Considerations for Concealed Carry at the Doctor’s Office

doctor appointment concealed carry

Most of us don't go to a doctor's office with great frequency and may not consider changing our concealed carry method or not carrying at all based on that environment. Lets dive into this in more detail.

The Doctor's Office is Private Property

Unless your doctor's office is for some reason located in a school or other government building you could probably assume that the office is private property. In most states the law allows that private property owners, like a Doctor's office, can restrict or prohibit firearms if they chose. However, I've never seen or heard of a doctor or dentist or chiropractor that restricted firearms. Check for signs at the entrance and be sure to read the disclaimers and other agreements you may have to sign at the office.

Doctor's Feel Around

Depending on why you are visiting the doctor, you may assume that the doctor is going to be feeling around. The last time I went to the doctor for a sinus infection she lifted up my back shirt to place the stethoscope on my back to listen to my breathing. If I had been carrying concealed in my normal holster she would have seen it and perhaps even brushed it with her hand.

The Doctor's Office is Open to Public and Poorly Secured

I've never visited a Doctor's office that had any remote physical security. I don't see security cameras, secured or badge entry, security personnel, etc. In addition some doctor offices may have medicine on site that criminals may feel has good street value. Other risks could include something as simple as a disgruntled patient. Either way it doesn't sound like a good idea to leave my firearm in the car and go into the doctor's office completely unprepared.

Alternatives Means of Protection

I don't generally carry “off-body” but at the doctor's office that is my general action plan. I use the Covrt 18 5.11 backpack and place my firearm in it when I go into the doctor's office. This keeps my firearm in relative reach while allowing the doctor to do any poking around necessary without putting the doctor into a panic attack upon discovering my gun.

Other people I know choose to carry a small gun in their front pant pocket. Whenever carrying a gun in a pocket, you need to use a pocket holster, so keep that in mind. A small pocket pistol in a holster won't even look like a gun, and could pass off as something else.

I also think it would be appropriate to consider additional and/or alternative defense tools like a good pocket knife or tactical pen.

The doctor's office has it's own unique challenges. Think and plan ahead and you will be prepared for any situation. What is your preferred method of carrying at the doctor's office? Let us know below, and make sure you sign up for our FREE Concealed Carry Newsletter to stay up to date on breaking firearms news, Justified Shooter stories, and other gun-related goodies.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.

17 Comments

  1. gordon on March 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I once went to my (female) doctor’s office for an exam and was carrying my micro Mexican style. But I somehow forgot I had it on. As she started to examine my torso I remembered and told her I was carrying. She kept at the exam, saying lightheartedly, “so what are you going to do, shoot me?”
    Another time I went in for a nurse visit, a blood pressure check, carrying and thinking that it would go undetected. Well, the young nurse asked me to take my sweater off as she was not getting a good bp reading. I told her not to freak out as I had a weapon in my belt. She was unfazed and, to my amazement, just smiled and remarked that she too had a gun permit. No problem.

  2. danny on October 5, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    My ortho doctor alow,s you to carry your gun in his office,he also has a conceled carry licence. he said he would feel a lot safer if everyone in his office had a gun.I have a little 25 cal I put in my pocket when I go to my other doctor never unarmed.

  3. Richard W Babin MD on May 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I am an MD and carry all the time: when in someone else’s office I carry a Walther 22 front pocket

  4. Basil Foster on May 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Both my primary care physician and my dentist have posted the requisite 30.06 and 30.07 signs prohibiting carry. Interestingly, neither had a sign until open carry became legal. My guess is the sign maker saw an opportunity to sell two signs, when all the doctors wanted was to prevent open carry.
    Now I am looking for a new doctor and dentist.

  5. John on May 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I’m a physician in Texas and support any of my patients that wish to carry open or concealed in my office. I’d prefer concealed and have told them this do but support their right to open carry should they so desire.

  6. Jim on May 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I use a conceal carry fanny pack with all the “essentials” I’ll need. Glock 19, spare mag, licenses, and a cell. I have never mentioned what is in the pack and they have never asked.

  7. Rick the Bear on May 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    The restriction is common in MA and I’ve seen it twice in NH. That’s where I go off-body and never let it out my sight.

