As Jews around the country are purchasing guns and arming themselves, it is clear that there is a need not just for training but for guidance. While groups of Jews around the country are hiring companies to do risk assessments and active shooter training, there is one thing that I am not seeing, and that is guidance to those who are beginning to carry a firearm. Let me explain.
Contrary to what many Jews (and new gun owners in general) might think, purchasing your first firearm and beginning to carry it does not make you infallible. It is not a magic talisman that will guarantee your well-being. First and foremost is training. This article, however, is not about training. That will be for another time. This article is an introduction to two crucial aspects of carrying a firearm. Two questions that I get asked about a lot. Those two questions are: what kind of holster do you use, and is there a belt one can buy that is inconspicuous and made for carry?
Let me begin with the belt. Countless companies make fantastic belts for everyday carry. Some are tactical looking and aren't conducive to the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle or business attire. Other companies make great looking leather belts that can be used for Jews who wear suits daily or more dressy clothes. Those belts are your old-fashioned style with holes to size your waist. The issue with these style belts is that hole number 3 is too tight, but hole number 4 is too loose. That is why I use a company called Nexbelt.
They make a style of ratchet belt that allows you to pinpoint the exact waist size because of the little grooves in the back of the belt. I have 4 of these belts—one for my every day and, more importantly, one for Shabbos. The strap has zero issues holding up a full-size firearm without your pants sagging, and again, because of the ratchet grooves in the back, it allows for a precise fit to your waist. The belt comes in a size 50, and you get to cut the belt to make a perfect fit.
I use this belt every day and on Shabbos, and it's the perfect belt for Orthodox Jews who carry a firearm. Furthermore, the cost for a fancy leather Shabbos belt from Nexbelt is the same as any belt you might typically buy.
The next point of order is a holster. I have had numerous talks with many Jews who have sent me messages with nylon holsters from Amazon or other types of holsters because they are universal and cheap. For the love of God, DON'T. The two safest places for a firearm are either in a safe or in your holster. Purchasing a junk holster is how accidents happen. There are companies out there that make quality holsters at affordable prices. Spending $50-$80 might seem crazy to some people, but rest assured, you are investing to prevent accidents.
What is my everyday carry holster? I use the Victory holster from TXC Holsters for my outside-the-waistband holster (which has since been discontinued for a new model) or a Vanguard 2 holster from Raven Concealment.
The belt loops flex to the curvature of your waist and allow for a snug fit and minimal printing. It runs $79.95 and is worth every penny. Solidly built and lightweight, it keeps your carry gun snug and can be unholstered easily if the need arises. While you might think that price is high, can you put a price on personal security and peace of mind while carrying?
I also use another type of holster for IWB or inside the waistband. A company called Raven Concealment makes a minimalist holster called the Vanguard 2. As you can see in the photo, it clips on over the trigger and trigger guard and allows for a fantastic way to conceal. Furthermore, if you daven in a shul that wants you to be more discreet with firearms, this holster is also tuckable. This means you can tuck your shirt into your pants and between the clip, so the only visible part of your carry is the small clip.
Again, training is essential, but so is the gear you use. A proper belt allows for proper placement without a firearm moving around on your waist. An adequate holster allows for a secured firearm on your person, making you a safer gun owner.
Now, of course, this works for me. I wrote this article because many people have asked me what I use for EDC (Everyday Carry).
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!