Concealed Carry Checklist: 12 Key Guidelines

Concealed Carry Checklist
Concealed Carry Checklist

The 12 Concealed Carry guidelines and information that follow are not meant to be boring or redundant for experienced shooters, but rather to serve as a reminder and a basic, practical checklist to help everyone go through the critical things necessary for success in concealed carry. Sometimes things become so routine, obvious, and acceptable to us that we, therefore, neglect them or don’t focus on them because they are so familiar. So here is a very basic checklist to quickly go through now and then to resurface some of these important things that we may overlook. Hope it helps with your concealed carry and safety.

1. Have A Proper Mindset & Motivation

Carrying a firearm brings a lot of responsibility before and accountability after a lethal shooting, so adapting the proper concealed carry mindset is extremely important. Those who carry must go out of their way to initially avoid conflict and confrontations. We must be disciplined with a controlled and mellow easy-going attitude. We know we have the gun skills and are motivated to protect ourselves and our families just in case trouble arises, rather than trying to show how good our gun skills are or to aggressively solve the world’s problems. We are not carrying a gun to protect the community and all citizens, nor to be “cool.” Accept personal responsibility for yourself and loved ones. If possible to do so safely, leave the area to avoid a deadly confrontation. This is not a sign of weakness, cowardness, or lack of skills, but rather a recognition of the many varying factors that must be considered and our priority to protect our lives and those of our loved ones. The best way to “win” a gunfight is to avoid it all together. Just because we can legally carry a concealed weapon does not make us police officers nor vigilantes. We should not have a macho, emotional, impulsive, or revenge-kill instinctive reaction, but rather avoid trouble, use non-emotional and rational judgment, and de-escalate confrontations.

We should make every effort to not get into fists fights when we are carrying and recognize that any time a gun is introduced into a situation, it escalates it and nothing good will result. The use of lethal force is always the last option. Being armed and prepared is more than just the possession of the firearm. A gun is only a tool. The mind is the true weapon. You must understand the reality of the situation.

2. Have Current & Complete Handgun Training

Your training should be comprehensive and include certain key topics, fundamentals, techniques, and safety. And they should be current and related to realistic concealed carry situations you might actually encounter. Continued education and training in and beyond the basic fundamentals are very important. If the training you receive and the drills and repetitions you do in your practice are incorrect, outdated, and/or incomplete, you will not be properly prepared and will train the poor technique or incorrect fundamental into your subconscious memory and then rely on it in an encounter. Avoid an abbreviated, one-round fired into the barrel at a gun-show, 45-minutes, or “quickie course.” You are harming yourself (and others) by getting minimal training that often overlooks several fundamentals and techniques necessary to protect your life and your loved ones. Frequently there is minimal Range hands-on firing without personal guidance nor private, customized instruction to improve your current skill set. Also, just because five years ago or so you received a solid basics course, techniques and methods improve and change, so you can learn something by attending a new fundamentals course as a refresher. Recognize that just because you have had training in rifles and shotguns, there are key differences between those long guns and handguns. Annually scheduling update refresher and key topics training will better prepare you to respond automatically with the proper muscle memory. Do not neglect such topics as recognizing and solving gun malfunctions and stoppages, proper draw and presentation technique, trigger control for accuracy and speed, legal update for your state’s laws, proper use of cover and concealment, shooting on the move AND standing still, shooting with weak hand AND strong hand only, shooting multiple threats/targets, low or no light threat engagement, use of tactical flashlight, gunshot wound/trauma first aid, reloading under fire/stress, scan and access reinforcement, etc.

Concealed Carry Laws
Concealed Carry Laws

3. Understand Handgun Laws & Requirements In Your State & Jurisdiction

You must know for your state or jurisdiction legally (and morally) when you can and cannot shoot, when you can use deadly force, where you can and cannot carry concealed, if brandishing and printing are permissible and/or appropriate, if you are required to show your concealed carry license/permit when stopped routinely by a police officer, how to recognize disparate force factors, what are the details of your area’s Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws, what are your state’s reciprocity states, how to relate to the police if there is a shooting, and what to do after a shooting, etc. A lot to know, so regularly seek out current handgun laws and requirements for your state and jurisdiction from a competent source.

