How to Overcome Your Fear Of Concealed Carrying

How to Overcome Your Fear Of Concealed Carrying

Not everyone was raised around guns.  In many cases, the first time a person picks up a rifle or pistol it’s usually either in the military or law enforcement training.  For the fortunate few who have either grown up around guns, were involved in athletic shooting competitions, or just had the pleasure of having friends who were familiar with guns, the fear of owning a gun has largely dissipated.

But what about carrying concealed everyday?

This idea can and does cause lingering anxiety for many of those with a concealed carry permit.  Even though numbers show that a very large number of Americans are joining the ranks of legal concealed carry, many don’t, won’t, or don’t trust themselves or others enough to carry.

Learn That A Firearm Is A Tool

You are the master of the gun that is under your control.  So long as a gun is under your control, it will not negligently discharge.  So far as you obey the principles of firearm safety, you will not injure yourself or others negligently.  If those previous two sentences don’t resonate as a truth, it’s important to take the steps to prepare yourself mentally and physically to overcome them.

Become so familiar with your firearm that it is a natural extension of yourself.  This means daily practice, dry firing, shooting at the range, and feeling confident that it’s there with you.

People Largely Don’t Care So Long As You’re Responsible

The great thing about carrying concealed is that the majority of people you encounter will never look at you twice because they think you’re carrying.  As long as you’re not brandishing or printing, the average person has no way of knowing you’re carrying.  And for those who do carry concealed or have a background in military or law enforcement, they’re not worried about you.  So long as what you’re doing is legal, most concealed carriers are more than happy to see there’s others of a similar mind out there.  After all — the more concealed carriers in an area, the more dangerous it is to be a violent criminal.

Know The Law

The best way of knowing whether or not you’re in the right is to simply know the law.  Each state has its own particular gun laws.  Some are extremely easy to follow and others are super complicated.  It’s your job to know these laws so you can feel confident in carrying your concealed firearm.

If You Don’t Show — They Don’t Care

This plays off a previous point.  The better concealed your firearm is on your person, the less chance anyone will know you’re carrying.  Research inside the waistband holsters that fit your particular carry style and wear clothes that suit and match that.  If it’s super hot weather outside and you’re just wearing a t-shirt and jeans, that full size 1911 may show up pretty easily.

Conversely, if you see a yahoo walking around with a clear print of his everyday carry, it’s not your job to correct him.  You’re not responsible for anyone other than yourself.  Not everyone is like you and some people are just downright daft.  So long as they don’t cause a problem — don’t cause a problem.

In conclusion, the only way to get over the fear of carrying a concealed firearm is to practice it every day.  There’s a strong likelihood you will never need to draw your pistol or even show your permit to anyone.  And as time goes on, you will see that carrying a concealed pistol is only enabling you further to protect yourself and those you love.  It’s a fear worth getting over.

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  • Scotty48

    My only fear about carrying a concealed weapon was getting busted, back in the 70s & 80s when it was illegal Everywhere ! Thanks to all of us , now we can carry legally , without being branded a criminal .
    There were a couple times years ago when my “illegal” pistol saved me a heap of trouble & probably my life !

  • I now live in a place where lighter clothes are de rigueur and trying to hide a full size auto and be comfortable is difficult. In this case, less is more. As much as I like my 1911 and 1935, they don’t work as well for comfortable concealment for me. The funny thing is that I think that skinny guys have an easier time concealing than big guys. I wonder if that’s so…Anyway, time for something smaller.

    • Mikial

      @jameslagnese:disqus

      I hear you, Brother. My “problem”, I guess, is that I prefer a full sized pistol, and my EDC is a G21 and occasionally an XD45. And here in Virginia it’s hot and humid all summer, so T’s and light clothes are the order of the day. But I find that with loose, un-tucked T’s I do fine. As for the big vs skinny question . . . at 5’10”, 210 with not enough body fat to count (screw the BMI), I am pretty much average size.

    • Mikial

      @jameslagnese:disqus

      I hear you, Brother. My “problem”, I guess, is that I prefer a full sized pistol, and my EDC is a G21 and occasionally an XD45. And here in Virginia it’s hot and humid all summer, so T’s and light clothes are the order of the day. But I find that with loose, un-tucked T’s I do fine. As for the big vs skinny question . . . at 5’10”, 210 with not enough body fat to count (screw the BMI), I am pretty much average size.

      • John Estelle

        Size doesn’t matter.. It’s the weight of the pistol.. My high-power tries to pull my pants down while the G22 seems to find the skinny part and stop.. Larry King will tell you to get suspenders.. works.. and matches my adult dia…. too much information

        • I’ve been thinking about a XDs or a LCR in 327. Either would be a lot lighter than my other pistols.

