Why You Shouldn’t Let Anyone Touch Your Concealed Carry Handgun

Why You Shouldn't Let Anyone Touch Your Concealed Carry Handgun

Carrying a concealed handgun is serious business. For many of us who’ve carried for years, the practice of putting on a concealed handgun is as routine as shaving or brushing our teeth. So when a close family member, relative, or friend asks to see our handgun, it may seem like a no-brainer to take it out, check and clear it, and then pass it over.

That’s the rub, though.

Handing your gun over to anyone puts you and them in jeopardy.

Obvious exceptions to this rule include folks you’re shooting with at the range during your routine practice or family members you’re trying to familiarize with safe handling practices. A lawful request by an active member of law enforcement also likely falls into this category.

Use your best judgment. What it comes down to is this: your concealed carry handgun is your lifeline. When you put that lifeline into someone else’s hands, you need to be certain it’s for the right reasons.

In general: never give your concealed handgun over to anyone.

There’s a second factor at play: you’re giving someone else your gun. Outside of a family member or close personal friend, you can’t be overly sure of another person’s motives when asking for your weapon. And part of carrying a concealed handgun is not showing it to anyone.

The basic rules of Concealed Carry Club:

1. Don’t talk about Concealed Carry Club.

2. Don’t talk about Concealed Carry Club.

3. Don’t hand your gun to someone.

Pretty simple rules. In addition to Concealed Carry Club, the four rules of basic firearms safety always apply…

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
  • Don’t point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
  • Know what’s in front of and directly behind your target.

The second that gun leaves your direct custody, you have to treat it as you would a firearm you discovered in another person’s hand. It takes a high degree of trust before I’ll hand my gun to someone. In these cases, it’s usually a training environment, at the range, or when demonstrating a specific technique related to unloading and clearing a gun.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Out Your Gun In Public

And, while this I shouldn’t need to state this, I will go ahead and put out this disclaimer: never take your gun out in public.

There is a visible perception of others when they see someone take out a gun in public. Carrying a gun in a visible holster is a separate matter entirely. We’re talking about someone taking a gun out of a concealed holster, bag, or purse in a public place.

That may give strangers to the situation cause for pause. More defensively minded people may even go so far as to move away from the scene. Some individuals may also call the police. As silly as this may sound, we live in an age of heightened broadcasting of fear. The cultural zeitgeist is surrounded by shooting events that usually have little motive or warning before occurring. A stranger may not perceive your actions as normal.

To save you and them some heartache — or worse — if you have to take your gun out where the public can see it, make sure it falls into one of the following scenarios:

1. You are legitimately drawing the weapon because you have a real reason to fear for your life.

2. You are in a controlled range environment and are engaging in routine practice in a designated area.

3. You are complying with a lawful request. This one isn’t likely to occur because police typically won’t ask you to remove your gun. They’ll do it for you… And it’s safer if they do it.

So, outside of these three overarching themes in situations, there’s likely no reason you should be drawing your gun in public. If you do get into a situation where you need to remove your weapon (i.e., put it in the car for storage), then be discrete and go to a place where you cannot be readily observed.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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Some people are just curious. They see my concealed carry badge and sash, and then want to see the gun 😉

Daniel Emerson



You wear the CCW Sash as well? I thought that the CCW Badge was universally accepted as “the” sign of “tacticalness”. Perhaps a CCW Cape would be in order too.


The badge is good for flashing at other cars when you speed past, flashing your lights, but if you pull people over, always use the sash too 😉


That sounds very “tactical”.


There is no reason to hand your gun over to someone, it’s an ego enrichment thing, that’s it. You can get in more trouble that way due to someone who dislikes you or “guns”, being able to say you pulled your gun out and pointed it at them, and now be able to describe it to a tee. Without a description, police know the person is likely full of beans.
First question would be, what did his gun look like, was it black, silver etc. Once you screw up and show them the gun, it becomes harder to proceed with the fact that you never did such a thing. Only pull your gun when you feel you may have to use it, or do have to use it. As in shots fired near you, or at you. It’s not “cool” to show even your friends your gun. If they say they want to see it, tell them to come to the range and you would be happy to show it to them, and even teach them how to use it, “if they don’t know.
Todays friendly neighbor, can be tomorrows enemy, over something stupid like not trimming their tree, so be cautious.


I agree, this is another reason to get a permit and carry concealed. Open carry leaves you open to accusations of a threat by someone who just wants to get you in trouble. Say you have an argument with someone and he sees you are carrying, he can call police and say you were acting in a threatening manner, i.e. he pointed or touched his gun while we were arguing, this is enough to get some officers fired up. It’s best to avoid such situations. Although a calm conversation may get you by this, no one wants that added hassle. I have even heard of people being accused of threats as a result of a gun owner sticker on their car. Guns are for protection and in today’s political climate, there are those that will use knowledge of you having a gun to ruin your day!

