10 Things Concealed Carriers Should Never Do


By James England – Republished with Permission from Concealed Nation.

There are WAY more than 10 things you should never do as a concealed carrier or as a firearms owner in general.  But we’ve decided to pick 10 extremely important ones.  We’re not judging you if you do these things – we’re just saying it’s the opposite of responsible.

1.  Firing Warning Shots

There are a lot of tense, ambiguous situations out there.  Like, maybe you’re debating whether or not you should take a defensive posture and remove your concealed carry firearm or not.  Let’s skip to the chase – if you feel threatened, act accordingly.  That’s all it comes down to.  But DO NOT – repeat, DO NOT – fire warning shots.  If someone doesn’t believe your concealed carry firearm is loaded, they’re welcome to find out the hard way.  Heck, if you have it out already, you can even tell them to chill out on the ground while you wait for police to arrive.  There’s a whole lot of options (A LOT).  Firing a warning shot isn’t one of them.

And in most cases, discharging a firearm within most municipalities or while out in town is an actual crime.  As in, if you discharged that round and police arrive and find that you weren’t actively using that round to defend yourself from an imminent, deadly threat – you’re in hot water.  So, if it’s come to rounds being exchanged – make sure the first one counts.

2.  Pants Tuck Your Concealed Carry Pistol Without A Holster



Can’t afford gender reassignment surgery?  Having a hard time hitting those high soprano notes?  Sticking a loaded pistol down the front of your pants isn’t really a good alternative – but it will work!

Holsterless concealed carry isn’t effective.  There’s nothing protecting your trigger guard and even with a tight belt, you’re not really providing good, even retention across the firearm.  It’s asking for a disaster to happen.

Holsters are just like ammunition – a required investment in order to protect yourself.  And there are plenty that are affordable and effective.

3.  Instinctive Shooting Without Practice

If you don’t practice instinctive shooting, don’t expect it to suddenly appear when you pull out your concealed carry pistol.  More importantly, if you don’t practice dry firing, holstering and re-holstering, and do some actual range time once in awhile, those skills are virtually non-existent in your reactive mind – the part of your brain you need to actually respond to an emergency.

4.  Not Paying Attention To What’s Around Your Target

In an actual active shooter environment, you have to stay on top of what is in front and behind the shooter.  Reflexively spraying rounds in the general direction of an attacker is a great way to injure or kill others – with absolutely no guarantee of taking out your target.  So before you fire, look around the target area.  It only takes a few milliseconds and you could save someone’s life.  It’s also a fundamental of firearm safety.  Which brings us to…

5.  Ignoring The Fundamentals Of Firearm Safety

There’s a serious misconception with some concealed carriers that the fundamentals of firearm safety suddenly evaporate if they’re stuck in an active shooting environment.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Every single round that exits your gun will be investigated when the police arrive.  And if they find you’ve negligently responded to a threat, you’re not going to be the “hero that saved the day” – you’re going to be taken up on criminal or civil charges.

6.  One Magazine And Done

If you have a concealed carry pistol – where’s your number two magazine?  If it’s not on you or nearby, you’re putting yourself unnecessarily at risk.  Like the botched robbery we reported on earlier in Los Angeles and plenty of other places – once the shooting starts, it doesn’t stop until the police arrive, the threat is gone or someone is dead.  If it’s not a direct hit that does it, it certainly will be the first person who runs out of ammunition.  That doesn’t mean you need to walk around with an ammo can.  Just having a spare magazine that’s accessible is (probably) good enough.

7.  Inserting Yourself Into Conflicts



“Equal and opposite reaction”

There is nothing wrong with self-defense.  There’s nothing wrong with helping out someone who is being brutally attacked, robbed, or victimized.  But do understand the legal quandary you’ll be placing yourself in.  We recently reported on a story involving a man who tried to intervene in a domestic assault.  Unfortunately everyone involved, the attacker turned his attention from the woman to him and the man defended himself with one well placed shot from his concealed carry pistol.  Did he do the right thing?  Morally and ethically, he certainly stopped a woman from being assaulted.  He also protected himself from being the victim of an assault.  But law enforcement and county prosecution will ultimately determine the full consequences for his actions.  Make sure – whatever you do – you’re willing to accept the consequences.  And there will always be consequences.

