Chance favors the prepared!

7 Rules for carrying your EDC Firearm

holster3I regularly talk about EDC (Every Day Carry), and the importance of being armed. Being ready and prepared to defend yourself from the “wolves” of this world is something that everyone should be willing and able to do.

Fortunately, I live in a state that allows its law abiding citizens to carry a weapon in public to protect themselves from deadly situations. However, there is more to having an EDC weapon than simply packing some heat! There are rules that everyone should follow when carrying an EDC weapon. Here are my 7 rules for carrying your EDC weapon:

#1 – Know your state laws and local ordinances

I cannot stress this enough. Too many times I see people that carry a weapon but do not fully know or understand the laws in their area governing this. What can you legally carry? What are the laws governing self-defense and the use of your weapon? Know these, and help save yourself a potential legal fire storm should you ever find yourself having to use your EDC weapon to defend yourself!

If your state allows you to get a carry conceal permit, then by all means get it!

Also keep in mind that what is legal in your state may not be legal in another. So check firearms/self defense laws in any other states you might be traveling to. Click here for an excellent source for learning about the firearm laws in your area and across the nation.

#2 – Get a quality firearm

Just recently, my parents went through a free, carry conceal class that my police department puts on 2 or 3 times a year for city employees and their family members. The morning section is in a class room setting, and the afternoon portion is out on the range.

My parents went through the class using a Taurus TP 22 pistol. Unfortunately, they had some issues with the Taurus not firing correctly, and my father eventually had to borrow my Glock to complete the course. (My mother borrowed another class member’s .22 to complete the course.)

I’ve talked about the importance of getting a quality firearm many times in the past. I think my parents’ experience on the firing range helped them learn the lesson about having a well made firearm. Had that been a real situation, I shudder to think what might have happened. This is a tool your life might someday depend upon. Why go cheap on that?

I know many preppers are on a tight budget. But again, how much is your life worth? For those who are trying to balance their need for quality versus what they can afford, here is a great video on finding quality firearms on a budget!

And if you are snickering about my mother using a .22, I would encourage you to read this article on .22s for home defense from my friend Graywolf. I promise you, hitting with a .22 is damn sure more effective than missing with a .45!!

For the record, my mother was VERY accurate with a .22. For her age and her ability, I encourage her to carry and practice with it!

#3 – Get training, and practice regularly

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The class my parents attended was free. (A perk of having a son as a police officer.) But even if you pay for it, a firearms class from a certified and qualified firearms instructor is WELL worth the money! Most states require you to have some sort of training before you can get your carry license. But even after taking the necessary education, why stop there? It might not be a bad idea to find other classes, either intermediate or even advanced classes as your proficiency grows.

In addition, I have preached on the merits of practicing with your firearms. Firearms skills can go “rusty” over time if you do not practice. You can read more on firearms training here.

#4 Keep it concealed and secure!

Many states (including mine) now allow carry permit holders to openly carry in public settings. And although it is legal, I do NOT believe it is tactically a smart idea. If you are not familiar with the terms OpSec or “Grayman”, click on the link to help you become aware of the concept.

Openly carrying your firearm in public NEGATES any chance you would have of blending in. I promise you, if you walk into a public area openly carrying a firearm, EVERYONE will notice you!

A huge part of concealment and keeping it secure is in the holster you use. You need a holster that feels comfortable, but is easy to conceal with different types of clothing. Concealing with a coat is easy. What about a thin t-shirt on a hot day?


Avoid imprinting…this ISN’T carrying concealed

You want to avoid “imprinting”. You should be able to walk around with no one having any idea you are carrying. However, you should also be able to access your weapon without effort if the situation turns dangerous. This is something you might practice at home. With your firearm unloaded, practice drawing your weapon from concealment. If there is a safety on your pistol, practice disengaging it while drawing your pistol. Practice this regularly, and with different types of clothing.

You should find a holster that is easy to conceal and one that is also secure on your person. If you are constantly having to adjust your holster, or the holster keeps moving and/or sliding around, that will draw some attention. So make sure it is not too loose. It should be firm and secure, but not to the point of being uncomfortable.

holster4I gave my review on the Osborn holster rig. (See top pic.) This is the holster I carry off duty, and should give you an idea of what you may want to look for. It is an IWB (Inside Waist Band) holster for both my Sig P238 AND an extra magazine. It fits securely and is easy to conceal.

Ladies, if you carry concealed in your purse, how easy is it to get to your weapon? There are now purses designed specifically to help carry a concealed weapon. This is an option you might want to explore. And again, when at home you should practice drawing from your purse.

#5 Get night sights on your firearm, and carry small flashlight20150327_212506

Crime, unfortunately, does not sleep. Whether you are out at night or home in your bed and have to defend yourself, being able to see and acquire the “bad guy” visually in low light settings is of paramount importance.

Both my Glock and my off duty Sig have full sights that glow in the dark. That makes acquiring the target at night MUCH quicker and easier. In a bad situation, when seconds count, I promise you it will be well worth the investment!

If you can’t afford a tactical light for your firearm, a small pocket flashlight will work. I carry this one, which puts out 300 lumens and is reasonably priced!

#6 Maintain situational awareness

Just because you are armed, that does not make you invincible. Carrying concealed does you no good if you never see the danger coming. You must maintain a vigilant frame of mind. A gun is NOT Superman’s cape, so do not allow yourself to fall into a false sense of security.

