More people are making the decision to take responsibilty for their own personal security, by carrying a concealed gun. There are quite a few advantages of concealed gun carry. If you legally own the relevant self-defence gun, usually a handgun, you need no additional permit for daily concealed carry in South Africa.
You may however only carry a firearm in a public place if:
- A handgun is carried in a holster or similar holder that is specifically designed, manufactured or adapted for the carrying of a handgun and attached to the person, or in a rucksack or similar holder.
- Any other firearm is carried in a holder designed, manufactured or adapted for the carrying of that firearm.
- A firearm is completely covered and the person carrying the firearm is able to exercise effective control over such firearm.
The main benefits of concealed gun carry is that it keeps you from becoming a target should an attack actually occur, it further prevents people who aren’t familiar with firearms or carry laws from freaking out if they notice your gun.
A proficient concealed gun carrier should choose a firearm that feels both comfortable to shoot and to conceal. One might be comfortable to carry in a holster but might be too small to comfortably shoot, so a person might choose a larger firearm in order to get a better balance. On the other hand, you might love the way the larger one feels in your hands but feel suffocated with it in your waistband holster.
Concealment means that you do not want anyone to know that you are carrying a firearm. Larger firearms often outline through clothing, even if they are the size you feel most comfortable shooting. Compact handguns are smaller, more comfortable and discrete, but often come with smaller capacities.
The next step is to choose a quality concealed carry holster.
Inside waistband (IWB) holsters are clipped onto a belt, with the holster itself set in between your pants and your underwear. They offer excellent concealment but can sometimes be uncomfortable and difficult to draw from.
It is important to check this before choosing your holster.
Outside waistband (OWB) holsters are also clipped to a belt but on the outside of the pants. These are often more comfortable and easier to draw from, but difficult to conceal.
Belly band holsters are integrated with a band of fabric wrapped and secured around your waist. It can be useful for when you don’t wear a belt.
Shoulder holsters wrap around your shoulders like backpack straps with the gun kept on your supporting side. This is good if you frequently wear jackets but offer no concealment without a jacket.
Ankle holsters are a good option if you prioritise concealment above all else but come at the cost of a much slower draw speed.
A holster must completely cover the firearm’s trigger to keep it from accidentally snagging while holstering or unholstering.
Always remove the entire holster before removing the firearm when disarming yourself, always treating a weapon like it’s loaded, keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
Concealed carrying is extremely empowering, knowing that you are prepared to step in should anything happen to yourself or others around you. Taking time to become comfortable while carrying, you can be a valuable member of society helping to keep yourself and others safe. Follow future content on firearms.co.za for information on training, gear, gun rights and more.