Don't ask. Don't tell.
As women, particularly those of us who are mothers and wives, it's often difficult to keep things personal. After all, we are generally social creatures. We love to share pictures of our little ones and update our friends on the latest developments in our lives. But how does that translate to the world of concealed defensive tools, particularly firearms?
Like it or not, women are different when it comes to many things, than men. Carrying a concealed handgun is no different. We have specific considerations that men may or may not experience. The list of those who should be informed of our decision to carry a concealed weapon may differ as well.
So, here's my humble opinion, as a woman, of the four (and only four) groups of people who should know you carry a concealed handgun.
Anyone who makes the decision to carry a concealed handgun should ensure their spouse is aware. The governing adults in a home should know where the handguns are located at all times and partner to keep them safely locked away from any unauthorized children or adults. Also, one should be careful not to leave loaded firearms in a vehicle shared by multiple adults, especially if not all of those adults have concealed carry permits. It would be quite unfortunate for the one without a permit to be caught off guard by a loaded gun in the car.
2. Law Enforcement
During a traffic stop or any other investigative engagement by a Law Enforcement Officer, a CCH permitte should inform that officer first that he or she has a permit. Then, with hands completely visible, the same should inform the LEO if the handgun is currently on their person.
3. Play Buddy Parents
As a mother and a friend to other mothers, I consider it a common courtesy to inform parents that I have handguns in my home when babysitting or having small children at the house. This does not necessarily require their knowledge of concealed carry, rather the presence of handguns in general.
When visiting a home where little children dwell for any lengthy amount of time, I may also share this information for the same reasons. It's a courtesty to those families who may choose not to have firearms in their homes. I respect their right to that opinion and/or decision.
Again, while this is not a requirement, I do consider it to be a courtesy. It allows me the opportunity to answer any questions those parents may have. Honestly, it's information I would like to know if my children are spending significant time at someone's home as well. I want to ensure the handguns are sufficiently stored and locked away in a home they are visiting, so I respect that others may wish the same.
NOTE: Some states require (not NC), by law, that CCW/CCH permit holders have a duty to inform a home owner if carrying in their place of residence. (Reference: http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/concealed-carry-in-someones-home/)
4. Children, depending on age
Children have an amazing way of uncovering our secrets. For this reason, I suggest that children (depending on age and maturity) may need to know that one or both of their parents carry concealed. Of course, children also need to understand this information should not be shared, except in the case of an emergency, with others. This is a very personal decision and one that should be made at one's personal discretion.
That's it. Concealed carry is meant to be a secret. It is, after all, CONCEALED. It's a "secret" line of defense that should be exposed only in extreme circumstances, outside of the audiences listed herein. As for any other circumstance... don't ask, don't tell!