Once you have chosen the right firearm for your everyday carry purposes, there are few things you to remember. The right to protect yourself with a firearm is a responsibility which deserves to be taken with the utmost of importance and gravity. These are the top 5 EDC rules any responsible gun owner needs to know.

1. Know the laws

This is by far the most crucial of all the EDC rules. There is no stressing this one enough because if you don’t know the laws in your state, you are looking at a lot of legal issues. While every state has its own legislature regarding the carrying of firearms by civilians, any responsible gun owner will take the time to learn the laws of their state to make sure they follow the groundwork put in place. If you aren’t willing to learn the laws of responsible gun ownership, you aren’t responsible enough to own and carry a firearm.

2. Train

Another one of the biggest EDC rules is to actually know how to use your firearm. No one is expecting you to be an expert marksman, but if you have a firearm, you have a responsibility to know the basics of how it operates. If you don’t know how to put the safety on, that is a problem that could lead to deadly accidents and makes you a threat to society every time you leave the house with your firearm. Aside from knowing the safety elements of your firearm, you need to be comfortable with firing it in the event of a situation calling for you to defend yourself. Again, if you can’t actually hit a target, you may accidentally become a liability to yourself and anyone in the vicinity. If you own a firearm and intend to carry it with you every day, training should be a non-negotiable rule.

3. Know where you can’t take firearms

While your right to bear arms and protect yourself is a pretty universally recognized one in most states, there are still a few places you simply can’t take your firearm. For example, nearly all secondary public schools such as elementary, middle, and high, do not allow firearms on the property. Another place where concealed carry isn’t typically allowed is hospitals. Government buildings are also known as gun free zones where it is prohibited to carry your firearm. All commercial airlines also prohibit flying with a concealed carry weapon. It is important to note that not bringing your firearm to places where they are prohibited is not just a suggestion, it is a law which, when violated, can lead to arrests and charges, so take it seriously.

4. Keep it concealed

The entire point of a concealed carry weapon is that you don’t want anyone to know you have it on you. In many states, having your concealed weapon in plain sight will lead to fines and a trip to the local police station. To avoid this scenario, remember that concealed means hidden! If you live in an open carry state, you are in the clear on this matter.

5. Know when to say something

There are times when you don’t want to keep it quiet that you have a firearm. There will be times when announcing that you have a concealed weapon on you will put someone else at ease. For instance, if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, some states suggest while others require you to inform the patrol officer of this information for the safety and comfort of all in involved. There are other instances as well where you will need to share about your concealed weapon, such as when flying with it in a checked bag ,you will need to communicate this with TSA agents.