Top Five Concealed Carry Mistakes


Top Five Concealed Carry Mistakes

Concealed carry does not mean getting your permit, buying a handgun, and sticking it in your purse or waistline like they do on TV. If you are considering getting your Florida concealed carry permit, or your Florida non resident concealed weapons permit, please take the time to read this page. It will help you avoid making one or all of the top-five concealed carry mistakes.

Concealed Carry Mistake # 1 – Settling for the Minimum Training Requirement

This mistake will get you or a family member killed. This topic is covered in depth on the home page of this website, so I will sum it up quickly. Even if you don’t take your Florida concealed weapons permit training from me, please do your research and avoid a gun show or “quickie course”.

Concealed Carry Mistake # 2 – Improper Concealed Carry Attitude or Mindset

Adapting a concealed carry mindset is extremely important. It may seem like a no-brainer, but with carrying a firearm comes a lot of responsibility. You have to remember that you will not be able to carry a concealed weapon into places like a courthouse, police station, bar, and/or schools.

Forgetting you have a gun in your purse when you’re running late to pick up the kids could get you arrested, or at the very least, you could lose your concealed weapons permit.

Even though concealed weapon holders are peaceful and law-abiding citizens, we have to go out of the way to avoid conflict. Just because we can legally carry a concealed weapon does not make us police officers. The same holds true for situations where deadly force would be justified. Just because we can legally shoot does not mean we must ALWAYS shoot.

Last but not least in the “Attitude” section is training and practice. The ability to shoot is a perishable skill. In other words your ability to shoot will decrease – no matter how good you are – over time. As I pointed out in “Mistake # 1, the training to get your concealed carry permit is minimal and not enough to effectively train you to defend yourself or your family in a critical incident.

You need to seek out additional training from qualified instructors, and then practice what they teach you on your own or with a shooting buddy. At the very minimum most police officers have to qualify with their firearms once or twice a year. I am not the only firearms instructor who feels you should shoot once a month and attend at least one training course per year if possible.

Concealed Carry Mistake # 3 – Buying the Wrong Sized Handgun

Guys are more likely to break this rule than ladies. Once they get their permit they run out and buy a big caliber and/or full sized handgun for concealed carry. I am not saying that big caliber guns can’t be concealed, but if you buy without thinking, you may find its too heavy or too big for the way you dress.

Ladies on the other hand, may fall victim to a slick sales pitch by a salesperson at a gun show or gun store who seems to think that bigger is better. It may be true for them because bigger guns usually mean bigger commissions.

As a homicide detective, I have investigated way more murders, shootings, and suicides that I care to remember. I have been to the autopsies, and I have also used handguns to defend my life.

I can say for certain, and some self-proclaimed “gun experts” may disagree, that there really is not enough difference between a .380, 9MM, 38 Special, .40, and even a .45 when it comes to getting shot. Sorry about your commissions fellas… but get over yourselves.

I’ll wrap up this section by saying; If you by a gun that you leave in your gun-safe because its too heavy or you don’t like shooting it, you bought the wrong gun for concealed carry. A .380 in your pocket or purse is way more effective than the .45 in your gun-safe if someone tries to rob you at an ATM.

Concealed Carry Mistake # 4 – Improper Holster or Concealed Carry Method

Just because all the cool cops on TV and in the movies carry their guns in a shoulder holster does not mean you have too. When you go shopping for your concealed carry firearm, buy a couple of different holsters or carry bags for it too.

When you buy a holster or carry bag, you have to put some thought into it. First of all, you have to be able to conceal your gun because it says you have to on your license. If people can see it, you may end up embarrassed, and/or looking at the wrong end of a police officer’s gun. Chances are you won’t get arrested or or shot if someone accidentally sees your gun, but why risk it when it comes to getting shot or arrested, don’t you agree?

Pocket pistols work well for concealed carry when used with quality pocket holsters. If you just slide a small gun into your pocket everyday, you may end up shooting yourself when you accidentally stick a pen or something else in your gun pocket while distracted by the phone, or kids, or dog, or whatever.

The same is true for you ladies out there who plan on carrying a pistol in your purse. If you just drop your gun into your purse with everything else you keep in there, a couple bad things can happen.

If you carry one of those huge purses filled with everything you “need” for the day, you may not be able to find your gun in a hurry. Worse yet, your lipstick may pull the trigger of your gun and shoot the clerk at the grocery store when you go digging for your wallet. I’m serious!

Concealed Carry Mistake # 5 – Improper Dress for Concealed Carry

High-fashion and concealed firearm carry does not usually mix. If you still have the same or better figure you had in high school, you are going to have to loosen up when it comes to clothing. Of course you can carry a smaller pistol in a purse, (re-read the above paragraph) and/or you can carry your gun in a day-planner or other bag made for concealed carry. Just don’t accidentally leave it anywhere. Yes – it does happen.

Concealed carry clothing is finding its way onto the market, but it is not finding much success on the runways in New York, LA, or Paris. You will have to start dressing in a manner that allows you to conceal your handgun, but also gives you fast access to it in the event of a critical incident. Just shoving it in your waistline is dangerous and only for TV heroes and real life felons.

Darker clothing with designs and lines in the area where your gun and/or holster will be kept will help hide your firearm. You may have to go back up a size no matter how hard you have worked in the gym.

Lastly, you have to “practice” concealed carry in your house with your gun UNLOADED or with “Dummy Ammo” before you ever venture out into the world as a legally armed citizen exercising your Second Amendment right.

Try out the different holsters you bought while sitting and standing. Does anything stick out? Stand in front of a mirror and see if your gun becomes visible while reaching for something on a shelf or bending over to pick something up off the floor. You will have to do both of these at the grocery store.


Concealed carry is more than learning laws and jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Its a huge responsibility requiring a proper and mature mindset. It requires a large amount of time and money for training and the proper equipment. It requires you to think ahead and plan for unforeseen situations. With a little planning and SAFE experimentation, you will be able to feel confident knowing you’re properly trained and equipped to defend yourself and your family.

Call (727) 289-4726 to Schedule Your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit Class


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