The act of carrying a concealed handgun has been around long enough that today, there is an excellent array of tested and proven holsters, guns, and carry methods that resist accidentally exposing your weapon.

exposed weapons

However, there are no 100% foolproof methods and there will always be unintentional exposures of your weapon.

Those accidents can have disastrous consequences for the carrier.

If you’re carrying concealed, it can be assumed that doing so is legal where you are. Yet it is important to keep in mind that the general population around you may not be aware that this is the case.

In today’s world, people are often on edge to the point where they will report anything to the authorities, just in case.

Their intentions may be good, but if the police arrive, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be prone on the sidewalk, wearing handcuffs as you try to explain yourself.

There are many ways that your handgun can accidentally become visible, too. Sometimes the wind can lift clothing. Other times, you may exit your vehicle only to find that your shirt has ridden up over the grip and come to rest on the inside, leaving the entire handgun and holster visible.

Your reaction to these unforeseeable accidents is important. If you act guilty and people see, it’s possible they’ll assume you’re up to something. This will make them more likely to alert the authorities.

By contrast, if you retain your composure and cover the weapon again without being too hasty, it’s more likely that people will assume that you’re somehow legitimately armed, which you are.

For an example, real police officers on duty aren’t ashamed of their fully exposed weapons in any way, but someone who was trying to impersonate a cop might not act as sure of themselves.

Author Don Myers talks about ways to educate yourself about this issue in his article “Exposure Equals Big Trouble” on

“The aviation business spends considerable time learning from the misfortunes of others with the purpose of increasing our judgment to prevent making the same disastrous mistakes. We as citizens who carry concealed handguns are vulnerable to making costly errors too.” (Read more at

When you’re still inside your vehicle, make an initial check of your wardrobe and weapon to ensure everything is in place. Once you have exited, a second check is important.

Keeping your gun side towards the inside of the vehicle helps avoid unintended sightings. It also allows you to take advantage of the window and paint reflections that can be used as mirrors to check yourself over before you walk away.

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Movies can often be deceiving and give people the wrong idea about how things actually work in real life. Firearms and their portrayal are often grossly misrepresented and give rise to all kinds of unrealistic ideas. covert carrier

However, one thing that is commonly portrayed in the movies is also seen in real life.

This is the habit of characters ranging from gang members to good guys stuffing pistols down the front of their pants inside the waistband. This may seem like it’s done to be “cool,” but the reality is this style of carry, often called appendix carry, has several benefits that led to it being popular.

For one, the appendix placement of the weapon assists in concealment. With the addition of loose clothing, the weapon becomes practically invisible. It’s much harder to conceal a gun carried on the hip. Drawing a firearm from the appendix position is also faster and more natural due to the way the human body is put together. It’s much easier to reach down in front of you and draw a gun than it is to reach over to your side.

This minimalist approach to appendix carry also can be applied to concealed carry with a few improvements. To begin with, it’s both unnecessary and unsafe to stuff a gun down the front of your pants. It’s not very secure and can become dislodged. If that happens, it might either fall to the ground or accidentally discharge.

Using some type of clip or holstering system for appendix carry makes the experience much better in terms of safety, but also in knowing the gun is where you put it.

Author Tim Schmidt talks about a clip carry system he tried in his article “Covert Carrier®” on

“The instructions told me to slide the clip over my pants and then behind my belt. Then I was supposed to push the clip forward until the little notch in the steel slips right into the belt loop. After doing this, the gun practically disappeared! It was pretty cool.” (Read more at

Keep in mind that there are many different ways to carry a concealed firearm and that appendix carry may not be for everyone. However, no matter what carry style you adopt, you should always be sure that your system holds the firearm securely. Make sure that the trigger is protected while performing a safe and smooth draw.

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A criminal invasion of your home can be one of the most terrifying and shocking types of attacks. You tend to think of your homes as your castle, or a place that’s largely immune to the opportunistic types of threats you might encounter out in public. cop cars

Inside your house with the doors locked, you feel more at ease than anywhere else.

It is this sense of being able to let your guard down that makes home invasions so shocking. As a result, you may be taken off-guard and not be as prepared as you would have been out in public.

No home is immune to forced entry, but there are many steps that homeowners can take to help secure their residence.

  1. The first and most obvious step is to use the locks that all homes have on their doors. This prevents anyone from simply walking up to your door and letting themselves in. To gain entry past a locked door, they’ll have to do something slightly more aggressive and noisy to get inside.
  1. Ensure that you have any entry areas to your home well-lit. This helps keep intruders away in addition to keeping bushes and other obstructions to a minimum. Trees or bushes can provide cover for people to hide in and jump out of as you are unlocking your door. The few seconds you spend unlocking your door and going inside are the most vulnerable. Take extra precautions when you are doing so.
  1. Plan ahead by turning on the outside light if you’ll be coming back home in the dark. If it’s possible, sweep your entry with the headlights on your vehicle before you get out and go inside your house.
  1. Dogs, fences, cameras, and alarms all help to deter criminal entry and alert you and others to their presence.

Home security systems certainly have their place; however they do not generate an immediate response. Typically, if a security system is triggered, it will alert the local police who will respond. This can take time however, as author Mark Walters talks about in the article “Attempted Home Invasion Thwarted by USCCA Member” on

“So why did it take 22 minutes for 11 cop cars to show up? The 911 came exactly at shift change! They were not busy; they were just not on the street yet. Remember that I live and work in downtown, not out on some farm way out in the countryside. Over the years, we have had numerous occasions to call Tulsa Police, and normally, they arrive almost instantly.” (Read more at

As Walters’ article illustrates, any home invasion will test your skills and training to the limit. In this particular instance, the delay in police response left a man holding his weapon trained on 5 guys for over 20 minutes.

