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How to Carry Concealed in a Restaurant

How to Carry Concealed in a Restaurant

How to Carry Concealed in a Restaurant

I rarely go out to eat unless I’m traveling. And the last few days I’ve been in Utah, Nevada and California. I was in Utah for my family reunion, which is always a good time since this is the side of my family that actually gets along and doesn’t try to avoid each other.

I was in Vegas for a few meetings, and now I’m back in California visiting the wonderful in-laws. And because of all of this traveling I’ve been eating out quite a bit and of course, carrying my gun in the restaurants (except in California.)

Today, I want to share with you some simple and important information about carrying your gun when you’re out to eat that will hopefully keep you and your family safer. First off, the gun I’ve been carrying is a Smith & Wesson snub-nosed revolver. I’ve been carrying it in my front right pocket, which is where I carry all of my pocket guns.

When carrying in your pocket…

The critical thing to remember is not to muzzle the person who is sitting across from you. In other words, before you sit down at a table in the restaurant you need to plan where you’re going to sit so you aren’t pointing a loaded gun at your family member.

Luckily, this is easy to do because when I sit in a booth I always sit on the left hand side, furthest out. In this position my right leg is pointing out into the walking area of the restaurant and nobody who is with me is getting muzzled. (This is because men typically have their legs spread when sitting, which is why my right leg is pointing in the walking area. For women, you may have to adjust your legs and pretend you’re a guy for the duration of the meal.)

The other important thing to remember…

Always try and face the restaurant entrance if you can. I’ve had people in the past tell me that this is “stupid” to do or is what “Rambo” types try to do and I think they’re crazy to think this way. Almost all police officer’s do this and it’s takes about 5 seconds to change seats with someone, so if you’re carrying a gun I highly encourage you to do this.

After all, if you see someone come through the entrance showing warning signs of an attack, that extra second you have to react may be the difference between life and death. Again, the two items I’ve just shared are so simple that there is no reason not to do them the next time you go out to eat because you should always follow the 4 safety rules and because we know that attacks happen everywhere.

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  • Cobrawing

    Hmmm . . . I’m not sure what to make of this article. First off, my method of carry doesn’t change just because I’m going to a restaurant. CONSISTENCY is crucial for me in terms of having a firearm that is reasonably accessible when needed. I don’t have or believe in some special “Restaurant Carry” mode. Sitting in a restaurant, bus, train, office or anywhere else should result in a consistent mode of carry and readiness. Secondly, I would add a sentence that says don’t frequent neighborhoods or restaurants where trouble is likely to occur. I realize trouble can strike anywhere but If I at all think I’ll need a pistol in a given restaurant . . . I’ll find another restaurant.

    Finally, I wish you luck with the comment about your family outside of Utah that doesn’t communicate (ouch). No doubt they’ll not take kindly to your comment about them. Jason, we all have communication issues with some family members but airing such dirty laundry in public in your article isn’t the brightest idea you’ve had. In fact, in recent articles you’ve also ventured into some not very bright comments as well. Negative comments about family, politics, religion, etc. should be left out. Stick to the gun issues is my advice.

    • araczynski

      With no negative comments about family, politics, religion, etc., there is no reason for the internet to exist ;)

      • FreedomForever

        But arent we glad that Al Gore invented the internet….LMAO!

        • araczynski

          too bad he wasn’t smart enough to patent it.

    • http://twitter.com/BadKornFlake BadKornFlake

      Cobrawing you must not get out much if you go to another Restaurant or place of business if you choose to change because of the possibility of using a weapon to defend yourself. Im sure the people werent thinking they needed a gun at the Mcdonalds in San Ysidro CA, the theatre in Aurora CO, the Cracker Barrell in Naples FL, the Waffle House in Spartanburg SC, or the grocery store in AZ (Senator Gabriel Gifford) when they headed out their front door that morning, Each day I carry my weapon and hope (pray) that I never have a need to use it. The likely hood you ever need a weapon is slim (unless you go looking for trouble, ie.George Zimmerman). The idea of a citizen carring a concealed weapon is to live a normal productive and happy peaceful life. If the one time comes when there is that need you must protect yourself you have the ability.
      I do however agree with you about consistency becuase practice leads to muscle memory, which is one of the core values in a stressful situation. My goal is to carry the same way every time.

