The Best Concealed Carry Handguns in 2020 – A Comprehensive Review

Best Concealed Carry Handguns
Handguns Name Editor’s Comment Rating Get The Best Deal
CZ Rami

Most Recommended Option

1. Semi-automatic
2. Metal frame
3. Double-stack magazine
4. Good option for beginners

10/10 Check Current Price
Glock 26 1. “Baby Glock”
2. 10-round capacity
3. Popular in the United States and all over the world
4. Short height
9.5/10 Check Current Price
Glock 19 Gen 5 1. Compact version of the Glock 17
2. High magazine capacity of 15 to 17 rounds
3. Better ergonomics and accuracy than the Gen 4 model
4. Average weight of 25 ounces
9.5/10 Check Current Price
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 1. Upgraded trigger
2. Polymer frame
3. Better grip
4. Good aftermarket support
9.5/10 Check Current Price
Glock 43 1. Glock’s first single-stack subcompact 9mm gun
2. Thin width of 1.02 inches
3. Simple trigger safety system
4. Beavertail incorporated into the frame
9.0/10 Check Current Price
Springfield Armory XD-E 1. Bigger version of the Springfield XD-S
2. Hammer-fired
3. Does not have a grip safety and has been replaced with a manual safety
8.5/10 Check Current Price
Walther PPS M2 1. Good build quality and finish
2. Great ergonomics and trigger
3. Double-action only
8.5/10 Check Current Price
Ruger LCP II 1. Most famous pocket pistol
2. Better sights and slide stop mechanism
3. Striker-fired
4. Proven to have very little problems
8.5/10 Check Current Price
SIG Sauer P320 Compact 1. Similar size to the Glock 19
2. Not enough space to fully grip the gun
3. Good trigger and handling
8.0/10 Check Current Price
Ruger LCR 1. Most famous snub-nose revolver
2. Polymer frame
3. Can only fire 5 rounds
8.0/10 Check Current Price
SIG Sauer P365 1. Smaller than a lot of single stack 9mm pistols
2. Hold 10-rounds of 9mm
3. Comes standard with night sights
4. Polymer frame
5. Crisp trigger pull
8.0/10 Currently unavailable
Walther PPK 1. Weapon of James Bond
2. Slide mounted safety and decocker
3. Metal frame
4. Chambered for the .380 ACP
5. Fixed barrel
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Beretta PX4 Storm Compact Carry 1. Modern-looking and easy to carry around
2. 3.2-inch cold hammer forged barrel
3. Polymer frame and aesthetic black finish
7.5/10 Currently unavailable
Kahr CM9 1. Weighs in at 14 ounces
2. Small 3-inch barrel
3. Training required to deal with recoil
4. Textured grip
7.0/10 Currently unavailable

Best Concealed Carry Handguns

1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0

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Features

When people talk about concealed carry handguns, it is without fail that this model of the S&W M&P is mentioned. The initial version of this S&W pistol was a great concealed carry gun and you can tell by looking at how much more of this handgun is sold compared to other concealed carry handguns. 

The newer model of the S&W M&P, the 2.0, has an upgraded trigger for which the trigger pull is lighter, has a crisp break and a clear reset that the shooter can easily feel. With this upgraded trigger, shooters will be able to have better trigger control and it can be helpful in self-defense situations. 

This is an easy-to-carry gun with the use of a polymer frame that gives this a weight of 18.3 ounces. Besides that, the stippling for this S&W pistol is also more aggressive than the older model and shooters are able to get a better grip on the pistol when they are shooting. This striker-fired S&W handgun is available in a few different calibers like 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.  

Being one of the favorites of many shooters, finding a holster for this S&W pistol won’t be an issue. Not only is it easy to find a holster, but the aftermarket support for this handgun is also great too so finding aftermarket parts to upgrade your pistol can be done easily too.  

Bottom Line

Smith & Wesson has a reputation for making great firearms and when it comes to concealed carry guns, the company has done a great job with the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0. The S&W Shield can be considered as the best concealed carry pistol, not just for its durability and reliability but also for its design that makes it easy to conceal. 