8.  Not Locking Up Your Firearms

If you have children in the house (or even other occupants), you should always secure firearms that are not physically on your person.  In this news report we covered, a burglar was able to enter a woman’s home, grab her shotgun and point it at her before a friend shot him.

We’ve also covered news stories about children whom have gotten into their mother’s purses and either shot themselves or their parents.  This is important!  A firearm is a tool.  It can be used by anyone who picks it up.  And if it is not secured, you are giving them invitation to do so.

9.  Choosing Convenience Over Safety

There are a lot of fads out there in regards to “new” ways to holster a firearm.  Everything from using a holster system that doesn’t protect the trigger guard to storing it at an angle where it may be easily taken from you – your concealed carry firearm is your life line.  Do not take chances with it.  Do not put it on your body in such a way that it may harm you or others.  If that means wearing clothes that break your status as a fashion icon – so be it.

Complacency kills.

10.  Overestimating Your Abilities And Underestimating Your Opponent’s

The most dangerous habit a concealed carrier can get himself into is assuming he knows more than his opponent.  Most people in the United States will be able to live their lives without being the undue victim of gun violence or gun crimes.  For the very few who will deal with it – siding on the side of caution is always the right move.

If you can read minds, great.  For everyone who can’t – never assume anything about your opponent or the situation you find yourself in.  Judge it critically, quickly, and always move towards the option that promises safety first.  Prepare and train for uncertainty and never assume an enemy will act like a paper target – these are good steps towards avoiding overconfidence as a concealed carrier.

Can you think of any other things a concealed carrier should never do?  Tell us in the comments section below.

No Code Needed
CCI Blazer Brass 9mm 124gr FMJ Ammunition 50rds

CCI Blazer Brass 9mm 124gr FMJ Ammunition 50rds

CCI Blazer Brass 9mm 124gr FMJ Ammunition 50rds for $15.50

$159.99 (Reg. $259.99)
No Code Needed
SCCY CPX-1 9mm Black & Stainless Pistol w/ Safety, (1 Magazine)

SCCY CPX-1 9mm Black & Stainless Pistol w/ Safety, (1 Magazine)

Looking for a cheap 9mm? You can grab a SCCY CPX-1 9mm Black & Stainless Pistol w/ Safety, (1 Magazine) for $159.99 right now at Palmetto State Armory

25% OFF!
Vertx 25% Off

Vertx 25% OFF Coupon Code

I've partnered up with Vertx to get you 25% off everything from their site. They make high-quality tactical clothing and gear. Just use the coupon code: usacarry

Previous articleNo Such Thing As An Ideal Opponent — A Tragic Tale Of Two Teens
Next articleThe Changing Face of Gun Ownership in the USA
Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aaron K. Baxter

Brandish your firearm. Don’t touch it or hint that you have it unless you intend to use it. Also avoid printing and adjusting.

Francine High

This is something really interesting that is worth paying your attention right now,a superb online opportunity to work for those people who want to use their free time so that they can make some extra money using their computers… I have been working on this for last two and half years and I am earning 60-90 dollar/ hour … In the past week I have earned 13,70 dollars for almost 20 hours sitting ….

Specific qualification, degree or skills is not necessary for this, just keyboard typing and a good working and reliable internet connection ….

Any Time limitations or boundations to start work is not required … You may do this work at any time when you willing to do it ….

How I have been doing this?…..….see this (site-Iink) on my !profile!` to know how I am working` on this`


Fred Walk

Forget your carry permit expiration date. Just like a drivers license, when it is expired it is useless.


If you’re carrying…avoid New Jersey.


And the Democratic People’s Republic of Maryland – the state honors NO other state’s CPLs!

David K

Also Illinois and all gun free zones!

Tony Nash

If avoidance is an option, accept it graciously.