  8. Doug on May 20, 2017 at 9:57 am

    In some states hospitals are listed as prohibited spaces as well as daycares, so if your doctors office is attached to the hospital, that law may apply and some hospitals have inhouse daycares for employees or patients. Know your laws and ask your lawyer (if you carry you better have one) how they apply in your given scenario. Just like with churches that have daycares or schools attached, many states laws have specific requirements related to concealed carry, know them or don’t carry.

    • Richard on September 23, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      The VA clinic in my city has no firearms allowed. It’s a government building, but should I be worried about them checking any bag I bring in? I have an OWB ccw. Completely concealed. No one would ever know unless they’re familiar with that type of holster. BTW what’s the point of the no concealed weapons sign? If you’re good at it they’ll never know. Do these places make it a habit of frisking people who walk into their business?

      • William Hall on June 19, 2021 at 7:28 am

        Richard this is simple. Law indicates you cannot wear a weapon in a government building. Wear at your peril. You risk not only losing your CCW but could end up in jail.It only takes one small mistake.

  9. Jayson on October 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Too funny! This just happened to me the other day.

    I don’t usually go to doctors as I’m not sick often. However with a new job and new insurances I am establishing myself as a new patient.
    With the hussle of life that particular day I started my day as I do every other – with usual EDC.
    In my mind I was just bringing him my history documents and never had the thought he would do a usual assment while I was in front of him.

    To my ignorant surprise he asked my to take off my shirt to look at my skin. It was then my heart speed up and I drew a blank! I shuddered a moment and with lose for words stumbled to explain to him that I couldn’t. He looked at me and was like what’s up? I then said I have something under my shirt that should have left in the car. The doctor was slightly perplexed as to what I was saying. So I just came out and said to him… i have my concealed handgun on my waist.
    To my huge relief he said…. oh I don’t care just take your shirt off so I can see your back.
    I apologized to him and we went on lime it was never there.
    Needless to say I’m sure I will never make an appointment in the future without thinking about carry options prior to being in front of a provider.

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 24, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Thanks for sharing!

  10. Skeptical on January 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Been carrying to my doctors office(private) for years, and he’s seen it ever time during examination. Today I went in his secretary said no firearms or knives are the new policy. I told her I want to speak to the doc about it first since I asked him for permission years ago. Plus she made a comment several months back about how the doc doesn’t like guns, and yet he has said different to me. I know she BS’s for sure since then.

    He says it has to do with something with the medical board or the feds or something like that. He said if they were to find out a patient brought in a firearm he’d lose his license. He thinks something happened in another office and that has changed everything… I can’t find any info on a new law or policy that went into effect Jan. 1st. You got anything??

  11. Shawn on February 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I worked for a doctor for 12 years carried my .38 tucked into my scrubs never told anyone because I’m sure I would have been fired even though I have a concealed carry permit. Never needed it but you know the saying……….

  12. Alex Martin on June 2, 2022 at 11:08 am

    My Dr’s. Office has a sign inside no weapons asper Fl 790.06(12)
    Any place of nuisance as defined in Section 823.05, F.S.
    Any police, sheriff or highway patrol station
    Any detention facility, prison or jail
    Any courthouse
    Any courtroom
    Any polling place
    Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or special district
    Any meeting of the Legislature or a legislative committee
    Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms
    Any school administration building
    Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption
    Any elementary or secondary school facility
    Any area technical center
    Any college or university facility
    Inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport
    Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law
    I don’t see where Dr’s office falls in

  13. Mark on May 7, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    A Provider’s office is private property, either owned by the Provider or a business entity. That entity can limit open or concealed carry by staff or patients in the form of policy and by posting notice. If concealed, that Provider may or may not know you are armed. If not concealed, they almost certainly will know. Private property owners or employers have the right to limit concealed or open carry into or onto that property.

    Allowing employees, who are on duty, or patients to be armed certainly increases the business’s liability position and is a risk management issue. As a 40 year provider and healthcare employee, I would not want to assume the liability for allowing or encouraging staff or patients to be armed. As an employee, I agreed to the terms of my employment. One of those terms is that my weapon is secured in my vehicle while I am on duty. The likelihood that a weapon in that environment would harm someone far exceeds the likelihood that a weapon would save someone.

    As a concealed carry holder, the last thing I would do is to inform people that I conceal carry.

    • Ronald Gorham on December 13, 2023 at 3:48 pm

      How can you say it is more likely to harm than save someone? Unless you are careless and untrained I would say the good far outweighs any chance that someone would be negligently harmed. And the practice stands to lose patients that don’t want their personal rights to self defense taken away.

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