Pros

  • Can find aftermarket upgrades easily
  • Better trigger than the previous generation
  • More aggressive textured grip

Cons

  • Can only hold 8+1 rounds of 9mm with an extended magazine

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2. Glock 26

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Unique Factors

The Glock 26 is also known as “baby Glock” and has been the best option of a concealed carry gun for a long time. This pistol comes standard with a 10-round capacity and a barrel length of 3.43 inches. The short pistol height also makes it one of the shortest 9mm handguns on the market. Some may say that a 10-round capacity for defense purposes is too much but it never hurts to have extra rounds to protect yourself. 

Just like pistols made by Smith & Wesson, Glock handguns are just as popular in the United States and all over the world as well. Because of the popularity of Glock handguns, finding accessories for the Glock 26 can be done with ease and shooters can modify it according to their preference and have the best concealed carry handgun for themselves. 

This fifth-gen Glock is a great concealed carry pistol not just because of its short height but also for its weight. The Glock 26 weighs in at 21.69 ounces only which makes it easy to carry around on a daily basis. 

Bottom Line

Glock is a trusted firearm manufacturer and their guns are currently in use by many law enforcement and military units worldwide. The latest version of the “baby Glock”, Glock 26, has new updates that improve the trigger and barrel while maintaining the ability for this pistol to stay concealed. 

Pros

  • The short height makes it a good concealed carry
  • High magazine capacity for its size 
  • Lightweight
  • Good customizability

Cons

  • Short in height but has a thick frame 

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3. Springfield Armory XD-E

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Features

The Springfield XD-E is a bigger version of the Springfield XD-S and because it is bigger in size, it can also hold more rounds. However, if compared to the XD-S, this pistol can only hold one more round than the XD-S but it’s still better than nothing. 

For shooters who prefer shooting a hammer-fired gun rather than a striker-fired gun, this Springfield pistol would be the best choice for you. Other than that, this pistol does not have grip safety and has been replaced with a manual safety that doubles as a decocker. If you were to take a closer look at it, this gun actually has the same design as the Mod.2 pistols but it’s a Mod.2 with a hammer. 

The initial model of this gun has a 3.3-inch barrel and now it is offered in different barrel lengths. While longer barrels may cause the gun to be a worse concealed carry, the trade-off is lesser muzzle flip and bullets that can travel faster. 

Bottom Line

This double-action/single-action gun is the best concealed carry gun for people that don’t like the trigger of a striker-fired pistol. The Springfield XD-E also comes with one 8-round mag with pinky extension and also one extended 9-round magazine. If you are someone that wants a gun that is easy to shoot in a defensive scenario, this gun is the best choice for you too. 

Pros

  • DA/SA trigger
  • Different choices of barrel 
  • Fiber optic front and rear sights

Cons

  • Long barrel models are harder to conceal
  • Grip safety is replaced with manual safety

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4. Glock 19 Gen 5

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Unique Characteristics

The Glock 19 is one of the most popular guns on the market and this model is a compact version of the Glock 17. This Glock pistol has a few models available like the MOS (Modular Optic System), which is optics ready and also the G19X model. Regardless of which one you choose, you will realise that this gun has a high magazine capacity of 15 to 17 rounds. 

Some of the improvements that are made for this model of Glock are better ergonomics and accuracy than the Gen 4 model. Besides that, the feeling of the trigger is better too which is why it is a better choice of a concealed carry pistol. Another feature of this gun that is quite noticeable is the lack of finger grooves. 

Whether you decide to go with the G19X or the MOS model, it all gives an average weight of 25 ounces which is decent for guns that can carry up to 17 rounds of 9mm. For the G19X model, it has a standard ambidextrous slide lock and comes with a lanyard loop. As for the MOS model, mounting attachments like flashlights is a breeze and the slide serrations are obvious too. 

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a gun that comes as a package, the Glock 19 would be the best choice amongst all the other options on the market. This gun has the best compromise between size and capacity. It is great as a concealed carry weapon and also as a duty gun.  

