Taking a friend to a gun show who does not know you carry

This is a discussion on Taking a friend to a gun show who does not know you carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A friend of mine is in a very "interesting" situation with her soon to be ex-husband. We have talked a bit about guns in the ...

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Thread: Taking a friend to a gun show who does not know you carry

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Taking a friend to a gun show who does not know you carry

    A friend of mine is in a very "interesting" situation with her soon to be ex-husband. We have talked a bit about guns in the past. She is very open to protecting herself. Today she asked me about what kind of gun she should get. We had a brief discussion. Probably the best for her will be a revolver, but I think she could handle a semi-auto with the proper training.

    Her husband has what appears to be a .357 magnum. She has shot it and does not care much for the recoil. I am thinking a .38 would be her best bet. If she gets a semi-auto I am thinking Glock 9mm, but I am always thinking Glock.

    I told her I would be happy to accompany her to help her pick out a firearm appropriate for her, her size, her skill level, etc, etc, etc. You all know the basic requirements. I am not all that familiar with revolvers, but I have an general idea of what would be good. We should look at a wide selection of guns so she can make an intelligent choice. (I do not think she would pick a pink gun )

    There are two possibilities in helping her pick out a firearm. One is a gun store and the other is a gun show. I am thinking that the gun show is the better choice as there will be a much better selection. A gun store would be fine, but inventories are down and gun stores in Portland are miles apart.

    OK. So here is the question. She does not know I carry. (Well, concealed is concealed) If I take her to a gun store, no problem. But if I take her to a gun show, I would have to unload my firearm before entering. It would be obvious I carry.

    Do I do this? Do I "excuse myself to the bathroom" while she enters the show and I follow in a few minutes. I don't think it would matter to her if she knew I carry. She is reliable and I feel could keep a secret. But it may get out.

    Suggestions.
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    Member Array Bones129's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you'll like this idea much but, if you wanna go to a gun show you could put your carry piece under your seat in your car before you pick her up, let her get out of the car first and put it under the seat then, or get out of the car with her and walk a few feet then do the "Oops I left my wallet in the car" routine and go back and put your weapon in the car. However you do it, my point is that you have to unload your weapon to get into the gun show anyway, so you might as well leave it in the car. Because an empty weapon is just as useless as a weapon you don't have. Anyways, if you go somewhere else before driving her home and get out you do something to descreetly get your weapon back on your person. Like I said you may not like it, but it's an idea.

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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    I can see concealing the gun, or the info from someone unknown to you that you carry a gun, but sounds like here there isn't a clear reason to go out of your way to hide the fact.... less I'm missing something.

    If the subject comes up with non-gunners I know well, I usually say matter of factly that I carry one and I enjoy the range. I think it's good to show reasonable people there's nothing "dirty" about guns or CCW by not acting like there is myself. If they have a whacked-out reaction, well, that's their affair. Usually there hasn't been.

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    If there is a range that rents weapons take her there first and let her try several weapons to find what she is comfortable with before shopping for something for self protection.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Member Array LM2024's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExactlyMyPoint View Post
    She is reliable and I feel could keep a secret. But it may get out.
    Those two sentences seem to contradict each other. Either she can keep a secret or she can't. Be honest and tell her before going to the gun show if you feel you can trust her.

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    If you really want her to know what SD is all about, it's time to share your 'secret'...you are already going to a gun show for her to buy a gun. She might as well start learning about SD, concealed weapons, and how to get her own license. OMO
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    I agree with retsupt...
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    If you really want her to know what SD is all about, it's time to share your 'secret'...you are already going to a gun show for her to buy a gun. She might as well start learning about SD, concealed weapons, and how to get her own license. OMO
    I tend to hold this opinion as well.

    I'm not going to say what type of gun she should get as that is something that should be fitted to the individual person based on a whole plethora of factors.

    However, I will say a little something regarding revolvers if she does in fact chooses to buy one. I would go ahead with the .357 for the simple fact that she does not have to load it with magnum loads. But, that option is there if she ever works up to handling magnum loads in the future. There is no reason why you can't own a .357 magnum and never shoot anything other than .38 spl. Why limit yourself to one caliber when you can have two in the same gun?

    Personally, I like the snub nose Ruger SP-101. I like the virtues of the all Stainless Steel frame for a couple of reasons. It tends to be a bit more forgiving on the finish if there is some neglect in cleaning diligently. It is small enough to be carried all the time as opposed to a larger weapon. The heavier weight of the steel over an alloy frame does help absorb recoil and tame the effects of it. The stock rubber grips fit most peoples hands adequately and again helps to absorb felt recoil. In a snub nose, I don't think all steel frame is too heavy to carry for a normal healthy person. For a beginner, if they think that a steel frame snub is way too heavy, I have to start to question their seriousness about what carrying a gun for personal protection is all about. JMHO.