Colorado carry

I totally agree! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pull your weapon out in public! If you do have remove your gun other than home or the gun range, please be mindful that others can see it if you do not place it in a secure place or out of sight, (concealed). That can cause some panic among some individuals that are fearful of guns or uncertain situations. As an added note, do not pull it out at a gun shop, there is a proper way to show your weapon to an armorer. It should be unloaded and safety checked, in a case or locked open before going in. There are many YouTube videos on Gun Shop Etiquette, watch them if you need to get more information.


I agree but can you pull your weapon due to the fact you feel threatened. Then reholster I’d threat disapates. Examp
I live In Florida everybody has a gun and everybody has a backpack. Say it is night secluded parking lot and someone approaches you with their hands inside the backpack you you back up telling them to stop take thei hand out of the pack. They keep coming at you you tell them you are afraid stop. They don’t so you pull your weapon holding on chest pointed down. Issue the stop command again. This time they comply. Once you see they have no weapons and can see both there hands. You reholster your weapon. Can you get in trouble for brandishing handgun in public.

Colorado carry

You are correct, however the thought of the article was not about the use of force, which is what you are referring to it was about the generic showing your gun. I now live in Texas, and here it is legal to use non deadly force (using your gun as a deterrent with out pulling the trigger.)


You cannot branish your gun in Florida. In your scenario there is no threat against your life, until there is. If you are afraid, take yourself out of the situation, stay alert. If the guy gets too close use assertive verbal commands. You can stand your ground, but, why? If your trapped you have to use like force until there it becomes deadly. Remember the highly publicized shooting in Sanford, FL.
Maybe the guy your describing is homeless approaching you to ask for $5.00 or comes within 3 feet then offers you a lollipop from his bag. You shoot him due to your paranoia. Your defense is that you felt threatened. You go to jail for ever. You got 2 feet use them or get in your car and get out of there.
Having a gun is not a power wand.

Jim L

Too bad the same isn’t applied to police. Paranoia can reign there too and unarmed people have been killed, knowingly unarmed, or not with a gun and sometimes in a situation where the cops can back off, when it’s obvious it’s suicide by cops. The logic that should be applied is, what would a reasonable person do? The emphasis is on reasonable and it could be cultural too. What someone in NYC thinks is reasonable might not be the same as BFE, in terms of where the rubber hits the road in a grand jury. The best weapon against threats is between the ears and the best outcome is when no one gets hurt or killed. If you can avoid trouble, do so. It ain’t worth it and at times, even when you’re right.


If you fear for your life, you fear for your life. Simple as that.
Don’t let someone say otherwise.
If the guy was acting in a threatening manner, that’s assault.
Assault is a crime.


Great advice, I would like to add one point. When anyone carry’s concealed, it should be comfortable enough to remain in the same position when sitting or standing. Let me explain. If you carry concealed, make sure you can enter and leave you vehicle without further adjustments. Too many people call attention to their weapon when entering or exiting their vehicle. When stepping out of the vehicle, you don’t want to grab your gun and holster it, this can be seen, by many in the parking lot, as a threat. If you don’t feel comfortable or lack of access causes you to desire carrying in a car holster, maybe you should find another carry format.


Maybe because I live in a redneck society I don’t see it as being an issue showing my concealed carry weapon to friends. I live in an extremely rural area. There are about 150 people in our town and less than 3,000 in our county. There is only one paved street in our town. This is the area of 4-wheel drive pickups and farms of over 1,000 acres. It is not unusual for men in our town to show their new firearm purchases to one another. Another consideration is that our county is almost exclusively Republican. At at least one point I believe they were having difficulty finding a Democrat to help man the polling area.

Colorado carry

So what happens if you go to a major city and you happen to pull out your gun to show someone that is curious, and some gun-not type watches this happen. 10 minuets later, your surrounded by 15 police cars. You can now find yourself having to answer to half the police force on why you are brandishing a weapon and that you’re not a terrorist. Your home area is not the world, learn the rules now to carry everywhere.


I live in a rural hunting area where there are lots of guns and permits. Still, I keep my gun well under wraps when in public. If I do show my gun to someone, it’s done discreetly and with confidence in knowing the person I’m showing it to. I also remove the mag and clear it before allowing them to handle it, even if they are a gun owner. One good tip for people is to have confidence in their holster. I never touch my holster/gun to check position, or to “make sure it’s still there”, even through my shirt or coat. All it takes is for one person to see that and raise an alarm. I also don’t believe in open carry unless I’m in the woods. Nobody needs to know what I have until I need them to know.


The best reason to keep your gun under wraps? So you don’t become a target. If a criminal, intent on lawlessness, sees your gun, guess who is his first target? Yep you with the gun he knows about. If he doesn’t know about it he is not looking at you…


I read an article about a man open carrying his gun in a mall or shopping center. While he was at his vehicle, another man walking by commented what a nice gun he had, then pulled his own gun and robbed him, taking the (now) victim’s gun with him.

Jim L

Nope, not ever. Won’t do it. It only comes out if I am going to shoot it, put it on or away. Same with my sgian dubh. 🙂


I agree with all of this post – EXcept: ‘They’ll do it for you… And it’s safer if they do it.’ – The officer may not be at all familiar with your firearm or how to treat it safely. Over two decades as LEO taught me this. It could create a problem either way.