Conceal Carry Gear
What to Carry with a Firearm
Safety and Preparedness
Having been around many people who carry a licensed firearm, I feel most of them do not recognize the importance of having certain conceal carry gear other than their firearm and spare magazines. Although I do recommend you have these tools with you, not every tool I will include on this list needs to be carried in your pocket, as sometimes that can be unpractical. But many people do carry these every day and are safer and more prepared as a result.
One of the most underappreciated tools that can be paired with a concealed firearm is a flashlight. Flashlights can serve a necessary role in any dark situation. It could be day or night, any situation where it is too dark to clearly make something out, warrants the need for a flashlight. This is especially important when carrying a firearm. If you are using the firearm you must be able to clearly identify your target. When in court, a lawyer might say “how could you see my client was a threat, it was dark”. A flashlight eliminates this possibility. Flashlights can also prevent you from drawing your firearm in the first place. You hear stories of would be assailants being deterred by spotlights as light can disorient. They also may fear what is behind the light.
Mounted or Separate?
Many options of flashlights exist. You may attach one to your gun or carry one separately in your pocket. If I had to recommend one or the other I’d say carry a separate one. By being separate you can use the flashlight without drawing and pointing your gun. Although a separate light would require you to hold your gun with one hand, you can still brace the gun with the hand holding the flashlight. This is a common police technique that they are trained to do. Carrying a separate flashlight also eliminates the extra space a light compatible holster would require. In most cases, the larger the holster, the more uncomfortable they get.
Police Officers often carry backup handguns or weapons. A question any person with a concealed firearm should ask themselves is, “what is my backup”. Of course, it would be unreasonable to say a conceal carry holder should carry two guns. So, what is the next best thing? A knife.
Although knives are not ranged weapons they are a good last resort. And by last resort, I mean ALL ELSE IS FAILING. Knives are often lightweight, ride easily on your pocket, are extremely strong, and can handle anything thrown their way. Many cops I know carry multiple knives as a measure of preparedness. A knife can save you when you do not have access to your firearm and can be useful doing other tasks throughout the day. Pocket knives are an EDC Essential for many reasons, being a backup to your firearm is just one.
#3 – Tourniquet
A tourniquet may sound rather extreme, but after taking a tactical medicine class I will never underestimate their importance again. Tourniquets are extremely effective at stopping blood loss from a severe wound. Tourniquets are particularly useful for a gunshot wound to any of the four limbs. After years of research, tourniquets have become standard equipment for soldiers to have with their personal gear in a device called an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). These devices are small and hold many contents for treating what is described as “the leading causes of potentially preventable death in a tactical environment”. Many tourniquets are designed to be applied with one hand and are small enough to carry in a pocket or on your belt. You certainly do not have to carry a tourniquet in your pocket everywhere you go, but I recommend that you at least have it with you in the car. Police officers have adopted the military IFAK device and tourniquets are now a standard piece of medical equipment. If you are in any tactical situation, it should be expected that you have a tourniquet.
Why Should I?
These three tools are just a few of possible pieces of equipment that you should carry with your concealed carry firearm. These tools make you more prepared and safe in your daily life. They are common amongst professionals who operate with firearms and they should be common amongst civilians of the same traits. They can save your life.
Thank you, stay safe,