Keeping my concealed carry holsters in my closet has been key. I use a hanging shoe organizer to hold holsters I can't hang up, and hang those I can nearby. This keeps them in sight and easily accessible when selecting my outifit(s) each day.
For those of you who don’t already know, I started Her Concealment after the decision to transition from passively carrying my handgun in my purse to making on-body concealed carry a part of everyday life. The fact is, just like healthy eating and exercise require consistency for lasting results, I knew I couldn’t achieve my goal without doing things necessary to form habits in support of this lifestyle change.
In my day job as a Process Engineer I'm responsible for designing, implementing, controlling and optimizing processes. So, changing some of my personal processes to support this lifestyle change was no biggie. By executing the steps below I've been successful with this transition.
TIPS FOR MAKING ON-BODY CONCEALED CARRY A PART OF DAILY LIFE:
1. Allow yourself holster options - We switch up our jeans, shoes, bras, lipstick and so much more based on occasion and mood – it’s no different with holsters. Sure, if you have less variety with your occasions and wardrobe you probably require less holster variety. To save money consider the most versatile holsters for your situations, but don’t exclude the special occasion holsters. Being prepared with options means you're more likely to carry. Learn more about Her Concealment and how we can help with this step!
2. Keep your holsters in your closet – This puts the holsters in view alongside the clothes you are pulling together to wear each day. Consider the types of things you’ll be doing that day, and if necessary pick out multiple holsters to allow for any clothing changes expected while away from home. If you can’t carry while at work don’t just dismiss keeping your holster and handgun with you. Select the holster you’ll put on for after work activities. I throw holsters in my purse or glove-box so that I have them when I need them.
3. Create a spot for your handgun that meets all of the following conditions:
a. Keeps it with your keys – When not on your body, store your handgun with things you can’t leave home without. For most this will be your keys. This puts your handgun in a spot you have to visit before leaving home and decreases the chance of forgetting it.
b. Provides lockable storage when necessary – For some, simply laying your handgun on the counter or bedside table when not carrying it may be an option. However, many have family members of a certain age or condition requiring locked storage of firearms. You can get creative here. There are a plethera of rapid access safes you can place inside a drawer or on top of a bedside table. You can also use hidden shelves and wall-mirrors as a solution that works for you. Google it!
c. Keeps it accessible at bedtime – If your handgun is also your home defense firearm you’ll want to keep it close to you at bedtime. Keeping it in your purse on the kitchen counter could leave you trapped in your bedroom defenseless. Apply this same reasoning to your cell phone keeping it near you in the event you need to make an emergency call in the middle of the night.
4. Routine, routine, routine – The steps above ensure your concealed carry piece gets out the door with you, but you have to complete the process – always. Upon returning home immediately take your handgun and keys to the designated spot established in step 3. Leaving your purse and keys in one spot then taking your handgun off and placing it in another will result in you leaving home without it. Take the few extra seconds to complete this task. If you wear your handgun on you while at home I recommend still taking the step to drop your keys in that designated spot. Stay consistent - you also won't ever lose your keys again! Then, when it's time to remove your handgun from your body, ensure your routine involves getting your handgun back with your keys. This completes your routine and allows it to successfully begin again the next time you leave home.
5. Continuously train and practice – I can’t write about making on-body concealed carry a part of daily life without stressing the importance of training and practice. Our rights come with responsibility. It's not enough to go get licensed in anything and then not practice it. It doesn't work with our jobs and it won't work here either. Being responsibly armed doesn't have to feel like work. Joining groups such as A Girl & A Gun equips you with opportunities multiple times each month to practice, and it comes with friendships, comradery and training opportunities you’ll never realize exist going on your concealed carry journey alone.
Obviously these tips are offered from a woman’s perspective, but can be applied by anyone. They are not the only ways to achieve success with making on-body concealed carry a part of daily life. Some of these ideas may also require additional investment. These specific tips take into consideration having only one handgun and having the need to lock it up when not carried. If those scenarios don’t apply to you then a simpler routine is absolutely possible.
I will always be looking for ways to improve my personal process for enabling on-body concealment, but these are pretty basic changes that have worked well for me – maybe they’ll work for you too. Feel free to comment or share your ideas as well!