How do you carry a gun when it’s not easy to carry a gun?

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I’ll be honest: I find carrying a firearm to be work. I know, someone out there will chime and and tell me that it’s not really work, that they “never notice” their gun, and so on. Frankly I think that’s nonsense!

I’ve been carrying a concealed firearm for a long time now, and while it’s not uncomfortable it’s definitely not as liberating as walking around without that extra weight on my belt. (Yes, I do have top-end holsters and belts; it fact, I’ve designed and sold a few over the years and have long held that the most important part of a holster is the belt!) The fact is we have to balance the need to be able to protect ourselves with the downsides of the extra weight, bulk, and interference with our wardrobe choices. That’s the tradeoff, and I encourage people to make that tradeoff whenever they can, but that doesn’t mean the tradeoff doesn’t exist.

What I’m getting to is this: let’s not be disingenuous and pretend that carrying a gun isn’t work; it is, and understanding why it’s work and the concepts involved in deciding how to do that work with less effort and intrusion is an important thing for any concealed carrier. It helps us make better choices and can even help us carry when we don’t think it’s possible to carry!

Part of this process is acknowledging the fact that carrying a firearm is easier in some circumstances than others. I’m lucky, in that I can dress casually for about 99% of the time I’m in public. Not poorly, mind you, but casually — anything from outdoor clothing to khakis and polo shirts. It’s rare that I need to don a suit, and almost invariably when I do it’s because I’m in an environment where I’m prevented from carrying by law. So, my carry life is actually pretty easy.

If I were still an avid cyclist, or if I were still in a business that required high-end suits and close proximity to clients, or if I were ever a skier or runner, that would be different! It’s difficult to carry a firearm in specialized or formal clothing, and it’s made more difficult by physical activity or being in occasional physical contact with others. Women face even greater challenges, as their wardrobes (and societal expectations) make CCW even tougher.

Paul Carlson recently recorded a podcast that may be of interest to those of you who are struggling with your CCW activities due to environmental restrictions. Carrying a concealed handgun is one thing, but doing it safely and still being able to gain access to it during a lethal force incident is another entirely. Paul talks about some concepts and supporting principles that may help you in figuring out how you’re going to concealed carry in challenging circumstances.

Have a listen, and if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments!

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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