The hardest part of starting to carry concealed is just that, starting. Just like anything new, there’s a level of fear with doing something for the first time, not to mention with a loaded firearm. Knowing what to expect can help ease some of the anxiety of carrying a gun.
Day One is always the hardest, but it sets the commitment for being your own first responder. If you make it a goal to carry 30 days straight, carrying concealed becomes natural and normalized. At the end of the first 30 days, you’ll feel naked if you don’t have your gun on (which you should never do).
Here are some of the things you’ll experience in the first weeks of carrying.
The very first time you put your gun in your holster, attach it to your body, and step out into a public place, you’ll most likely be nervous. You may even begin to sweat a little bit. This is actually a good thing. Carrying a gun is not something to take lightly. A firearm is a powerful tool and your body understands that this is a big deal. This may even happen the first few times until you start to realize that no one is paying attention or looking at you.
Stop fidgeting! One of the most common things people do when starting to carry concealed is pull their clothing down constantly or fidgeting with their clothing where their gun is. This draws more attention than anything else. It’s hard in the beginning to relax as you are so aware of where your gun is, but no one else is. If your clothing is constantly riding up or getting attached to your holster or pistol grip, you may need to start rethinking your wardrobe.
You might think that everyone is looking at you and that they can either see your gun or know you have a gun. In reality, that’s not the case. In your first 30 days of carrying, you will start to people watch and notice how many people aren’t even aware of their surroundings. You should always be aware of the entrances and exits of every place you walk into. You’ll begin to start looking at people’s hips and appendixes for an outline of a firearm. Essentially, you are looking for other people like you.
Wearing a holster can take some time getting used to when starting to carry concealed. You may even end up buying a different holster than what you initially thought you’d wear every day. Most likely, you’ll begin to collect different holsters for different clothing. You may know exactly where you’d like to position your holster on your body or you may move it around to find out what is the most comfortable position for you.
A habit is not formed overnight. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months for a person to form a new habit. Consistency breeds success. Getting comfortable with carrying every day, no matter where you are going, what you are wearing, or how hot or how cold it is outside is the key to normalizing it. You should never get so relaxed that you begin to ignore safety rules when it comes to your firearm. It’s all about creating a daily routine of wearing your gun so you don’t even think twice about having it on you.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting, and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to concealed carry and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment.
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