Getting Outed As CCW – Being Identified As Carrying Concealed

revealing your ccw

What To Do If Your CCW Is Spotted

For most first-time concealed carriers out there, having your pistol spotted while out in town is a big source of apprehension. The whole reason for carrying concealed in the first place is to keep the handgun hidden until it’s needed. And, as we live in a society where not everyone understands the concept of legal concealed carry, it may be an additional inconvenience to have your concealed carry handgun called out in the middle of a mixed crowd of people.


Getting Spotted – Lessons Learned


firearm seen situation

If you get spotted by a non-concealed carrier while out in town, kindly move along your business. That person has no right to see your concealed carry permit or anything else. If they want to ask law enforcement over, comply with law enforcement. However, in most cases, people just assume you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing so long as you’re not acting shady. If a police officer does approach you regarding someone’s complaint, kindly comply with his or her requests and in most cases, you should be perfectly fine.


A big take-away from a situation like this, though, is learning from your mistake. What was it that gave away your gun?



There’s a perfect balance between comfort and staying concealed. A good idea is to consider getting an inside the waistband concealed carry holster that tucks into the waistline. An even better idea is if that IWB has a neoprene backpad so that the gun isn’t digging in at any particular spot.


Here’s a couple other suggestions while we’re on the topic:

  • If you decide to tuck in your shirt over your holster, make sure to leave a little room along the torso so that you don’t print when you reach for an object.
  • Try not to bend over but squat to the object you want to pick up.
  • Reach with the dominant hand (unless you’re doing cross-draw) so you bend towards your holster versus away from it.


You may have already heard plenty of suggestions like these when you were first learning about concealed carry. Perhaps your situation fell outside of this. It’s important to figure out what gave it away and prevent someone spotting your firearm from happening in the future.


In Reality, It’s No One’s Business But You’re Own


keep your gun to yourself

So long as your state requires you to carry concealed and not openly, you are under an obligation to try to stay concealed. Slip-ups causing your ccw to be spotted can and will happen. The worst thing that can happen is you’re discovered being in a place where you’re not supposed to be. Places like the post office or inside a business that’s clearly asked patrons to not bring weapons inside are both examples of places where concealed carriers DO mess up and the solution isn’t convenient.


In all reality, so long as you’re where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to do, and acting the way you’re supposed to act, it’s no one’s business what you’re carrying and how.

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James England is a former United States Marine Signals Intelligence Operator and defense contractor with over two tours spread over the Al Anbar province and two more operating across Helmand and Baghdis. He is presently a writer focused on Western foreign policy and maintains an avid interest in firearms. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he presently resides in New Hampshire – the “Live Free or Die” state. He is finishing up his first novel, “American Hubris”, which is set to hit shelves in Fall of 2015.