Recently we made some internal changes here at J&P Cycles, and as a result, some of our job responsibilities got shuffled around. I used to handle a lot of the hard parts that you would find in the J&P catalog — things like handlebars, foot controls, suspensions and such. But with the new changes, I was asked to start handling the clothing end of our business. In a past life I used to oversee a clothing line, so I’m no stranger to this particular segment of our industry. Sure, the names are different, but the basis of the business remains the same.

One of the first things I wanted to do was go through all the different brands we carry and become familiar with the functions and features each brand has to offer. We carry a ton of different clothing items here at J&P, so this task took some time.

One thing I kept running across was the conceal carry holsters that accessorize many of the motorcycle jackets and vests that we carry. This has been a hot topic over the past few years, what with a number of states here in the U.S. making it easier for citizens to conceal carry. Like it or not, there are a lot of average Joes (and Josephines) out there packing heat. And I find it interesting that many of the leather clothing manufacturers have been quick to accommodate these folks’ needs concerning carrying their licensed firearms. They’re not a bit shy about using the new laws as a marketing tool to sell this specialized clothing.

There are even some companies out there marketing non-leather clothing items that can accommodate a firearm. The Packin Tee, for instance, appears to be a standard T-shirt, but it can conceal a firearm and a spare magazine. That’s no easy task.

Personally, I’m a firm believer in the right to carry if you so choose. I’ve been the victim of a crime in the past and have had someone else’s firearm pushed against my forehead for a 45-minute ordeal that I will never forget. That feeling of complete and utter helplessness is something I can’t begin to describe. As a result, I’m a big fan of the Second Amendment and the right to carry protection for yourself and your family. That being said, in my opinion, the whole basis about being free is having the right to choose. To me, that is the definition of freedom.

Carrying a concealed weapon on your person, however, is a very serious decision. The laws concerning this issue are pretty stiff, and if you do decide to carry, you’d better be well versed on the gun laws in your state . And for goodness sakes, if you’re planning to drink alcohol at any point during your day, leave your firearms at home. But if you have your endorsement and you’ve weighed all the options, the decision is yours and yours alone. And whatever it is you decide, stay safe out there!