By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Halloween is coming up, and like any observance there are some considerations a person may want to make regarding concealed carry. Granted, it depends on what a person’s plans are for Halloween. Some people are going trick-or-treating with the kids with or without a costume, some people are attending social gatherings, and some people are going to stay home with the porch light off so no trick-or-treaters show up wanting stuff.
Some Halloween events for the little ones occur at schools, such as Halloween pageants, concerts and so on. Naturally, that means concealed carry may not be legally permitted.
As a practical consideration, if you plan to wear a costume and carry while doing so, you should select (or creatively alter) a costume that’s conducive to being able to access your firearm, as well as keeping it concealed.
One may get tempted to incorporate a concealed weapon into a costume. It can be done, but should be approached with caution. Law enforcement costumes are popular, but at a certain point dressing as a police officer or FBI agent or something along those lines may be misconstrued as impersonating same, which is illegal. However, if a person has a tuxedo and a shoulder holster…there’s certainly no problem with dressing up as James Bond.
A person could likewise dress up as a cowboy if they have a western holster and a revolver. If carrying a replica/reproduction of an actual 19th century revolver such as a Colt Peacemaker, Remington New Army or the like, it may do to carry with the hammer over an empty chamber given the possibility of drop or slam-fires. (That’s how guns were carried in that era.)
As it happens, there are a few companies that make reproductions of Clint Eastwood’s poncho from the “Man With No Name” series.
However, if one is just walking around dressed normally while the kids trick-or-treat…then conceal and carry as normal and don’t worry about it.
What goes without saying, of course, is that a person should never consume alcohol while carrying. Costume parties on or close to Halloween (if it doesn’t take place on a weekend) are very popular with nearly all ages; people still have a bit of fun in costume well after leaving college and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. However, there is something wrong with carrying and consuming – both morally and more importantly, it’s illegal in many jurisdictions.
As always, if you’re going to carry, don’t drink. If you’re going to drink, don’t carry.
Additionally, this year there is the now international phenomenon of “scary clowns,” where people dress up as clowns but add various details to appear menacing, such as fake blood and makeup that makes them appear threatening. Clowns, being associated with childhood, are an emotionally sensitive subject; coulrophobia is the term meaning fear of clowns though it isn’t recognized as a disorder in the DSM or by very much of the mental health community. That said, some people experience fear of clowns nevertheless.
The nature of these incidents appears mixed. Many “clown sightings,” as it were, appear to just be pranks. Granted, pranks that are frightening rather than funny, but pranks all the same. It may do to be aware of any deranged clown sightings in your area, besides those of elected officials. Serious incidents, which are very rare but have occurred thus far, are instances of harassment, intimidation or assault. If a clown has a knife, axe or club, that’s assault with a deadly weapon.
If menaced by a clown, it’s no different than being menaced by anyone else. If attacked, respond to the threat appropriately. The standard for use of deadly force is that you have to have a good-faith basis to believe that you will lose your life or be seriously injured if you don’t act. The legal justification applies equally to clowns, but so does the burden of proof upon the shooter. If you have to draw and shoot, the onus will be on you to prove that you had to.
Whilst juvenile pranks are just juvenile pranks, one imagines it’s just a matter of time before a headline reading “Spooky Clown Shot By Concealed Carrier” emerges. Let’s just hope that it’s for the right reasons, not an adolescent jape that ended in tragedy.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.