There are a couple of things you need to carry a concealed weapon. This includes the proper permit for your state, a firearm, and some type of holster for carrying your gun.
But what about a concealed carry badge? Do you need one of these to go along with your other concealed carry gear?
Well, the short answer is no, it isn’t a requirement, but many people choose to do so anyway. There are others who suggest that these badges are a bad idea. If you’re wondering if you should get a concealed carry badge but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice, check out the sections below for both sides of this discussion.
What is a Concealed Carry Badge?
A concealed carry badge is exactly what it sounds like.
It’s a badge with writing on it that says you have a concealed carry permit. These badges come in gold and silver. Many come with a wallet to make them look more official, similar to a badge used by law enforcement. You can get an inexpensive one to have on hand or in your pocket.
You can also choose pricier badges with customizable options, like the state your permit is for or a badge number to look even more authentic. Though you need a concealed carry permit for carrying a concealed weapon, there are no laws that state you must have a badge as well.
You don’t even need the permit or the weapon to get your hands on a badge. You can buy as many as you like without showing any type of ID. These badges also don’t replace a concealed carry permit, so they have no official capacity whatsoever.
Pros for Carrying a Concealed Carry Badge
Though you don’t actually need a concealed carry badge, there are some reasons why people choose to get one.
One reason to get a concealed carry badge is to show others that you are permitted to carry one. Even though concealed carry means the weapon should be concealed, it can be visible at times. For instance, if the gun on your belt is hidden beneath a coat, it could be revealed when you reach into an inside pocket. The badge will show others around you that you are permitted to carry the weapon. This can reduce panic from those who may otherwise be startled by the sight of a firearm.
This badge can show any law enforcement officers that you have a weapon on you but also that you’re permitted to carry it. This way, if you’re pulled over, the police may be more comfortable since you’re openly showing them that you have a gun and the permit that goes with it. You will still need to show your permit to prove yourself but they may be more relaxed discussing it with you than if a gun is unexpectedly revealed when you’re digging out your driver’s license.
Concealed carry badges could also come in handy is after you’ve used your concealed handgun in a justified use of force scenario. When the police arrive, they will quickly try to determine who the bad guys are. If you have your concealed weapon permit badge in hand for them to see, they might consider you to be one of the good guys instead of an armed criminal. This way, they may discuss with you what happened in a rational manner instead of cuffing you and throwing you in the back of a squad car with the others they’re arresting.
Cons for Carrying a Concealed Carry Badge
There are actually more reasons to not get a concealed carry bag then there are to get one.
The first reason has to do with something we mentioned above. There are no restrictions on getting a concealed carry badge. This means that anyone can buy one, even if they don’t have a concealed carry permit. Those who are carrying concealed weapons illegally may get one of these badges to try to convince bystanders that they are legally allowed to carry a weapon.
Even those with the proper permits may obtain a concealed carry badge for the wrong reasons. Some of them may feel like it makes them seem more official. Other people may want to look like law enforcement, which is worse since it’s illegal to impersonate a police officer. Many people may also be tempted to try to use their concealed carry badges to try to get out of trouble.
Police officers also know that it takes no registration to get one of these badges. Having one won’t automatically convince them that you are the good guy in any situation. You’ll still need to prove that you have the gun legally.
You also need to prove that you are justified when using it to defend yourself. If you’re taken to court, the badge could even work against you. You may have to prove you aren’t a vigilante or impersonating a police officer as well as proving you’ve used your weapon justifiably.
Another reason to not get a badge is that it defeats the purpose of a concealed weapon. If you display the badge, everyone knows you have a gun on you. This can lead to unwanted attention. Badges are also bulky, which makes them hard to carry around. It doesn’t seem to matter how you carry them, either. Even if you have the badge alone without a wallet for it, it’s still an extra piece of gear on your belt or in your pocket.
When you get a concealed carry permit, you need the gear to go with it. As well as a gun and holster, some people add a concealed carry badge to the mix. Though this can make you feel more official, there are some downsides to these badges. Anyone can get them, with or without a permit. They could cause confusion for those around you, including police officers who may think you’re trying to act like one of them. Having a badge on display also defeats the purpose of a concealed weapon. That’s why it may be best to leave these items off of your gear list.
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