By John Bianchi

1. The legal carrying of a concealed pistol is a trust given by society. This calls for individual exercise of courtesy, safety, proficiency and common sense.

2. The bearer of arms is legally, if not morally, required to know under what narrow circumstances he or she may use a firearm (or any other deadly weapon, for that matter). Generally, those circumstances include the protection of your person, family, employees or other persons whose safety may be your responsibility against acts of extreme violence or the commission of a felony where the life and safety of someone is in immediate danger.

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3. Arms may be used for protection of property of considerable value that is under your control. This requires a quick judgment on the part of the individual. If the assailant is armed, there is little question about using deadly force.

4. Once you know the circumstances under which a gun may be used, you have a responsibility to learn to be proficient with it. This is not limited to licensed, concealed carry guns, but refers to all firearms.

5. A concealed carry gun is a very personal thing. No one beyond your family and, perhaps, fellow workers should know you are armed or should see you carrying a gun. Licensed civilians should carry their guns only when actually needed, never at a PTA or other school function or any social event where you and others are consuming alcohol.

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6. A concealed carry pistol should be just that—concealed. It should be properly holstered in a scabbard that fits not only the gun, but the wearer as well. It should not be allowed to protrude from under clothing. Dress appropriately.

7. There is one exception to the “concealed at all times” rule. Businessmen and shopkeepers, especially those in jewelry stores, pawn shops, liquor stores, gun shops and other high-risk establishments, may carry a handgun exposed when a jacket is not appropriate. Remember, in most cities, no license is required to carry a gun openly in your home or business if you are otherwise legally permitted to own a firearm. Let common sense prevail. If in doubt, check with your attorney or local police department.

Related: Top 12 Compact Classics for CCW Self-Defense


To learn more, check out the 2015 issue of CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS, available September 9, 2014. For more information, visit

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