4. Carry Regularly – Not Occasionally

There are many reasons for someone not to carry their gun daily after they took the time, effort, and expense to get a concealed carry license/permit. Why do some not carry all the time and only sporadically now and then? We should carry all the time if we are legally-licensed to do so. I recently had some out-of-state students from states where they can’t get a permit to carry, or it takes 1-2 years to do so. They wanted an out-of-state permit for when they travel, and they recognize the importance of carrying all the time. Some don’t carry because there is a chance of legal problems when they transport their guns to certain places or when they travel in several states. Some live where they can carry, but work in another state where they can’t. But by far the reason for not carrying daily for some is to carry only when they are exposed to a high-threat level or feel endangered, even though we should avoid dangerous places, people, and situations. Today, any place and any situation has the potential to escalate and be dangerous, including (as we know from recent tragic events) schools, malls, churches, birthday parties, all neighborhoods, etc. Another reason I hear frequently is that it is uncomfortable to carry the gun. The holster is rubbing my side; the gun doesn’t fit right in the holster; the gun won’t fit and conceal properly under my t-shirt or with shorts; the belt won’t support it well enough; my tummy roll is a problem; etc. Duh! If the gun is too heavy, too long, too wide, has too much recoil, doesn’t fit right; or if your holster, belt, or carry method is not correct or cumbersome… CHANGE them. Some gun with you is better than the gun left at home, in the safe, or in the car. Find the best gun, holster, belt, carry rig combination that works best for yourself and carry it always. You will never know when that fateful encounter might occur; be prepared just in case.

5. Do Not Frequently Check & Adjust Your Carry Handgun

When I started carrying concealed, I was very conscious about where my gun was riding, if my shirt was properly covering it, if my pants were too tight to reveal the gun’s outline, if my fat paunch accented my gun, etc. Then, I frequently kept adjusting, touching, and checking it. I would touch it through my shirt to see if it was properly positioned and still there. I would often move it around out of habit. After some time, I realized that I was actually drawing more attention to myself and my concealed gun. I looked suspicious when I constantly tugged and adjusted my shirt. So, I calmed down, relaxed, did not touch and adjust my gun, and truly realized the value of a good holster, belt, cover garment, and proper clothing. With my horizontally-challenged build, I could no longer wear tight clothes and form-fitting, light-colored smaller t-shirts, pants, and sweaters. I had to buy my pants a size larger for in-the-waistband carry, accept a somewhat baggy appearance, and had to wear dark clothes. I got used to it and accepted that most would not even see my concealed gun and were not even looking for it. So what if they do accidentally see it. It is just my PDA, cell phone, or medical device. 

6. Practice With Your Self-Defense Ammo & Carry Gun

Naturally, it is important to train and practice with the gun and ammo you will carry. The techniques and fundamental actions that you routinely and unconsciously perform in training and practice do influence your performance in actual self-defense and combat encounters. If you are not closely familiar with your gun, holster, ammo, and other accessories, how will you be able to operate and handle them successfully, smoothly, efficiently, and accurately in an emergency encounter?  So you should drill and practice regularly with your carry gun, ammo, carry garment, and equipment so that their deployment becomes a second-nature, comfortable habit. While practicing, some shooters fail to use their hollow point (HP) or self-defense ammo they actually carry. Usually, they cite the higher cost of the HP ammo. To better acquaint yourself with the performance and characteristics of your self-defense ammo, practice with it occasionally, perhaps once a month or so. You can mostly practice with your full-metal jacket ammo for cost savings but still practice sometimes with your HP ammo. The gun you carry is going to be a compromise. You probably will realize that the gun you want to carry and the gun you will have to carry may be different. Larger guns in calibers that are generally considered to be more capable may also be more difficult to conceal and may require more practice for optimal accuracy. However, you also need to understand that concealment is usually more a matter of holster design and cover garments than gun size.

7. Use A Proper Holster

It is important to use a quality-made holster from a reputable manufacturer that is designed specifically for your carry gun. Yes, you can keep your gun in a nylon holster when it’s in the range bag, but use a quality, custom-fit holster for your carry gun. A holster made for your gun model will usually allow you to draw and secure your gun better, as well as help to make it more concealable and accessible. A customized holster for your specific gun model will completely cover and protect the trigger from contact with outside objects, including your trigger finger. A properly-designed holster made specifically for your gun will retain the gun until you intentionally draw it. Do not expect a $10. holster on sale for $5. to provide a reliable and comfortable carry solution for your $700 carry handgun. A very rough rule of thumb is to expect to spend about 10-15 percent of the cost of your handgun to purchase a reliable, safe, comfortable, and effective holster.

