Before you apply for your concealed carry permit, you need to answer a few questions:
If you answered "yes" to all these questions, then you may be ready for the major responsibility of carrying a concealed firearm.
Learn the laws surrounding concealed carry weapon permits (CCW) in your state. Some may need you to be older than 21, have no outstanding warrants or pending trials, be a citizen or be a resident of the state. Some states may even require you to sign up for firearms handling safety courses. Figure out what the requirements are and complete your application. You may need to pay several processing fees. Once you have your CCW, be sure to carry it on your person every time you go out with your concealed carry.
Understand that having a concealed carry is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of investment in both time and money. Among other things, you will need to purchase:
Carrying concealed will not be cheap, but it can be a life-saving investment.
You need to choose the right weapon that fits your goals. You may want something small and compact, but how small depends on how you dress on most days and on whether or not you will carry your firearm on your body or in your backpack or purse. Your firearm also shouldn't imprint on your clothing or impede your movement. Some other qualities you may want include:
There is no truly right way of carrying a concealed firearm. Some may choose to do on-body carry, while others prefer off-body and keeping their firearm in their bags. Every carry position will offer its own advantages and disadvantages. There are several popular spots on your body where you can carry: the shoulder, ankle and side hip, for example. Try and visualize the situations you may be faced with, and decide what way you should carry your firearm from that.
If you can afford it, consider carrying a backup gun. Many law enforcement officers carry a backup gun in case their primary weapon malfunctions. Carrying another firearm can give you an extra sense of security. These reserve firearms are typically smaller than your primary weapon. Evaluate your ability to invest in another firearm, and choose accordingly.
You have to practice all aspects of carrying. This means going to the firing range regularly to train yourself in the shooting fundamentals, as well as your shooting accuracy. If you can invest in them, consider going to self-defense classes that can give you a more detailed and expert advice on how to use your concealed carry.
With all the possible dangers that you may encounter, your concealed firearm can give you a sense of preparedness. If you practice often and if you adopt the right mindset, you will be in the most prepared position to defend yourself and others should that time ever come.