Always be aware of your surroundings, in code yellow. Avoidance is always first, but if confrontation is unavoidable, do not hesitate–“he who hesitates is lost”

Jeremy E.

I know this should be a no brainer, but some people have no brains. Don’t walk around with your CCW loaded with FMJ. over penetration is real! Get some good self defense rounds for your weapon….just sayin’.

Steven Druzynski

Can’t stress that point enough, FMJ will most likely not stop any attack as it will pass through the attacker and possibly kill an innocent person or cause property damage you hope! I use Hornady HP….save FMJ for practice and practice and practice more!

Wright Margot

I am a senior citizen. I have a Glock 19 as my CCW. I have yet to find a decent holster for my purse or my pants. Any suggestions? Thank you


Mic for your purse and alien gear for the pants.

Nathan Ledoux

Don’t carry it in your purse, if a criminal runs by and snatches it, you’ve now lost your gun.

Steven Druzynski

What if you are carrying concealed and you get into a physical confrontation that was NOT your doing, during this scuffle your opponent noticed you are carrying and then proceeds to gain control of your firearm….,knowing that if he gets control most likely he will use it on you! Can you then once you have the opportunity use it with deadly force as he showed you physically he would shoot and kill you if he gained control……just understand that you had absolutely no intention of ever pulling your firearm untill after he tried to gain control of it….,.this could very well happen to any CC person….

Michael Bare

??? are you asking a question or listing advice?

If someone is physically assaulting you, he has already crossed that line. He doesnt need to show you his ability or his willingness to shoot you if he got your gun. After all, he’s already attacking you. It’s time to take your beating or defend yourself with the tool you have been cleared to carry.


Yeah, never vote Democrat!


Left-Right, left-right, left-right ….!!!


Check the state of your firearm before leaving home. Is it cocked and locked? Is it full of lint? Is there a round in the chamber? Are you loaded with PP rounds or range? Where is your backup mag? Is it full? Etc. Knowing this can also help your decision reacting to your weapon being grabbed to be used against you.


You need to make sure every gun you purchase will shoot and load what you plan on using for self defense. Don’t just practice with your FMJ put a few hundred rounds of your JHP through it, make sure it likes it and is reliable. This usually won’t be an issue but best to make sure. Also try and get a weapon with a large ejection port so it is easier to clear a unspent round. Ejection ports are meant to eject a spent casing but also need to clear a misfeed.


Locking up your weapons will render them unusable in the event of a break in.
Deal with children safety appropriately but beware what risks you take.

Draftsteel Paul

comfort is paramount select a weapon and holster system that is comfortable for YOU , what is comfortable for the next person may not work for you …if you are not comfortable chances are you will leave it at home when it is needed most … if you a going to carry , carry all the time make it part of your wardrobe ( just like shoes) dress around the firearm you may have to change a few things ..a GOOD belt is important to secure it .. I use a T-shirt and open button down shirt and carry at 8 o’clock with IWB holster so it is never seen and printing is almost never an issue but to do this you MUST have the proper holster for you when sitting … I am so comfortable with my rig that I carry 12-16 hours a day with no ill effects even when driving

randy crawford

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The best magazine for extra ammo is a “New York magazine” a.k.a. at least one back-up gun if not more. Preferably all the same model with interchangeable calibers + magazines. Have a gunsmith put in all new springs about every 3,000-5,000 rounds, and new recoil springs every 1,000 rounds or so. As frequently as practical, take out your magazine and check your spring tensions. Springs are just like paperclips and break with flexing when they want to– you just don’t know whether any spring will break on flexing the 1,000,568th time or the 1,000,569th time. If you have your New York back-up mag with a full set of accessories, i.e. a complete second or third gun, then a quick changeover can save your life. And often, your best friend is to get under cover as you are reaching for your gun. Your goal is to stay out of the morgue, not copy John Wayne trying to stand out in the open and get the light just right for your next Oscar.


Forgot to mention: Do Not Brandish aka use to Intimidate.


You forgot “don’t shoot fleeing shoplifters at home depot!”