Pros

  • High capacity
  • Can be used on a variety of occasion
  • A reliable gun

Cons

  • Weight of the gun may be too heavy for some people to use as a concealed carry

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5. SIG Sauer P320 Compact

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Features

The SIG Sauer P320 Compact has a very similar size to the Glock 19 which also makes it the top concealed carry handgun on the market. The weight of both handguns only differs by 1 ounce with the SIG P320 weighing in at 26 ounces. 

Something that is noticeable is that there isn’t enough space for you to fully grip on to this compact gun which is why the SIG P320 Compact is the best one on the market to be used as a concealed carry. Despite that, the feeling of holding this compact gun in your hand is something that is hard to match from other options that are available. 

One of the many reasons that the SIG Sauer P320 Compact is so popular is because of the trigger and handling that this compact pistol offers. Besides that, it has a modular design that allows the SIG P320 to be modified into a full-sized, compact or subcompact SIG P320 and it can be done by just changing the frames and slides.  

If you feel like the compact model of this gun is not good enough for concealed carry, the subcompacts are always a good option too. 

Bottom Line

When compared to other options of compact guns that are available on the market, the SIG Sauer P320 Compact is definitely the best concealed carry handgun that you can own. This compact handgun has the best size and weight for it to be concealed and to carry around on a daily basis. 

Pros

  • Small size
  • Great for concealed carry
  • Durable polymer frame
  • Three-point takedown safety

Cons

  • Some people may find the weight to be slightly heavy

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6. Glock 43

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Unique Factors

The Glock G43 is the first single-stack subcompact 9mm gun of this company. This gun was one of the lightest and smallest 9mm guns on the market and it was revolutionary for the concealed carry market. 

The Glock 43 is also very thin with a width of 1.02 inches only and its short grip makes it a good choice for pocket carry. Not only is it a good pocket pistol to carry around, but when stored in good holsters, you will barely realise that you are carrying a gun. 

Other than the small size of this gun, the Glock 43 has a simple yet effective and functional safety system known as the Glock Safe Action System. This is a trigger safety where the gun only fires when there is a pull of the trigger and there is no pre-charged energy prior to the trigger pull. 

Thanks to the beavertail that is incorporated into the frame, the gun has protection against slide bite which helps to make this pocket pistol last for a very long time. In addition, the textured grip allows the user to hold the gun in their hands firmly and it is definitely crucial in a life and death situation. The magazine release is also placed at an area that is easily accessed by users to enhance the overall shooting experience. 

Bottom Line

The Glock 43 is the best CCW on the market that you can store in pockets and carry around. This single-stack small pistol is also the best choice for smaller sized owners since it can easily fit in small hands and can offer good protection when you need it. Even though it is a small pistol, it definitely doesn’t lack reliability and functionality which is why it is the best CCW.

Pros

  • Good for people with small hand size
  • Can carry it in a pocket
  • Good trigger system that offers safety
  • Aggressive-textured grip

Cons

  • Only has a 6+1 capacity 

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7. Walther PPS M2

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Features

When you look at reviews or articles about guns or concealed carry guns, this gun by Walther will definitely show up and there is a good reason why you keep seeing it. It is likely that this gun stays in many gun reviews because of the love that it is getting and its demand by many concealed carriers.

First of all, the finishes of this gun are not something that can be easily matched by other handguns that are available. The build quality of this gun is also top-notch and gave its competitors a hard time to bring their products on par with it. Walther is also known for its amazing triggers and you will find it on this gun too. 

The great ergonomics of this gun is also another reason why it is one of the top picks for many shooters. The swappable back straps allow you to change to different sizes of grips so you can easily change to a grip that fits the shape of your hand without any issues. 

The Walther PPS M2 is a double-action only pistol that chambers for the 9mm Luger. This gun has a standard magazine release and fixed front and rear sights. It also comes with two 7-round magazines.    

Bottom Line

This is one of the best concealed carry guns on the market that offers the best quality of construction and modularity. This brand has the best trigger out of all the other manufacturers and you can find it in this gun too. If you prefer a European style trigger guard magazine release, then the original model, the M1, would be a better fit for you.