Proper Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holsters are usually more concealable, but also may be less comfortable. But they may also require a trouser and belt size adjustment to compensate for the added bulk. An Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) holster is usually more comfortable, but also usually more difficult to conceal. You can make your carry gun very concealable, but sometimes at the cost of a much slower access and draw. Or you can have a faster access and draw, but with less concealability, giving up a major tactical advantage. A very personal decision. 

8. Use A Proper Gun Belt

Needless to say, a gun belt is extremely important to support your handgun. Some believe even more so than a holster. Others say at least as important as the holster. In any event, a gun belt is a “must-have” accessory for your handgun rig. You need the support for your gun and accessibility that you can count on. A rigid high-quality full-grain bull hide leather gun belt will help minimize movement of your gun, be strong and resilient for long-lasting durability, help distribute weight, and add to comfort. A leather belt that has been reinforced with an inner layer of kydex will be rigid and help it from deforming, rolling up, and sagging. Price is usually an indicator of quality, so spend the money to get a good gun belt, rather than the $15. for the discount store flimsy belt. 

9. Wear Proper Clothing & Cover Garments

The climate, your job, lifestyle, daily activities, and your location where you live have a significant effect on your carry clothing. In some areas, you may carry the same way all year long, while in other locations, you may wear shorts and t-shirts in the summer and heavy coats and gloves in the winter. These differences can be frustrating and challenging, but you must adapt. For example, a plain white dress shirt is usually plenty of concealment if you’ve got an inside-the-waistband holster. A loose untucked casual shirt, like a guayabera, Hawaiian or camp shirt can easily hide the grip of a handgun from the casual observer. A sweatshirt or hoodie add bulk around the waist that probably can hide most large handguns. It just depends on your gun, its size, and dimensions, and your body build. I find as a horizontally-challenged geezer in my very warm Florida weather that wearing loose and baggy clothing and over-sized, untucked casual shirts make concealed carry easier, but not so stylish. I live with it. Sometimes I switch from Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) carry to Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) carry, and it seems to conceal some of my smaller guns better. Another option (so at least you will carry something) is to consider carrying one of the smaller firearms recently released, be it one of the new .380s or 9mms. Now there are many lightweight, ergonomically-rounded, reduced-snag polymer-framed pistols and revolvers made especially for carry. Of course, if you live in one of the 42 open-carry states (not Florida), you should carry with adequate retention to prevent a gun grab. With concealed carry being legal now in all 50 states, open carry may not be your personal choice because of the negative reactions and possible problems with other folks (and maybe the police) to seeing a gun openly displayed and the disadvantage of not having your gun hidden. Of course, this is a very personal choice depending on your preferences, comfort level, and clothing choices, etc. Whether you change your method of carry for one day or the entire season, remember the importance of being familiar with your carry method. Some concealed carry methods require you to access and get past clothing used as cover, which makes drawing more difficult and time-consuming. Practice is key for you to be able to deal with your clothing as cover, draw properly, etc. in stressful encounters.

10. Always Be Totally Aware Of Your Situation & Its Variables

Whether you know and practice Cooper’s 4 Color Codes of Awareness or Boyd’s OODA Loop, or the NRA’s Unaware-Aware-Alert-Alarm cycle, situational awareness is of critical importance for everyone at all times. We should be cautious, practice observation, scan and assess our particular environment, and know the variables at play in each situation we encounter, even though it is very difficult to do so. Briefly, situational awareness is simply knowing what’s going on around you and knowing your surroundings. It sounds easy in principle, but in reality, requires much practice and keen observation skills and focus. This is challenging in a stressful encounter or even in a non-threatening environment. We tend to “behave in a way that makes sense to ourselves” and unwittingly neglect certain things. Our reality is based on our delimited set of experiences and relative knowledge. It makes “sense” to us because of particular unique experiences, controllable and uncontrollable factors, some we may not be aware of. Maybe it is because we “don’t know what we don’t know?” Research shows that when we get nervous or stressed, our attention and focus narrows, causing us to concentrate on just a few things at a time. A narrow focus can, therefore, cause us to miss important threats and details in our environment. While situational awareness is taught to military personnel, law enforcement officers, and others, it is an important skill for everyone to learn as well. It takes focus and concentration with a big picture, total system perspective. In a dangerous situation, being aware of a threat even seconds before everyone else can keep you and your loved ones safe. 

