All around the country, concealed carry permits are at the center of attention. How, when, and where to get one, if you can get one at all, is being debated. On top of that, depending on where you live, training is required in many states in order for you to obtain that permit.
What is to be expected when you attend a concealed carry permit class? While it varies from state to state, there are some general expectations that will likely prove realistic. Below is a basic overview of a concealed carry class recently audited in the state of Mississippi.
1. Gun safety is covered at length and from all angles. The safe loading and unloading of firearms is discussed, as is storage and accessibility. Cardinal rules for the safe handling of a loaded weapon are covered in detail, those being:
- Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
- Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
All three of these cardinal rules are significant. By treating all weapons as if they are loaded, you reduce the risk of accidental discharge. By keeping your finger off the trigger, you also reduce that risk, especially if you were to slip and fall while holding your firearm. Being sure of your target and what is beyond it keeps innocent bystanders from being harmed unintentionally. These are all very important rules which we should live by, and the instructor made sure to drill that point home.
Photo: FN Forum
2. The letter of the law is something that people sometimes misinterpret, but in a concealed carry class you will likely get some good information on the laws in your state. This includes where you can and cannot carry (places of nuisance or where alcohol is served, for example). Also touched on are scenarios in which it would be reasonable to use a firearm, such as in cases where ability, intent, and opportunity are present. This truly is a case of 'and' rather than 'or' as without the presence of all three, discharging your firearm could make you the bad guy and have you sent off to do time in a bad place. When in doubt, remember:
- Ability is being able or having the power to seriously harm or kill you.
- Opportunity is having the means to do so, such as the necessary tools or weapons.
- Intent is a clear want or desire to harm or kill you, which is often verbally conveyed or demonstrated through forceful actions.
3. How to shoot, even if you've shot many times, will be discussed in your class as well. Remember that even if you are a skilled shooter, the person next to you might not be, but you're all in the same class to learn regardless. Things like sight picture, trigger squeeze, and grip will be discussed, and a practical shooting experience on the range may occur. How to practice at home conducting drills with an unloaded weapon will be shared as will details on grip. Expect to shoot with both hands as well as each individual hand and learn the value to keeping your spare hand close to the body in addition to the importance of scanning for threats between rounds of fire. Don't be surprised if your instructor asks you to take headshots as well, since it is possible that your assailant may not go down with a body shot if that person is outfitted with body armor.
Photo: Biz Journals
These three areas of a concealed carry class are far from being all there is to it. Much more information was relayed, some of which is state specific. If you are interested in taking a concealed carry class, contact the Department of Public Safety or branch of State Police in your area. If they cannot help, they should be able to direct you toward locating a qualified instructor.
Concealed carry classes may not be cheap, but what they are is priceless. The tactics and techniques you learn in that class are not just a means to get a permit, but are also a means of saving your life. Show up rested and pay attention, for the information you receive in that class can go on to make a difference in your life beyond getting to stick another piece of plastic in your wallet.