Things CCW Folks Should Never, Ever Do!

Things CCW Folks Should Never, Ever Do!

Things CCW Folks Should Never, Ever Do!

There’s a lot that goes into carrying a concealed weapon as part of your lifestyle. Finding the right equipment, and training with it are the first step. Learning your state’s laws and going through the process of getting the permit generally come next.  These are relatively easy portions of the road; they’re documented and understood and generally straightforward. As with everything, though, there’s a vast gulf between theory and practice. So here are some of the common mistakes, pitfalls, errors, and oversights that CCW—both newbies and old hands—occasionally blunder into.

Use a cheap holster.

Your carry system counts—a failure could be anywhere between embarrassing and catastrophic– so spend the time and money on quality. Check out our article 11 Things to Consider When Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster for more info.

Using improper carry and storage methods is a big no-no.

Shoving a gun in your belt or the back of your pants is never the preferred way of doing things. Ditto leaving it under the car seat while you duck in to work. There are better, safer ways to do this, and responsible gun owners find them.

Likewise, disobeying the relevant laws is out of the question.

As responsible members of the CCW community, it’s our collective responsibility to stay apprised of all the relevant laws and obey them. This is the agreement we make for the legal protections that come with the permit.

Don’t get lazy with it.

It’s very easy to become complacent when you carry an object every day—even if that object is a weapon. Follow the rules of gun safety to the letter.

Concealed means concealed, as I’ve said before and will say again.

Keep your weapon out of sight. While there’s a role for open carry where it’s legal, not all folks react well to the sight of a weapon. At the very least, printing or letting your weapon peek at the light of day can get you hassled.

On a related note to #5, stay discreet.

The “grey man” approach to life keeps you situational aware, inconspicuous, and out of trouble. With or without a gun, it’s to be recommended.

Don’t get rusty.

Shooting is a perishable skill, as are the various tactics involved in effective personal protection. Training, even just a little every day or week, makes a huge difference with the balloon goes up. Practice the skills you’ll need to keep yourself safe. (Read Also: 5 Ways To Be Constantly Improving Your Firearm Accuracy)

Finally, don’t lose perspective.

Your concealed carry piece is a tool in your toolbox, not a magical talisman that will keep you safe via its mystical powers. Use common sense, avoid areas where problems are likely to happen, deescalate if possible, and don’t neglect retreat as an option. Your judgment is your most powerful weapon and most useful asset.

There’s a saying I’ve seen batted around the internet and I think it’s true: “the gun is a tool, the weapon is the user.” CCW is a skill set to master and a mindset to embrace, and I hope that this brief list of considerations helps you along that path.

I’d like to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch. And stay safe out there.

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at
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Great refresher, always good to keep abreast of CCW laws and attitudes. We are allowed “open carry” here in Mississippi but the grey man always has the advantage. I may have to make some t-shirts, “THE GUN IS A TOOL, THE WEAPON IS THE USER”, wise words


You may think Obama is a bad president but you will NEVER be president.

Jacob Paulsen

Great reminders!

Also to add to the list would be to use a right handed holster if you are right handed… vs the image above which is a left handed holster.


There isn’t a holster in the image above. Do you see something the rest of us don’t see? 🙂

Jacob Paulsen

Jim, good point. I thought in the above image of the guy drawing a gun that he was pulling it out of a holster but looking a second time maybe there is no holster at all. Either way the gun is backwards for a right handed draw.


I carry a BondArms SnakeSlayer4 there SOB like that but in a holster, usually shoulder carry my 1911, and carry a DoubleTap in a SneakyPete strongside 3 O’clock


I carry a Baretta Tomcat (.32 ACP) in a Sneaky Pete. Great holster; mean little weapon! (Big punch in a small frame..)


All my carry pistols start with at least a 4.


Actually, that is behind-the-back carry, and it looks like there is no holster, although it could be hidden below the top of his pants.
If he were using a holster for a gun carried in that position, then it should be a left-handed one, because that works best with the way your right hand is naturally turned when you reach behind your back.

Joseph Rampino

I was always taught the opposite regarding behind the back carry. Drawing from the position as shown in the image, will force you to sweep the weapon across your body’s vital organs before bringing it up on the target. If the weapon was holstered the opposite, I agree it may be a little more uncomfortable to draw, but I feel it is a safer option.

Tyrone L. Greene

My GLOCK rides like that, in an OTW holster though….

George Avalon

Dear God, man…you have no room left for weed!!

Tyrone L. Greene

Because I enjoy walking with God, I have no need of weed!….

George Avalon

The one time I tried weed, I met God. He said he didn’t know you…

Mighty Fine

Very true. And it is tougher and in some situations, more expensive to find a lefty holster. Even more so on less common firearms like my Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact Pro .45. But, spend the few extra dollars even if you have to buy a custom made left handed holster like I had to. It’s cheaper than paying a fine or worse, a hospital bill or legal fee.


A good quality holster does not have to be expensive. I have a tuckable holster that was under $50. Conceals very well and does not require a jacket.

Ronnie URuzzo

I use a Tagua OWB at 3:oclock for my G-43 and it works perfect for my body. It rides high & tight against my side and I can actually sit comfortably and can still drew the weapon discreetly while sitting. It covers with a loose fitting T-Shirt and living in Florida is a good thing because that is the clothing of choice here because of the heat.

Michael Dunne

Excellent, basic, clear, and concise. As a newcomer to CCW, this is a great reminder of my role and responsibilities.

As a fellow editor, I’ll flag, “… with the balloon goes up.” (“when” the balloon goes up.) 🙂

Good read; thanks!


You know my instructor reminded us of this: “If it doesn’t concern you, don’t make it concern you.” You might be on the wrong side…