I started carrying a PDW everywhere I went in mid-2012. I received my first NFA stamp in January 2013, and have carried an SBR or PDW since.

I’ve used a few different bags, but they all shared something: they were “common” bags that were designed to carry something other than a firearm.

I stayed away from bags that were “covert” gun bags by design, or tactical bags with MOLLE, etc. I also avoided any bag in typical military colors.

My SBR / PDWs have gone all sorts of place with me, including some environments that I thought would incur greater scrutiny. I gave presentations to vice presidents at the corporate headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. Midnight movie premieres at theaters known for checking bags. Retail stores at the height of shopping season. Hospitals. Weddings. Concerts. Fancy restaurants. Tactical conferences held at police training facilities.

As the blog expanded, so did the demographic of our readers and where they lived.

I began to wonder how much of my “success” was due to how I look, where I live, my job, and the company I keep.

I’m of mixed heritage (half white, half Puerto Rican), but I look white, and I sound white when I want. I also have a wife with two kids, so it may not be too out of place for a grown man to carry a sling bag in a shopping mall. I work in the tech industry and it is common for people in my field to carry messenger bags, laptop bags, backpacks, etc around — especially in downtown Minneapolis.

I often get SBR/PDW EDC questions from readers who are non-white, live in highly urbanized areas, and are under more scrutiny on a daily basis. When I reply, I wonder if they will experience more problems and bag checks than I would due to how I look and sound.

So, I need your help.

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