11. Thoroughly Know How To Properly Operate, Handle, & Maintain Your Handgun

Knowing where your external safety, magazine release, slide lock lever, and controls are located and how to operate them efficiently as if they are an appendage to your hand, might save your life because of your immediate muscle-memory reaction in a crisis. Some say it takes approximately 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions of the same action or behavior to develop and instill an automatic muscle-memory response, as a subconscious reaction to external stimuli. Others say 8,000 to 10,000 repetitions. So practice is certainly key, like riding my bike, typing on a keyboard, playing my saxophone, or my handgun trigger control. But practice PROPER techniques and fundamentals. If a specific shooting skill or technique is at first performed wrong and subsequently allowed to continue to repeat, with the mistakes intact, then, unfortunately, the muscle memories created for how you complete the task will also be flawed, on a subconscious level. So when beginning to learn a new shooting skill or technique, it is best to take it slow and pay close attention to what and how you are performing the actions. This ensures that the actions being repeated represent those that are correct as opposed to incorrect. Know how to operate and use your handgun without taking time to think about it. Develop the muscle memory. I know in certain strict training environments, some Range Safety Officers (RSO) will not let students clear their own malfunctions and stoppages and require them to raise their hand so the RSO can safely resolve the problem. Sadly, I know of a case where an officer experienced a stoppage problem in the field because they had to think whether they should go ahead and clear the jam themselves. That precious use of time was their downfall. Also, some law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty because of their lack of familiarity with their handgun and certain magnum ammo rounds and recoil. In one case (in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles – the Newhall Massacre of 1970), four California officers had practiced almost solely with lesser-caliber and lesser-recoil ammo, so they were not as accurate when they used the duty magnum rounds and were, sadly, killed in less than 5 minutes. Thoroughly know you concealed carry gun and ammo. Take time to regularly practice with your concealed carry gun and use your personal-protection (e.g., Hollow Point) ammo to practice with occasionally. Also, regularly maintain and clean your concealed carry gun. Honestly, I clean my gun after EVERY use, even if only shooting a box of 50 rounds. This may be overkill for some, but I have the peace of mind of knowing my concealed carry gun is always in a top state of readiness and will not let me down because of a cleaning or maintenance issue. I believe that at least monthly you should inspect, function check, clean and maintain your concealed carry gun. 

12. Regularly Practice… Practice… Practice With Skill Drills & Snap Caps

Begin your concealed carry training by analyzing your present skills and where you need improvement. It is imperative to build positive and useful training and practice habits early. I believe shooters should review their training process and topics on an annual basis and constantly, then design your practice plan with specific drills to help improve certain identified skills or areas needing improvement. There is always something to learn or improve upon. Shooting fundamentals and skills are perishable, and they deteriorate if not practiced. So, you must practice on a regular basis. Every year I try to complete at least one course for improvement. Practice is critical, but so is how you practice. Do not just shoot holes in paper, but have a planned course of fire and specific drills to focus on key fundamentals and areas where you need improvement. Snap Caps and dry firing can be very helpful. Snap caps have a spring-damped false primer or one of plastic that cushions and protects the firing pin for many repeated strikes and protects your gun’s components. Dry firing is practicing at home with snap caps and an UNLOADED gun. If you cannot get to the range regularly, then use (inert) snap caps to practice in the comfort of your home. You can practice aiming, sight alignment, stance, grip, trigger control, loading and unloading, clearing malfunctions, and drawing to build muscle memory. Recognize that while dry-fire practice drills with snap caps are useful, there is no substitute for live fire. If you cannot devote some time on a regular basis to shooting practice, your shooting skills and performance under the stress of a deadly-force encounter will suffer. Regular live-fire practice definitely helps. Try to plan for a monthly Range shooting session, but go at least every 7 to 8 weeks as a minimum. You can practice dry firing as a supplement in your home once a week. Be prepared, since violent encounters occur at what seems like the speed of light. 

Continued success!

Photos by author.

This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense, stand your ground law, and concealed carry. This is not legal advice and not legal opinions. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. Safety First! 

© 2015 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at

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"Col Ben" is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services Special Ops duty and training, and is Air Force qualified as "Expert" in small arms. He is a Vietnam-era Veteran. Ben is an experienced NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and FL Concealed Carry License Instructor. Ben recently wrote the book "Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection" (second printing) with 57 comprehensive Chapters about concealed carry and handgun principles, techniques, and tips for both experienced and new shooters. His reference book is endorsed by several organizations and is available on his website at Contact him at
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Van Phillips

I think this is a great article and I was just nodding my head until I got to #7. USE A PROPER HOLSTER, #8. USE A PROPER GUN BELT and #9. WEAR PROPER CLOTHING & COVER GARMENTS.