Pros

  • Smooth trigger pull
  • Good-quality construction 
  • Light polymer frame
  • Top-notch finish

Cons

  • Can only fire 7 rounds

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8. SIG Sauer P365

Features

When you look at other options of single stack pistols on the market, you will realise that the SIG P365 is smaller than a lot of single stack 9mm pistols. Despite its small size, it can still hold 10-rounds of 9mm instead of the typical 6+1 or 7+1 capacity. There are also extended magazines available for this gun to bring it to a 12-round capacity. 

One thing that many shooters will like is that this gun comes standard with night sights. The night sights will allow you to identify and aim at your target easily even under low light conditions which is a benefit to have during life and death encounters. 

Concealed carry pistols are meant to offer security to its owner and it should be able to do so easily. Everyone that is looking for a concealed carry handgun wants a firearm that is easy to use and easy to conceal and the SIG P365 is no exception. The polymer frame also ensures that this gun stays lightweight and at same time being able to handle +P ammunition. 

Not only is this handgun easy to conceal and use, but it is also easier to shoot compared to many concealed carry handguns. This is because the SIG Sauer P365 has a crisp trigger pull that allows users to take each shot with minimal challenge. 

Bottom Line

Out of the list of best concealed carry guns, the SIG P365 can be considered as the biggest little gun. This pistol will surprise you with the 10-round magazine it has and has an option of a 12-round magazine. Another selling point of this gun that has caught the attention of a lot of people is that this gun is a winner for many awards over the years. So for any of you out there that is obsessed with single stack handguns or 9mm handguns, this would be the perfect choice. 

Pros

  • Exceptionally high capacity
  • Can chamber +P ammunition
  • Has an accessory rail 
  • Comes with night sights

Cons

Polymer frame makes it harder to control recoil

9. Ruger LCR

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Features

This is probably the only revolver that you will see in a list of concealed carry handguns. However, there is a good explanation why this revolver is featured. The Ruger LCR is one of the most famous snub-nose revolvers and it was the first revolver to have a polymer frame which significantly reduced the weight of this revolver. 

Even though this revolver can only fire 5 rounds, it certainly does not lack stopping power to protect yourself from an attacker. The Ruger LCR is chambered for the .38 Special caliber which is a common revolver round that allows revolvers to be accurate and easy to shoot. The .38 Special is also great for self-defense which is why this Ruger revolver is the best concealed carry revolver that you can get. 

Out of the list of pistols and even polymer pistols that are mentioned, none of them are as light as the LCR revolver. The use of a small polymer frame has put this snub-nose revolver at a shockingly lightweight of 13 ounces. For a better idea of how light the LCR revolver is, it is only the weight of a big phone. In other words, having this revolver in your pocket is like bringing a slightly heavier phone with you. 

If this variation of revolver doesn’t satisfy you, there is another option which is the Ruger LCRx and it is also a great concealed carry wheel gun that offers more power. Either option that you choose to go with, you will realise that all products of Ruger are extremely reliable. 

Bottom Line

For anyone out there that would like to try using a revolver as a concealed carry weapon, the Ruger LCR would be the best one to start with. This 5-shot revolver is reliable, has a lightweight polymer frame, manageable recoil and has decent firepower. 

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Manageable recoil 
  • Stainless steel construction and durable finish 
  • Short 1.87-inch barrel

Cons

  • Low capacity
  • Shooters with small hands will find it hard to hold this revolver

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10. Walther PPK

Features

The Walther PPK is a classic handgun that is just hard to resist, some may even say it is a legend in the firearm industry. This pistol is one of the most famous weapons and it’s because it is the weapon of the famous James Bond. Although this gun is an old model, it has recently been redone to prevent this famous pistol from extinction.

Besides this gun being a classic, it is very practical and can be concealed easily which is why this gun has made it into this list. This small handgun has a slide mounted safety and decocker, a metal frame to ensure that it has a strong overall build and comes with a 6-round magazine. 

