed while doing these normal moves, you’re good to go.

If you do this, no one will ever notice that you have a firearm.

What if the gun goes off?

If you are carrying a modern firearm in a proper holster, this isn’t going to happen. Accidental discharges don’t happen, but negligent ones do. This negligence is easily avoided if you’re doing everything properly… hence the proper holster and firearm setup. If nothing is in danger of getting into that trigger guard, there is absolutely no way that your firearm should ever discharge a round.

If you’re still not confident, it may be a better choice to wait to carry until your confidence level is up. Hit the range, practice drawing, and carry your firearm around the house before venturing out. You’ll want to be on your game, so make certain that you’re ready.

I could touch on 20 other points here, but it really comes down to one simple sentence: Be confident in yourself and your gear, and you’ll be good to go. If you’re being safe and smart, in combination with a proper rig, you’ll have nothing to worry about while you’re an out-and-about armed citizen.

Just go about your daily activities, don’t mess with your firearm, and if you have to adjust it… do so in a private setting such as your vehicle or a bathroom.

The first-time-carry-jitters will leave before you know it, and then it’ll be just like riding a bike. Without the bike, though.

About the Author

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP, with a Shield Sights RMSC Red Dot, that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in a Vedder Holsters ComfortTuck IWB holster.

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