The operative word in “concealed carry” is “concealed.” While a lot of the public, even including some potential criminals, might not notice a lot beyond body language clues…but some of them will.
If you have a spare hour or two, check out this podcast with Varg Freeborn and PHlster holsters. The ones you really need to worry about are often the ones that can easily spot a lazy concealed carrier.
So let’s talk about some dead giveaways that you’re carrying.
1. Tactical Boots, Tactical Belt
If you’re wearing desert boots but live in the suburbs, chances are you’re carrying a gun. If you’re wearing Kirkland Signature jeans with a rigger’s belt…chances are you’re carrying a gun.
These are not things that people typically wear unless they think it’s a good idea or they have to. Unless you’re a soldier in uniform or a police officer, the latter does not apply.
And since we’re on the topic…most tactical or military boots are overpriced for what you get anyhow. Most are cemented rather than welted, so you can’t resole them, and leather boots look better anyway.
2. Flagrantly Obvious T-Shirts
If you’re wearing a t-shirt that has a gun on it or any messaging that’s vaguely militaristic and so on…that’s a giveaway.
3. Almost Anything 5.11
5.11 Tactical makes some nice gear, but those cargo pants, the black polo, and Oakley sunglasses (or knockoffs) are also a dead giveaway that you’re carrying a gun.
To criminals in the inner cities, it’s a surefire signal that someone’s a cop. It’s even been noticed internationally. There are even instances where embassies have asked anyone working there not to wear 5.11 because it’s too obvious.
4. Open Jackets Or Sweaters In Cold Weather
An open jacket or sweatshirt in some climates is a surefire sign that you have something under the coat that you want to be able to get to in a hurry. Granted, there are plenty of areas in the continental US that don’t get significantly cold, so this may not apply equally everywhere…but there are plenty of areas that do.
5. Gun Stickers On Your Vehicle
Bumper stickers and window decals of anything gun-related communicate two things.
First, there’s a good chance there’s a gun in your car, and that’s how guns get stolen from vehicles.
Second, you’re the kind of person who puts bumper stickers and decals on your car, and that’s just tacky.
6. Picking At Your Shirt Or “Confidence Checks”
If you have to adjust your shirt constantly while carrying – usually picking at it around the location of the gun – it’s a sign that your concealment may not be as good as you think it is.
If someone’s paying attention, they’re going to notice and wonder why you have to pick at your shirt. If someone’s paying attention and knows what they’re looking at, they may know why you’re doing it.
If you’re carrying in a non-permissive though still legal environment (at work, out in public, etc.), that can get you made. If you’re in a high-risk area among criminals who know they’re business…it might make you a target.
The same goes for confidence checks; touching the gun and the holster to “make sure it’s still there” or adjusting the holster, so it’s more comfortable, concealable, etc. If you even have to, arguably you’re carrying with the wrong gear.