Concealed Carry and Training

Many jurisdictions require a minimum level of training and qualification in order to issue a concealed carry permit. Many do not. California requires eight hours of training which includes passing a fifteen round qualification shoot at the range. There are many good arguments for and against a mandatory training requirement. Where there is little argument is that those who wish to carry a firearm in public should be competent and train regularly to remain so.

I tend to be conflicted when it comes to mandatory training requirements. On the one hand it’s good to require a minimal amount of training to ensure that carriers are at least familiar with use of force laws and other legal restrictions. Shooting qualifications can be useful to establish safe gun handling and a minimal level of shooting competence.

On the other hand, an eight hour course is likely to cost several hundred dollars. This cost can be prohibitive to some, especially when combined with processing fees, ammunition costs, equipment costs, etc. Some individuals can be costed out of their basic right to self-defense.

Regular training is essential to safely carrying and ensuring adequate skills to prevail in a self defense incident. Monthly trips to the range are about the minimum necessary to maintain proficiency, more would be better. While range practice is good, it needs to be supplemented from time to time with classes from qualified instructors. Practicing bad habits at the range isn’t helping and is probably holding you back. Take a class with an instructor and practice what you learn in class when you go to the range.

An important subject covered in most classes concerns dealing with malfunctions. If your gun malfunctions you should be able to quickly clear the malfunction. This video shows an example of what it looks like when someone doesn’t have that skill.

Another important skill is developing good draw to first shot speed. John Correia of Active Self Protection (ASP) recommends a goal of 1.5 seconds from draw to first shot. Once you learn proper technique from a qualified instructor, this is something that can easily be practiced at home with an unloaded firearm. Practice with various carry configurations (holsters and clothing) that you normally use.

When your technique is solid, transition to practicing at the range. Accuracy is the primary goal. Once you can draw and consistently put rounds on center mass, work on speed. It does no good to have 1.25 second speed with no hits.

Firearms skills are important but there is much more that the concealed carrier needs to know. I like to tell my students that the gun is the easy part. Knowing how to avoid situations and when you can and can’t use deadly force is just as important.

A responsibly armed citizen takes the time to learn about predators and how they work. How to avoid being selected as a victim. How to stay alert and aware when in public (the color codes). When is deadly force justified and when is it not (opportunity, ability, jeopardy)? What about non-lethal options?

Remember that the mission of the armed citizen is different from that of law enforcement officers (LEO). The mission of the armed citizen is to avoid criminals while LEO’s are obligated to confront criminals. Different missions different rules.  Be sure you know the rules!

Train regularly! Take classes, train on your own, read books and articles, get involved. Competitive shooting (USPSA or IDPA) is a great way to have fun while developing skills. Take a four or five day course once or twice a year. The Lance Reeter Charity Course is a great way to break into this. At $250 for four days of professional instruction you won’t find a better deal anywhere and you’ll be raising money for a great charity as well. Embrace the lifestyle!

The right to self-defense is a basic human right. Gun ownership is an integral part of that right. If you want to keep your rights defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) in San Diego, Orange County Gun Owners (OCGO) in Orange County, San Bernardino County Gun Owners (SBCGO) in San Bernardino County or Riverside County Gun Owners (RCGO) in Riverside. Support the cause by listening to Gun Owners Radio live on Sunday afternoon or on the internet at your leisure. Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.


©2021 Joseph T Drammissi

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