Concealed Carry – Are You Making These Five Mistakes?

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A group of proud gun owners is filing suit against Ohio State University, claiming that the school’s code of conduct violates state law by prohibiting students from keeping guns in their vehicles and wearing them while representing the school in off-campus events. The Students for Concealed Carry Foundation say that the school’s code comes into conflict with state law that permits exceptions to university gun bans. These exceptions include carrying a gun in a locked car, an exemption not recognized by OSU’s policy.

While we wish the group good luck with their lawsuit, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to talk about concealed carry in general. Unfortunately, a small minority of handgun owners make things more difficult for the rest of us by making serious errors in judgment when exercising their concealed-carry privilege. Here are five mistakes to watch out for.

#1 – A lack of training
Owning a handgun and carrying a license isn’t enough. In many states, the bar to get your concealed weapons permit is set fairly low. This is probably as it should be, but that only puts the impetus on the owner himself. Do yourself a favor and get properly trained on your firearm. It could mean the difference if you ever find yourself in a position to use it.

#2 – Unintentional exposure
One of the easiest mistakes to make when carrying a gun is accidental exposure. Whenever possible, your aim should be to disguise the fact that you have a weapon on you. Printing is a common error, the type of thing that happens when the outline of your pistol pushes tellingly against your shirt or pants. Check yourself in a mirror before you head out into public.

#3 – Not enough practice
Getting trained is important, but heading to the range for regular practice may be even more essential. Shooting a gun isn’t like riding a bike. You need to be at the top of your skills if you intend to respond effectively in a crisis. Adrenaline is good for readying your body for all-out assault, but it isn’t going to improve your gun-handling skills when you’re staring down a threat. For that, you need hours of practice.

#4 – Going cheap on the holster
There are plenty of decent, inexpensive holsters on the market, but you have to be careful about digging too deeply into the bargain bin. Holsters made cheaply will not support your firearm the way you need them to on a daily basis. Anyone who has been carrying for a while probably has a collection of discarded holsters that didn’t get the job done. If you spend a little time researching beforehand, you stand a better chance of getting it right the first time.

#5 – Telegraphing your arms
Telegraphing simply means telling others through hints and clues that you are carrying a weapon. This is a temptation for many who feel that they can keep trouble at bay by warning bad guys with pro-gun paraphernalia, comments that suggest a hidden weapon, and other ill-advised ideas. This rarely has the intended effect, and it can even make you a target if you aren’t careful. If someone puts your life in danger, the fact that you have a gun should come as a surprise. Besides, you’re probably coming off as insufferably obnoxious if you feel the need to alert the world that you’re carrying a gun.