Common Concealed Carry Mistakes

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Being a prepper means being prepared for an emergency no matter where you are.

Which is why more and more people are deciding to carry a concealed weapon when they leave the house.

CCW mistakesBut the work and responsibilities of folks who want to carry concealed aren’t finished when they pay the state licensing fee and submit the paperwork.

Novice concealed carriers make an impressive number of mistakes.

The results can be far ranging! From embarrassment, to injury, to having a judge in a courtroom lecturing you that ignorance of the law is no excuse!

It’s true that concealed carry laws vary from state to state and that concealed carry can cause some initial physical discomfort.

This inconvenience unfortunately makes it tempting to take “shortcuts”.

For folks who appreciate that concealed carry needs to be approached in a thoughtful and responsible manner – and are willing to do a little research – wearing a firearm shouldn’t be an issue.

Related: Concealed Carry Loophole

So read on to learn about concealed carry mistakes that others have made in the past, so that you don’t have to make them too.

“Universal” Concealed Carry Regulations

Each State determines whether individuals can wear concealed weapons within their boundaries. It’s important that folks understand that there currently is not a “universal” permit that allows you to travel across state lines carrying concealed.

If you’re doing so in Vermont and want go on a trip to Illinois, you’ll need to apply for (and receive) an Illinois concealed carry permit before the trip.

Some states refuse to honor permits that they don’t issue. But Texas currently honors concealed carry permits from these thirty-five other states:

You’ll also want to make sure that you read up on all your concealed carry rights and restrictions if you have many state permits, because they are not the same. And be aware that state permit regulations are fluid. Yes, the states giveth and the states taketh away.

The aftermath of election cycles are generally when you’re most likely to see changes made to concealed carry permit regulations.

But to be safe, if carrying outside of your home state, check up on regulations before doing so.

Keeping in mind that there may be variances among states, including distances that concealed weapons must be kept from public spaces, here is a standard list of public areas where concealed weapons aren’t allowed:concealed carry laws by state

  • State and municipal office buildings
  • Courthouses
  • Prisons, jails, holding areas, and juvenile detention facilities
  • Law enforcement facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Pre, elementary, and secondary schools (some institutions of higher learning now allow concealed carry, always check first)
  • Various entertainment venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, sports arenas, etc.
  • “Public lands” (libraries, museums, some outdoor settings such as parks)

Again, rules can be quite different between states and even communities within states. It’s always safest to check and recheck regulations before taking a concealed firearm into any public area.

Federal Restrictions

Yes, many of your lawmakers think that there should be a universal permit for concealed carry. Both the House and the Senate have introduced and are reviewing bills on this very matter as you read this.

But this doesn’t mean that you can carry concealed to go visit them.

In fact, concealed carry wear isn’t permitted on any piece of Federal property including:

  • Federal courthouses
  • Any structure owned or rented by the federal government for the purpose of doing research or conducting business for the public good
  • Museums and visitor centers
  • Forests, parks, and campgrounds – even ones that allow hunting in season and/or open carry wear.


Yes, the characters played by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson carry freaking Howitzers onto planes, trains, and buses in many of their movies without any repercussions.

What happens if you’re not an air marshal or “bus monitor” and bring a concealed carry firearm (intentionally or otherwise) onto a public conveyance?

In all three cases, concealed carry is forbidden. Guns may travel on inter and intra-state buses and planes as checked luggage, and Amtrak recently indicated that they would allow passengers to carry unloaded firearms onto trains.

But even though being charged with “innocently” bringing a firearm onto a plane is a civil offense, depending on circumstances, violators can face heavy fines or even the permanent loss of a concealed carry permit.

Don’t just double check for tickets as you approach that boarding area; make sure that you’re not carrying too.

Related: Improve Your Accuracy with These Simple Hacks from a Green Beret

Choosing the Right CCW Holster


Finding the best concealed carry holster for youYou’re not going to be taking that firearm on and off like a coat. And you aren’t wearing a pillow.

You will be feeling that firearm, and until you get used to wearing it, it won’t be feeling very comfortable.

So you’re going to need to do your research to find the best CCW holster for you.

Do some prep work by practicing wearing holsters for increasing lengths of time before ever taking that pistol for a walk.

Will Kevlar be the most comfortable holster material to wear all day long, or will it be leather?

Then take some practice runs with the added weight of a firearm. Give a trial period a good couple of weeks before going to Plan B.

Fashion Over Function

If you’re more concerned about finding a belt that looks great with your wardrobe as opposed to one that will safely support and carry your gun, then you shouldn’t be carrying concealed in the first place.

It isn’t pretty, but a tactical belt is a great support and safety choice for wearing a gun all day.


Choosing a comfortable CCW holsterThe object of carrying it concealed is not to shoot yourself or innocent parties.

How you wear your gun makes a huge difference in reducing accidental discharges. Remember, your gun should not be worn in a manner:

  • That has it pointing directly at someone or at the person behind you
  • In which it’s being kept in a “quick draw” holster
  • That causes the gun to sag away from the body or falls on the floor

Wrong Holster

Why are you agonizing over what this holster looks like? Nobody’s going to see it!

But many concealed carriers purchase very cool looking holsters that are either not safe or that are very uncomfortable and in both cases, potentially deadly.

The right holster is one that you can easily access, one that allows you to control the gun after drawing (this is the primary reason why quick draw holsters aren’t a good idea) and one that can be easily and comfortably adjusted to accommodate gait and balance.

Related: Our Favorite Concealed Carry Holster

Look Everybody, I’m Carrying A Concealed Gun!

Wrong CCW HolsterIt’s carrying concealed, remember? As in hidden?

Your stride should be normal, not like you’re walking to the shootout at the O.K. Corral.

The firearm should be completely hidden from view. Many states will not permit any part of a firearm to be exposed, or even show through fabric.

Always make gun and holster adjustments in private.

And in the absence of deadly force, never draw your concealed piece, even in jest, lest you discover the hard way that the abuse of concealed carry rights isn’t a laughing matter.

Wrapping Up

We hope you found this article useful. If you are new to carrying concealed, please make sure you know how to safely carry and handle your weapon before carrying in public.

If you have some tips and advice of your own for folks who are new to concealed carry, please share your thoughts by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Joe - Smoking Barrel USAAbout the author: This article was contributed by Joe from

Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community. aims to help promote gun safety, debunk some myths that exist today about firearms, as well as help folks to choose the right equipment to suit their specific needs.

1 thought on “Common Concealed Carry Mistakes”

  1. I like that you said that with a concealed carry gun your stride should be normal, not like you’re walking to the shootout at the O.K. Corral. I am thinking about renewing my concealed carry permit this next year. I think that it’s important to know what you’re doing with a concealed carry and know the right guidelines so that you can keep yourself and others safe.


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