November 9, 2018

We had the greatest thing happen to us just before the 4th of July this year. We became first time grandparents! In order to help out my daughter and son-in-law, both of whom work full time, I agreed to do Grandma daycare for my little granddaughter. Of course my first thoughts were stocking up on all the baby supplies I would need and making a room or portion of a room available for a crib and baby stuff. It didn’t dawn on me until much later that I would need to also think about concealed carry and self-defense.

If I were ever faced with an attacker, I would have a hard time fleeing the scene with a baby in tow. In fact, my first reaction would be to stand my ground, draw and defend myself and my granddaughter with my gun. Picture that scene.

The armed parent or grandparent has to face a set of challenges that the average gun owner seldom has to consider. You have an obligation to keep and carry your gun in a safe manner, inaccessible to your children, yet still have reasonably fast access to it in case of you need to defend yourself or others.

There are many parents and grandparents that are concealed carriers and they don’t quit being that just because they care for a baby or small child. However, you do need to think about how you will do things differently to keep yourself and your little ones safe. Here are the top 3 CCW things to consider when you will be the primary or secondary caregiver for a little one.

It should go without saying that you need to practice safe gun handling and storage whenever children are in your home or car. You always want to have your weapon on your person and keep it concealed and out of reach. When the weapon is not on your person, it should be under lock and key in an area the child cannot access.

The same rules that apply when you are out and about by yourself still apply BUT you now have a lot more distractions to contend with. You need to be aware of your surroundings and people on the periphery while still keeping a watchful eye on your child and tending to their needs.

In a normal average day, leaving the house with a baby means securing the baby in the car seat, folding down and packing the stroller in the trunk, packing everything you think the baby could possible need like milk, snacks, extra bottles, diapers, wipes, toys and pacifiers into the diaper bag. Oh and you need your car keys and your purse. Now add to that your concealed carry gun and a holster.

Side holster carry is still considered the best carry method, but for a parent or grandparent carrying a baby or toddler that is not going to work because the baby or toddler will be sitting on that strong side. It is not a very good idea to have the child sit on top of the gun and holster and you would not really be able to access it if you needed to. So what are the alternatives?

Shoulder holster: A shoulder holster keeps the weapon suspended under your weak-side arm, thereby both keeping your strong-side hip free for taxi duties, and keeping the belt line clear. Another big advantage of the shoulder rig is the ease of access to the weapon in a seated position, like being buckled into the driver’s seat of a car, and the lack of exposure of the weapon to anyone walking up behind you while you’re putting the kids in the car seat.

Fanny Pack:  It covers the gun completely, with no chance of accidental exposure, and it still allows for reasonably fast access. It gives the parent/caregiver a place to stash wallet and wet wipes, and it keeps the hands and hips free for other uses. Use a fanny pack that has a separate compartment for your gun.

As with anything in concealed carry, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different guns and carry methods to find what works best for you while toting your child. Wherever you go, run through the situational awareness steps to allow yourself plenty of time to move you and your kids out of danger should the need arise and ALWAYS practice appropriate gun safety around children.