This handgun is chambered for the .380 ACP round and utilizes a double-action/single-action design. The .380 ACP is a common pistol caliber like the .45 ACP and .40S&W, all of these pistol calibers are also good for a wide range of applications like self-defense, hunting and used by police forces too. Which is why chambering for the .380 ACP makes this pistol a great choice of CCW.  

The barrel of this handgun is fixed and even though it doesn’t help to reduce recoil, it certainly helps to improve the accuracy of your shots. As a result of good accuracy, the overall performance is also improved which can give shooters a certain level of confidence when using it in danger. 

Bottom Line

This handgun is one of the best guns to be used in concealment and not only is it good for concealing, but this Walther pistol is also a pistol for some collectors. The overall performance is great for this pistol and even though it may be a bit more pricey than other guns on this list, the value that you get from it will make this pistol worth the money.

Pros

  • Good accuracy with a fixed barrel
  • Chambered for the multi-purpose .380 ACP
  • James Bond’s choice of weapon

Cons

  • Heavy DA/SA trigger pull 
  • Price is a little bit higher than many guns that perform better

11. Ruger LCP II

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Features

The Ruger LCP II is one of the most famous pocket pistols and probably the smallest pistol that you can find in any list of concealed carry pistols. This newer model of LCP has just the right changes from the older one and the good thing is that it is offered at an affordable price.  

Some of the things that are improved are the sights for better visibility, a better slide stop mechanism and a larger surface for the grip so that the shooter can control the recoil better. All these refinements can make a big difference in the performance of the gun and enhance the overall shooting experience. Another difference between the two versions is that the newer ones are striker-fired and the older ones are hammer-fired. 

Even though this gun is chambered for the .380 ACP cartridge and may not deliver as much power as 9mm cartridges, it can still deliver the punch of the .380 ACP round. Yes, the .380 ACP ammo may not be as powerful as 9mm but it is still a good caliber for self or home defense that almost everyone can agree on.  

This pistol has been proven to have very little problems so you can safely rely on this firearm to get you out of a dangerous situation. The only downside to this pistol is that guys with bigger hands might find it harder to shoot since the size of the grip is so small. 

Bottom Line

With a 2.75-inch barrel, the Ruger LCP II is one of the tiniest guns that are available which is why it is the best CCW. If you are looking for a small handgun to carry around but don’t want to spend too much money for it, this would be the most ideal piece for you. 

Pros

  • One of the smallest pistols
  • Great reliability
  • One of the cheapest firearms

Cons

  • .380 ACP not as powerful as 9mm

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12. Beretta PX4 Storm Compact Carry

Features

If you are looking for a compact handgun that is modern-looking and is easy to carry around with, the Beretta PX4 Storm Compact Carry is one of the top options for you. As a concealed carry, the size of this pistol is perfect but it is definitely not big enough to fully grip it. 

This compact pistol has a 3.2-inch barrel with an overall length of 6.8 inches and the barrel is cold hammer forged to give it the best performance. What a lot of people like about this handgun is the capacity that the magazine can hold. This Beretta has a 15-round magazine and is chambered for 9mm.

Another design that will appeal to many customers is the polymer frame and aesthetic black finish instead of Beretta’s signature full metal frames. While polymer frames are lightweight and good for someone to carry around, it does have higher felt recoil and this handgun has a smart design that helps to reduce the recoil and muzzle rise. The implementation of rotary barrel design has effectively reduced felt recoil and muzzle rise.  

For those that find this gun slightly too big for them, there are other options by Beretta like the subcompact variants that are smaller and easier to conceal. 

Bottom Line

This compact gun is a balance between being easy to shoot and to carry around. The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact Carry is the right 9mm pistol for those out there that enjoy shooting a lot of rounds at the shooting range or for those that are just looking for a sidearm to carry around. Even though it may be heavier than some options out there, it certainly helps with controlling the recoil and results in faster follow up shots. 

