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Apparel Pro: Concealed Carry While Riding

What to know about concealed carry laws and how best to carry.

It’s nothing new to say that motorcycle riding poses a number of inherent dangers to the rider. Falling off two wheels is never fun, and the possibility of a crash is always something that riders should be wary of and prepare for accordingly. But what other dangers do riders need to consider?

Unlike automobiles, motorcycles don’t have the added protective barrier of a frame between the driver and the outside world. Motorcyclists have much less time to react and take cover in the event of danger.

Take grand theft auto as an example. In 2020, 53,111 motorcycles were reported as stolen in the U.S.; this number was up 30% from the year prior. While the ratio of motorcycle thefts to total motorcycles owned in the U.S. is relatively equal to that of automobiles, motorcycles are more likely to be stolen while in operation.

The overall odds are still small, but some would rather be safe than sorry. That’s why many riders choose to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense when riding. Regardless of one’s political stance, the fact is gun ownership and motorcycle ownership have long gone hand-in-hand.

If you already conceal carry a firearm or if you are planning to get one for motorcycle riding, what you first need to research are the concealed carry laws in your state. The nation is split up almost 50/50 on permit laws, with 26 currently requiring a permit to conceal carry a firearm. It’s important to note that these laws often have added stipulations, with some states only issuing permits to residents.

According to www.concealedguns.procon.org, “In many ‘constitutional carry’ states, permits will be issued upon request and completion of requirements for purposes of reciprocity (concealed carry in other states) or other reasons. If a state is marked “no permit” and “residents only,” the state will only issue permits to residents, but non-residents may be able to carry without a permit.”

It’s important for concealed carry riders to always keep these laws on their radar, as they are constantly being changed and amended. For example, Alabama’s new constitutional carry law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The next biggest question for riders is how to carry the firearm in question. Traditional carrying usually sees the handgun (if small) placed in a pants pocket or belt holster. This poses a problem for riders, as that area is difficult to access while mounted due to positioning.

Some riders may opt to place their concealed firearms in saddlebags, although this defeats the purpose of being able to quickly remove and operate the weapon in a self-defense situation. Placing the weapon haphazardly in one’s clothing poses the problem of an accidental discharge or dropping the weapon.

Egomaniac Jacket, Joe Rocket
Joe Rocket Egomanaic Jacket

That’s why it’s necessary for riders to have a secure place to conceal carry while still being easily accessible. Joe Rocket’s Egomaniac Jacket, for instance, is unique in that it has concealed carry weapon (CCW) pockets for a quick and safe draw. There are two pockets on both the left and right side of the jacket, allowing for left and right-hand access.

Elastic straps keep the weapon stable within the pockets, and reinforced fabric helps to prevent printing, so that even when you’re carrying, others can’t detect the outline of the gun. The pockets sit outside of the outer shell, allowing for the rider to stay protected in the unlikely event of a fall that causes him or her to land on top of the firearm.

Of course, aside from CCW pockets, you’ll want your jacket to offer several comfortability and safety features too. In the Egomaniac’s case, it offers a water-resistant textile Rock Tex 600 outer shell and a Variable Flow ventilation system.

Everyone carries differently though, and it’s important for riders to test out different options to find a best fit. With something as serious as a firearm and self-defense, there is little room for error.

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