My Trigger Guard wrote:
I would however advise against going around and flashing your permit to everyone it defeats the purpose of carrying concealed IE the element of surprise. Plus it could lead to other unneccessary discussions and questions. Such as are you carrying today and we have a no guns policy please leave. Or even to this engagement that started the discussion.
There is a difference between "flashing your permit to everyone" and using at a form of ID.
Remember, the permit confers multiple legal privileges to the holder. It isn't just about concealed.
Certainly being able to legally carry a concealed firearm is one benefit.
I'd suggest that all else being equal, being able to legally carry a fully loaded firearm is an even bigger benefit. After all, if you were given the Hobson's choice of either concealed OR fully loaded (but not both), which would you choose? Unloaded and concealed, or open and fully loaded? I think in most cases, the advantages of fully loaded would outweigh the advantages of concealed.
The permit also allows the holder to legally carry a usable gun into federal gun free school zones, into the K-12 schools themselves, and onto college compuses that would all otherwise be off limits under federal and/or State law.
There is also the exemption from the Brady Background Check fee. Though that had little to do with actually carrying.
For those in the know, the permit is also a fairly strong indicator that the permit holder is not a major criminal, what with lifetime bans for felonies and DV misdemeanors, long wait periods for alcohol related offenses, etc, and daily cross checks against warrants.
I believe there are only two advantages for the private citizen to CCing over OCing:
1-Easier weapons retention as someone can't grab from you what they don't know you have.
2-Easier weapons retention as someone can't ask you to leave, fire you, arrest you, or otherwise take negative action for carrying a gun contrary to their policy or even law if they have no idea you have the gun in the first place.
A possible third advantage of comfort of dress actually splits 50/50 depending on the season. It is very nice to be able to wear a coat that covers a gun. It is equally as nice to be able to carry a gun without having to wear an additional,hot cover garment.
I flat out reject the "element of surprise" in deploying my firearm as a benefit of CCing. I don't want to surprise anyone. I'm not a cop, nor a Marine sniper. I'm not a criminal. I don't want to ever have to use my gun in self defense, doubly so not against any human being. I would much rather have the deterrent effect of a visible gun, obvious good situational awareness on my part, and other "hard target" indicators prevent the need to ever use my gun than I would have the element of surprise after I need to use the gun, perhaps only because the bad guy didn't know I was fully prepared to defend myself.
That all said, I cc or casually conceal carry as or more often these days than I do deliberately OC. But that is done for reasons of comfort, for the social convenience of not having everyone know I am carrying, etc, and never for any desire to have an element of surprise.
And there have been several times when my Utah permit has been readily accepted as a second form of ID for locations where such was required. In some cases, these areas were legally off limits to firearms, but my using the permit as a second form of government issued ID never resulted in any more than a simple, "You're not in possession of a gun now are you?" To which an answer of "No. I don't like going to jail," was more than sufficient...especially considering I was going to be stepping through a metal detector in about 10 feet.