      • Greywolf

        Sorry, but I have to disagree with your statement “unless you go looking for trouble i.e. George Zimmerman”
        George Zimmerman was not out looking for trouble – he was/is the neighborhood watch coordinator for his neighborhood and when he happened upon the “angelic, fresh faced, innocent teenager” that is Treyvon Martin (yes I am being sarcastic), he did his job… he stopped and questioned a man who was acting suspiciously in a place he had no business being… Martin did not live in the neighborhood (although there are claims that his uncle’s or cousin’s fiancee did)… and with all due respect, Martin did not have to attack Zimmerman when he was stopped… all he had to do was explain why he was there and move on… it was after all, Martin that attacked and tried to kill Zimmerman and not the other way around. Martin had been previously bragging about “ground pounding people MMA style” and that’s exactly what he did when he attacked Zimmerman… let’s not forget who was the actual victim in that case… after all, what is a person supposed to do in order to stay in favor with public opinion? Die at the hands of an attacker rather than fight back? It is a bunch of left wing, politically correct sheeple that believe we live in a perfect world where everyone should just get along, that are condemning and convicting Zimmerman rather than the facts of the case… this is why Zimmerman was originally allowed to go free and only after “public outcry” and the possibility of race riots occurring during an election year that prompted the Attorney General for the State of Florida to change his mind and go after Zimmerman for homicide… the facts of the case actually exonerate the man but now he is being tried by the court of public opinion and it is statements like yours that are condemning him also.

        It might be worth noting that the “Guardian Angels” ARE a vigilante group that DO go looking for trouble (at least they did) but to date, that group hasn’t been tried for vigilantism… so why is the court of public opinion trying George Zimmerman, a man who was forced to defend his own life against a drug dealing thug who was trying to kill him at the time?

        • RetMSgt

          I OC my 9mm pistol here in Pennsylvania. Haven’t had any problems yet.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ess/100000666571492 Dan Ess

          We shall never know the truth about the GZ /TM murder.

          • FreedomForever

            IMO Zimmerman will be free of all charges. The liberal media paints it like hes a racist and murderer in which hes not! Just look at that liberal idiot race rustler Al Sharptongue and you’ll get the real picture.

        • http://twitter.com/BadKornFlake BadKornFlake

          You misunderstand my statement. If the facts are true that Martiin was the attacker (and I believe those facts are true) than he had every right to defend himself and stop Martin even if that meant mortally wounding him (I would have done the same thing and slept very well that night). I also believe that the police did acurately investigate the orignal outcome and that the knee jerk reaction of the politicians over this being a racial crime shows just how pathetic our country has become with are politicians.
          However Zimmerman did go looking for trouble. The neighborhood watch program is a progam of neighbors watching out for other neighbors and reporting that to police. Regardless of him being the Neighborhood coordinator, block captain, or comandante. The minute he stepped out of his vehicle and tracked down Martin he did in fact go looking for trouble rather than waiting for police and being a good witness.. The key (if I havent made my point) was he was not the security guard or police (Show me where they teach armed take downs and confronting suspect in the neighbor hood watch program) In your own words Martin was a suspicious person (and I agree) which meant while he didnt belong there he had yet to commit a crime, there was no eminent danger to anyone prior to the attack.
          I also dont belive that Zimmerman did anything legally wrong. But, he did use poor judgement in needlessly pursueing the unknown when there was time to wait for “backup” in the form of police.
          All that being said proves that there is a difference between sitting in Applebee’s for dinner and taking comfort in knowing you are capable of protecting your family versus confronting a person in the dark of night on the streets.

