Gun ownership and conceal carry permits are touchy subjects with many people. It can cause rifts in relationships when one partner wants a gun and the other does not. However if approached in a thought-out manner, the subject of gun ownership doesn’t need to end in an argument. Here are some tips to help an apprensive spouse understand gun owneship and concealed carry handgun permits.
Don’t get a concealed carry permit without telling her: The worst thing you can do is to go behind your wife’s back and get a concealed carry permit. You won’t be sleeping on the couch–you’ll be packing up and staying with a buddy for a few weeks. If you get a concealed carry permit behind her back and start carrying a gun everywhere, your wife will feel deceived and outraged when she finds out (which she will). Yes, you’re an adult and don’t need permission from your spouse to get a concealed carry permit and carry a gun, but as your companion, she deserves to know.
Take her to the gun range: One of the best ways to get her familiar with firearms is to take her to the range. By handling firearms herself, she will get a firsthand look at gun operation. Many people who fear guns believe a gun will go off on its own, shooting up the whole room. After learning how a gun works, she may become less fearful of firearms. Don’t dwell on the self-defensive topic. Instead, make it a fun day of target shooting and perhaps she’ll come home from the gun range with a new hobby.
Don’t be pushy: Never push the issue! Talk about guns and concealed carry with her but don’t resort to incessant pleading and nagging if she is refusing to listen. She’s an adult and you both have a right to your own opinions. If she does come around, she’ll do so on her own terms.
Take it slow: This means no daily gun discussions! She isn’t going to change her beliefs overnight. Your decision to get a concealed carry permit didn’t happen on a whim and likewise, she isn’t going to robotically become pro-gun in a few hours
Explain your reasons: Getting a concealed weapons permit is a big decision. Explain to her why you want to carry a gun. Are you carrying it for family protection? Has your neighborhood had a series of break-ins? Even if you’re just expressing your right to bear arms, give detailed examples for your reasoning or she might think you’re out looking for trouble.
Don’t get angry: It’s inevitable–after explaining your reasons why you want to carry a gun, your spouse is going to retort. She might reply with things such as, “You’re paranoid!” “You never were like this before!” “You must be hanging out with that dirtbag Rob again!” “It’s just another one of your silly phases.” Her responses might make you angry. You might not agree with her anti-gun beliefs, but try to respect them. Change is tough; you cannot force her into your choice.
Discuss local news: This can come off as lecturing–use this tip sparingly, with extreme caution. Point out situations in which the ghastly news story would’ve turned out differently had the victim been carrying a gun. Don’t harp on the issue; she will tire from this quickly. A gentle approach is key.
These tips hopefully will help you approach a nervous spouse about concealed carry and gun ownership. Even if her gun ownership views don’t align with your own, always respect her opinions and realize that she may never agree with your decision to carry a gun. Otherwise, you might find yourself sleeping on the couch!