Concealed carry licensing requirements have decreased over the last few decades. Therefore, prospective licensees should identify their state gun and self-defense laws, explore the available concealed carry options for men and women and adopt appropriate carrying behavior.
Gun owners should speak with a lawyer prior to pursuing their licenses, as states have different concealed carry laws. For example, some states only license residents and do not honor licenses from other states, while others only require a handgun license. In addition, states may have age, training, mental health and criminal background requirements and may limit the type of weapon that can be concealed. Owners should also understand the requirements for a legal self-defense claim.
Licensees should choose a comfortable carrying option that does not restrict their movement. To ensure safety, the carrying method should be based on the weapon owner’s body type and size. The weapon type and concealment technique will also determine the type of clothing and number of layers necessary to effectively hide the weapon. For example, an in-clothing design may be required for those who prefer lighter clothing or fewer layers.
In public, licensees should avoid adjusting their weapons and acting as if they are armed. They should remain calm and aware of their surroundings, as many locations, such as state and federal buildings, schools and some retail establishments, are gun-free zones.
Gun owners should participate in additional training, including self-defense, de-escalation and advanced gun training, with certified instructors. They should also practice at local firing ranges to improve their accuracy and muscle memory and prevent them from freezing if they are confronted. Finally, licensees may consider retaining legal counsel and concealed weapons insurance.
Although their primary goal is to avoid trouble, weapons owners should be prepared to defend themselves if a situation arises. Therefore, concealed carry licensees should learn about concealed carry and self-defense laws; choose a comfortable, effective concealment method; and be aware of their actions, responsibilities and surroundings when they are armed.