    • Greywolf

      I am not sure that I agree with your article, nor do I think that your attitude would protect you in an impending trial, post self defense shooting. We do not carry because we expect trouble nor do we carry because we know it will occur in any particular place. We carry because we DON’T know when or where trouble will strike. I will agree that if we expect that trouble might occur in certain places, we tend to avoid those places but to state that “If I think I’ll need a pistol at a given restaurant, I’ll find another restaurant” is a very dangerous statement to make as, it tells the prosecuting attorney that if you ever do find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have to defend your life, that you must have been aware that trouble was going to occur or else you wouldn’t have carried your firearm, therefore you were “out looking for trouble, and you found it”.
      Remember that the prosecuting attorney in any trial does not give a damn whether the defendant in that trial is innocent or not… he’s not going to help you walk out of court a free man… rather he is going to do whatever it takes to trip you up and get you to admit that you were in fact looking for trouble because you fancied yourself as some sort of vigilante. He (or she) has the perfect “slam dunk” case… he’s got the “murder weapon”, the perpetrator, the “victim” and he is all but 5 minutes from putting you in jail for the rest of your natural life before he plays 18 rounds at the country club with the judge who just sentenced you… all he or she has to do is prove your intent to do harm to another… your statement above, although well meaning and, in all honesty I do get your point, just serves to prove his theory while damning you to life in a 12×12 cell with Bubba for a new girlfriend… just food for thought.
      The fact is that we NEVER know when trouble is going to strike until mere moments before it does… and it can happen at ANY time… when out with the family at the movies (yes I did just go there), at church, at the diner (even the family diner that you and your family have frequented for decades), or while shopping at the mall. Violence can rear it’s ugly head at any time, in any place and all you can do is hope that if you are present, that you have the right tools, the right training, and the right frame of mind to do what needs to be done to keep yourself, your family and anyone else that’s not a bad guy, safe from harm.

  • FireFighterChen

    So…don’t muzzle your family but muzzle everyone who walks into the restaurant?

    This same topic has come up in the forums here at USACarry, but it was in the setting of a theater (per-Aurora). One person was having troubles finding a way to sit in a theater without his firearm pointing at the back of the person in front of him (pertains to carry when the firearm is below the hip and rotates with the thigh ie: pocket carry).

    The mood of the thread went to, if you don’t trust the firearm you shouldn’t be carrying it. Secondary to, the rules of handling a firearm is just that, handling the firearm. If the firearm is in a proper holster, not being handled, to not worry about it.

    Overall I understand where the article is coming from, and it offers good advice. It’s always a good thing to be thoughtful, and think about where you want to sit and how you sit in anywhere you go. As he stated, it takes only a few seconds.

    Personally, I have all ready spoken with my wife (as she is the one person I eat with all the time.). Everytime we go to a place to eat, when we get to our table, she will look at the entrances and exits, and position herself on the correct side of the table. She get’s in a position to allow her to duck under the table that will hopefully provide her some concealment while she draws her side arm, allowing me to draw if needed and have a clear view to the entrance and/or closest door. It only takes us a couple seconds prior to sitting down. I am very proud of her for the head she has on her shoulders.

    • John Doe

      Your wife sounds like a very aware woman. I’ve been working with my wife to be just as observant. We always make sure to keep our eyes open when dining out. It only takes one time of not being alert.

  • John Doe

    I only carry revolvers that cannot go off without a trigger being pulled.
    I dont condemn anyone elses choices, but I flat out do not trust a gun that can go off if dropped or bumped.
    There will ALWAYS be instances where your gun is aimed at a human being, family member or not, and I want to KNOW my gun is incapable of firing even if beat with a hammer so I can trust that it isnt going to ever go off without my finger being on the trigger.

    My opinion is that a gun with a transfer bar and that is double action so the firing pin cannot be hit unless the hammer is back and the transfer bar is in position is the only way to go…one that is double action so the gun is not carried with the hammer in the cocked position.

    Just my personal opinion, obviously, but there are semi autos, such as the Beretta 92 and the Taurus knockoff (which I actually like better having owned both) that are fine examples of well designed ‘safe’ guns that dont have to be watched after like a spoiled child just waiting to go off.

