Gun Digest

Concealed Carry Tips: Toss the Decoy Wallet

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Here’s a way you may be able to avoid having to use your handgun in self-defense, thanks to a simple trick that costs less than $30.

If you carry a legally concealed handgun for protection an old trick might become a last-chance tactical option. That trick is the decoy wallet.

Back in the ‘70s, in crime ravaged cities where executives and street hoods worked cheek by jowl, some executives who couldn’t carry guns for protection carried a second wallet for deception.

When confronted by a mugger they simply reached into their off-side hip pocket, tossed what appeared to be their wallet and ran like hell in the other direction (undercover cops used the same trick if they got bounced on a stakeout and didn’t want to get made.

It’s an option for the concealed carry permit holder smart enough to know that throwing thirty bucks worth of fake wallet at a street thug may be a lot cheaper than throwing a hundred grand at a good defense lawyer.

I know … I know … I’m going to get lots of colorful invective like, “This is cowardice!” or “We need to take back our streets!” and “If somebody threatens to hurt me they should get shot!”

Really? Do you understand that even if you are in the right you may still be criminally charged? Are you aware that if you are not criminally charged and you own property, you may be subject to civil action by the dead thug’s grieving widow and children (who will get polished up by their lawyer and placed in the front row of the court room just opposite the jury box).

And if you must use lethal force and start out behind the action curve, (you are already at the mercy of his weapon) tossing a decoy wallet, or even your real one at the feet of the armed assailant may take his eyes off your gun hand just long enough to even the odds.

No “trick” is ever foolproof nor should be depended upon to overcome lack of situational awareness or training in the fundamentals. But the decoy wallet has worked in the past — and might just give you that crazy little edge that saves the day.

Editor’s Note: Got a question for Joseph Terry about concealed carry not covered here? Log in and post your question in the comments below.

Recommended resources for concealed carry:

The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, 2nd Edition

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery

Armed: The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry

Find more resources at


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