Preparing For Your Next CCW Class
Good news – you're on your way to becoming a concealed carrier. Whether you're in a constitutional carry state or one that requires mandatory training, you should and need to take a concealed carry class. As I discussed in a previous article, military and law enforcement training is trade-specific. Concealed carry, as a civilian, is a whole new animal and should be approached as such.
In this article, we'll discuss several ways to prepare for your concealed carry handgun class.
Concealed Carry Instructor Check-list – Follow It
Usually, when you sign up for a concealed carry handgun course, the instructor will publish a list of materials you'll need to bring along. Some will ask you leave your handgun at home until the live-fire portion of the course – others will encourage you to bring in all your gear.
Whatever the instructor writes down on the list – bring that. If he says you won't be needing ammo, don't bring ammo.
A course syllabus will give you a break-down of dates, times, locations, and subjects to be covered. Do yourself a favor and read up on the syllabus prior to Day 1.
Tips: Check the syllabus and check for an equipment list. When in doubt, ask the instructor for clarification.
The Boring Part Is Probably The Important Part
If you've never shot a handgun before in your life, you're probably itching to get to the live-fire portion. A large part of any state-mandated concealed carry handgun course is going to be classroom environment and non-live-fire drills. That's because the instructor is responsible for signing off on your understanding of proper procedure and legal compliance before a live bullet ever travels down the barrel.
And this is the part where a lot of concealed carriers want to doze off. Who can blame them? It's dry and boring – for the most part. But it's also some of the most important material you'll need to stay within the confines of the law and be safe.
Tips: Pay attention to the classroom portion. That knowledge might save your life.
No Extra Points Awarded For Showing Off
Note that concealed carry isn't about impressing anyone. Actually, the point of carrying concealed is to give no one an inkling of a notion that you're carrying a gun. So, during the course, it's really not important whatever life skills you've learned about firearms. The other people in the course are there because either a.) they want to learn b.) they're required to take the course or c.) both. Help out your fellow man and keep the bravado and story-telling to a minimum.
Tips: Save your ego for the range.
Training Is A Life-Long Goal
Training never stops. Outside of the classroom, practice what you've learned. Practice situational awareness, observing your surroundings, working through theoreticals (“if I'm going to have a beer, where should I lock up my concealed carry handgun?”), etc.
It's also good to go one step beyond what you learned in the classroom and find appropriate gear. A good IWB concealed carry holster with a high-retention plastic shell can do a lot to keep you riding confident with your soon-to-be legally concealed pistol.
Tips: Practice what's taught in the classroom. Get good daily gear like an IWB holster.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.