          • BenAround

            I have two of the XDs models. The short barrel .45 and the 4″ 9mm. They are thin and highly concealable. I also have a Sig p938 which is basically a pocket pistol, highly accurate, and a pleasure to shoot. However, they are all light on mag capacity. So, I have switched my EDC to the XD mod 2 9mm subcompact. The capacity of a 13 round mag with a 16 round option is worth the extra width and weight. And, with a Kydex trigger guard holster (Fixxer, et. al.), I can carry it IWB under a t-shirt without printing. Not a big fan of revolvers for self-defense due to the low capacity, high felt recoil, and time to reload–even putting aside questions of single (hammer profile) vs. double action and the training required to become accurate with a revolver given the trigger pull of double action only.

      • I am 6’5 and over 300…Not so much humid in AZ, but hot, hell yes.

  • “…. a yahoo walking
    around with a clear print of his everyday carry, it’s not your job to
    correct him. and some people are just downright daft.”

    Oh, I see. It isn’t up to the concealed carry only snob to correct those that don’t meet their “standards”, but let’s just call them “yahoo”s and “daft”. Got it! I open carry 90% of the time, and the 10% when I decide to conceal because I am going into a mall or movie theater, I flip my shirt over the gun and that’s it. So, I am definitely one of your “daft yahoo’s” and I don’t particularly give a rat’s butt about your opinion of it. But feel free to point my firearm out to me, I would love to have that discussion with you.

    • Jim Foster

      Dude, you quoted him, then went on to “put words in his mouth”. Conceal carry or open, (I do both, but I live in rural Wyoming), may depend on where you live. His point was that the whole point of concealed carry is to conceal. If you’re printing, not only are you not concealing properly, it makes you look like an amateur. Let me put it another way. When you open carry, do you use a proper fitting holster, or do you just stick it in your pocket? As a side note, with all the political pressure on us gun owners from all over the country, should those of us on the same side be nit picking and getting pissy with each other over details?

      • Should those of us on the same side resort to childish name calling such as “yahoo” and “daft”? Can I ask what productive purpose such name calling serves?

        • BenAround

          Pretty touchy, eh, pardner? I think that calling someone who aspires to carry “concealed” but doesn’t bother to do it well as “a yahoo” or “daft” is just hyperbole to encourage people not to be that careless. Walking around with obvious printing is like not pulling up your pants or your zipper. Tantamount to having a butt crack problem. Helping people to understand how this can be viewed by the public is the productive purpose of the “name calling” in the context of the article. However, it appears from your description of your carry practices very much as if you are one of the careless ones who pack a gun with a chip on your shoulder, want people to notice, and are ready to take offense if they do. I.e.; what a lot of folks would consider to be “a yahoo.” Belligerent bearing of arms is much more counter-productive and dangerous than name calling. Of course, I wouldn’t call your attention to it out of concern for being challenged to an old-fashioned duel of honor.

        • BenAround

          Pretty touchy, eh, pardner? I think that calling someone who aspires to carry “concealed” but doesn’t bother to do it well as “a yahoo” or “daft” is just hyperbole to encourage people not to be that careless. Walking around with obvious printing is like not pulling up your pants or your zipper. Tantamount to having a butt crack problem. Helping people to understand how this can be viewed by the public is the productive purpose of the “name calling” in the context of the article. However, it appears from your description of your carry practices very much as if you are one of the careless ones who pack a gun with a chip on your shoulder, want people to notice, and are ready to take offense if they do. I.e.; what a lot of folks would consider to be “a yahoo.” Belligerent bearing of arms is much more counter-productive and dangerous than name calling. Of course, I wouldn’t call your attention to it out of concern for being challenged to an old-fashioned duel of honor.

          • You are absolutely correct, BenAround, I do want people to notice my gun.

            #1I want any criminal that might be considering an attack on me or my family to notice my gun and to choose to move on to another victim and leave my family and me alone.

            #2 I want the general public to see a positive image of a person who is taking responsibility for the safety of themselves and his family instead of only seeing the images of people with guns from TV and movies.

            I average about 1 positive comment per month, like “thank you for carrying”, “glad to see someone being responsible” – and the honest questions from people seeking education, “Do you need a permit?”, etc. About once per year I will get a negative comment about my gun and 3 out of 4 of the negative comments come from people who can’t resist the urge to tell me, “I have a permit, I carry my gun concealed, so should you.” If my daughter is with me she loves to answer that comment with, “He’s not a criminal, he has no reason to hide his gun.”

            When I cover my gun with my shirt, my intention is not to make it 100% undetectable. It is simply to keep the casual observer from noticing it where there is a greater chance of a greater concentration of people scared of people carrying guns might be concentrated such as the movie theater.

            Case in point – grocery shopping with my wife, at the checkout stand about 5 minutes away from leaving the store and about 50 yards from the front door a manager from the store approaches me and asks me to cover up my gun. I asked him why, he replied that their were nervous customers. I asked him why was their business more important to him than mine? He said it wasn’t but just wanted everyone to feel comfortable shopping there. So I flipped my shirt over the gun. It’s called the out of sight out of mind human phenomena. The average person can know full well that it is there, but if they just can’t see it (not undetectable – just out of sight) they don’t care about it. Unless you are carrying a gun concealed and are taking the extra effort to spot mine.

