Suggested answers when you are asked by a civilian if you are carrying a concealed firearm

Valid Illinois firearms ID card and valid CCL.
I was recently asked by a civilian (not LE) if I carried a firearm.
My response was, “I do not discuss that topic - I have my own personal stance that I’m uncomfortable sharing whether we agree or not.”
I was not rude, impolite or condescending - just brief.
The civilian pressed again with the same question, albeit it little more elaborate, but I responded the same.
I do not know any attorneys to pursue an answer so I turn to USCCA and brethern.

Thank you for any responses.


Welcome to the group @Lucky13!
Do you mind if I ask the context where you were asked?

My response depends a lot on the situation.

There can be a lot of reasons they might ask (some of them my fault because my concealment failed in some way). If its in a posted no gun location (signs have no force of law in MO, but they can ask you to leave, and that’s legal) I am probably going to answer, leave my shopping cart or whatever, ask to speak with the manager, and then explain why I won’t be doing business with them ever again (politely, and making clear that since they are not providing for my security, and they don’t want me to, I will take my money to someone who understands that the right to self protection is an American Constitutional Thing.)

Sometimes its a friend or acquaintance that has genuine questions, fears, concerns… that’s a teachable moment and I’ll have that conversation every day all day.

Sometimes it’s pure curiosity, and then I have to evaluate if this is a discussion I want to have with that person. I teach firearms and CC so I’m open to conversation with random strangers… they may become students, and occasionally I do have that conversation, along with giving them my card. This may happen at places like the gas pump (truck has a couple stickers that might be understood) or restaurants or shops.

If its someone who’s nervous about it in a non-posted location (say, grocery store) and I’ve been “spotted” I will say something like “Yes ma’am, I do carry, for your protection as well as my own.”

If I’m not in for the conversation, I may say “I think its best not to discuss personal subjects like firearms and politics with people I don’t know.” and pointedly change the subject “How 'bout them Cardinals?” or “Odd weather we’re having isn’t it?” If they are rude and aggressive, and I’m cornered for some reason and can’t just exit with a “have a nice day”, my very last resort is to ask “is there some reason you want to discuss personal topics that are not your business?” and then we can talk about why they want to be in my business, but I won’t be discussing firearms. I have once or twice had that rude confrontation turn into a teachable moment, but it takes time and they’re not usually interested in actual discussion, so its pretty darn rare.

Hope that helps!


NOPE. It’s your personal information and you do not have to share it with private person.

(just short answer… some addition to @Zee’s post) :wink:


thanks @Jerzy I missed that Very Important Point! :smiley:


Thank you Zee
for your response.

Your last couple of sentences have been very helpful, this was the
first time I’ve ever been asked ‘THE’ question.

Needless to say, since this was the first time, I was caught off guard
and after my response, excused myself.

No body English scowl response from me, just said take care and left.

The environment was in my apartment building lobby - the individual was an adult resident that I happen to casually know - just us, no one else present.

There are no restrictions in the building by-laws preventing firearm ownership in the residence; as a matter of fact, there are a few hunters that live here with
their long guns.

I didn’t wish to be blindsided with an obscure state or federal statute
that requires an identification response from me (other than from an identified LE) when asked that question.

I should have remembered the discussions in my CCW classes to respond with, “Yes
I do carry, for your protection as well as my own.”

thank you for
your response! Most, MOST helpful!




Thank you Jerzy. Appreciated !



I am not aware of any state or federal laws that require telling anyone, other than law enforcement, if you are carrying when asked. I know that is true under Kentucky and federal law. I cannot answer with any authority with respect to other states laws.
I agree with @Zee with respect how to answer. It’s that or Who TF wants to know?


I agree with @Zee. The situation will dictate how I answer. But I’ll share my funny one. Got the eye roll with a head shake from the wife.

I was approached by a store employee and they started up one of those we are best friends kinda conversations even tho we’ve never met. Eventually they asked what I was carrying. I was sarcastic and grabbed my phone and showed them. They then asked specifically what gun I was carrying. I responded by asking them boxer or briefs? Maybe tighty whitey they got annoyed and said it was none of my business. I responded with a smile saying funny how that works and I walked away and walked right into the I need to work on my people skills talk from my wife.


@Sheepdog556 I will tell you that thought goes through my head most times :joy:
… and a lot of fairly rude overly personal subjects are possible… and then I suck it up and do the right thing :wink:

ETA I think non-carry people, new carry people, and people without a lot of carry training may not realize they’re asking something private so I try to allow for that possibility.


@Zee Embarrassing situation. Awhile back I took my wife out to eat at a New Chinese restaurant. My wife bumped into my carry side and started asking me loudly why I was carrying a gun…She knew I had a CCW. She just didn’t understand the habit. Once she calmed down, I explained without drawing attention to the situation that I was always prepared to defend her and myself if harm arose. I had been carrying concealed around her continuously for years and she hadn’t noticed. Like going outside without clothes on.


@Jeff-A1 I hear ya. When I was first dating my hubby I was good with guns, had them but wasn’t really a CC kinda gal. Took me a couple months before I was really ok with his 24/7 need to be armed, and a bit longer to really understand it.

I’m all better now :wink:


I’ve never been asked, but my response would be simple; “none of your damn business.”


@Lucky13 Tu parles Francais


I think I would be more concerned about the criminal implications, in this case. He was asked in the lobby of his Apt. Complex. Potentially as a way for some to gain knowledge of

  1. Does he have a gun we need to know about, before we beak into his Apartment?
  2. Hey this guy carries let’s break into his Apartment.

I know I am cynical but having that question asked in the lobby of where I live, and no else around. Unless, you had an epic fail on CC, that’s way to personal a question for my comfort?

My response would be something along the lines of "what a curious question, have you met my 4 K-9 trained guard dogs?


I was only asked once. Of course, I was wearing my USCCA shirt that says “Responsibly Armed Citizen” on the back. It was someone I know m so I answered honestly. Their response was, “Good Man :slightly_smiling_face:”. Otherwise, my answer is “if I am, it is legal to do so.” Now, I had a very liberal relative notice what she thought was an insulin pump on my side at a funeral. She asked “since when did I have diabetes?” I don’t. The strange look I got prompted me to say “ I posted a meme saying I carry a gun most of the time. Today is most of the time.” Her very anti-gun, brother-in-law got a very scared look, and scurried away quickly. It was quite satisfying, since he was at my grandmothers funeral wearing a 3 inch political button on his jacket.


Uniquement via le traducteur Google.


@Sheepdog556 I’m just the person who won’t answer people. I will look straight through people and never say anything to anyone. I feel if I don’t want to answer someone I don’t owe anything to anyone. No harm, just don’t answer people. There’s no law saying I have to they don’t know me, I don’t know them. They don’t owe me anything I don’t owe strangers anything. I just look through people if I don’t want to deal with them.


@Zavier_D yep, its a legit concern… that’s part of why I have different options for different circumstances.

I think this is an AWESOME response :smiley:


I dont think you need any help with your people skills. You sound a lot like me and I am people and I have some skills.


Depends on state laws but where I live if entering someone elses home then they have to be told that you are carrying. It’s up to them if you can or not. No signage is required on private residences.