Defining "Concealed Carry" or How deep to cover

Defining "Concealed Carry" or How deep to cover

This is a discussion on Defining "Concealed Carry" or How deep to cover within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been reading a lot of threads lately on this and other boards about "being made", and "printing" while carrying concealed. It got me to ...

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Thread: Defining "Concealed Carry" or How deep to cover

  1. #1
    Member Array gundealer's Avatar
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    Defining "Concealed Carry" or How deep to cover

    I've been reading a lot of threads lately on this and other boards about "being made", and "printing" while carrying concealed. It got me to thinking about what the definition of concealed carry is. In going through the ATF State Laws and Published Ordinances manual I find a LOT of references to concealed carry, but did not find any definition of the term. The closest I could find was on the US Legal website under definitions: "62.1-04-01. Definition of concealed. A firearm or dangerous weapon is concealed if it is carried in such a manner as to not be discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby. There is no requirement that there be absolute invisibility of the firearm or dangerous weapon, merely that it not be ordinarily discernible. A firearm or dangerous weapon is considered concealed if it is not secured, and is worn under clothing or carried in a bundle that is held or carried by the individual, or transported in a vehicle under the individual's control or direction and available to the individual, including beneath the seat or in a glove compartment."

    Should we try for invisibility? If so, then a lot of us are over gunned size wise. Its hard to hide a P220 and carry extra weight. Is it that bad to "print" on occassion? If someone would ask me if I'm carrying and they are not a LEO, and I'm not breaking any laws, what business is it of there's anyway? Is it so bad that a bad guy might stop to think,"Is that a gun under that jacket or just a cellphone?" I also don't make a habit of looking at other peoples bulges and wondering if they are overweight,carrying, or both.(I'm both).
    I sure don't know the answers, I'm just asking.
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  2. #2
    Member Array fatcat's Avatar
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    Dunno, I pretty much just try my best to conceal. But I'm naturally a "baggy clothes" wearer as I hate anything tight. I'm usually wearing at least a size or two bigger than I probably should. I don't do it for "fashion" as I don't know or care the first thing about it. I do it for comfort. The fact that my gun is usually pretty much invisible is just a side effect.

  3. #3
    Member Array Chroode's Avatar
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    Well Arizona says that open carry is defined as any part of the gun OR holster showing is considered open carry.

    So I would assume that if neither the gun nor the holster was plainly visible, than it would be concealed, imprint or not.
    Last edited by Chroode; April 9th, 2009 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Spelling

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  5. #4
    New Member Array buff7mm's Avatar
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    I've often wondered this also, it's easy not to print in the winter time but now as it gets warmer, and less clothes. I try to wear untucked shirts but always seem to print somewhat.

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    A more experienced poster here once said, it's concealed carry, not secret carry. I follow that advice. As far as I know I have never been made. Before I started EDC, I read through a lot of material (mostly here) and I learned about cant, holsters and gun types.

    I carry a Kimber Ultra CDP II in either a SuperTuck or with a paddle holster OWB if I am wearing a sport coat or suit.

    As long as I am being discreet, I am comfortable I will be OK.

    I have seen a quick glimpse of a holster once on a guy wearing an NRA hat. Big surprise.... He was working a nearby gun show and we were in a family restaurant.

    I dress professionally most of the time (suits, sport coats, etc.) and even if I was made, I certainly wouldn't make someone think I was a banger or thug. I don't wear any logo clothing, NRA hats, camo, etc.

    Bottom line: I wear it concealed, I don't tell, and life is pretty simple.

  7. #6
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    Without citing the specific statue here in Arizona, an open-carry weapon must be recognizable from three views on your person i.e. front, back and side. As for concealed carry, I believe it’s any weapon designated by statute, that isn’t readily visible from plain view. The “what if” scenarios could easily go on for dozens of posts, but this is my rudimentary interpretation.

    Anyway, I agree with you that Ohio’s definition is not all that specific, so I would recommend you contact the permit unit in your state for more details. Here is what I found after a few searches.
    Last edited by Saber; April 9th, 2009 at 03:13 PM.
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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    For me it's simple; I don't want to draw attention to myself. that's it in a if printing might (even remotely might) bring unwanted attention to myself then I work to avoid it. I agree that a modest to minor bump is likely to be considered concealed in most states but I don't want anyone to guess or have their suspicions about whether-or-not I'm carrying. That's why I don't like tuckable holster where the belt clips are out in the open.

