The topic of manual safety on concealed carry pistols has been a divisive one in the firearm community. Some would argue that safety does enforce what it is exactly named after. Others tend to argue otherwise.
In today’s unpredictable day and age, safety is paramount. For those carrying firearms, it is important to feel secure with their weapon of choice.
Let’s get to the bottom of whether concealed carriers should have manual safeties or not.
Disassembling Important Parts
In order to make an educated decision on whether these safeties should be taken in concealed carry pistols, it is important to know exactly what concealed carry is as well as what manual safety is.
What Is a Concealed Carry?
A concealed carry, also known as carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), is the practice of carrying a weapon in public in a hidden manner, either on one’s person or in close proximity.
Not all countries or states allow their residents to carry their pistols in this manner. For those that do though, owners need to obtain a permit.
According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), in order to obtain a permit for Concealed Carry, “the applicant must demonstrate competence with a handgun through completion of an NRA firearms safety or training course and pass an initial criminal background check conducted by local law enforcement. ”
What is Manual Safety?
This type of manual safety device or mechanism is defined as a “safeguard built into the design of a firearm which must be purposely activated or deactivated by the user in order to fire the weapon.”
Essentially, this device is an extra measure of protection put in place so that if the gun was to fall into the wrong person’s hands or if it was mishandled, it would not accidentally go off and injure or – worse – kill someone.
There are several safety types that can be found on guns. These include:
- switch safeties;
- grip safeties; and
- trigger safeties.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Different Types of Safeties
A switch safety is a safety that is deactivated when the user flips a switch to the “fire” position.
This type of safety is often found on revolvers as well as some semi-automatic pistols.
A grip safety is a type of safety that is built into the grip of the gun. In order for the gun to fire, this safety must be fully depressed. Otherwise, the gun will not fire, whether accidentally or on purpose.
This type of safety is often found on 1911-style pistols as well as some semi-automatic pistols.
A trigger safety is another type of safety that is deactivated when the trigger is pulled. This type is often found on Glock pistols as well as some semi-automatic pistols.
Why Gun Safety is Important?
In discussing why it is important to discuss gun safety, one need only look at the accidental gun violence statistics.
Accidental gun deaths have been on the rise in the United States in recent years.
One study goes on to say that “most of these incidents (60%) occurred in the home and resulted in the death of a family member or friend.”
It goes on to say that approximately 500 people die from accidental gunfire each year.
With numbers like this, it is no wonder that gun safety is such a hot topic.
So, should manual safeties be mandatory on concealed carry weapons? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Safety or No Safety?
An Extra Layer of Protection
As we mentioned before, this type of safety is an extra layer of protection. This is especially important if you have young children in the home as they are more likely to mishandle a gun and accidentally fire it. There are also scenarios like dropping the gun or just having your fingers in the wrong position.
In the end, though, the safety is there so that when these things do happen, they will not discharge and accidentally hurt anyone. Furthermore, this level of comfort grants confidence that benefits the owner when they need to use it.
May Give You Peace of Mind
For some people, having this type of safety on their concealed carry gives them peace of mind knowing that there is one less thing that could go wrong.
Despite training and familiarisation with the weapon, one must always have a healthy fear of guns. In a split second, it can seriously hurt someone or take a life.
While guns may seem like a necessary precaution to some, some people just can’t handle the lethality of it. With the safety though, it allows them to handle it in a calm manner.
May Help You Comply with the Law
In some states and countries, carrying a concealed weapon with this type of safety can help one follow and comply with the law. While there aren’t many laws very specific to safety, they still do their part in helping to follow laws.
In Singapore for instance, the discharge of a weapon – even if it doesn’t hit anyone – can result in a death sentence. Wherever you go, it is best to check the country’s gun laws and follow them to a T. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
May Not Be as Quick to Use
One con of having this type of safety on a gun is that it may not be as quick to use in a self-defence situation. This is because you have to take the time to deactivate the safety before you can fire the weapon.
Critical situations can happen in the blink of an eye. When a person needs to draw and use their weapon for self-defence, quicker is always better. One moment too late could spell dire consequences.
Thus, in this regard, the safety of a weapon does take a little away from its use.