    I am not trying to make a case for revolvers either way... You mentioned revolvers so I thought I'd say a few words about what I think of them for a first time buyer. I've also seen first time buyers opt for auto loaders and are just as well off.
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    Smile

    I would second the sentiments of Bark'n. A good 357 is easy to operate and has less to think about. If she is not going to practice a lot a semi could become an issue. She would have to practice the clearing drills etc. until everything became second nature. The revolver is simply easier to operate. I bought a Ruger LCR for my daughter to use. She shoots a revolver better and has some physical limitations that make it hard for her to rack a slide.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Only you know if you are comfortable revealing your carry status to her.

    I understand this risk. I revealed to a friend and his teenage son yesterday.

    On the positive side, it may help them make better decisions about self-defense.

    On the negative side, the dad or mom (mom doesn't like guns) may ask me to disarm when I visit their house, or they may not invite me. No problem if my family doesn't go. If they want to meet with me, then I'd meet them somewhere other than their home. Potential problem if my family goes to their home but I don't, or if I go unarmed.

    I did mention the importance of keeping it quiet for several reasons, but we all know that once you tell something, you lose control of whether others will pass it on or keep it secret.

    I chose to try and help a friend make better choices. Only time will tell if I made the right choice.

    As far as your friend, are there additional factors that increase your risk of revealing? Does she know your employer, coworkers, neighbors, or family? Or is she an isolated friend?

    I'm not encouraging you to tell her since I don't know your situation, but your input could go a long way toward influencing her to carry.

    I guess it depends on the risks to yourself, and how good a friend she is, as to whether it's worth it to reveal to her.

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    Member Array Jay1313g's Avatar
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    There must be more to this story than I'm reading.

    I don't understand the point of not wanting her to know you carry. I don't advertise that I carry to the general public but when I do tell someone that I carry, they usually have a million questions. I am more than happy to help them and clear up the misconceptions that so many people have heard from the news media.

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    The fact that you feel uncomfortable about this shows there is not much trust established between you. If you take her to a gun show, just leave your gun at home or lock it in your trunk prior to picking her up.
    Regarding a gun for her, I was thinking along the lines of a .32 H&R Magnum. It has stopping power and most guns in this caliber hold 6 as opposed to 5 in a .38.
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    Member Array FLSquirrelHunter's Avatar
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    Suggest a hammerless (DAO) 357. Firing 38s from a 357 means it should last forever. If she gets the urge, it will handle +Ps or the magnum -- without having to buy a new gun. I saw a 'standard'158gr .38 roundnose lead ball go through two sheetrock panels, two 1/2 inch pine panels, and still ricochet off a brick wall with a serious thud.

    Hammerless will not snag on clothes or (God forbid it goes into a purse) anything else. Such was the first handgun I bought my wife (many rounds ago). Today of course, they are available in pink. And of course, she'll need a simple but reliable, comfortable holster.

    As to your stated question, I suggest following the leave-gun-in-car-at-show approach suggested earlier. At some point you will suggest she become licensed for carry, and she will doubtless ask, "Do you have a permit?" If you answer truthfully, her next question will be "Are you carrying?" (To which we reply "Concealed is concealed.")

    Perhaps I read too much into your post; if so, ignore this para. The biggest danger is that she thinks: because you carry, your gun will protect her ... especially if things are interesting with her ex ... perhaps better she doesn't know you carry.

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    Senior Member Array kellyII's Avatar
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    Ultimately you alone will have to make this decision, there has been alot of good advice posted on this thread that may help you with your decision..

    As for the revolver vs semi-auto, my wife is familiar with shooting but not proficient enough yet to carry, we working on that.

    I did purchase her a snubnose 38 special hamerless, I love it, its just her size and I can carry it as a BUG to....

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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    if she does want to buy, i think the snub is a great idea too. It's simple in operation, yet takes practice to shoot well, meaning she can devlope good shooting habits.

    I'd stay away though from the really light scandium and all those feather-materials. Yeah, nice as far as carry-weight, but a steel snub can be more than comfortable to carry with the right set up, and she'll get a much easier gun to shoot at the range as far as recoil. The "feathers" can be brutal for new gunners as far as enjoyment even in target loads, learning to hold a gun steady, squeeze not jerk, is all much harder if the recoil scares someone to begin with, with the gun flying all over the place on each shot. Make shooting enjoyable so the new person wants to do it.

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