    I don't worry about a little minor printing from time to time but generally my carry methods have evolved to the point where I don't print and I personally like that.

  9. #8
    Member Array sheffd's Avatar
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    I know it will be debated, but having just gone through the CHL class about a month ago, our instructor, a retired LEO stated just as the above. It is concealed, not invisible. To the ordinary observer, they wouldn't have a clue. To the trained eye, such as an LEO, yep, you might have a weapon. But, they are taught to look for those telltale signs.

    I get the impression from reading all the posts that everyone does an admiral job of concealing. But, I still think to the average observer, unless your clothing was vacuum formed around your weapon, they wouldn't know that you had a gun.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. #9
    mkh is offline
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    Florida Statute 790.001

    (2) "Concealed firearm" means any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.

    I don't know about your state but if they have laws for concealed carry they should have definitions.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    The average person won't see an AK-47 under a T-shirt. They're not looking for it, they don't see it. People don't see what they are not expecting to see. I'm like Gideon, I don't want to draw attention to myself, so I want the gun covered. Maybe it prints on occasion, I don't know. I have been around law enforcement officers and they've never said anything to me about having a gun, but perhaps they just figured I would have one anyway and ignored it.
    If you cover it up so much that nobody could possibly see it, then it might be a bit hard to get the gun out and running. I haven't tried the "wait while I take these two coats off" line on a bad guy....

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    One entry found.

    Main Entry:
    con·ceal Listen to the pronunciation of conceal
    transitive verb
    Middle English concelen, from Anglo-French conceler, from Latin concelare, from com- + celare to hide — more at hell
    14th century

    1 : to prevent disclosure or recognition of <conceal the truth> 2 : to place out of sight <concealed himself behind the door>
    synonyms see hide

    Source - concealed - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
    To my view and understanding it's pretty clear what 'concealed' means and does not mean whether it be my sidearm, my wallet, my person (as concealed from another person), or whatever else the subject might be.
    This topic comes up often and yet I do not understand what the question or debate is about. Concealed means "concealed".

    Printing is not being concealed nor is it concealment. That is being covered.

    A firearm covered such as at an IDPA event that can be discerned at all as being existent and in place is not "concealed" per the definition of the word.
    It is though 'covered' and as such is within the letter of the sports rules as a game, but cover is not specifically concealment.

    If your state laws state that the firearm must be "concealed" then that means 'concealed'. See the above definition per the wise guys of Merriam-Webster.
    If your state laws state "covered" then well that is something wholly different by definition than 'concealed'.

    Below are images toward various states of carry to further clarify...

    Open Carry
    [Carry of a firearm in a manner that is clearly visible to an observer. As done with purpose and general intent of dress and/or as holstered carry mode. This is an overt means of possession and retention.]

    Concealed Carry
    [Weapon is not only hidden from sight but is not detectable by visual analysis. Tactile secondary level analysis is required to detect or confirm presence. This is a covert means of possession and retention.]
    "Here is a photo of me with the PF-9 in my right-hand front pocket. You really can't tell anything is there."

    Source - Mousegunner's Review of the Kel-Tec PF-9 Pistol

    Covered Carry > Printing _and_ Exposed
    [Weapon is intended to be concealed but in actuality is done so poorly if even barely and _is_ detectable by visual analysis]
    "One more remark about the PF-9 and pocket carry. I would NOT consider carrying it in my BACK pocket, as some would like to do. It is just a bit too large, which makes it drag down the rear of your pants, and also hard to draw. Here's a photo of my PF-9 in my back pocket."

