males with handgun in holster standby for shooting competition

5 Things You Should Know Before Carrying Concealed

If you plan on carrying a concealed firearm in Missouri for personal protection, there are critical factors that you must take into consideration before doing so. Many states, including Missouri, allow anyone 19 years or older to open and conceal carry without a permit. Because of this, everyone that decides to carry a firearm should take the initiative to learn the gun laws of his or her state, enroll in firearm training classes, and understand the correct way to carry your gun in public settings. 

As Springfield firearm lawyers, Missouri Legal has seen a fair amount of innocent people who have broken laws in their state or municipality because they were not aware that they were breaking any laws. However, ignorance is not a legitimate defense in the eyes of the law. The best way to make sure that you are within your legal right to carry is by speaking with an attorney who is familiar with both the state and local gun laws. 

In the meantime, the information below can help you get started if you plan on carrying a firearm. However, this list just begins to skim the surface of everything you should know about carrying a gun and should be used to direct you towards expanding your knowledge and expertise regarding firearms. 

Be A Responsible Gun Owner

man with gun in holster

Owning a gun in America is both a right and responsibility. If you plan on owning a gun, whether or not you decide to carry it, you need to take your responsibilities seriously. Urban Carry explains the following “tips” can help you to be a responsible gun owner. Some of which will be expanded upon throughout this article:

  • Keep Your Guns in a Secure Safe – This keeps guns out of the hands of small children and also keeps them from getting stolen. If a crime is committed by someone who used your gun, you could potentially be charged with that crime. You don’t want to have to hire a Springfield firearm attorney for a mistake somebody else made.
  • Always Assume a Gun is Loaded – Unfortunately, mistakes happen when people assume that a gun is unloaded. Because of this, always assume a gun is loaded and never point it at something you don’t want to harm. 
  • Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger – Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on your target. Place your finger against the trigger guard, even when you’re carrying your firearm in the ready position. 
  • Keep Your Firearm Clean – Ensure that you gun stays in good working condition for as long as possible and is always safe to use by keeping it clean.
  • Practice – As a gun owner it is your duty to be well-versed in proper gun handling, firing, loading, unloading, safety, etc. If you plan on carrying concealed you must feel comfortable handling your weapon. 

Know The Gun Laws In Your State & When You Travel

Part of being a responsible gun owner and carrying a concealed firearm is knowing and adhering to the laws in your state, city and any other place you may be traveling to with your firearm. To find out what the gun laws are in your state and city, research online, looking for Missouri’s Revised Statutes that pertain to gun laws and contact your local Springfield firearm attorney. Additionally, before you decide to open or conceal carry you need to know and understand your state’s self-defense laws and what would happen if you were to find yourself in a situation where you had to use your firearm for personal protection. Regardless, if you are ever in a situation where your actions may be question, request to speak with your firearm lawyer in Springfield immediately before speaking with any police officers at the scene of the incident.

Choosing Your Firearm

When it comes to carrying a concealed weapon you’ll start to realize that many of the essential requirements all have a common theme: do your research and then, do some more! The same is true for when you are deciding on which type of firearm you’ll want to carry. Concealed Nation suggests stopping by your local gun shop and asking to see and hold different firearms. Before you get to this point do some research on firearms to see which types appeal to you. Some questions you may want to ask when looking for a firearm to carry include:

  • Does it feel right?
  • Is it bulky?
  • Is it a correctly sized firearm for yourself and body that you would be comfortable wearing daily?

You can also ask any family and friends that own guns if they will take you out shooting so you can get a feel for a particular firearm.

Practice, Practice, Practice

AR-15 at Shooting Range

Practicing using your firearm is one of the most important things you can do, says Concealed Nation. If you plan on carrying a firearm, you should regularly practicing the following:

  • Shooting. Make a schedule, join a range and practice regularly with your carry firearm.
  • Practice shooting with the same ammo you carry.
  • Drawing. To create a muscle memory, practice drawing your unloaded firearm from its holster.
  • Defensive handgun training. Taking at least a basic course for defensive handgun training should be required. As Concealed Nation puts it,“a good instructor in a controlled environment can greatly boost your confidence, as well as highlight limitations you may not have considered before.”

Your Gun Should Be Your Last Resort

While carrying a concealed firearm will help you to feel safer, it can also put you into difficult legal situation if you are forced to use it to protect yourself and others. That’s why it is critical to remember that a “gun is a tool of Last Resort.” It should never be used as a way to threaten someone, resolve petty arguments, etc., explains Defensive Strategies. A gun should only be used to protect an innocent life (or lives) that is in immediate danger. 

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need legal council for using an open or concealed firearm in self-defense or any other firearm infraction call Missouri Legal’s firearm attorneys in Springfield immediately.