Doug Richards for U.S. LawShield of Colorado. I want to speak today about an incident that one of our members recently had: she was at a store and she was carrying concealed—legally—and another patron at the store saw the firearm and there was a bit of an incident that occurred. I think it’s an important thing for us to talk about, because it obviously can happen to anybody that’s carrying concealed.
Legal, but Highly Political
While you carry concealed because you are interested in self-protection and your Constitutional rights, for other people it is a highly political issue. So, if somebody else sees your firearm that you’re carrying concealed, and it is an inadvertent exposure of that concealed firearm, that could lead to either some rhetoric from them that is aggressive towards you, or just create concern or alarm within the establishment.
So, what do you do? One way to handle it is just to tell the other person, “Listen, this is my Constitutional right, and you need to get over it.”
That’s only going to further escalate the situation and do more harm than good to you and to other firearms owners that are carrying concealed. The best practice may be for you to look at the person and say, “Listen, I’m very sorry. I am carrying a concealed firearm. I am licensed to carry concealed. It was an inadvertent exposure and I apologize for that,” and walk away. If the person continues to engage you, you should either find a store manager or a person of authority, or just leave the establishment until that other person leaves.
This is not what you have to do, but I think that is best practice. Obviously, this is going to lead to some discussion, and I welcome it, because this is something that does happen routinely, and it might happen to you one day.
So, if you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.