Here in Texas more and more people are getting their concealed carry permits and carrying a gun daily. As goes Texas, so goes the rest of the country (or so us Texans like to think). So the chances of you meeting someone carrying a gun have gone up dramatically.
Texas CHL Holders
If you look real close at the 2004 Active License Holders, you can see me in there. That’s the year I got my Texas License.
As more people carry more people know what to look for and more people are encountering people that carry. And more people are noticing that you carry. Sometimes they will say nothing, other times they will be helpful and other times they will point it out. I’ve had some fun and crazy things happen over the years of carrying a gun (I’ll share those tomorrow). Today lets talk about what to do if you get made.
If someone sees but doesn’t say anything, that’s a hard one. Sometimes you can tell buy their body language. If they seem put out, agitated, or scared, putting them at easy with a simple, “it’s okay I’m a good guy.” And then leave the area. Of course you don’t have to leave, but you should. When you carry a gun you have more responsibility than normal.
When someone politely points out that your gun is showing you should fix yourself so the gun is no longer showing (without an attitude). Then thank the person and move on. There’s that responsibility thing again. Here in Texas that may or may not be considered the crime of brandishing. The first class I took to get my CHL (Concealed Handgun License) the instructor said without a doubt, if your firearm shows, you’ve committed a crime. So with that in mind, just leave so you don’t have someone else not so nicely say your gun is showing. Or worst, someone has called 911 and has the police on the way. It may or may get sorted out, but chances are the cop will just get a radio call that says man with a gun and your location and description. It would be better if you weren’t there when he/she got there. If you are there chances are good that you will be explaining what happened at the point of the cop’s gun. That’s a crappy way to try and explain how you haven’t committed a crime.
The last way someone might let you know is that they ask you to leave. Some as before, you should leave. If that person thinks you shouldn’t have a gun and is violently opposed to firearms, they will call the cops if you don’t leave and the may or may not tell the truth about what you are doing. Just leave before you are explaining yourself at gunpoint.
I know that most people reading this believe deeply in personal rights and individual freedom. I’m with you. Our individual freedom is the best thing America provides. So why am I advocating leaving if someone sees your gun? Because it’s the polite thing and right thing to do. If you are in a store, restaurant, or any other privately owned location it is the owners right to determine whether he/she wants firearms on his/her property. We as gun owners should respect that right. If we are in a public place, yes we have every right to be there, but we are in a battle for public opinion. If public opinion sways to far against guns, people could vote to change the law. If it gets really bad (I don’t think it will, but could), the people of the United States can vote to change the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and your right to a firearm is no longer protected by the Constitution.
The last reason I think we should leave is we get made is for our own safety. Most police officers will be a little scared and excited when they get a call from a dispatcher saying there is a man with a gun. That excitement increases if the officer uses his lights and sirens to get there. Now he/she has a little adrenaline rush going by the time the officer sees you. Now the officer pulls his/her gun and is pointing it at you. Now if the misunderstanding continues it could end up with shots fired and someone hurt or killed. It has happened before.
The bottom line is be respectful of others while you are carrying and if someone finds out you are carrying it’s a good idea to leave the area.