I’ve been seeing these shiny concealed carry badges (like those on Amazon) that closely mimic the look of a police officer’s badge. I feel like I need to clear some things up about these things with the idea of keeping people out of trouble.
Are concealed carry badges legal?
They are legal to own, but in no way, shape, or form are concealed carry badges legal in the sense that it gives you the ability to carry a concealed weapon. They are legal to buy and hold and have, but hold zero weight.
The main reason why is because anyone can buy one of those badges from an ecommerce store. A lot of those badges are marketed in such a way that it sounds like you just need to buy one and you are “legal” when you carry a gun.
That’s not how it works.
The proper way to ensure you don’t break the law, if you care about such laws, is to get your concealed carry permit or license.
In order to get a concealed carry permit a person has to go through a local government, usually the county Sheriff, and apply. This application usually involves a background check to make sure you’re not a violent criminal.
Once your background check comes back, unless a permit is not needed in your state, you can then carry a concealed weapon. Going a step further, you should think twice about buying one of those concealed carry badges for yourself because you could technically get into trouble for impersonating a police officer.
Pros to a concealed carry badge —
We have heard some arguments for obtaining a concealed carry badge that make sense on some level. The one that makes the most amount of sense is that if you ever are involved in a shooting, you can flash a badge to the responding police and avoid being mistaken for a bad guy.
There are a couple of problems with this thought, though. First, and hopefully most obvious, is that this is the time when you’re most likely to get into trouble for impersonating a police officer if you don’t word what you say very carefully.
Second, you still have to get to your “badge” to whip it out for the cops to see.
In a real critical incident when you need to defend yourself you’ll either be too occupied with your gun and the other people in the area to be able to pull it out, or you will have already holstered your weapon because the threat is over.
Once the threat is over you can properly identify yourself without the risk of potentially impersonating a police officer.
And if your gun is still out, getting your badge out should be your last concern.
To me, the concealed carry badge is just a bad idea and a disaster waiting to happen. Purchasing one as a novelty for fun is one thing, but to get one for carry borders irresponsible.
The above statements are just my opinion having worked for the industry for nearly 10 years, serving as managing editor for concealedcarry.com for four of those years.