It May be Forgotten or Overlooked
In much the same vein, another con of having a safety device is that it may be forgotten or overlooked in a self-defence situation. This is because, in the heat of the moment, people often forget about this safety and try to fire the gun only to realise that it is still activated.
Again, this moment of lost time and hesitation can potentially be fatal.
May Cause Complacency
Yet another con of having this safety is that it may cause complacency. This is because people may think that since they have a safety mechanism, they do not need to be as careful with the gun and this could lead to more accidents.
Consequences of Firearm Violence
Each year, thousands of people in the United States are shot and injured. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 7,105 gun homicide victims and 22,961 gun suicide victims in 2017 alone.
In addition, non-fatal gunshot injuries numbered 50,357 in 2015. This number does not include the countless people who are shot and injured but do not seek medical attention.
The CDC estimates that for every one person killed by a gun, two more are wounded.
Wounds and types of injuries are varied, depending on where the person gets hit. Wherever the round lands though, it can cause serious damage.
Of course, the most serious consequence of firearm violence is death. In 2017, there were 14,542 gun homicide victims and 23,854 gun suicide victims in the United States
In addition, there were 486 accidental gun deaths in 2015. This number does not include the countless people who are shot and killed but do not seek medical attention.
The sad thing about it all is that most of the victims of accidental gun damage are children.
In addition to physical injuries, gunshot victims often suffer from psychological trauma as well. This is especially true for children who witness gun violence
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some effects of psychological trauma include:
- feeling numb or disconnected from others
- having trouble sleeping or concentrating
- feeling jumpy or irritable
- being easily angered
- avoiding things that remind them of the event
Another serious consequence of firearm violence is paralysis. This happens when a person is shot in the spinal cord.
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, there are approximately 17,730 new cases of paralysis each year in the United States.
Approximately 52 percent of these cases are caused by accidents, while 38 percent are caused by violence.
The Foundation estimates that the lifetime cost of care for a person with paralysis is approximately $4 million.
Gun Safety Tips All Owners Need to Follow
Don’t Rely on The Safety Too Much
One safety tip that all gun owners need to follow is to not rely on safety. While it is there to stop any accidental discharge, the unfortunate reality is that these safeties are not foolproof and can fail.
In addition, as mentioned earlier, people may forget to deactivate manual safety in a self-defence situation.
Thus, even with the safety in place, it is best to still practice good gun handling and safety at all times.
Train Well and Often
Another good safety tip is to train well and often. This is because the more you practice with your gun, the better you will be at using it.
And, in the event that you ever do need to use it in a self-defence situation, you will be more likely to hit your target and not injure innocent bystanders.
Most, if not all, countries will require gun owners to take a training course to ensure that they are competent enough to use their weapons. This course should be taken very seriously, as the things you learn there can help more than you know.
Always Treat a Gun as Loaded
One more thing to tip is to always treat a gun as if it is loaded. Even if you are 100 percent sure that the gun is unloaded, combined with the knowledge that the safety is on, it is always best to handle it as if it is loaded.
The reason for this is that it only takes a split second for an accident to happen. If you are not careful, you could end up injuring yourself or someone else.
Get the Right Concealed Carry Weapon
It is also important to choose the right weapon for your concealed carry. This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when choosing a concealed carry weapon.
You need to make sure that the gun is comfortable for you to carry. If it is too bulky or heavy, you are not going to want to carry it around with you all the time.
You also need to make sure that you can operate the gun whenever you need to, and even in sudden moments.
The Final Safety is Your Finger
The last gun safety tip is to always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. The final and most effective safety is a person’s finger. The training course will teach you that if you are not going to be firing the weapon, you should not place it on the trigger.
Even if you do have your finger on the trigger, you should still be trained to be calm and firm, so as to not create any accidents.
Preference, Ability, and Discipline
When it comes to having concealed carry, there is a lot to consider. One of the most important things is whether or not to have a manual safety.
There are pros and cons to having safeties, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference, ability, and discipline.
However, what is most important is that you are aware of the consequences of firearm violence and that you follow all gun safety tips to avoid any accidents.
Gun violence can happen in a flash. When they do, another form of safety you can learn and practice is basic wound care for any injuries.
Learn more via CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course today.