Col. Findley, like many others, seems to have a very narrow concept of ways to “carry concealed”

“Carrying in a concealed manor” is not limited to “on your body” or “under layered clothing”. In fact there are lots of reasons not to carry on your body like – women’s fashion, hot weather and geography making layered clothing unreasonable, work required clothing or other physical movement requirements just to mention a few. And because of these needs there are a number of other alternatives to “a holster on your belt” … such as purses, backpacks, day-planners all designed for carry where the firearm is hidden. In my Pistol classes I show lots of ways to carry other than “on your body”.

My wife and I both carry all the time and use “day-planner style” holsters. We have found that no one ever questions our carrying a day-planner in our hand, in a computer bag or just having it on the table/desk in front of you with it unzipped but not opened. We both have attended public and business meetings with the type of people that are very anti-gun and never had anyone raise a question or even an eyebrow.

However, I fully support Col. Findley’s main point that, however you carry .. it needs to be all the time .. and you need to practice retrieving your firearm “in the way you carry”. It was that practice that convinced my wife that a purse holster was not for her. When she tried to draw the gun she found put that she had so much stuff in her purse .. it would not come out cleanly … and carrying less “stuff” was not an option. (LOL)

By the way, as I type this I’m sitting in slacks and a polo shirt as it is summer. My pistol is in my laptop computer bag in the day-planner sitting next to my “strong hand” leg.

Col Ben

Thanks for your comments! No concealed carry method is perfect! All have advantages and
disadvantages. There is no one, universal carry method for everyone! All should be considered according to individual preferences, lifestyle, type of dress, desired features, access, etc.
I strongly prefer on-the-body, strong-side belt carry, either inside-the-waistband or outside-the-waistband. So IF you carry that way, you need a proper gun belt. By the way most experts suggest using a conventional belt holster for CC, as it is the easiest and most natural way for the majority of folks to conceal a weapon. I have noticed for over 40 years that a large majority DO carry that way.
“Off Body” non-traditional carry includes carry methods that are NOT firmly attached to the body and might, in the course of normal use, be set down somewhere and, perhaps, inadvertently forgotten. These carry devices include all sorts of back packs, purses, shoulder bags, briefcases, day planners and other recent impromptu carry pouches and methods. Really, almost anything you could reasonably carry could be used to conceal your gun, e.g. a camera case, shoe box, hollowed-out book, package, or even a plastic bag with you gripping your gun inside the bag
and carrying it.

Understand that with almost all of the carry methods that do not involve the gun firmly attaching to your person, you could be separated from your gun at the very moment you need it most.
Briefcases and purses are particularly vulnerable, as they are regarded as valuable targets for theft by criminals, i.e. purse snatching. A major concern is that it is realistically possible to leave your briefcase, shoulder bag, day planner, etc. somewhere and forget it. Also, it could be stolen by the bad guy/gal during a moment of inattention. There is a very real probability that a person carrying anything by hand will set it down somewhere at some point during his or her day. This could be disastrous if it contains your carry gun. It is a carry method for some and not for others. Only people who NEVER forget a coat or misplace a purse or things should consider carrying a gun in this manner. I do not qualify for this type of carry and I guess that few people do qualify.
Your individual decision. So, I do not use or recommend off body carry. But, there are some advantages, as well as cons, for all to consider individually and there are some common off-body carry methods that may work for you. Very subjective and personal. Continued success.


I have to agree 100% with Col. Ben. I understand that off-body carry is better than no carry at all, but it goes beyond just forgetting something. There have been too many incidents of either not having your gun when you need it, or having someone else get a hold of it and something bad happening for me to ever consider it wise. Years ago, while a TA in college, I knew the professor I worked for carried a concealed weapon; I did too. But one day during class when we were talking to a group of students at the front of the room, he asked me to get something out of his backpack which was a few feet away from him on the counter. I opened up a pocket, and there was his S&W 9mm. I closed it again quickly and found the item he needed, but really anybody could have opened that bag for any number of reasons and found his gun. I was glad that my own subcompact was in a pocket holster on my person.

Col Ben

Thanks for sharing to help folks understand. Yes, you are right on. A great example of the hazards of off-body carry. One of my articles presents the 12 common methods of carry for both on and off-body modes, with pros and cons for each. There are definite cons for off-body modes. Success!


This is an excellent article. Too many people think that if they buy a gun and carry it, they are ready for anything. The one point I will take exception with is the current and “complete” training. Training is never complete. There is always more to learn. I know that he is saying with learning not just to shoot targets but to move and be able to provide trauma first aid, etc, but I would change that point to current and comprehensive training.