    • Cobrawing

      I’m starting to agree with you. I’m finding that I now much prefer to carry my double action only S&W Bodyguard revolver in lieu of my Kimber Ultra Elite compact .45. I say this because a couple of times now I discovered my weapon was somehow no longer locked and therefore vulnerable in the cocked position. I’ve got several excellent holsters and the weapon has been fully checked out by a competent gunsmith. Still, this has happened a few times now.

      When I find a weapon slipping out of safety even though it doesn’t happen often, it still gives me pause for concern. I don’t like that feeling. They’re both excellent weapons, but I’m starting to become more comfortable with the wheel gun for reliability and safety. Besides, more malfunctions (feeding, stove pipping, ejection issues, safety lever issues, etc.) can occur with a semi-automatic than a wheel gun. It all comes down to a personal choice of what one is most comfortable with I suppose and I’m starting to lean more toward my wheel guns.

    • Greywolf

      Not sure where you got your information about semi-auto’s being like a “spoiled child” just waiting to go off! Most modern semi-auto’s are in fact safer than revolvers. Most that I’ve ever handled can not “just go off” when bumped (although here is always the remote possibility that a defective firearm could). In almost ALL cases of negligent discharge, it is operator negligence, rather than firearm design that causes the firearm to discharge unintentionally.
      Personally, I carry a Sig Sauer P226 Elite because I am a big guy, I have huge hands and I find that for up close and personal (which is where most self defence shootings occur) there is far less chance of my clothing catching fire because of the escaping hot gases from the chamber because those gases only escape from the muzzle of a semi-auto. Other advantages are ease of reloading during body alarm response (you try reloading a revolver when your hands are shaking and you can’t see straight) and because of the increased ammunition capacity of semi-autos, there is less likelihood of you needing to reload anyway. Remember that most (not all) single action revolvers need to have one chamber empty (the one directly behind the hammer and inline with the muzzle) in order to be truly safe when carried so if you have a 45 caliber revolver that holds 5 rounds… when carried safely, will only have 4 rounds… I would much rather have the option of 10 rounds ready to go if needed. Remember that ultimately when selecting ANY firearm for defensive purposes, you get what you pay for.

      • mmcglone

        Greywolf, I too carry a Sig P226 tactical and my wife carries a Sig P239, are always holstered. We too do the same dance when dinning out. I always face the door and we notice where the exits are located. By the way, I practice drawing and firing from the waist level at the same time my weak hand cover the side of my face. Just a way of getting that hand out of the way.

  • walmart1989

    wow i would of never thought of that thanks for putting this out there

  • http://www.facebook.com/BobBlack72 Bob Black

    If you stick to the belly-band or waist (in or out), no one gets muzzled. And – I would guess – a bit easier to draw if necessary…

  • WOP 2

    Great article. Fortunately, here in Pennsylvania, even open carry is acceptable in a restaurant, BUT with the exception of a few pro-gun fundraisers, I usually cover the 1911 with a jacket and keep the little LCP in my weak side front pocket. When the weather is hot, and jacket is impractical, or worse, a neon sign that points you out as having a gun on your belt, I put either my LCP or a S&W 642 in the strong side right front pocket. Neither gun is going to go off by itself, so “muzzling” someone isn’t my big concern. I like to sit on the end of the table, facing the entrance, too. The extra second you gain in having your gun in hand and on target may save your entire table’s life. At the end of the day, you’ll shoot like you practice. I regularly practice (using Snap-Caps) drawing from a seated position. Its actually very strange at first, and I’d encourage all to get familiar with it. Keeping your radar on a hightened state while out and about is always a good idea. No, you are not Rambo, but in my 20 years of service in the Air Force, SA was a frequent topic. That’s Situational Awareness, and it is critical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-J-Santa-Cruz/693364080 George J. Santa Cruz

    One of the biggest drawbacks to pocket carry is the difficulty of drawing while seated. Reach into your pocket and obtain a firing grip (if you even can) while seated (with an unloaded firearm of course). Now try and draw the pistol… almost impossible. You have to extend the leg on the pocket carry side essentially straight and then slide down in the seat to effect the draw. It just doesn’t make sense to deliberately go to pocket carry when you will primarily be seated.

