We can all probably agree the last few months have been interesting, to say the least. Whether its constant mask requirements or the pockets of civil unrest. Between everything going on, it makes 2020 a year like no other and with all the instability comes a new wave of people carrying a concealed firearm. I have gotten a ton of questions about various topics from carrying in civil unrest to the rules on carrying with a mask. There are a ton of questions and I don’t have the answers for all of them, but there are a few great things to consider when looking at carrying in a pandemic.
Daily Carrying With A Mask
Probably the oddest feeling for me was carrying with a mask on and covering my face. If you did put a face covering on and went into a store a year ago, chances are people would look at you weird or you would be asked to take it off. During current times though, you will be confronted and asked to leave if you don’t have some sort of face covering on when in public. The tricky part starts when you carry a firearm in states that have laws about wearing masks and carrying a firearm.
US LawShield Map
For the vast majority of us, it’s totally acceptable and won’t be an issue. Early last month, US LawShield came out with an article that breaks down each state when it comes to the legality of carrying with a mask on. In all but two states it’s generally legal to carry with a face mask. The state of Illinois and Washington DC make it illegal to carry with a face mask, so if you’re in those states you’re out of luck sadly. The other states are either 100% legal or fall under the generally yes due to certain laws about covering your face to commit a crime.
It’s not uncommon for a Sheriff or Chief of Police to come out and publicly support carrying concealed during these crazy times. I was lucky enough to have my local Chief of Police come out and say not to worry about getting into trouble when carrying a concealed handgun. Overall, people who carry a concealed firearm are some of the safest individuals in society and as long as you think things through and keep a low profile, it’ll all work out in the end. Carrying a concealed firearm should make the carrier elevate their awareness along with being the best version of yourself. Not drawing attention to yourself and helping your fellow human out when possible is always the best policy.
Carrying In 2020
2020 as a whole has been an entirely different animal from other years. Due to the raised levels of fear in society, there’ve been a number of new people exercising their second amendment rights. With the amount of demonstrations and protests occurring around the country, I’ve gotten a ton of questions about what to do if caught in a bad situation. The easiest way to deescalate the situation is to avoid it entirely. Staying away from higher risk areas will always be the most effective at staying safe. It’s hard to get into a confrontation if you don’t put yourself in a position to get into trouble.
My Personal Misfortune
Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand things happen and you’re not always able to stay away. I found myself in this exact situation last month. I heard a noise coming from my tire and took the first exit I could on my way home from work. This exit happened to be the downtown exit for Grand Rapids, during the height of the demonstrations. I pulled over on the street to check for the source of the noise. After some searching, I ended up seeing a huge bolt lodged in my tire.
I was about half a block away from several hundred protestors and made the choice to risk it without putting my spare on. I would rather take my chances with getting a flat than be caught up in the middle of a demonstration that could turn dangerous. In the end, I ended up hearing the bolt fly out of the tire and had a stone flat on a highway exit within 5 minutes. It was no fun changing a flat in the middle of an empty parking lot but I knew it was a safer option. In these times it’s important to take the safe route and avoid conflict whenever possible when a higher number of people are ready to become violent quickly.
There’s no denying, we live in extremely strange times right now as a nation. Between the pandemic and uncertainty, its important to keep a level head and be the best possible version of yourself. Whether you wear a mask or find yourself stuck in a terrible situation, having a level head will also be a better option than becoming emotional or irrational. Let me know what you have done to change your carry habits during this pandemic. I’d love to hear how it’s been impacting you so be sure to leave a comment below. If you have questions feel free to message me on Instagram @fridgeopeartor. Stay safe out there.