The Top 5 Cardinal Sins of Concealed Carry

With millions upon millions of law-abiding Americans who currently concealed carry in the United States, it’s important to recognize some of the more common mistakes that are traditionally made. The top 5 are listed below.


If you’re going to concealed carry, than concealed carry! It’s always entertaining to play ‘guess the handgun’ type as it prints through somebody’s t-shirt.

“Yep, there goes another Glock.” Please, don’t be that guy!

Although printing may be completely legal in many states, so is open carry. Please pick one or the other, as each method has their own distinct tactical advantages.


Practice is great, but make sure it’s practical. In other words, standing in a range lane firing single shot after single shot isn’t really a realistic scenario.

Make your range time practical. Find a location where you can practice drawing and firing from the holster. Become accustomed to using your support hand to clear your garment out of the way, while your strong hand draws and fires the weapon.

Practice tactical advancements, tactical retreats, various shooting stances, different shooting positions and finding effective cover. Become proficient in emergency reloads, magazine exchanges and failure drills (2 shots to center mass followed by 1 shot to the head).


As much as you might like to concealed carry that .50 caliber Desert Eagle, it’s probably the wrong handgun. Find something that’s more practical.

By practical, ask yourself several questions. Is the gun concealable? Is the ‘stopping power’ sufficient? Is over-penetration a concern if forced to engage a threat in a crowd of people? How will a jury of my peers view my choice of a self-defense weapon should I be forced to use it?

In other words, if you blow the brains out of a bad guys ear with a ‘Dirty Harry’ .44 magnum that’s hydro-dipped in ‘zombie apocalypse’ livery, how would a jury view your actions should the state decide to prosecute? If it’s a justifiable shooting, it shouldn’t make a difference. But juries have been known to make some very odd decisions based on very minuscule details.


For the love of God, TIGHTEN UP YOUR BELT! I have a beer belly too, but please, find the proper holster/gun/belt/pants combination. Nothing screams handgun louder than the ole ‘Barney Fife’ belt adjustment, with a classic snort and smirk.

‘Don’t be that guy.’


If you find yourself in a life or death scenario, remember why you’re choosing to concealed carry in the first place – THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE!

Size up the situation. How many bad guys are there? What are their intentions? Is there an immediate risk to innocent lives?

You’re now a victim; act like it! As you’re sizing up the scenario, play along. Act terrified and comply. Make the bad guy(s) believe they’re in total control and you’re nothing more than a terrified victim. And then when the window of opportunity presents itself, take it. Strike like a rattlesnake attacking its prey – without any hesitation!


Although many other mistakes can be made during concealed carry, taking these 5 ‘concealed carry rules of thumb’ to heart will put you leaps and bounds ahead of nearly any bad guy.

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