  • Jim Isbell

    I only carry in my right pocket when I know I will be standing. Getting a pistol out of your pocket while sitting is NOT easy, at least not for me. Getting anything out of my pocket while sitting is difficult. I carry on the inside of my left ankle. Its available when sitting and pointed at the ground when holstered.

    I sometimes carry in my right pocket when in the car even though I will be sitting. This is as opposed to putting it under the seat or in the dash. I may not be wearing my ankle holster because of comfort on a long trip. I feel the pistol needs to be ON ME, not in the car. If a car-jacker grabs my left arm and yanks me out of the car quickly, I dont want to have left the gun in the car. I want it on me!!

    • Greywolf

      With all due respect… a car-jacker can only get to you if your vehicle is stationary. If you are paying attention to your surroundings (which you should be doing while driving anyway) then he, she or it should not be able to surprise you therefore, if that person does decide to target you, your firearm should be already in your hand. Additionally, a car-jacker would have to first open your door in order to get you out… as a matter of routine, your vehicle doors should be locked until you need to get out – thus it should be impossible for said person to simply yank you from your vehicle – that is assuming that you are not going to fight back physically before drawing your firearm (assuming that your gun is still holstered)… Did you know, that by simply being aware of your surroundings, and reflecting that in your body language (you don’t have to think about this, it happens naturally when you are aware), that 99% of criminals will simply leave you alone in the first place (active shooter nut jobs excepted)? Criminals are by nature, predators. They look for the weak, the elderly, the infirm, the inattentive – They don’t want to fight… they want to get up to you, take what they want from you and then get away from you – unharmed and unnoticed – if you’re aware, they can’t achieve that element of surprise and so usually won’t attack you.
      80% of human communication happens at the subconscious “body language” level – and most street criminals are experts in reading body language… they have to be in order to survive… increase your level of awareness and you reduce the risk to you.

      • Jim Isbell

        With all due respect…I am not always moving in my car. Sometimes I stop…stop lights, parking lots, home,. I dont grab my weapon and brandish it as I get out of the car, that would be illegal. And carjackings can hit just as you open the door in a mid day parking lot at Wallmart. If you can see around the adjacent cars in a parking lot and if you can get out of your car in 3 seconds get standing while brandishing your sidearm, good for you, I cant. If someone is in the adjacent car, opens the door and grabs your left arm as you exit, they have a momentary advantage on you. Again, I prefer to have my weapon on me than in the car.

        • Greywolf

          Either you didn’t read my article properly or you simply didn’t understand it… I never said you should be brandishing your firearm at every opportunity… on the contrary I said that if you were paying attention to your surroundings (which you should be at all times while driving) then you would see the threat coming and would therefore have your firearm in your hand ready if needed. I did not, nor would I ever suggest that you should always have your firearm in your hand simply because you are in a situation where someone “could” attack you… besides, if your firearm is “on you” how are you going to draw it when it’s needed if seated in the vehicle?
          Before you say that it is after you’ve been forcibly removed from your car that you will shoot back, you should be aware that shooting a bad guy AFTER he’s pulled you from your car and about to drive off is a one way ticket to prison… because AFTER he’s dragged you from the car and is driving off, you are no longer faced with a lethal force threat and are therefore NOT legally justified in using ANY force at that point.
          For the record, here in the Detroit area, most car-jackers simply walk up, shoot you in the face then drag your dead or dying body from the car before driving off… still think your firearm should be all but inaccessible until after your pulled from the vehicle?

          • Jim Isbell

            With all due respect…you dont understand. Detroit is not the center of the world. In Texas discharging a firearm from inside a car IS a crime so you cant shoot as you are being pulled out unless you are very careful to wait until outside the car. AND…in Texas, if he has your property you CAN shoot him…no mater where he is, though it is better if he hasnt crossed your property line, or the property line of a location where you are with the permission of the owner (think a public parking lot would qualify) when the slug catches him in the back. I dont think I would shoot if he was running away, though legal, but if he was in my car and my wife was in the other seat, no jury in Texas would indite me.