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Walk into any gun shop and you’ll be amazed at the wide variety of prices and options for the different styles of handguns. There are cheap guns you can own today and ones that can cost as much as a vacation to Europe. Caliber options and gun designs abound and it can become confusing to narrow down your options.

s&w 9mm

The question many people will find themselves asking is “Will buying the most expensive gun e the best choice?”

After all, you’re relying on this weapon to protect your life and safety. Can you put a price tag on that?

You can’t, but there are other things to consider in a gun purchase aside from the price. Getting what you pay for applies to most things you buy, but this does not infer that spending less means acquiring an inferior firearm.

A lower price tag could mean that the finish isn’t as fine or the gun was made by a lesser-known manufacturer.

Author George Hill weighs in on the question of expensive guns in his article “Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special 9mm” on

“But to those who think that such guns are fully unobtainable, to them I say this: Nuts! Those guns are expensive. They deserve to be, and they are worthy of their prices, but they are not unobtainable.” (Read more at

Expensive firearms are not a waste of money, but they are not always the best use of your hard-earned dollars either. The experience and needs of the buyer are what should be used to make the final decision.

Generally speaking, if you’re new to the world of concealed carry, spending large amounts of money at the onset may not be the best choice. You don’t want your new purchase to cause any stress in financial terms or to take money away from something else important. As a new shooter, you don’t have enough experience to really know what you want in a gun. This will come in good time.

It is important to like the gun you buy and to actually be happy to carry it. When it’s sitting on the table, you should enjoy the sight of it. You shouldn’t be unhappy with the style or any feature.

Aesthetics mean something different to everyone. If you like wood, buy wood grips. If you prefer the tactical blacked out look, then get that instead.

Owning a specific make and caliber of handgun is also a socially rewarding experience. You’ll share a common bond with other people who have the same gun. You’ll be able to talk about what you like about your guns and trade tips about how to improve your experience, be it accuracy or better ways to clean the weapon.

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There are some locations where alternate styles of concealed carry are needed in order to blend in effectively.

briefcase carry

One location is in the downtown area of any city.

Whether it’s the financial district, the headquarters of a large company, a news agency, or a bank, chances are there are business professionals milling around.

They’re probably wearing a variety of suits and are hurrying from one place to another, usually talking on cell phones.

A person who chooses to wear baggy cargo pants or carry a backpack in the interest of concealing a handgun will stick out like a sore thumb among all those suits and shiny leather briefcases.

In this situation, the briefcases themselves are the key to success. When it comes to a business-oriented setting, a briefcase is standard issue. Nobody will blink or think twice about you having one; especially if you’re professionally dressed.

Often the professional wardrobe can preclude traditional carry with a body holster. The weapon tends to print through the fabric, so where else could the weapon go other than inside the briefcase?

Of course, having a loose handgun inside a briefcase isn’t optimal. Fortunately, there are a variety of custom designed briefcases that have a special hidden pocket inside to house your weapon and keep it out of sight until it’s needed.

This means you can use the briefcase for double duty, both for concealing your weapon and for storing other articles of importance, such as documents and purchases.

There are often concerns regarding the quality or appearance of specially designed cases and author Tony Walker puts those concerns to rest in his article “Briefcase Carry” on

“I opened it to find a black leather attaché case fitted with a shoulder strap, as well as a detachable carrying handle. There are two separate compartments, each fitted with pockets to carry spare disks or accessories inside. The case is a handsome piece, extremely well made, and would not look out of place in the office or the boardroom of any company.” (Read more at

There are many benefits of this style of carry. A business person carrying a briefcase is a ubiquitous sight in many areas and doesn’t look threatening or tactical in any way. Utilizing an article you have in your hand every day is an excellent way to retain the ability to defend yourself without looking out of place.

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It is commonly accepted and agreed upon that people must have licenses to drive vehicles on public highways. There are very few people who disagree with the process of training, testing, and licensing drivers who have proven their competence.

marshal badgeThis system of licensing based on training and testing is all around you every day.

Those who wish to fly airplanes have many different levels of licensing.

Skilled trades like welding have different certifications depending on the work being performed.

And of course, you have firearms and the permit processes associated with concealed carry. Again, you see the training and testing process in action.

It’s important to note that in many cases, no special license or permit is required to have firearms in your home.

However, if you wish to carry a handgun in public, you are required to go through a process that includes a background check and training.

And then you have professionals like the police who carry weapons and are authorized to possess firearms in places where they’re forbidden for the vast majority of people.

Unfortunately, what you see from time to time is a buildup of resentment between the police and citizens who legally carry firearms. The police may see CCW permits as dangerous and unnecessary. CCW permit holders on the other hand, may be miffed that the police can have guns in certain public places while they themselves cannot.

In reality, what you are seeing are different levels of authorization or security clearances. Most law-abiding citizens could go through the training, become police officers, and enjoy all the firearms possession privileges that the job entails. There is nothing stopping most of us from going down that path.

However, civilians carrying firearms simply do not have the training or legal backing to actively go after criminals like the police do, nor are they coordinated with the police force. Purposely injecting yourself into a situation just because you have a concealed carry weapon is dangerous!

The JPFO Liberty Crew addresses this in the article “The Magic Badge” on

“Yes, we should accord peace officers special legal authority to go places armed. The special authority goes with the job of detecting and capturing aggressors of all sorts. We all should appreciate and thank peace officers who do their difficult work with courage and honor to protect our free society.” (Read more about firearms and permissions at

No system for licensing or giving clearance is perfect and there will always be something that is unfair or left out, but generally these programs work as intended.

If obtaining a CCW permit required you to act in a police capacity, it would change your thinking on the entire process dramatically. You would probably see far fewer people interested in getting their concealed carry permit.

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