            Another fine example – went to the movie theater with my daughter the other day. They wanted to look inside her backpack. Meanwhile, I enter unmolested “concealing” as I normally do with my gun in the usually OWB holster with just a loose shirt over it. My daughter commented, “That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve seen.” Yep. But it only takes a couple millimeters of cloth over something to make the sheep stop trembling.

          • BenAround

            You make good points. I prefer to keep the sheep comfortable and have a chance to draw before the bad guy knows he is facing a threat. So I try not to be conspicuously armed. But I always appreciate having an OC guy in the area to draw the first fire. 🙂 Unfortunately, that is rare where I live. Seriously, thank you for carrying.

    • Mikial

      @john_havercroft:disqus
      You do realize that he said NOT to confront people over their gun printing, right? And, to be honest, your last sentence pretty much made his point for him about why it’s better not to say anything if you notice their “concealed” weapon isn’t very concealed.

      Personally, I couldn’t care less if you open carry or do a poor job of concealed carrying (both are legal and common here in Virginia), but you sure seem quick to take offense about a few words in an article that weren’t trying in any way to single you out. Chill out, man. Save your anger for the bad guys and the Libs.

  • Bdpenn

    Good article thanks. BUT, HEY! How about every reader post in every article and comment on each You Tube video that we all enjoy to VOTE.

    We are millions strong responsible adults so lets get the word out to VOTE in each and every election and get these durn liberals off our backs.
    Lets stand together, lets stand strong and lets get the word out to VOTE.

    Every article and every you tube video of a firearm subject matter should be bombbarded with reminders to VOTE. If we are going to do the good fight for our second amendment lets all exercise our privlege to VOTE!!! Get ir done!!
    Quit the $&@?/in and lets all pledge action and get out the VOTE!!!
    Pass ot on !!!

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  • Mainsail Mainsail

    Have you ever heard of indifferent carry? I don’t care one whit if it’s printing or showing. If YOU are nervous and obsessing, then YOU have the problem. If you’re carrying legally, you don’t need to worry. Here in Washington you cannot lose your CPL just because someone thinks they see it, might catch a glimpse of it, or if they outright see it hanging on your belt. My holstered pistol is no different than my wallet or my wristwatch.

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  • John Estelle

    Maybe concealed carry persons should have a sign to exchange in public.. I ride a motorcycle and often see the wave between riders. A sign between us (armed citizens) would indicate your printing or open carry but it would signify we are on the same page in a very rooted sort of way like riders. Insurgents and other criminal sorts might pick up on the communication but good for us.

  • Mr. Michael Jenkins could just have easily wrote, “Conversely, if you see a person walking
    around with a clear print of his everyday carry, it’s not your job to
    correct him. You’re not responsible for anyone other than yourself.
    Not everyone is like you and some people are not concerned if others can detect their gun. So
    long as they don’t cause a problem — don’t cause a problem.”

    But he didn’t. He made his prejudice quite clear using childish names that were unnecessary and that loses major credibility points for me.

  • Best way to get over the fear of carrying is to handle firearms (safely) as much as possible. Once your confidence builds, and you realize your gun isn’t a ticking time bomb, you’ll no longer be so paranoid.
    I hear about this kind of thing a lot, when people call in asking what position they should carry their holster in so that they wont be printing and are least likely to shoot themselves upon drawing & re-holstering. (believe it or not I get asked this almost daily) While you can take certain steps in avoiding gear that could possibly put you at risk, the ultimate idea here is that you should learn proper and safe control of your firearm. Fear generally comes from the unknown.

  • William Goodwin

    Concealed carry… depending upon who your talking to…is always a hot topic. I hear those worried about draw time in seconds….the only way to conceal is their way…. and how, hell no,you’d never catch me wearing one of those fanny packs…Isn’t it really about just first having your weapon legally on you and concealed? In Florida I can’t walk around with my glock 17 in an open holster and no, I’ve never worn a fanny pack up front with a zipper top…Under the armpit,tucked down the front,inside waistband,in the pocket…kinda hard all the time to do that in 95 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt. Being a leather worker I opted for a side pouch…Think of it as a holster but completely concealing a weapon. Does it cry gun? No… It’s just a simple leather pouch not formed in the shape of a weapon holster that really is a holster. It holds my glock 17 loaded with a full magazine and one other full magazine.Needing to have your weapon drawn in 1.3 milliseconds is not the only reason to adapt you carry technique.I can walk around in 10,000 people outdoor events safely carrying and concealing my weapon.If suddenly I hear a “pop…pop…pop” and I am not the one first hit in the brain by a shooters first rounds then I am on the ground with a loaded weapon in my hand in 3 seconds…ok..maybe 4. And yea…believe it or not,real men do wear custom made leather holster pouches on their hips to conceal. Thanks

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