You should be in condition Yellow when armed and in public. If you are not sure what that means, you should read my article on situational awareness, by clicking here.

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Please also keep in mind that being armed does not make you right. Nor does it give you the right to escalate a potential conflict. If anything, you should go out of your way to avoid conflict if possible. Remember that your primary goal is to avoid conflict. Your firearm is your backup plan.

#7 Carry it already!

If you are “just running to the store” and leave your EDC weapon at home, then is it really an EDC weapon? And will that be the time that a dangerous situation kicks off and you wish you had it?

After the Paris terror attacks last November, Eagles of Death Metal lead singer Jesse Hughes said afterward that he wishes he were armed the night of the attacks. Things might have been very different. Instead, 89 people were killed.

Here is a story I have talked about before, on the day I realized I should be carrying EVERY day!

I learned my lesson about always carrying concealed many years ago when I was standing in a busy convenience store. A man (big guy) that I had arrested on several felony counts (the arrest was less than pleasant, but he took a plea bargain) walked into the store and recognized me. He had done some hard time, and was apparently now out on parole.

Anyway, the man immediately began staring “daggers” at me. I could see the hatred burning in his eyes. He was wearing a jacket, and his hands were in his pockets. The situation made my neck hairs “tingle”, and I sensed the encounter could quickly become volatile.

At that time, I only had my Glock pistol, but it was on me, concealed in the small of my back. I was wearing a t-shirt and light jacket, and instinctively (and slowly) put my hand under my shirt and griped the handle of my Glock. The situation still felt tense, but a sense of steadfastness came over me. I did not say anything, but returned his gaze with a steady resolve.

I’m sure he saw my movements, even though I tried to be discreet. After a moment, he turned and walked out, still trying to burn a hole in me with his gaze. I often wonder what would have happened had I not been carrying concealed that day. Even the store clerk could sense the hostility, and asked “What was up with that guy?” after he left.

From that day forward, I have always carried concealed. I hope that I never have to use it. Avoiding conflict is my primary goal. My weapons are my back up plan! But in this case, better safe than sorry.

Carrying a deadly weapon is not something to take lightly. In the immortal words of Spiderman, and/or Voltaire:

With great powers comes great responsibility.


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Hopefully you take this responsibility seriously. Following these 7 rules will certainly help in that aspect.

Stay safe out there!

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12 Responses to 7 Rules for carrying your EDC Firearm

  • Thanks for sharing common sense info, James!

    • Very welcome!! Thank you for visiting the site

      • What a great article!

        It is nice to see someone emphasize the importance of having the right attitude as well as skills needed to prevail in real-world conflicts (the kind where the person who learns to avoid them always “wins”). Sometimes people forget that they are holding themselves to a higher standard when carrying a weapon. This is especially true when that weapon is capable of inflicting death or severe harm on another. The concept of threat avoidance seems to be lost on a certain percentage of individuals – usually in the form of staring at their cell phone without pause.

        In any case, excellent information and looking forward to reading more in the future!

  • thanks so much for the info! there are zero women practice sites in my state. I’ll check with the local police and see if they can direct me. thanks again.

  • I’m a single mom. Never carried nor owned a firearm. However, I’m realizing the necessity to keep our home safe as well as my personal safety. What would you recommend to someone such as myself? I firearms class obviously, but where does one buy surplus??? I mean, I’m on a very tight budget as I’m in graduate school, and my kids’ father doesn’t always send the child support. ya know? so I’m really wanting to stay safe, but really needing to be wise about a purchase and firearms class. Recommendations?

    • As far as finding a class, I can provide a link or two starting you in the right direction. Obviously I do not know where you live, so I could not personally recommend anything locally. I would always check with you local police dept or Sheriff’s office. Also, I have included a link to help you find something in your state.

      As far as finding budget firearms, at the bottom of the the following link, there are all sorts of online gun sites you can check out. Some have REALLY good deals. (Even if you are not building an AR, the links are a great source.)

      If you can, go to a range and test fire a few pistols to see what you like. My father and I took my mother yesterday. The local range we went to had a 10 for $10 program. For ten bucks, you could test fire any pistol with ten rounds to see if you like it. My mom tried two, and actually preferred the Sig P238 over the Ruger SR22.

      So be sure you like and can handle the pistol before you buy it. Hope this helps. Feel free to drop me an email if you have more questions. I’m always happy to help. Click this link to email me if you want.

  • Great info! I particularly enjoyed the Youtube video on your gun recommendations. Do you have a recommend online site for purchasing guns?

  • I took a training class where an older woman was using a Ruger SR22. I was using a Glock 19. She shot well but kept fighting that stupid backwards safety. I happened to have my S&W 22 Compact in my range bag and let her try it out.

    • This weekend my father and I are taking my mother to a local gun range where we can rent her some .22 pistols to try out and see which one she likes.

    • The SR 22 is safe to carry with the “safety” off. Putting it on and then taking it off will drop the hammer, requiring a double action trigger pull, just like a double action revolver, which has no “safety”.

      “She only has a .22, let’s get her!” Said NOBODY, EVER!

      • The SR22 is one she is interested in. She hasn’t shot it but she has held it and dry fired it during the carry conceal class. She said she liked it. So it is certainly on the “Try it” list this weekend.

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