Col Ben

Thank you. I appreciate what you are saying. I believe we are saying the same thing. For clarification, I used the term “Continuing Education & training” to mean having all the necessary or appropriate elements of concealed carry and learning them over a continuous, never-ending cycle… and continuing does mean ongoing. I realize that I have a lot to learn about proper CC and I certainly know that I have to continuously train and keep current and updated in crucial topics. Yes, we should never stop learning and be open to learn from anyone, anytime, any place, with a positive attitude. Every year I take a refresher course about a related CC subject, like I said in the article– see #12 “always something to learn.”
Continued success!

Tony Perez

I’m not the author but I’m going to assume that the reference to “complete” training is not about reaching a point where one stops training. I think it’s more about a including diverse range of training opportunities in one’s training program so one has a more complete experience to prepare. Of course training must be continuous but not limited to making swiss cheese out of paper targets.

Semachiah benJacov

When you get to #7 “USE A PROPER HOLSTER” consider buying 2. I use a SCCY Gen 1 as my carry. It has a holster made to fit it perfectly for IWB or out which I use 3/4 of the year. In the summer however, I needed something else. I bought one of the pouch styles from a NRA recommended company. It is nylon but it is too small. I can make the gun fit inside but to do so places the gun in a less than desirable position for quick retrieval. It also has a Velcro closure which is very noisy to open. What I ended up doing was to go to our local leather shop & get a pouch custom made to fit my gun, a couple mags & general stuff, as well as a belt. I gave them the nylon pouch to use as a model during the build & told them they could deconstruct if they had to. Besides making the pouch just a touch longer the main pocket has two chambers so that the gun fits into one & the mags into the other. The only other difference is that it closes with a very weak magnet; just strong enough to keep it closed, normally.

POINT: For summer CC you may simply have to become a bit more creative but somebodies life (maybe even your own – DUH) may depend upon you have your gun!


If you need extra money from 50 dollars to 300 dollars on daily basis for doing an online job from your couch at home for several hours each day then try this…


This is one of the best articles on this subject that I’ve seen! Discusses
all the important points and gives practical advice. Thanks, Col. Ben!!


If you need extra money from $50 to $300 each day for freelancing at your home for 3-4 hours daily then check this out…


Washington State is an open & carry state..If you carry concealed you have to have a permit..Don’t be a show off,and think you are cool..Like Col Ben said..Use a proper holster..I carry concealed daily,and I have the proper holster..This is an outstanding article.Thank you sir…..

Timothy M. Perks

I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer. Anyone know of a forum where I can discuss and get the latest state-by-state information on carry laws. There are many states that are not very receptive to HR218.

Sean Walton

“brandishing and printing”
I know what brandishing is, but what’s “printing”?

Paul Forel

Printing is when the outline of some or all of the parts of your carry gun make an impression on your outer garment, usually a shirt.

In other words, although you can’t see the firearm itself, when printing occurs, it is possible from the outline of the firearm pressing against the outer garment, to determine you are carrying a firearm.


I carry everyday and either carry my Ruger LC9s or KelTec P-11 in a DeSantis pre-formed pancake, covered by an un-tucked shirt, sweater, or vest, or in a SneakyPete holster. I am not a salesman for the SneakyPete, but it’s nice to be able to have your holster exposed and your pistol at hand without having to fumble around for it. I live in New York, and have asked the State Police, County Sheriff, and Local Police if they have a problem with it being exposed, and none of them did. Some of them said it just looked like an ipad case or a large cellphone case. The only problem is that it a little more cumbersome than some other holsters, but at least you can keep your shirt tucked in.


I also carry concealed daily..I carry the Springfield Armory XDS .45 ACP..With one in the chamber,the mag will hold six more.I shoot HP ( home only ).Out and about the other mag is copper ball..Very nice pistol,and it comes with a very nice holster too,and lockable case..I am very happy with this weapon.Large round..You couldn’t as for a better conceal hand gun than the XDS…


I forgot one thing about open and carry here in Washington State..Now..If I read the law correct
You are allowed to open and carry legally in Wa.State..But..Just as soon as the weapon becomes loaded..Mag in or cylinder loaded the weapon is considered a loaded weapon..Period..That is where you have to have a Concealed Weapons Permit..If you ever get pulled over by the police,and you have a loaded weapon..You better have your permit..Don’t ever play games with the police with a loaded weapon……