Concealed Carry Woes

CCW App for NC carry lawsI’ve really been trying to do it regularly, but this whole concealed carry thing is f***in hard! Not only is the wearing of my my gun a pain, but following the rules so that none of my actions are criminal, is very, VERY complicated. Even with this knowledge, for the first time this weekend, I am not just taking my firearm across state lines, I intend to carry, and take on the responsibility of protect my family, as we vacation in Asheville, North Carolina. I check my CCW App (that I have previously reviewed) and we’re off!

Driving from Atlanta into NC: No problem. We drive from one state to the other, my pistol is surprisingly comfortably on my hip the entire time. When we get out of the car I have to remember to check that my shirt hasn’t crept up to reveal (my muffin top) and my pistol. Had we driven through South Carolina, I would have had to leave my gun in the car, probably would have made it the trunk, and kept it unloaded. If we’d been staying in South Carolina, I probably would have left it at home altogether. (Leaving a firearm in a rental car or a hotel, really doesn’t sound like a good plan to me.) But North Carolina is accepting of my GA permit so I wear my pistol all the way up.

When we get to the hotel to drop our bags, I notice that even when I put down all my bags, I still feel weighted down. With my belt tight enough to support my gun, I wake up the next morning with the feeling that my hips are bruised. The worst part? Using a stall, in a public restroom…not allowing my gun to fall in the toilet, on the floor or flip into my pants so that I’m staring down the muzzle. I’ve found myself avoiding going to pee as often as I’d like to, only because it is such a hassle.

Now, I’m a big fan of the south but I didn’t realize just how different carry laws could be around one region. I’ve pretty much got down the Georgia code. No drinking while carrying, no going into bars that are only bars, though restaurants are ok. No government buildings, school zones, yada yada… Open carry is ok. Always have your permit on you, but if you get pulled over, you don’t have to disclose the presence of a firearm in your car… And so on. North Carolina is very different. I’ve basically got to leave my gun behind for every meal. Brunch isn’t even cool! Heading to any place that charges admission? Forget it. If you think about it, that’s pretty limiting when your on vacation. You don’t want to be running back and forth to your car or to the hotel, and you don’t want to leave a firearm in such places anyway.


  1. Yup, NC made their permits nearly useless unless all you do is go down the street.

    Remember Rule 1 is to have a gun.

    Trick #1: Have a second gun identical the first. Make it is not something you will cry over if it is stolen. For this role, I prefer a gun I acquired for no more than $450.

    Trick #2: Use a Dillon Plan B for bathroom carry. It is better to look like an Amway nerd than to be unarmed.

    Trick #3: Mount a small gun vault in your car. I use one with a cable attached to the seat. It is not optimal, but it helps for quick trips. Tint the windows of your vehicle so nobody sees the transfer from holster to gun vault.

    Trick #4: Buy a Comp-Tac kydex reinforced belt for daily use.

      1. I strongly recommend a proper belt; the Comp-Tac belt is one of the best in the industry. Blade-Tech and now Looper also make really good belts.

  2. Look it up but travelers can carry loaded in the glove box in SC. Stop at the first exit in NC and go heels.

    The forum on can answer these kinds of questions for you. Run mostly by folks from GeorgiaCarry.

  3. Did an editor read this at all? The run on sentences, ‘responsibility of protect my family’, your vs. you’re? Come on, I hope you’re not paid for this.

    As far as content, while using the restroom, remove your weapon from the holster and place it inside your pulled down pants. When arising, reverse, reholster, leave. No need to cover yourself, or ever forget your weapon.

    I appreciate having a female perspective on carry issues, but maybe have someone who can write a little better, and who can defend her position by saying more than simply I disagree with everything you said.

  4. Having Tweeted with you a bit about the NC gun laws, I feel your pain in terms of the difficulty of carrying in everyday life in NC. Vacationing it’s difficult, but imagine living here and working at a place (like an educational institution) where you cannot even keep a gun locked in your car. Your post made me want to chronicle a day in the life of the law-abiding CCL holder in NC. Michael Bane once said a very high percentage of people who get CCL do not carry after 90 days. That’s not surprising given your experiences and mine.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. A day in the life of a CCW holder here in NC basically is like this: you get up, if you work for the local school system, or a government building, or live or work or will be traveling within 1000 feet of a school you don’t even think about putting on a gun. In the evening, if you’re going to take your wife to a restaurant where they serve alcohol, or take your kids to a movie theater, or a concert, you leave the gun at home. On the weekend if you want to go see your alma mater play football or basketball, or take in the Panthers, Hurricanes, or Bobcats, you leave the gun at home. Basically the permit allows you to pack a gun to Walmart or the grocery store or the local 7-11 or hiking the Appalachian Trail, but that’s about it. Most people just use it to buy guns, because it’s hard as hell to use it for it’s intended purpose.

      1. That’s pretty sad, I’m sorry. However, I’m glad you’ve used my post as an opportunity to voice your dissatisfaction with the current system. This is how change begins!

  5. For holsters that fit a woman, contact Michael at the holster site. He blogs as the Evyl Robot and his wife, who carries in a Michael-made holster blogs as “in jennifer’s head”. For the bathroom thing, I roll the unbuckled end of my belt back through the first belt loop. That keeps the gun and holster from flopping onto the floor. Michael has done a couple of different, experiments for me. Two worked great, one didn’t. One that did was a mag pouch that runs horizontally along the belt. Carrying daily is tough but I no longer notice the gun. try moving it around on your belt to find a spot that works best for you.

  6. I agree with those who say that if you aren’t comfortable, you’ve probably not found the right CC solution for you. I had similar issues when I started to carry. Although, being a guy, my curves are more my fat gut and flabby sides rather than… um.. where you have curves. I spent a lot of money blindly buying holsters that didn’t work for me regardless of how well they were recommended. My final solution was (with a verified unloaded gun) to spend some time in front of a mirror, sans-holster, positioning the gun in various places until I found something that “felt right”. Then I took some measurements (angles and such) and got out the leather and sewing gear. I came up with a basic design that works for me and improved from there. I haven’t found a commercial holster that comes anywhere close to keeping a gun in the position that I came up with, but that might be because I stopped looking since I can make it myself.

    Sure, my answer doesn’t work for everyone. But it is what worked for me. I guess my point is, don’t just settle for what you have and try to get used to it, because if it isn’t working for you there is probably something out there that will work a lot better.

    I can also recommend having a look at The Holster Site. When I was designing my holster I spent some time looking at the pictures on that sight. While my solution ended up being different from anything that Michael had, looking at his stuff was an education. I also read “in Jennifer’s head” (his wife’s blog) and she talks about carrying some pretty big ordinance under just a tee-shirt and being comfortable doing it so Michael may very well know something about fitting holsters to curves.


  7. NC’s stupid carry laws have been the major reason I’ve not bothered getting a CCL. However, now that we have a new governor and some laws in the works things might soon be changing for the better.

  8. As a CHP holder in NC, I agree, our laws are strange. Like we want to allow you to carry but not too much so as not to freak out all the halfbacks and northern transplants we have living here. I’ve blogged about this recently myself and with the restrictions I find myself carrying less and less. The 2010 mid-terms gave the GOP control of the legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, and now with our corrupt Democrat governor gone there’s a chance to get legislation passed that should fix many of the issues you bring up.

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