As a firearms instructor, I get asked tons of questions. However, I often get asked the same questions over and over.
Firearms Instructor’s most asked question: “how do I carry my firearm when I’m running around with kids all day?”
This is such a great question and a question that I had myself when I was first starting out as a student. Any mother would ask this question and every mother SHOULD ask this question! The answer to this important question is fluid, complicated, and situational dependent. Here are some things that I take into consideration when answering this question:
- What is your lifestyle: If you’re a stay at home mom who lives in Lularoe, carrying on your body is going to be complicated. Not impossible, but it will require some compromise on your part.
- Where is your Job: Are you allowed to carry concealed at your place of employment? Do you work from home? Do you work in a federal building? Are you a stay-at-home-mom?
- What is your family life like: Do you have children? Are they school age or are they at home?
- What is your clothing style: Do you live in leggings and active wear? Would you consider it a HUGE lifestyle change to wear jeans?
- Where is your community: Do you live in a large metro, where there is a lot of crime or in a small community where everyone knows everyone?
While these questions sound innocent, they all have a huge impact on where and how you carry! The first thing that you need to do is to take a course (or a few!) and really understand the 4 life safety rules. It’s important to understand how the tool operates and why it’s important to have with you. The 4 life safety rules (firearm safety rules) don’t stop being applicable when you drive away from the range. If you’re going to have a firearm in your home, with your children, you must live and breathe these rules. You also need to instill these rules into your children. You can do this by starting with their nerf guns and moving on from there as they get older and mature.
Second, you must dress to carry. This means jeans, or pants with belt loops! Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what about those cute lacey corset holsters or the concealed carry purses?” While those are good and better than nothing, they’re not best! I like to use the sliding scale of “good, better, best”. Carrying in your purse, I would equate with “good”. I would equate “better” with using one of those corset holsters, and “best” to carrying in the waistband of your jeans (or other pants with belt loops)! I carry my firearm at my 4 o’clock. This is known as the kidney carry. This is the MOST concealable and ergonomic for women.
Lastly, when you’re messing with kiddos all day long it can be tough. I’ll be the first to say that carrying in the waistband of my jeans (iwb=In the Waist Band) can be downright annoying on occasion. When I have to put shoes on my 18-month-old and it turns out like I’m trying to dress a rabid alligator, carrying a firearm can be annoying. Especially when it’s in public, as those moments usually are because the chances of someone noticing that you’re carrying are higher! It’s those moments when I have to get creative and either put his shoes on in the car or bring him up to my level on a chair or table. Doing this allows me to keep my back straight and keep my concealed firearm actually concealed.
Take heart, though; it will take the time to adjust your wardrobe, mindset, and body around carrying. Each time you carry it will get easier and you’ll start to catch yourself before you bend or move the wrong way. Give yourself time to adjust and make this new habit.
It takes forethought to how you move and honestly, what you let your kiddos get away with. There have definitely been moments where I should discipline or correct my little one in that moment but I would have to bend or contort my body in a way that would expose my firearm. So yes, there are moments where I let things slide in public so I can keep concealed and retain that ability to protect my children if that worst case scenario happens.
In conclusion, this firearms instructor’s most asked question “how do I carry my firearm when I’m running around with kids all day?” The answer isn’t necessarily complicated it does require some compromise and adjustment. The question that you need to ask yourself, at the end of the day, is why and what. Why do you or do you not want to carry and what are you willing to change to facilitate the protection of your children?