Law Enforcement: Retired, Active, On and Off-Duty Concealed Carry
Law enforcement is a risky job, even when you are off-duty. Becuase of this, many law enforcement officers choose to concealed carry a handgun even when they aren't in uniform or after they have retired. This allows them to always be able to protect both themselves and those around them.
However, if you are a law enforcement officer who wishes to carry a firearm when you are off-duty or after you have retired, there a few things you will want to keep in mind.
Listed below are a few special considerations for law enforcement officers who concealed carry.
Use a Quality Belt
For law enforcement officers who are used to carrying their weapon on their kit or duty belt, concealing a weapon can be a bit of an adjustment.
Even when carrying concealed, though, it is still vitally important to have a heavy duty belt that can properly support your weapon and its holster. Invest in a good belt that is designed for concealed carry, and you may find that carrying a concealed weapon is almost as comfortable and practical as open carrying one.
Choose a Good Holster
Concealed carry holsters are a little more nuanced than the holsters a law enforcement officer may be used to, and several options are available.
As a law enforcement officer, depending on whether you are right or left handed you are most likely accustomed to carrying and drawing your weapon from the 3 o'clock or 6 o'clock position. The good news is that there are some great holsters that will conceal a weapon at these positions as well, allowing you to still carry in the manner you are most comfortable with.
Concealed carry offers different options in comparison to open carry. While 3 or 6 o’clock is a great option for an OWB (outside waistband) you are now no longer keeping the firearm exposed and wearing a uniform. The most ideal way to conceal carry is by wearing an IWB (inside waistband) holster.
Switching to an IWB holster will have an immediate different feel an will require a different set of skills for a fast deployment of your firearm. The Urban Carry G2 is one of those options where comfort, concealment and speed were all taken strongly into consideration.
You will likely want to experiment with different types of holsters and methods of carry. In the end, find a method of carry that is most comfortable and intuitive for you, and then choose a high-quality holster that will allow you to carry your firearm in this method.
Train with Your Concealed Carry Weapon
Chances are your standard issue handgun and the handgun you will carry concealed are not the same weapon, and being proficient with one firearm does not automatically make you proficient with another.
This is especially true given that a concealed carry firearm is likely going to be more compact than a standard issue handgun. In order to ensure you are able to effectively use your concealed carry weapon should you ever need to, practice both drawing and firing the same firearm that you will be carrying.
Know Your Department's Policies
An off-duty or retired law enforcement officer taking action brings up a whole host of legal issues, and more than a few court cases have occurred trying to iron out some of the technicalities.
Since there are so many gray areas concerning what an off-duty officer is required to do and what they are allowed to do, it's a good idea to talk to your department ahead of time to learn more about their specific policies.
Knowing your department's policies concerning an off-duty officer carrying a weapon and following them to the letter could keep you out of trouble later on.
Maintain Your Vigilance
Law enforcement officers are trained to have keen situational awareness while they are on duty, however, this same situational awareness could save your life when you are off-duty as well.
Vigilance and situational awareness are things that all people who carry a weapon on their person must learn to adopt in order to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them. Law enforcement officers, though, are given the advantage of having already acquired great situational awareness through their training and experience.
Just make sure to maintain that vigilance and situational awareness whether you are on duty or not.
Remember that your mind is and always will be your most effective weapon, no matter what uniform you are wearing or what handgun you are carrying.