What is a concealed carry badge and do you need one? That’s a good question and one that I’ve been asked a lot since starting this site and to make a long answer short – no you don’t need a concealed carry badge, however, there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument and I’ll talk about both in more detail below.
The thought process for having a concealed carry badge is that if there is an active shooter situation or other incident where shots are fired and police are arriving on the scene and they not knowing who the bad guy is won’t mistakenly shoot the CCW holder if they see them on the scene with a gun.
And it’s true, having a badge of some sort MIGHT give you a few seconds before the police start shooting at you if they see you with a gun – however, it’s a much better idea to have your handgun secured and concealed before they arrive on the scene.
When trying to decide if having a concealed carry badge is a good idea or not you have to keep in mind that many police officers while on duty are in a scared, fidgety, state and some also have an itchy trigger finger and during or immediately after any kind of active shooting call from dispatch all three of those are going to be magnified by 100 percent.
We’ve all watched the YouTube videos of handgun carry permit holders who have decided to open carry being harassed by police with their guns drawn and screaming… get on the ground, get on the ground, while in full panic meltdown mold.
And this type of reaction from those officers was brought on by a handgun that is secured in a holster but worn out in the open and not threatening anyone… Now imagine those same police officers arriving on the scene of an active shooting situation where the perpetrator isn’t known and they see a concealed carry permit holder waving a badge and gun around…
A recent example from only a few days ago is the armed security guard who was shot and killed by police who were responding to an active shooting call. Even calling the police to your home for assistance might get you shot if police arrive and see you with a gun as happened in Colorado earlier this year.
It could get really ugly for the handgun permit holder with a visible handgun really fast and while having a visible concealed carry badge might buy you a second or two before police start shooting at you, a much better course of action is to have your handgun secured and concealed before police arrive on the scene.
You can explain who you are and what happened once the police feel that they have things figured out and under their control.
At some point, they will start asking questions and taking statements from witnesses. However, if you fired your handgun for any reason then it’s a good idea, to say the least, that you have to when questioned by police.
Simply tell them what happened for example, “I was sitting at that the table eating dinner with my kids when I saw a man come through the front door with a gun and started shooting, I told my kids to get on the floor while I drew my legally concealed handgun and shot to STOP THE THREAT.”
If they persist and keep asking questions then just say something like; that is really all that I can remember right now, it all happened so fast and my adrenaline is still racing, I’ll be glad to give a full statement as soon as I check on my kids and calm this rush of adrenaline.
And then call your USCCA representative for further instructions and get an attorney before answering any more questions beyond your original statement. Even though you did the right thing and was justified in your action’s charges could still be filed against you forcing you to PROVE that you did everything right in court. And anything that you say to police could possibly be twisted and used against you in court.
And keep in mind the fact that even though your pulling the trigger was justified and saved lives you could still face civil lawsuits by others involved in and or nearby when it all went down!
Unfortunately, we live in what I call a “sue happy” society and a lot of people are just waiting and hoping for an opportunity to sue someone so they can get money and stuff without actually working for it.
But I digress… let’s get back to the main topic of this article, and that is what is a concealed carry badge and do you need one? I will state it bluntly – No you don’t need a concealed carry badge.
A concealed carry badge servers no practical purpose other than an ego boost for wannabe cops and won’t keep you from getting shot by police and in fact could have the opposite effect if you’re waving a gun and your fake badge around when the police arrive on the scene of an active shooter or man with gun call.
The best way to avoid getting shot by police is to not have a gun in your hand when they arrive and if you do get it out of your hand as quickly as possible. It’s really that simple!
Another thing that most people overlook when they are trying to decide if they need a concealed carry badge or not is the fact that you having one could be used against you when you go to court if you ever have to draw or fire your handgun to protect yourself or someone else.
If the DA has decided to prosecute you for whatever reason or if you are being sued by others who were there when it all went down then they could easily make the case that you were a police officer wannabe and that you were just looking for an excuse to play cop and use your gun.
And you might even be charged with impersonating a police officer depending on the state laws and your actions when and after it all went down.
So, to recap…
Having a concealed carry badge might buy you a couple of seconds when the police arrive in response to an active shooter or man with a gun call before they start shooting at you, however, don’t bet your life on it!
It’s best to have your handgun secured and concealed when they arrive, and having a concealed carry badge can be used against you should you face criminal charges or a civil lawsuit.
Any perceived benefit of having and carrying a concealed weapons badge is outweighed overwhelmingly by the negatives… don’t waste your money or put yourself at legal risk by having one.
It’s also a good idea to always keep your CCW permit in your front pocket because you don’t want to be reaching around behind your back if asked for it by police during a traffic stop or other encounter. Remember a lot of police officers are nervous with twitchy trigger fingers and you don’t want to give them an excuse to start shooting.
I carry my CCW permit and driver’s license in a wallet like this one so both are easy to access and then hand to the police officer if needed without my having to look for it or reaching behind my back. It’s best to keep your hands in full view of the police officer(s) at all times.
I’ve been stopped by police (for a non-working brake light) and when the officer walked up to my SUV instead of blurting out something stupid like “I have a gun in the car”, I instead handed him my driver’s license, handgun permit, registration and proof of insurance and then put my hands on the steering wheel so he could see them.
He said that I was the first person that he had ever stopped who had had everything ready and handed it all to him like that. He asked if I had a gun in my car and I said yes, it’s in my console… do you need to see it? He said no sir and, in a few minutes, I was on my way no problem and no bullet holes in anyone.
Video on Concealed License Badges, Trash It!
What do you think? Is a concealed carry badge a good or bad idea? Let me know what you think in the comments below…
BTW -The content on this article is offered only as a public service to the concealed carry community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. I am not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice only my opinion! Nothing on this site should be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.
Honestly, my approach is reduce the amount of fine motor skill/critical thinking needs- having been involved in events, it is impossible to remember too much. Train for simple, train to stop threat or threats and than place firearm in a safe place, not on person-and show empty hands, I repeat, EMPTY hands.
Move slowly with officers. (Your adrenaline is ebbing theirs is just beginning.)