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Avoiding the Five Most Common Concealed Carry Mistakes

Posted by Austin Davis on

Deciding to carry a handgun legally to defend yourself or someone you are responsible for is a huge decision. As President of Kangaroo Carry holsters? ( and Virtual Tactical Academy ( in Houston, I often encounter clients and students engaging in some very unwise concealed carry habits. The most common ones are listed below:

MISTAKE #1: Forgetting the First Rule of a Gun Fight
Which is of course “Bring a Gun”! A handgun is like a parachute. If you don’t have one when you need it, you probably won’t ever need one again. For concealed carry to be of use it needs to be a well thought out lifestyle constant that is integrated into your daily activities. By a lifestyle constant we mean you carry a gun as routinely as a cell phone. Crime will happen when motive meets opportunity. The bad guys act only when they think the odds are more in their favor than yours. Therefore, you don’t know when (if ever) you will need a gun, but the whole reason for a concealed carry handgun is at-hand convenience if and when you need it. Plus---carrying a rifle or shotgun might freak out your neighbors or co-workers!

MISTAKE #2: Carrying a Variety of Guns
Variety is the spice of life but is a recipe for disaster with firearms. There is only so much time and mental energy to train, so if you have to try to learn multiple operating ?systems/point of aim/point of impact on multiple handguns you will not have the maximum amount of muscle memory specific skill sets mastered to operate your handgun most effectively if at all under stress. If you need more than one dedicated carry firearm could you at least try to at least stay in the same gun family? If you prefer a certain type of firearm, get the other carry guns in the same configuration, operating system, and grip angle but perhaps in different sizes. For example, if you like an external safety make sure all your carry guns have a safety in same place that works in same direction. We lose the ability to think creatively under stress and will fall back on our lowest level of training. So same system/same way can save the day when time is life.

MISTAKE #3: Not Having a Sensible Carry System
There are only three places for a handgun: In the hand of a well trained competent sober adult, in a holster attached to the body of a well trained competent sober adult, or locked away from anyone who is not a well trained sober competent adult. Under your car seat, in your nightstand, or crammed in a pocket or purse without a holster is not one of those three places. Your carry system should allow you to carry in all day comfort in a position that works for your lifestyle and body type. Your carry system should also include where you store your gun when you take it off at the end of the day.

MISTAKE #4: Going Stupid Places With Stupid People Doing Stupid Things While Armed
Now that is a very wide net to cast for mistakes waiting to happen, but it is 100% solid advice! “Stupid is as Stupid Does” and add a firearm to the mix and the outcome cannot be good. Carrying concealed means being clear headed, aware, and legally responsible. You cannot afford to be thoughtless when carrying concealed in any way. Wise choices start with being sober, aware of your responsibilities as a legally armed citizen and carrying on from there.

MISTAKE #5: Believing Shooting Paper Targets at a Range is the Same as Learning to Fight With a Gun
Any training activity is best done with an eye to outcome. If your desired outcome is to shoot nice neat little holes in the center of a paper targets that do not move or try to fight back in a well-lit area then you are golden! When you want to learn to fight with a handgun against potentially one or more people trying to hurt you then you want to train in as realistic conditions or environments as possible. Effective training will allow for safe learning mistakes while still providing realism and slowly build on your ability to operate and think under progressively more difficult drills in a dynamic realistic environment.

Austin Davis
Kangaroo Carry LLC
Virtual Tactical Academy, Inc.

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