Everyone makes mistakes, and hopefully learns from them over time. However, making mistakes when concealing a firearm can have serious implications. If you think in advance about a few common mistakes others have made, instead of learning by trial and error, you won't have to make them at all. A few common conceal carry mistakes include:
Printing is where the outline of your gun appears from pushing against your clothing. Part of the gun might even by exposed when you are wearing the wrong garment. When you first start carrying, you’re usually so concerned about your gun showing in public you’ll do anything to make sure it never happens. But after carrying every day for years, you might get a little lax, so it's good to have a reminder. Take an extra moment and make sure you’re not printing. Generally speaking, dark-colored shirts and blouses will conceal your firearm better than light-colored. Compared to exposing your gun, however, printing is nowhere near as big a concern. If your gun is exposed, you could find yourself in some serious trouble. The last thing you want to deal with is law enforcement bearing down on you with guns drawn because you bent over to pick something up and the lady behind you noticed your gun.
Wardrobe and Accessories
Just because you carry a gun doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of Hawaiian shirts and baggy pants. But too-small garments won't do you any favors either. You can still have a sense of style while carrying, just be sure that the clothes you’re wearing accommodate the gun you carry. With a little bit of experimentation you'll find the best way to carry and still look good and be comfortable. Also keep in mind that wearing tactical-looking clothing screams gun to the general public. The idea is to conceal the fact you have a gun on you, not announce it to the world. The benefits of a quality holster cannot be stressed enough. Don't select a holster solely based on price. There are some quality holsters on the market that aren’t overly expensive, and some pretty awful holsters that cost way too much. Whatever material you prefer for your holster, it needs to be able to retain your gun properly and be comfortable enough to wear day in and day out. Experiment with several different holsters to find the one that properly fits your lifestyle and your body.
This is a bad habit often seen by those just starting to carry concealed. As you go about your daily routine, you might casually touch the gun with their fingers to see if it’s still there. If you’ve gotten a proper holster, your firearm definitely will still be where you put it! Suppress the urge to finger or constantly check your gun— leave it alone! Of course if your holster has slid into an uncomfortable position and you need to re-adjust your holster, of course you have to fix the problem, but not in public. The movement of re-adjusting will draw quite a bit of attention to yourself, much more so than just touching the gun. Find a restroom stall, dressing room, or your car— some place private to fix whatever needs to be fixed without worrying about someone figuring out what you’re doing.
If you’re going to carry, do your best to carry all the time in every place it is legal to do so. You wear your seat belt every time you drive, right? Same goes for carrying your gun. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need it, whether you’re away from home the whole day or just making a quick run to the convenience store. Incidents happen when you least expect them, it pays to always be prepared.
Most men and women who carry concealed are extremely responsible and have the mindset that they’ll do everything in their power to avoid a conflict. But if violence comes their way, they’re prepared to do what it takes to protect themselves and their family. This is a great mindset to have. The biggest mistake is having an invincible or escalation mindset. Just because you carry a gun doesn’t mean it’s OK to walk down a dark alley or intentionally escalate a fight. In fact, it means the exact opposite. By carrying a gun, you must do everything in your power to avoid trouble. Likely you will never have to use your gun in a self-defense scenario, but should the absolute worst happen, you and the police will know you had no hand in bringing the situation upon yourself. Don’t make it easy for anyone to doubt that.