Pros

  • High capacity of up to 15 rounds
  • Controls recoil very well
  • Implementation of innovative technologies
  • Can be used for shooting at the range and to carry around

Cons

  • Slightly heavy for a concealed carry gun

13. Kahr CM9

Features

No one will ever argue against the fact that lighter pistols are easier and more comfortable to carry and the Kahr CM9 is one of those pistols. This pistol weighs in at 14 ounces only and has a stainless steel magazine that weighs 1.9 ounces only. With this set up, this pistol is the right selection for civilians with concealed carry licenses. 

The CM series has taken the best bit of other models like the 3.6-inch barrel 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP models by Kahr and put it into a small 3-inch barrel package. Even though it is smaller than some other 9mm options, the power that it delivers is still decent, being able to fire six shots of 9mm. 

Since this Kahr pistol is small, recoil will definitely be an issue and to overcome it, some training and practice will be necessary. For those that enjoy shooting larger calibers, this pistol is also available in .40 S&W and .45 ACP but it will be slightly heavier. 

The grip of this pistol is textured to allow for a better grip even under wet weather conditions. This makes it more comfortable to shoot and can give a good advantage especially when using it under stressful situations and when your palm starts sweating. 

Bottom Line

This is a pistol that has the best of all worlds of Kahr’s pistols. It is lightweight, has decent firepower and most importantly it is the right size to be used as a concealed carry. Because the printing of this handgun is kept at a minimum, finding a holster for it is not an issue that will concern you. 

Pros

  • Overall dimensions like length, width and height are ideal for concealed carry
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Grip is textured 
  • Can find a holster easily

Cons

  • Harder to manage recoil

14. CZ RAMI 

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Features

This subcompact pistol is a semi-automatic that is based around the success of the CZ 75 pistols. It is also one of the most underrated semi-autos in the United States that still uses a metal frame while most companies are making guns from polymer. Even though it is slightly heavier than other options out there, it also helps with the recoil to make it more pleasant to shoot. 

This semi-automatic CZ pistol has a double stack magazine that is available in 9mm and .40 S&W and if the standard capacity does not satisfy you, it can also accept CZ 75 magazines for higher capacities. Besides using magazines from the CZ 75 there are also extended magazine options to increase the amount of ammo in the pistol. 

Not only is this semi-auto handgun good for concealed carry with its short overall length, but it is also one of the top options for beginners because of how easy it is to shoot. For someone that doesn’t mind carrying a handgun with a weight of 25 ounces, it is definitely the right choice for you since it has the basic requirements of a concealed carry except the paperweight that you are expecting. 

Bottom Line

The CZ RAMI is a rare semi-auto pistol that still uses a metal frame and even though it is not as light as other options out there, the added weight does play a part in making the gun nicer to shoot. It also has remarkable safety devices like a firing pin block and a manual safety that other options may not have. 

Pros

  • Great safety features
  • Uses metal frame which allows for better recoil control
  • Good for beginners

Cons

  • On the heavier side

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Final Verdict – The Best Overall, Compact, Concealed Carry Firearm

Out of the list of best concealed carry guns, the best would be the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0. First of all, this is a pistol from one of the most established companies in the industry so you don’t have to worry about any malfunctions of the gun. The S&W Shield 2.0 is also an upgraded version of its previous models with an improved trigger. Not only is this a great concealed carry option, but it is also a good home defense gun.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can your gun be loaded when you conceal carry?

In California, it is prohibited for any person to carry a loaded and concealed firearm like S&W M&P or even .45 ACP unless the person has a license for it. Make sure to check the laws and regulations of the area that you live in before you make a purchase for a concealed carry. 

Q: Do police keep a round in the chamber?

Yes. Police officers do keep a round chambered at all times and with the safety off if they are equipped with the gun. They will usually load it into the chamber, eject the magazine and load another round into the magazine which gives them a +1 capacity depending on the specs of their firearm. 

Q: Do cops know if you have a concealed carry permit?

Police officers usually have no way of knowing if you have a permit or not because it is not like the permit is stated in a tag or the driver’s license which is why they usually won’t know. However, some areas will require you to inform the cops that you are carrying a CCW whenever they approach you because the citizens have a “duty to inform”. 

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