          • Greywolf

            Really? So shooting to defend yourself while being attacked in your car and therefore faced with a real threat from harm is not OK… but shooting someone who merely has your property is? I would say that it is your state legislators who don’t understand… and for the record, Texas ain’t the center of the universe either… still, it is nice to have a civilized debate and you get to learn something new every day. Thanks for the education… note to self: Don’t visit Texas… their state legislators are crazy…

  • baldeagle378

    I too carry regularly in my front pocket. You do need to remember that it is very difficult to draw from a pocket from a sitting position. If I were concerned about a potential threat, I’d revert to an appendix inside the waist band carry. I’ve been carrying for 45 years.

  • SFret

    The only safe gun is one that is unloaded and locked in a safe.

    For you “hard heads”, he’s teaching a principal. If you don’t carry your weapon in a downward direction (cross draw, pocket, etc.), be aware of your surroundings in order to LIMIT accidents and increase your AWARENESS.

    For some of us gun professionals (military, law enforcement, etc.) this may seem like common sense. But, to NEW gun users (like my brother), it’s better to teach them the little common sense things we already know.

    Jim. Special Forces Retired

    • Tionico

      Jim, true enoough, such guns are “safe” but they are, in “safe” mode, useless. Or, perhaps that IS your point. Like the old saying goes.. “it ain’t the arrow, its the Indian”. WHO has that gun in their control, that’s what defines how safe it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blogen.geezer Blogen Geezer

    K Bob’s Steak House, ABQ NM mid 1970′s. 3 gunmen Entered. Took immediate control. Friend (Big man) was in booth pinned by friends and table. ‘Lead’ gunman was extremely intense, dilated pupils, angry that friend could not get wallet out of pocket ‘fast’ enough. Pointed semi-auto into friends face and cocked hammer, ready to begin the massacre.

    Young girl in Bible group began singing “Jesus Loves Me”, entire restaurant joined in. Leader that had friend pinned, yelled to his ‘squad’, “Come on, Get the F out of here….NOW”. Career Repeat Offenders were eventually caught out of state, faced charges for killing in other ‘events’. After two similar ‘Slaughters’ in New Mexico, Las Cruces Bowling Lanes and Hollywood Video store, Legislators passed CCW.

  • 45PocketPistol

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jason. I have always sat seat facing the door when eating in a restaurant, for as long as I can remember. It just came naturally to me (common sense, I guess). Also, I always carry strong side. I only pocket carried for a couple of months after receiving my CCW until my custom holster arrived. Draw from the pocket is just too slow and difficult.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DOXB56FEWXKIAQBDWRGZEYRINE Jimmy D' Alessio

    I Think Anyone Dumb Enough To Carry A Gun in His , or Her Pants Front Pocket , at any Time ,Oughta Take a Look at What is next to YOUR Pocket , and it Ain’t Your Wife !
    Maybe You Should break down , and Buy a Custom Holster , And “Keep us ALL Safe !

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DOXB56FEWXKIAQBDWRGZEYRINE Jimmy D' Alessio

    He Should Also Not Make it As Obvious as He is Making it Sound , Sounds Like You’re More Worried What The Rest Of The Place Thinks about Your Appearance , Than a Tactical , Normal Relaxed Person ,……..Loosen Up, I Don’t mean To Be Critical , but I am Trained in These Situations , And Not as A Cop, but A Former Instructor in These Stealth Type Sits., And We All Learn by Our Mistakes , and I have Made My Share ,YOU BET .

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=635552750 Billy Masters

      Is that a book title or do you just love the shift key? ;-)

      • http://twitter.com/BadKornFlake BadKornFlake

        Thats Funny!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072966726 Chad Penny

    Unfortunately MOST restaurants I eat at serve alcohol so the option to conceal carry is gone. I firmly believe that rule should be changed, but for the time being that’s the situation. I try to sit with my back to the wall facing towards the entrance, I always have (ex military, I’m sure others will understand). When I carry, it’s in a holster so when I sit down it faces DOWNWARD, so it’s no problem. I don’t recommend people carrying their firearm in their pocket, especially if it’s loose.

