Ask any concealed carry license holder who does any appreciable amount of travel and they can tell you that the United States can be a patchwork of state and local laws. Can you have a loaded firearm in your car? Are rifles and handguns treated differently? Does a loaded magazine count as “loaded,” or must a round be chambered? Do No Guns Allowed signs carry the force of law? Can you carry in restaurants which serve alcohol? Is your concealed carry permit even good in your destination state?
These issues might represent a lot to consider when traveling with firearms, but a new bill introduced in the House might solve at least one of them.
Yesterday marked the first day of the 115th Congress and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) kicked it off with a piece of pro-gun legislation in the form of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. HR38 would eliminate the confusing hodgepodge of laws across the nation by allowing individuals who legally carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise the same right in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry – a concept known as National Reciprocity.
NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, supported the bill, saying “the current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.”
Hudson, a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights, has introduced similar legislation in the past, including last session’s HR986 during the 114th Congress. Despite decent support from among his congressional peers, this bill failed to make it through the legislative process. Now, with republican control of the House, Senate, and White House – along with at least one Supreme Court seat to be filled by the incoming President Trump – the new iteration of the national reciprocity bill has a chance at passing. It is already off to a good start with a bi-partisan field of more than 60 co-sponsors. Continue reading
The Question Every CCW-er Has but is Afraid to Ask: What do You do with Your Pistol While Going Number Two?
It is a frequent question that new concealed (and open) carriers often have. However, it is rarely asked and, if when it is, it can sometimes involve a bit of gazing at one’s own feet or bashful sidelong glances during what can be an awkward conversation. The fact remains, nonetheless, that going to the restroom is a natural human function and many are left wondering what to do with their carry gun when nature calls – particularly in a public restroom environment. Luckily for you, Team GunLink is not afraid to have the awkward conversations that you don’t want to have and pass along that information.
Answering that call can pose a number of issues. Depending on the style of carry, managing the firearm in the ol’ WC can range from easy to uncomfortable to dangerous. It is naturally a vulnerable situation, particularly in public facilities which might allow the possibility of literally being caught with one’s pants down – so it ought to remain handy. Some holsters, particularly OWB holsters, can allow the firearm to flop out, visible to any neighbors (especially if your neighbor is Larry Craig). Others, especially pocket guns can jab you or otherwise point where you don’t want them to. So, what do you do with your firearm while relieving yourself?
Well, first off, we can tell you what not to do: leave your gun behind. The possibility of doing so is, in part, why we do not like the idea of unholstering your carry piece. The fact is that firearms do periodically get forgotten in the loo.
Now, once the rabid anti-gunners are settled down from their “this is exactly why just any geek off the street shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun” rant, we should point out that it is frequently the pros who leave guns behind. The ones expected to be handy with the steel, if you know what I mean. For example, this Washington police chief, this Florida sheriff’s deputy, this Massachusetts police officer, this Federal EPA agent, these two US Capitol police officers, and this Michigan school security guard – all left their guns behind. So did this commercial airline pilot who, unlike most of us, is allowed to have his firearm inside sterile areas of the airport. Of course, it can happen to non-pros too, like this church goer or this WalMart shopper. Continue reading
The GunLink team has been enjoying Alien Gear’s holsters since we bought our first one shortly after they went on sale and have been wearing them almost exclusively as our primary holsters. Colder winter months, however, as well as different kinds of dress and situations occasionally alter my carry methods from my favorite old Cloak Tuck 1.0 IWB to an OWB holster. While I don’t prefer it in a lot of situations, especially in the hot shorts-and-tshirt months, I do like the convenience and ease of access (and not having to wear over-sized pants) afforded by OWB carry. That is why I was excited to see the latest new product coming out of the Alien Gear workshop at January’s SHOT Show: a new modular OWB paddle holster.
This cool, versatile holster has now moved from vaporware to CCW-wear with the official roll-out of the new holster. I look forward to getting one to try out for myself. The official announcement of the new model is below. Continue reading
Why You Need a Good Gun Belt, and Why Your Current Belt Probably Isn’t It
One of the most important pieces of your CCW loadout might not be what some would expect. Finding a firearm that is reliable, accurate, easy to carry, and easy to use under stress is paramount. The number two spot on this list is often contested between a good holster and a good belt, the importance of which is difficult to understate. Speaking with someone who carries a firearm regularly, whether for work or for general self defense, will confirm that one of the most important pieces of your CCW loadout is a good belt.
A CCW holster has a lot of responsibilities, including being comfortable, effectively concealing the firearm, keeping the firearm in the right position and angle where you put it, and keeping the firearm securely holstered unless and until you intentionally draw it. But what keeps that holster where you put it and allows it to do its job? As important as the holster may be, the belt from which you hang it is just as vital. The important thing to realize is that the belt and the holster work together to comprise the overall carry system that you use.
Like many people who carry, Team GunLink has amassed a box-o-holsters through the trial and error process of finding the couple of holsters that work well and see regular use. No matter how good those holsters are, without a good belt, they will have issues. As such, CCW-ers may find themselves either going through a similar trial and error process with their belt or just dealing with those issues – which can lead to giving up on carrying a gun. I personally went from using a standard web belt to a Dickies work belt, which I used for ages, using “fashion belts” for dressier work and toying with the idea of springing for a spendy double-thick gun belt before finally finding Bigfoot Gun Belts. Continue reading
When women shop for accessories, we shop for looks as well as function and fit. A common problem with many IWB and OWB holsters for women is that our tops are typically more form fitting than men’s shirts and women’s jeans tend to ride around the hips rather than the waist. This can make it difficult to effectively conceal a pistol on the waist. A common solution, since many women already carry a purse, is to opt for off-body carry and make the purse their “holster”.
There are a number of companies on the market that make purses designed specifically for concealed carry. Features can include a specific pouch or pocket in the purse (or outside the purse) for carrying the weapon. This pocket can be accessible from inside or outside (sometimes both) the main pocket of a purse. Some companies include locking zippers and some even include a cable-lined strap for reinforcement (and to prevent theft). Continue reading
In their recent press release, Florida-based Ulticlip claimed that they intended to “bring concealed carry into the 21st Century.” As far as we can tell, they’ve done a pretty good job of modernizing one of the integral components of many holsters: the belt clip. Check that. Calling it a “belt clip” might not be all that accurate since the Ulticlip allows something somewhat uncommon: CCW without a belt.
Company owner Randall Darby sent over some of his Ulticlips to check out, so we gave them a try on a few different holster types. UltiClips are designed to work with a variety of holster designs. Basically, if your holster has belt clips that attach by a screw or fit through a sleeve, the Ulticlip will likely work with it. Paddle style holsters and pocket holsters without clip might be able to be cobbled up to work with the Ulticlip but, by their nature, they probably won’t work as designed.
We did most of our testing on our EDC IWB rigs from Alien Gear and N82 Tactical. Our N82 testing was done on the Pro model holsters; although the Original and Original Tuckable models use a clip that fits into a leather sleeve with a notch for the rib to stick out of, the sleeve is too tight for the Ulticlip rib to fit through. We also took the Ulticlips for a spin on a couple other styles of holsters and let some gun-buddies try them out on their holsters to get opinions.
The Ulticlip makers claim three main benefits of the upgraded belt clip: “ultimate retention, ultimate concealment, and ultimate versatility.” Let’s take a look at how they do in reaching these three goals. Continue reading