    Source - Mousegunner's Review of the Kel-Tec PF-9 Pistol

    'Deep Cover' Carry
    [A mode of carry that is not only undetectable by visual analysis but also is not detectable, without regard to environmental conditions such as a high wind blowing open your IDPA cover jacket, but also will pass low level tactile scrutiny as well including common events such as a cordial hug, body bump, or basic body movements and tasks such as running, jumping, bending over, and being seated and returning to a standing position. This can and does vary not just on method of weapon carry but also on body placement and how the individual moves and goes about performing the above tasks]


    [An overt act in the display of a weapon so as to intimidate or place others in fear. Brandishing is unlawful and on the books of every state in the US. DO not do foolish stuff like this as it will cost you your freedoms and future 2A rights.]

    I personally 'Deep Cover' as my EDC norm and have learned and practiced to modify my physical self in movement and action so as to support as much in addition to keeping numerous different types of firearm specific and magazine holsters to support this mode of carry.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  13. #12
    Member Array onetuza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
    That's why I don't like tuckable holster where the belt clips are out in the open.
    I'd like to hear more feedback about the belt clips.
    I'm contemplating a Comp-Tac Minataur or a CrossBreed MiniTuck, but I've always wondered about those huge black clips, especially if you're wearing a brown or tan belt.
    I'm thinking maybe CrossBreed's "J hooks" or Comp-Tac's C-clips. Comp-Tac's come in colors too, so that might be the deciding factor.
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  14. #13
    Member Array chains1240's Avatar
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    When I took my CCW class in Michigan the instructor covered a pistol with a piece of white paper and said the pistol was "concealed", the then covered the pistol with a cardboard box and said it was "covered". I think he was trying to get it across to us that if our weapons printed through our clothes, in Michigan mind you, it didn't matter it is still concealed.

  15. #14
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    Concealed mean what Jang said.

    Some states not all, prohibit printing, Others prohibit, "intentional display," but concealed means concealed per the dictionary definition Jang provided.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Unfortunately just as with any other subject matter there are a ton of marginal and even poor citizen oriented handgun and carry instructors out there who state and teach some wacky stuff.

    What you cite is one of them as being wacky and what your instructor did and stated is what as a kid we used to refer to as being "double dumb". Here is why...

    1) Nobody wears clothing made of paper nor cardboard box.
    I and most anybody can _visually see_ right through paper (!).
    Paper is translucent. Covering a weapon of any sort with paper is not at all concealment. That is cover and a poor job of it at that.
    A real life example of this would be akin to a person wearing a light weave white linen shirt as 'cover' over their sidearm. Any casual observer who is not legally blind would be able to see right through the material and _visually detect_ ones sidearm. Dumb.

    2) Being covered is _not_ being concealed. It's just covered
    Same applies to pocket carry of a weapon amongst pant material that is light and very easily conforms to the shape of whatever is in the pocket. Fools get caught on the street with this daily by cops seeing folks walking around with handguns in the pockets of their nylon track pant pockets or the front pocket of their cotton hoodie. Dumb twice over aka 'Double Dumb'.

    Even my two year old knows this to be fact.
    Placing cover over an object does not singularly make it undetectable nor even not able to be discerned to the casual eye view as being what it is...

    Two humans beneath sheets for Halloween dress...clearly discernible as being humanoid even as they are 'covered', but not at all 'concealed'

    By the fact that your instructor used a readily accessible and at hand sheet of paper and a cardboard box (!) as teaching aids to support his nonsensical example of a 'lesson', that is a strong clue he (or she) may require some remedial training himself toward the laws and how to be an instructor at that. How difficult and expensive is it to pre-plan your lesson plan and bring in actual real clothing materials that real people including himself do actually wear.
    Or better yet using a red gun (inert firearm facsimile) to demonstrate real world the various methods and manner of carry be it open, concealed, covered, and deeply concealed. That then would have been a lesson and plan, contrary to using paper and a cardboard box while leaving the point of intent up to the student to figure out and discern on their own.

    You might want to rethink the rest of that instructors 'instruction' and advisories if that is an example of what was covered in your class and was memorable. :|
    If he had been my instructor I would have then and right there thought the same as above and been like WTH is that...and for the benefit of the class to not get suckered into wrong thinking challenge the instructor on that item directly as opposed to sit silent or do so in privacy during break.

    It's folks being told and taught stuff like this that hurts us all and gets individuals featured in their local news under 'nut with a gun'.

    - Janq is an instructor, who approaches the task, students, and lesson plan with seriousness
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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