The Prepared Concealed Carrier

The following post was originally published at

– Rourke

The Prepared Concealed Carrier

by Rock Cowles

First off, as a former police officer, I am a big fan of Concealed Carry. I am concerned at the lack of training and discretion a lot of CWP Holders show. I have seen veterans and current military with no concept of OPSEC (Operational Security) or Need To Know. Having a CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit) doesn’t make you an instant bad ass, cowboy, or member of the Big Boys Club. Hopefully what it does do is help you to be prepared to survive a bad situation that you cannot avoid and to look after your family at the same time. NO ONE except a spouse, roommate, or a police officer in the performance of his or her duties needs to know you have a CWP, a gun, what type of gun you have, or where it is. The only exception would be the owner of a private residence (In South Carolina, check your local laws) if you are requesting permission to enter.



In South Carolina, pointing a firearm (at someone) is a felony with a ten year imprisonment penalty. Presenting a firearm (opening your jacket, pulling up your shirt, etc) carries five years. If you show or tell the wrong person your firearm, several things can happen. Among them are; 1) They’ll know to hit you from behind with a brick instead of to step in front of you with a knife. 2) They’re a little crazy, mad at you, jealous of you, want to bounce your girlfriend, or owe you money and they call the police and say, “Joe Patriot just pointed a Glock 17 at me and said he was going to kill me! He’s here now with the gun!” The police show up, have exigent circumstances, draw down on you, ask if you have a gun, and lo and behold, its a Glock 17! Guess who is going to jail?


If someone gets the draw on you during an armed robbery, do you really want your dumb ass buddy saying, “Do something, Joe! Shoot the sumbitch!”. No one needs to know.


There are people who will rob you to take your gun! Don’t give up your tactical edge. Get rid of the Glock Hat, Gadsden Flag T-shirt, and NRA decal on your car. Don’t advertise and don’t make the police more nervous than they already are!


That said, there are a few things, IMHO, any CWP holder should carry besides a firearm and extra ammo.

1) Their CWP (You can’t legally carry without it on your possession in most states)

2) Handcuffs or Zip Ties (Many a police officer has been killed by a dead guy. If you have to shoot someone, handcuff them, even if they appear deceased! If you had the right to defend yourself, then you have the right to make a Felony Citizen’s Arrest.)

3) Cellphone (If you have to use your firearm, and have to leave the scene to call the police it makes things a lot more difficult)

4) Illumination (Basic Firearm Safety: Don’t shoot what you can’t see and positively identify. A good tactical flashlight works well to disorient an aggressive person as well as as an impact weapon, Kubaton, or on pressure points. I recommend a Fenix Tactical LD22.

5) ICE (In Case of Emergency contacts. We don’t always win and sometimes we win on the streets and still go downtown).

6) Bug Out Bag with First Aid Kit including blood clotting agents and large bandages (You might not save your assailant on the street, but trying might save you in court).

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  1. I recently took a handgun safety course, run by a prepper. He brought up a great point about a “should have…” when one has a CCL. A criminal lawyer to call if you have to use your firearm to defend yourself. The police or DA will not necessarily be your pal.
    On opsec…the best way to get labeled as a “gun nut” is to not shut your pie-hole about the guns you just bought.

  2. I am an armed professional for 2+ decades, agency armorer and LEFI. This was one of the best posts I’ve seen recently on this subject: clear, concise, accurate and not windy and full of hyperbole or politics. Nice job.

  3. I am a bit unsure of adding all these other things when you have your CHL, CCL, etc…it can almost be seen as premeditated…JMHO. Be careful of what you carry and who you listen to. BTW, my husband is also a Detective.

  4. Good info.

    If on the odd chance you get pulled over (obviously, all of Rourke’s readers are 100% law abiding citizens; but sometimes accidents happen and that yellow light was actually very red) don’t jump out of the vehicle and run up to the nice officer demanding to know who the blazes he thinks he is detaining a fine upstanding citizen who just so happens to pay enough taxes to cover his salary. While he is sitting there running your license plate through NCIC get out your license, registration (not necessary in Texas, but some states have odd ideas of what it takes to identify a vehicle’s owner), concealed carry permit, and proof of insurance. Have the documents in hand with both hands resting on the steering wheel. Don’t keep rooting around in your purse/jacket/brief case/glove box/console/tool kit when the officer approaches. If he/she can see you sitting calmly with both hands visible your chances of getting along with Mr. Public Servant go way up. If it is dark turn on the interior light. Make it easy on the officer and keep him/her well in their comfort zone. This isn’t going to get you out of a ticket, but it will most likely keep you from getting tazed/shot/cuffed or otherwise abused because you made the officer overly nervous.

    BTW – if the vehicle with flashing lights behind you is not clearly marked feel free to drive to a well lit location before stopping. I despise unmarked patrol vehicles (it is way too easy to hang lights and a siren on a civilian Tahoe or Crown Vic and get one’s jollies playing cop – robbing and raping along the way). I know all of the arguments for how effective they are and I remain unconvinced that they are a proper tool for law enforcement. Darn, did I just jump on that soap box again – tsk, tsk.

    One other bit of advice to add to Rock’s post – remove the NRA sticker, 2nd Amendment sticker, Rebel Flag sticker, and any other marker which identifies you as a possible armed citizen. I know you want to show your support, but all it does is tell the bad guys that there may be a fire arm in your vehicle and they should break in to check it out.

  5. I agree as a current 25 year plus LEO. Do not advertise with all of the stickers on your car, also get rid of the damn fanny pack. Having these items do not make it premeditated, no more that having matches makes you an premeditated arsonist. The rule of thumb is find out with the local LEOs do and copy it. I carry everything that the author has outlined because I am prepared to deal with what might come my way off duty as well. Over all good post.

  6. Harry, I had to laugh “don’t jump out of the vehicle and run up to the nice officer demanding to know who the blazes he thinks he is”. It caused a flashback of sorts. As a young and bullet proof hothead I was pulled over and made a similar move -seemed perfectly reasonable at the time-. After some rather lively debate between me and the offended officer, including gun pointing and handcuffs and other nasty and aggressive transgressions I realized I had better do some major sucking up. Since the officer knew that he was way in the wrong as well he accepted the butt kissing with gratitude. Red rings around my wrists, and a sore jaw were the total damage….. I’m still grateful for that. There where some other incidences that didn’t end so peaceably.

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