Adapting to Changes in Your Environment
Do you have a plan when something forces to change your routine? Are you prepared to make those changes on the fly? What options are there when you have to make changes quickly?
So what am I talking about?
As a concealed carrier, we have to follow the laws around carrying a firearm. This means, we have to be prepared if our routine is changed and we are not able to carry or have anything firearm related on us since it may raise flags if searched.
Let’s say that you travel daily between point “A” and point “B”, since this is a common routine. You have your holster on, your firearm with you, spare ammo, knife and flashlight, your everyday carry (EDC). But then one day you get a phone call and your new destination is not point A or B, but now C. Point C can be a hospital, church, government facility, school or any place that does not allow firearms. This can put you in a bad situation if you’re not prepared.
Let’s say that point C is a school and you have to pick up a sick child. You know the laws about not having a firearm on school grounds and you have to change things quickly to avoid any legal issues. So, you park across the street from the school, lock up your firearm in a gun safe in your vehicle (I hope you have a gun safe in your vehicle), leave your holster on your belt and proceed to the school. Since taking off the holster and putting it back on takes a little effort since you have to drop your pants to attach it to your belt, you decide to leave it on. In your mind, it’s just going to be a quick pickup of the child and then go home.
At the entrance of the school, there is security, you are searched and they discover you have a spare ammo magazine in your pocket and a holster clipped to your side with no firearm. Now you’re being questioned and detained while security is waiting for the police to arrive. Even though you don’t have a firearm on your person, the ammo and holster produced a lot of flags for security along with questions. All you wanted to do is avoid extra time and effort in putting your holster back on. When people are in a rush or panic, they make mistakes and routines just go out the window and in this case, the ammo was forgotten and to security, this is a big no no.
I run into situations where I have to remove my EDC and it’s a pain in the ass when you are visiting multiple locations where firearms, ammo or knives are not allowed. So what could be done to make life easier in the scenario above?
I always have a floppy holster in my vehicle as a backup in case I have to remove my holster from my belt. It’s portable, lite and flexible. So it can be carried anywhere. As you may have found out, it’s a pain in the ass to lay back in your car seat, unbuckle your pants and angle around in trying to reattach an IWB (Inside the Waist Band) holster. Depending on the type of holster you have and how it attaches to your belt, it may be difficult to put it back on in a restricted space and in public, especially when you have people walking by trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing.
As a frequent carrier, you’re going to have to come up with a backup plan in case your situation changes and you have to lock up your firearm(s) and remove any gear you may be carrying. Then when you return to your vehicle, you’ll have to put it all back on. If you take the bus, ride a bike, or walk, you may not have any choices in removing your gear and then not able to access the venue due to state and Federal laws. So plan ahead. Maybe a location has a locker nearby that you can rent (like a mall), maybe you have a membership to a health club nearby that you can walk in and lock it up in their locker. There will be limitations and planning if you don’t drive a vehicle.
When I have situations where I have removed my gear due to the places I go to, I will find a place (like a public bathroom) to put on my gear after I leave the “Gun Free Zone”. I will put my firearm in my floppy holster and put it in my pocket, hide my regular holster in my shirt or my bag, and then when I am in a bathroom stall, I will put on my regular holster and any other gear that I previously removed. Then the floppy holster goes back into my pocket.
Some of you may have experienced this before and looking for a better way in doing things to avoid any problems with the law. What I have in my car is a gun safe, floppy holster, a holster bolted to the vehicle near arm’s length, an ammo magazine holder (I can wear on my belt), a spare flashlight and knife. Before I leave my car, I put away anything that is firearm related so that when prying eyes are looking in my vehicle, it will not give them a reason to break in and start stealing my gear or attempt in trying to remove my locked up firearm.
As a responsible firearm owner, your environment will change and you need to adapt quickly to avoid situations where you may end up in trouble carrying in a gun-free zone.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed”!!
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