The world of CCW is fraught with hassles: places where carry just becomes difficult or inconvenient. The laws alone can be complex and limiting, and keeping aware of them is a big part of our job here at USA Carry.
When I talk to other folks in our CCW community, I get some questions over and over again. Chief among them are “What do I do about public restrooms?” and “How do I handle going to the gym?” These are good questions; you’ll need to relieve yourself and I applaud your efforts to stay in shape . However, carrying while you do so brings additional complications, so let’s talk about some solutions.
First and foremost:
- Follow the applicable laws relating to your permit. It’s important to stay within the letter and spirit of the law if you’ve sought the protections a CCW license offers.
- Remember that the rules of gun safety apply at all times. This is true when the firearm is holstered/stored, no matter what you’re doing at the time.
- Get up to speed on safe car storage for your firearms. There are some circumstances or situation which might make it easier to just stash the weapon in your vehicle. Make sure you’re ready.
With that out of the way, we can talk about the particulars of this aspect of CCW. Several prominent commentators have posited that public restrooms can operate like de facto gun control, making it so difficult as to be effectively impossible.
This has some credence to me; there’s no good way to safety disrobe, use the facilities, keep your weapon secure in the meantime, and then clean up and leave. If there’s a flat surface upon which to rest your piece securely, that’s the best option. If you’re seated, resting the gun inside your pants on the floor is another. I might suggest keeping a bag or briefcase handy just in case—that might lessen the difficulty somewhat.
Gyms tend to give you a lot more options—most of them have lockers, and if they’re sturdy and secure, that might offer a solution. Just make sure that your gym allows that kind of thing and double check that you’ve secured the weapon. I might consider a trigger lock just to be doubly safe. And please—make sure that your CCW remains out of sight the entire time. There are a lot of folks out there who don’t understand the importance of concealed carry or your motives for doing so. While I encourage you to have respectful dialog with them about the subject, surprising them with a handgun isn’t likely to win you friends or converts.
Speaking of gyms: some people carry while they work out. I can’t say I recommend this, as I can’t see a good way to follow the rules of gun safety and keep a weapon fully concealed while you lift/spin/pilates/yoga. I won’t, however, make the decision for you; rather I’ll just ask you to think about whether or not a given activity allows you to follow the rules at all times.
If you’ve had experiences with any of this, good or bad, I’d love to hear about them either in the comment section or via email. Until then—stay safe out there.