5 Decisions Every Concealed Carrier Is Forced To Make

5 Decisions Every Concealed Carrier Is Forced To Make

5 Decisions Every Concealed Carrier Is Forced To Make

In almost every concealed carrier’s time carrying a handgun, he or she will inevitably be confronted with certain decisions that need to be made. They can be related to carrying a firearm altogether or the decision to try to step into an uncertain situation.

Let’s go over five decisions every concealed carrier will likely have to make.

“Should I carry today?”

The simplest question any concealed carrier asks themselves is whether or not they will carry their handgun with them that day. You can’t use a weapon you don’t have. Choosing to leave the gun at home can be a strategic decision because you know you’ll be heading into an area that prohibits carrying. It could also be a decision you make for personal reasons. Whichever the case, you have to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Check out our article Why You Should Always Carry.

“Is self defense ammo really worth it?”

Ammunition can get pretty expensive relative to how we use it. For going to the range, full metal jacket is priced right and gets the job done. When it comes to defending our lives, however, a round that expands when it hits soft tissue can help neutralize an attacker faster than punching clean holes through him. Check out our 5 Tips on Selecting Self Defense Ammo.

“Do I really need training?”

It’s Saturday. Your state doesn’t require mandatory training and, besides, you know how to use a gun. Why not go to the lake and cool off instead of sitting in a stuffy old room for several hours and spending several more firing at paper targets for score?

Concealed carry classes can be the opposite of interesting depending on the isntructor but they are almost always educational. In them, we learn about the basics of interpreting self-defense law, going over different situations where deadly force is or is not necessary, and usually followed by some portion of a live fire exercise.

These classes are mandatory in a majority of states that issue concealed carry permits. The decision to pursue this training is a requirement before a permit can be issued. As simple a choice as it may sound to many seasoned concealed carriers, many beginners struggle to realize the potential of going through the process. The process is costly, takes up your free time, and can be boring — three strikes against it. But, by pursuing state-mandated training, you are preparing yourself to defend with deadly force. You can find instructors in our Firearm Instructor Directory.

“Are concealed carry permits worth my time?”

It’s not just pursuing your resident permit, sometimes it’s also pursuing non-resident permits. If our travels routinely take us to parts of the country that do not acknowledge or reciprocate our concealed carry licenses, it may be necessary to pursue out-of-state non-resident permits. States that have fantastic reciprocity — also known as two states acknowledging each others’ permits — tend to also have a process for out-of-state residents to pursue their permit. Look up your state’s reciprocity to see which states are currently barred for your license.

“Is this person worth my livelihood?”

It’s not a question a lot of people ask themselves outright but it’s the root of a lot of what goes on after a defensive gun use. After the bullet casings are swept up by investigators and the police questioning is over, a whole new world of crap could potentially land on a concealed carrier’s proverbial doorstep.

It starts with the civil litigation. You may have done absolutely nothing wrong. Now you have to prove it in civil court when your attacker’s next of kin files a wrongful death lawsuit against you and your estate. You could inevitably prove your innocence in the matter — successfully so. It will cost a great deal of money to get to that part of the court case.

These cases can come up out of actions you did in your own defense or, more specifically, in defense of a third party.

Let’s do a hypothetical. You’re rounding the corner and you see someone being mugged at knife point. You use your concealed carry handgun to neutralize the attacker. After he gets out of the hospital, he’s stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His family sues you in civil court for the damages and expenses related to his treatment and rehabilitation. As ridiculous as this sounds, it’s happened quite a few times in the history of civil court.

You wisely decide to lawyer up. Your lawyer can require anywhere from a $25,000 to $100,000 as an up-front retainer before he takes the case. Now, you’re mortgaging your home, your children’s college funds, and perhaps even selling off your own property just to mount a defense against a ridiculous claim.

Whether you win or lose, at this point, doesn’t matter a wit. You’re already in the hole before the judge even slams the gavel. This is what we mean by, “is this person worth my livelihood?”

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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.
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Good article! I’ve decided that unless the life of a loved one or perhaps my own is threatened then the answer to question 5 “is this person worth my livelihood” is no. I’m retired and don’t have financial resources or the time rebuild to take the risk of litigation. Plus, the justice system would show me no mercy.

Pat Fox

Ya !! our justice system or un justice system, may be the biggest of our worries !!! especially here in Commifornia, probably a 50/50 chance of going to jail, for a “legal” self defense killing.. sad but true !!!! sometimes here, justice is blind !!!!

james lagnese

Don’t live in commifornia.


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First, I always carry wherever I am legally entitled to do so. Period. It is not even a decision I need to make because I have already made it.

Second, I train . . . a lot.

Third, I shoot around 500 – 600 rounds a month for training. My wife shoots roughly the same. So, we use FMJ reman for training and carry HTP for EDC.

Fourth, If you do not have an agreement with a Second Amendment specialist attorney and a support plan from someone like USCCA, then you should get one. We have both.

Finally, if I feel threatened enough to draw my gun and pull the trigger I will not be taking any chances on someone who is high on PCP or just plain mean still being able to carry out the attack on me after the first round. I do agree with the previous poster that I am not going to go looking for opportunities to be the Grey Avenger. My philosophy is . . . “Don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.”

David Blakeman

There is only one reason to kill, Survival, plain and simple. It is not done for fun, it is to feed yourself and your family, and/or to protect yourself and your family. I am 70 years on this planet, and this was taught to me 66 years ago by my uncle. He never steered me wrong. Another thing he taught me was “Justice costs money”, I say “how thick is your wallet?” I found out this was true back in the sixty’s. Money talks and the rest of us go to jail.

cardo fourtyseven

shame i cannot protect myself or my family in 2 neighborhood states I visit often…michigan and Illinois


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Joe Schmolen

In this world, using deadly force to save the life of a stranger is utterly foolish. It’s best to make that decision when you first decide to carry concealed, so you won’t be confused if the situation ever comes up. Call 911 and stay out of it.

james lagnese

I think that’s good advice for the most part, but not in every situation, like with rape. That’s a stop for me, armed or otherwise.

Earl Young

Agreed. Yet, let me add that I will also get involved it there is a crime against a child or an elderly person.