Concealed Carry Myths Busted Part 5

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It’s time for another installment in Concealed Carry Myths Busted. If that sounds like the opening to a cheesy TV show, it’s probably because this series of articles has taken on a life on its own. This topic was originally going to be a single article that talked about some of the myths being spread as gospel to new gun owners. But the more I dug around gun forums, listened to conversations at the range and gun shops, and recalled things I had heard over the years, the more I realized that there is a lot of questionable information out there.
However, I think we may finally reach the point where I have covered the most egregious myths floating around. Here are six more concealed carry myths that should be taken with a grain of salt by folks who carry a gun, both veterans and newbies alike.

It’s Legal to Carry a Gun in Churches

This has been a major topic of discussion for years. For some unfathomable reason, bigots and crazies have targeted churches multiple times over the past few years. In several of those instances, an armed citizen has stopped the attack by incapacitating the shooter. Sometimes, the armed citizen was armed on their own, and other times, they were acting as a church security person.

On the legal side of the topic, a few states have laws strictly prohibiting carrying a gun in church. Other states say it’s fine with the minister’s permission. Some have nothing at all to say about it. My pastor always made sure I was armed when he had me go with him to deposit the donations after service every Sunday. The best thing to do is be sure you understand and follow the laws in your state.

However, there is one circumstance that changes everything, and that is if your church has a school on the grounds. It could be a private school, preschool, or a daycare but if your state defines the church property as a school it falls under a different set of laws.

In many states, schools are legally considered “Gun Free Zones.” You and I know that equates to a Free Fire Zone for bad guys, girls, and non-binaries, but misguided lawmakers seem to think it somehow protects the children. That means that in most places, you are committing a crime under state law if you carry a gun to church if it has a school on the grounds. So, that makes the statement that it’s legal to carry a gun at church a conditional myth; be sure to check your particular circumstances before acting.

Because They Don’t Make A .50

Because They Don't Make A .50Because They Don't Make A .50

We’ve all heard this one or read it on a forum. It usually starts with a question something like, ‘Why tell them to carry a .45?’ It stems from telling someone new to concealed carry that they must carry a large, powerful gun like a .45ACP or 10mm. While there’s nothing wrong with carrying a .45ACP or 10mm, they may not be the best option for a new carrier or even for many experienced carriers.

Conventional wisdom is to carry the largest, most powerful handgun you can realistically carry and manage, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. However, for many people, a .380 is the largest and most powerful gun they can realistically manage. It’s all very personal and should be treated as such. Modern 9mm and even .380 ammunition is very effective and has the benefit of less recoil, something that is important to many people. Telling them they must carry what to them amounts to a hand cannon, is counterproductive and a definite myth.

Revolvers are Not Good Concealed Carry Guns

Revolvers are Not Good Concealed Carry GunsRevolvers are Not Good Concealed Carry GunsThis one is patently false. In some cases, a revolver is the best carry gun for some people. Some years ago, I trained a physically frail woman with weak wrists to shoot. She perpetually limp-wristed her gun. No matter what size or type of semiauto pistol we tried, she couldn’t get more than one or two shots off without a malfunction. We switched her to a .38 Special revolver, and she did great.

Do I carry a revolver? No. In fact, at this particular moment in time, I don’t even own a revolver. I prefer a pistol. But revolvers have a simple manual of arms, and you can become very fast with one if you practice. As for capacity, most defensive shootings involve less than three shots, so a revolver should be adequate in most cases. Realistically, on days when I’m in an especially non-permissive situation, the best I can do is a pocket pistol that holds 6+1 anyway, so there’s not much difference in capacity there.

There are numerous revolvers on the market today designed specifically for concealed carry. The bottom line is that a revolver can be an excellent carry gun for some people, making this one a myth.

You Can’t Carry a Full-Sized Gun

You Can't Carry a Full-Sized GunYou Can't Carry a Full-Sized Gun

I wonder if the people I know who carry a 1911 know this. Whether or not you can realistically carry a full-size gun depends on three primary things: how you dress, your body type, and what you are comfortable with and proficient at shooting. If you are wearing slacks and a polo shirt, it might be a challenge to conceal a full-size gun. It can be done, but not easily. Likewise, if you are a big guy, it will be easier to conceal a full-size gun than if you tend toward the very slender side. Finally, if you have small hands or some other characteristic that makes handling a full-size gun challenging, then you should probably go for a compact.

However, these are all factors related to specific people and situations, and many of them can be overcome with the right holster. Modern holsters allow you to adjust the angle of the gun in relation to your body and how high it sits above your belt. They also provide a level of support that helps to spread the weight of the gun around your waist for greater comfort. The blanket statement that you cannot carry a full-size gun as your EDC is just another myth.

No One Will Notice If You Frequently Adjust Your Handgun

No One Will Notice If You Frequently Adjust Your HandgunNo One Will Notice If You Frequently Adjust Your Handgun

Maybe, maybe not. This one comes up a lot in forum discussions. Some people say that no one is watching if you adjust your gun, and even if they are, they won’t know what you’re doing. Other folks argue that while the average non-gun person might not know what you’re doing, others like police and criminals will pick right up on it.

Personally, I’m a firm believer in the ‘grey man’ school of thought. The less conspicuous I can be while carrying, the better. You might be surprised by what people notice, especially in the current environment where people are more concerned than ever about their personal safety. If you want to be sure your gun is properly seated in the holster, do it before you get out of your car. If you want to be sure your cover garment is in place, do it before you walk into a crowded situation and then leave it alone.

If you are not entirely comfortable with how well your gun is concealed or retained in your new holster, then carry it around the house for a while in the same clothes you will be wearing out in public. Become familiar and comfortable with carrying your gun before leaving the house instead of waiting until you are in a store or restaurant to get it properly situated.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Size Doesn't MatterSize Doesn't MatterHave you ever seen or heard the comment, ‘I’d rather have a .22  than nothing’? While a .22 is better than nothing, it is still hardly ideal. Personally, I’d rather have something a little more effective. The same holds true for one or two-shot derringers. It is a gun, yes, but not much of one, even in larger calibers. Tiny guns are difficult to shoot and don’t carry much ammo, a problem made even worse if they are an anemic caliber. Yes, I know, shot placement is critical with any caliber, but hits with larger calibers are more effective no matter where they strike. Tiny guns are also not a lot of fun to practice with, and if you don’t practice with your carry gun, you will be neither proficient nor confident with it.

Some will also throw out the argument that if your gun is too large and uncomfortable to carry, it’s more likely to be left at home. The answer to that one is simple… don’t leave your carry gun at home. Don’t make excuses. Get into the mindset of always carrying your gun. And always carry the largest and most powerful gun you can realistically carry. Throwing that two-shot .22 derringer or .32ACP mouse gun in your pocket may technically count as being armed, but it may be too little to do the critical job you need it to do: keep you alive.

Conclusion

Writing this series of articles on concealed carry myths has been fun and informative, but I sincerely hope there aren’t more of them out there. But, if I find more concealed carry myths that need busting, I will gladly do my duty to bring them out into the light where they can be dispelled. So, please ensure you are not passing along bad information, especially to people new to gun ownership.

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