If you make a mistake or two with your concealed carry strategy, it’s not like it carries life and death consequences, right? Oh, wait…

As we all know, the responsible use of a firearm does, in fact, have potentially serious ramifications. Here are a few concealed carry mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Using a Holster

A holster isn’t optional, even for a gun carried in a pocket or purse. A proper holster secures your gun, keeps it correctly oriented and ready for access, and protects the trigger.

Each of those three “lost” benefits from not using a holster can cause injury or death for you or someone else.

Obviously, it’s essential to make sure your gun stays under your direct control at all times, and a good holster will ensure that in all but the worst of circumstances. Holster security not only helps keep your gun hidden and away from a bad guy but also prevents it from falling into the hands of a child or other unintended person.

Should you ever need to draw your gun, you need to know precisely where it is and how it’s oriented. Toting a small handgun in your pocket may be convenient, but if you go to reach for it during an emergency only to find it pointed barrel up in your pocket, you’re going to have a bad day. The same applies to purse carry.

We hear stories about the results of inadequate trigger protection every day. How many people have shot themselves in undesirable places reaching for an unholstered gun in a purse or pocket?

Remember NFL star Plaxico Burress? While carrying a pistol in his waistband, he experienced all three consequences of not using a holster. As his gun fell from position (loss of security), he desperately reached for it as it slid down his pants leg (loss of orientation) and managed to shoot himself in the leg (loss of trigger protection). Use a holster. Always.

Read the rest: Top 4 Concealed Carry Mistakes | USCCA Tips & Training