Top 5 Concealed Carry Mistakes


Man shooting pistol at orange target

You’ve taken your state-required training and applied for your concealed carry permit. You’re ready to go, right? Wrong! There’s more to concealed carry than getting a CCW permit and strapping a gun on your hip. Don’t rush into carrying a firearm—learn the top mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Choosing the Wrong Firearm

Purchasing a new firearm is a lot like purchasing a car. You want to try it out first. The one that looks the coolest might not necessarily be the best option for you. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing your carry piece. Where on your person do you plan to carry? What is the weather like where you live, and how will that affect your cover garments? Are you comfortable with the trigger pull, the recoil, the caliber, and other factors?

Person putting pistol in concealed holster

2. Not Using a Holster

Not using a holster is not an option. A holster secures your firearm, protects the trigger and keeps your gun properly oriented and ready to grip. A proper holster, whatever carry position or style you choose, ensures that you don’t shoot something unless you pull the trigger. There are even a variety of options for pocket or purse carry. Try out a few and make sure you practice your draw.

gun holsters

3. Not Getting the Correct Training

Obviously, training is necessary. But the right kind of training is even more important. You should be training for the fight of your life. This entails more than just standing at the firing line and shooting at a stationary target. You need to be mentally prepared. And remember, you can never really have too much training. There is always more to learn. We like to say, “Don’t train until you get it right; train until you can’t get it wrong.”

people at an indoor gun range training

4. Thinking a Gun Is All You Need

Carrying a gun does not offer you automatic protection. And it does not give you a license to be carefree with your actions. With a firearm, in fact, you should be even more responsible, aware and polite. You should still be avoiding trouble at all costs. In other words, don’t go anywhere with a gun that you wouldn’t go without one.

5. Not Knowing the Laws Where You Carry

Being a responsibly armed American means knowing the rules and regulations where you live and when you travel. Ignorance will not be a good defense in court. And the laws are constantly updating. Make sure you’re staying updated too!

The bottom line: Concealed carry is a commitment. You need to commit to getting the right gear. You need to commit to getting the right training. And you need to commit to being willing to learn and ready to defend.

About the USCCA

The United States Concealed Carry Association is a membership organization that provides self-defense education, training and legal protection to hundreds of thousands of responsibly armed Americans.