1. Having the minimum required training
In many states, a hunter safety course is enough to qualify you for a concealed weapons license. Do your research before choosing a class and find a reputable one that is more concerned with proper training rather than getting you out of the course as quickly as possible. You want a course that has instructors who are going to help you in every way possible to make sure you leave their class prepared.
Printing, where the outline of your gun appears from pushing against your clothing and exposing a part of the gun are mistakes that often arise from complacency. When you first start carrying, often you’re so concerned about your gun showing in public you’ll do anything and everything to make sure it never happens. After carrying every day for years, it’s still a thought but you’re nowhere near as scared of it happening. Just take that extra second to make sure you’re not printing or going to expose your gun at some point.
3. Using a cheap holster
This mistake is made not from purchasing an inexpensive holster, but a poorly made one. That nylon holster you got on special for $2.99 probably isn’t going to become your go to holster. There are some great holsters that aren’t overly expensive and some pretty awful holsters that are way too expensive. Whatever material you prefer for your holster, it needs to be able to retain your gun properly and be comfortable enough to wear day in and day out.
4. Wearing improper clothing
There are two different aspects to this mistake. The first goes back to the mistake of allowing your gun to print or become exposed. Just because you carry a gun doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of Hawaiian shirts and baggy pants. You can still have a sense of personal style while carrying, you just need to be sure that the clothes you’re wearing accommodate the gun you carry. The second aspect of this mistake comes with wearing tacti-cool clothing. Walking around in head to toe BLACKHAWK and 5.11 Tactical clothing just screams gun. The idea is to conceal the fact you have a gun on you, not announce it to the world.
5. Fingering/Checking the gun
This is a bad habit often seen by those just starting to carry concealed. As they go about their routine, they’ll casually reach back and touch the gun with their fingers or sometimes blatantly just check to see if it’s still there. Don’t worry, if you’ve gotten a proper holster it’s still there. If you catch yourself doing this when you carry, suppress the urges and leave it alone! All you’re doing is giving people another chance to see that you have a gun on you. With a bit of experience and self control this urge will go away.
6. Not practicing with SD ammo
A self defense situation is not the time to find out that your gun doesn’t like to feed your chosen self defense ammo. Take the time to practice with several different brands of SD ammo and find the one that your gun likes best. Yes, it’s more expensive than strictly shooting white box Winchester, but the extra expense is worth knowing that if the time comes to defend yourself or your family, you’re actually going to be able to do so.
7. Not understanding firearm laws
It’s your responsibility when you decide to carry to know all the laws that can effect you, whether local, state, or federal. Every state and area is different. Find out what the exact law says for every area you find yourself in. Know whether you’re in a stand your ground or a duty to retreat state. Know where you’re allowed to carry and where you’re not. These laws are typically very easy to find on the internet.
This was taken from an article written by Dieter Heren.
5 Critical Mistakes Made by Defensive Gun Owners
by Sheriff Jim Wilson – Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Mistake No. 1: Not Learning Your Defensive Handgun
We seem to live in a world of instant gratification. Some folks decide that they need to do something about their own personal protection, so they buy a gun, some ammo, shoot it a bit and think they are good to go. Rushing things, they might end up having a negligent discharge that surprises, scares and sometimes hurts them. The frequent response to this, especially on social media, is that this particular kind of gun is just not safe.
In the vast majority of these cases, it is the shooter who was not safe. Numerous types of firearms are suitable for personal defense if the shooter will take the time to learn how to handle them safely. Each type of firearm has its own manual-of-arms. The double-action revolver works differently from the double-action semi-auto; the striker-fired semi-auto works differently from the single-action semi-auto and so on. Learning the proper manual-of-arms for a particular pistol not only dictates the shooting technique, it may also dictate what kind of holster is most suitable and what kind of ammo should be used. Col. Jeff Cooper suggested that a person should “live with” his defensive handgun in order to learn its intricacies and proper, efficient handling.
Mistake No. 2: Rotating Your Daily Concealed-Carry Gun
Another mistake that some defensive shooters make is this business of having several types of defensive handguns in their “rotation” for everyday carry. Upon questioning, I’ve found that some of these folks will be carrying a double-action/single-action pistol one day, a single-action 1911 the next and a striker-fired pistol the day after that.
Let me let you in on a little secret: when faced with a violent attack, you will be so focused on the threat that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to devote time to trying to remember how to operate the defensive handgun. The focus should be on the threat and how to deal with it. The management of the handgun must be almost subconscious. Carrying different types of guns on a regular basis may very well lead to confusion and may result in valuable time being lost trying to remember how that particular gun operates. It’s a good way to come in second place in that fight.
Mistake No. 3: Not Carrying with a Round in the Chamber
Speaking of coming second in a fight, another easy way to give a bad guy the jump on you is carrying a semi-automatic pistol with an empty chamber. In those crazy milliseconds in which your life hinges on your ability to respond quickly and accurately, having to use both hands to chamber a round could be the last mistake you ever make. Not only are you wasting precious time, you are counting on having both hands available for this task, which may not be the case. If, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel comfortable with a round chambered in your semi-automatic pistol, the smart thing would be to switch to a double-action revolver.
Mistake No. 4: Not Having a Light for Nighttime Use
We occasionally hear of a person being awakened by a noise at night and mistaking a family member or house guest for a threat. There have even been cases of people, gun in hand, confronting police officers in their yard after dark when the police are trying to locate a prowler or burglar in the neighborhood. It is important to remember that we can only use deadly force—even in the dark—when the person in question represents an actual threat and we have a reason to believe that our lives are in immediate danger.
When dealing with suspicious things at night, our greatest friend is light. Light them up. There are so many tactical lights on the market today that I can’t begin to keep up with them. The smart move is to buy several lights and stash them all around the house, being sure to have one, or more, on the nightstand. The safety rule, “Be sure of your target and what is behind it,” is critically important in the dark. Think before you act and light them up before you shoot.
Mistake No. 5: Not Seeking Out Quality Firearm Training
Possibly the biggest mistake that defensive shooters make is the failure to get proper training. All of the above mistakes can be corrected with good training. What compounds this major mistake is the fact that we live in a time when good training is available as never before. Numerous life-saving schools around the country teach the skills needed. In addition, quite a number of qualified instructors are available to come to your local gun club and teach (not to mention the thousands of NRA-certified instructors around the country). Today, there is simply no excuse for not getting professional training. You owe it to yourself and those around you.
Getting your concealed-carry license is like graduating from kindergarten. I’m not trying to put anyone down with that statement. It is only meant to point out that your education is ahead of you. Good training will help a person avoid these mistakes and many others that can cost your life or the lives of folks around you. In the end, mistakes are what bad guys need to make.