I’m hearing it again from my students who are uneasy about carrying a live round in the chamber of their EDC (Every Day Carry) pistol.
First, the only way to ever change this situation is to become more comfortable with your EDC firearm. Some people find that carrying a gun with a manual safety can help. Others find that carrying their concealed carry pistol loaded at home at all times can help get them comfortable with it. Shooting your handgun more often will help tremendously and of course, we need to shoot more anyway. Over time you become more comfortable with your gun and at some point, you should be able to rationalize that your firearm cannot discharge unless your finger touches the trigger (rule #3) and of course as long as it’s in a proper holster that covers the trigger and trigger guard.
The other problem with this Concealed Carry Without A Chambered Round mindset is that because you are not comfortable with your everyday carry (EDC) gun you are more likely to fumble and break safety rules during a high-pressure situation and possibly hurt yourself or someone else by accident in the process.
Recently in the local King Soopers shopping center (a local grocery store), there was a negligent discharge in the parking lot which of course management of the store denied, but I had a student in the parking lot when it happened. People who aren’t comfortable with their loaded concealed carry gun sometimes check it to see if it’s loaded. Sometimes they either load or unload the gun depending on their situation and apparently, this person did it with their finger on the trigger discharging their firearm in an unsafe manner. This gun might have been one of those small Kel-Tec Pistols or Ruger LCPs that we see all the time in class and they are hard to handle. Most people handle them improperly and sometimes put their finger on the trigger. We also see the holes in the bench tops of our local indoor range where people have racked their firearms with their finger on the trigger and discharged a round into the bench top (OOPS).
I know of another case in Colorado Springs where it happened in a movie theater. These people are so nervous with the loaded gun that they can’t remember if it’s loaded or not so they keep checking it and in this case the index finger was on the trigger and the gun went bang. This person was arrested of course and was charged with several infractions of the law.
When I put my gun on in the morning I know it is loaded. I don’t take it out in public and check it. Playing with your gun at any time in public is a bad idea. Administrative handling of your handgun should be done when you put it on and when you take it off. Administrative handling would be the manipulation of the firearm that isn’t specifically shooting. This would include weapon disassemble, holstering, chambering a round or removing a round.
Remember the FBI stats that the industry quotes for concealed carry (3-3-3). Most self-defense incidents happen within three yards (10ft) are over in three seconds or less and with less than three fired being rounds. We all understand the basic concept of the Tueller Drill where Dennis Tueller studied in 1983 that a person can travel 21 feet with the contact weapon in their hand and do it in approximately 1.5 seconds. If most self-defense incidents happen within 3 yards that’s half the time and distance. I don’t know about you but I would be willing to bet that most of you can’t draw and rack your gun in .75 seconds. That sub-one-second draw is a once-in-a-while proposition for most let alone having to rack a gun so it’s ready to fire.
Let’s remember why we carry a concealed carry weapon. We carry a concealed carry weapon to be prepared. How are you going to be prepared if most incidents happening in close quarters and are over before you could possibly rack a round into your gun. Concealed Carry Without A Chambered Round should be considered very dangerous.