    • FreedomForever

      I’m from Texas and I have my chl and I always go into a Cheddars restaurant to eat with my family and this establishment also sells alcohol but the law here states its ok for me to go there as long as that establishment doesnt make over I believe 50 or 51% percent profit in alcohol sales in which they dont and of course by law I dont drink when carrying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=635552750 Billy Masters

    Wait… why don’t you carry in CA restaurants???

    • http://www.facebook.com/ray.marotta.5 Ray Marotta

      Most likely because it is nearly impossible to get a concealed carry permit in California.
      You don’t want to violate someone’s right to attack or rob you.

    • Moparman

      Yeah why? There are many places one would think you can’t carry, but remember, if you are carrying properly no one knows you are. Right? I am in Ca and I carry everywhere

  • Jack

    I carry my gun everytime I go out, I hope I never need to take it out of its holster, But I crry in a Holster on my right side, Covered with a top sherit. Pray we never need to used them.

  • SCfromNY

    Here in SC we are STILL waiting for the restaurant issue to be resolved. Am I paranoid in a restaurant? No, but I have concerns walking in a dark parking lot or leaving my gun in the car. If allowed to carry in restaurants my EDC ( 1of3 H&Ks) is always with me in my normal carrying spot. Though as a freind once revealed should he have to carry in a prohibited restaurant he will pocket carry (small PM9 etc) in his front pocket and then move while sitting to his more accessible and easier to grip cargo pocket (during a trip to bathroom). This is not a recommendation to carry illeagly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000911417008 Patrick Fox

    why did you not carry in restaunts in calif?? as long as alcohol isn’t the primary purpose of the restraunt, carry is legal ” as in” a bar, that serves food = no!!//// a restaunt that serves alcohol with it’s food = yes! it’s ok…good article, i only rear pocket holster carry or strong side holster carry, never front pocket carry,, thanx..p.f.

  • RedRiverD

    The biggest problem I see with pocket carry or back carry is the access if necessary without drawing attention to yourself. That is the MAIN reason I went with a fanny pack.
    If need be, ANYWHERE, all I have to do is pull on a loop and it unzips and there is my gun right at hand with very LITTLE arm or shoulder movement. And when seated at a restaurant table the pack is completely out of sight and yet easily accessible.
    If i were to pocket carry, when I sit, it would trap the gun and I would have to straighten my leg or shift my upper body to access the gun, which would be way too obvious to a criminal…..
    Just my opinion mind you even though I gave CONSIDERABLE thought before i purchased a fanny pack…..

  • fbihalo8

    Alway hav done the Resturant carry concealed profile

  • Whitney1207

    I like this article, and i can appreciate your “lesson”. I believe the reason you don’t carry in California is because it’s one of the most difficult states to get a CCW. I would venture to say it’s nearly impossible depending on where you apply. SO when I read this I thought that you didn’t carry in CA due to this not because you made a choice to not carry at this particular restaurant.

  • Watchman

    in a restaurant or any other primarily seated situation, I carry in an ankle holster as I cant imagine attempting to draw from inside pants while seated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ess/100000666571492 Dan Ess

    I immediately thought pant pocket carrying seemed like an unusual method myself. The only pocket(s) I carry in, is an inside breast in a vest or jacket, or outside hand warmer pocket. 60% of the time it’s inside the waistband holster, 30% belt slide holster and 10% other, but never pant pocket. Ankle rig or shoulder pack (camera bag with a camera too) is generally used for secondary carry back-up of LCP380, NAA 22wmr or Snake Slayer IV 410/45LC. My favorite carry is Kahr MK40 or a 3″ to 4″ barrel 45. The camera bag is nice when at a table, as it sits by my side on the booth seat, I typically take booths (if available); easier to pull a weapon and not be noticed (if the need were to arise). I’d have to agree with the others, if I am concerned about my weapon going off facing my meal guest, then I shouldn’t be carrying that weapon outside the house.

  • firechaplain1

    Ankle carry. However, what to do when wearing shorts? Options begin to get limited as the temperature rises.

