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Conceal Carry with Children

From those first few minutes after birth, when your child is placed in your arms, there is an overwhelming need to protect. 

Author: Beka Garris

From those first few minutes after birth, when your child is placed in your arms, there is an overwhelming need to protect. There is a motherly instinct that makes you want to shield your child in any way that you can, from any dangers that the world may bring. At first it may seem silly…it certainly doesn’t seem dangerous to do daily mundane things; going to the store, hiking, or taking your baby for a walk to the park.


Yet, when you take a look at today’s headlines and news, it’s not so silly after all. There are some crazy people out in the world, and you can’t predict where they will be or if you’ll encounter one.


Hence, conceal carrying a firearm on a daily basis.


I started carrying a handgun every day when I started workout at a gun shop, long before I had kids. It quickly became a habit, and soon after I decided to get my conceal carry permit. I quickly acclimated to concealing my handgun and figured out a few favorite holsters and ways to carry.


Fast forward a few years, and I became pregnant and gave birth to my first daughter; and suddenly conceal carry seemed rather complicated.


Was it safe to carry a firearm while I was carrying my baby?


What about when she got older? Toddlers grab things.


Was concealing still the best option?


My mind was spinning with thoughts on how to best navigate new waters. But, fast forward almost 6 years, and carrying a firearm while out and about with my two daughters doesn’t phase me; and I know that I’m doing what is best to be prepared at all times.


If you’re new to carrying firearms while simultaneously carrying children, here are a few basic guidelines that I like to follow:


  1. Always carry on the side of your body that your child isn’t on. If you’re utilizing a backpack carrier, carry your firearm in front of you. If you’re utilizing a front carrier, consider kidney or side carry. You want to ensure that your child doesn’t come in contact with your firearm, even by accident. The newborn stage is a little easier as they don’t really move around and grab things, so if you are carrying a newborn you can (generally) still carry your firearm In the front of you so choose … just be sure you can still easily access it with the baby strapped to you.


  1. Invest in a multipurpose kydex holster (or two or three – options are great!) with good retention. Yes, soft holsters can be far more comfortable, but in general a kydex holster that covers the trigger guard is safer. A kydex holster with multiple attachment options is great as well, because you can carry on your person or attach it inside a bag. I like crossbreed and eclipse as far as brands for holsters, but there are many reputable brands out there.



  1. Find what carry positions you’re comfortable with. I’ve always felt most comfortable carrying a firearm in a holster that is In my waistband, and my go-to is usually appendix carry. Not comfortable for you? No problem, there are tons of other way to carry and many different holster options. Over the past 10 years I have used an open carry holster on my hip, concealed in appendix position, kidney position and concealed by using a belly band. Recently I started utilizing a cross body bag as my method of conceal carry and it’s been great for summer hikes while wearing the backpack carrier. It has given me quick access to my firearm, while also keeping it safely secured and out of reach of my child.


I DO NOT recommend carrying in bags such as purses or diapers bags or similar type of carry ones. Children generally have access to these types of bags, and are accustomed to reaching in them for snacks or toys etc. Due to safety reasons, I urge you to keep your firearm on your person at all times and be aware.


Conceal carry also comes with other responsibilities such as removing your firearm from the holster and/or placing it in a gun safe at the end of the day. Make it a habit to immediately store your firearm in safe or childproof area as soon as you’re done carrying it for the day. There is no room for error here in my opinion, and while instilling firearm safety at a young age is great, precautions should still be made.


Yes, it may seem a little overwhelming to keep track of a tiny human being (or multiple tiny humans) at all times while also wanting to keep them protected. However, I assure you that it is far easier than you think, and something you become comfortable with fairly quickly.


And remember….it’s better to have a gun and not need if than it is to need a gun and not have it.


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