  • Kevin

    I too always face the entry doors. I have stoped a stick-up once in a Thai Restaurant becuse I saw he case the joint as we were eating.. I had already called 911 and gave the Imfo. to them on what he was going and wearing. I live in Las Vegas. So when you see a guy wearing a long over coat in 105* heat and one arm down straght you kinda know somethings up. He passed by the window two times and peaked into the window through the tint. He didn’t think we could see him I guess? As the police were on there way he ran in and started to pull his sawed off shotgun. before he could even get it all the way out I took him down. And kept him there for another 2 min. when the police got there. So yes always face the door. Luckly I never even had to pull my weapon.

  • gene

    What are the easiest signs for me to ID someone like you carrying a legal weapon in a restaurant. We only eat at places that have weapon bans and I want to be able to ID those breaking the law. Thanks

    • FreedomForever

      Gene you sound like a true liberal communist traitor of this country or just a troll for saying what you said. I hope the day never arises that you and your family are in a restaurant and a criminal comes in to rob a shoot people because you will be wishing someone had a conceal that day! Go and move to china and see how ya like it there, I’m sure your ass will be back in the states very soon!

  • DarylD

    A good and simple article, Jason. Keeping your eye on the door is always a good thing to do. As for carrying a handgun, the popular trend now is to carry the smallest, lightest, revolver or pistol that can be carried but is effective enough to defend one’s self with. This trend tends to travel toward some very interesting carry positions and locations – some of which are inherently dangerous to the carrier, let alone others.

    My preference is to carry strong-side just behind the hip in a good IWB holster. My other preference is to carry a pistol rather than a revolver on most occasions. The pistol has an advantage over a revolver in that side flash is non-existent. In close quarters with a small short-barreled revolver, side and muzzle flash could injure an innocent if they were too close when the trigger was pulled. That’s not to say that a revolver is not effective. It is to say that side and muzzle flash are considerations to think about when using a revolver. I normally carry a Bersa 45UC or Glock G36 but I do carry a Ruger SP101 on occasion.

    A point that (I feel) should be added is to maintain an awareness of your surroundings. It’s very easy to get caught up in a conversation and totally distance yourself from what is going on around you. Glance around the crowd as much as possible as you are engaging in conversation. The dynamics of an eatery changes constantly and one needs to be aware of those changes in dynamics.

  • matefrio

    You have a pocket holster right? Don’t worry about the gun if it’s secure in a good pocket holster.

  • Norm

    I use a person sized Target whenever possibe. I shoot every month to stay Sharp

  • Docs150

    I “always” carry IWB unless keeping something else close then it’s IWB and sub-compact back-up last ditch effort stuff(normally this is covered with a speedstrip only). . Security and not having to figit for the peace-notice the mispelling make for secure and easy carry. With proper practice you will see that you can erase all but hand movement from seated position(if your hands/arms are already in the “I’m chewing” position you were supposed to learn when a kid…lol. Most of us are talking or listening during the lip-smacking phase…

  • Jim.in.TX

    YOU can NOT be MORE RIGHT, PERIOD.. Back to the wall, eyes front. I carry IWB, but, same rule applies.

  • freedomforever

    I never carry a gun in my pocket, its very dangerous to do so. I myself wear a holster and when I’m at an eating establishment I pick a seat or booth that faces the door because I wanna know whats happening just in case I need to use my weapon. Kinda hard when you got your back to everyone!

  • Artista_CO

    I have run into a funny situation a number of times – Having lunch or dinner with my friends who are also CCW holders and/or double dating our wives (respectively) There is always an awkward moment of each of us looking at each other – wondering who will sit facing the door. Even though we are friends, it would be a bit awkward both of us sitting next to each other in a booth. lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/gunclass Campbells Firearmsccwtraining

    Henson I got your mail and other propaganda and truth is I as much of a marketing guy as you are if maybe better. To test the waters a little I tried reposting this on my facebook page to see what others think and caught hell from other gun totters. Henson I know your trying really hard to get your name out there but you really should reconsider some of the things you encourage others to do. Get yourself a committee. I hope you go far and continue preaching the good word. But get some advisers first so you don’t peddle backwards.