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Concealed Carry, Isolation, And You

New to concealed carry or want to start and don't know what to do because you're sheltering in place/quarantined/under order of isolation? That's okay, we have some tips, tricks, and things to know.

Technically, we're being isolated, not quarantined. A "quarantine" is when only people who are or might be sick are separated from everyone else; it's "isolation" when it applies to everyone. But so much for semantics.

However, you also need to be very aware of gun safety. You also need to be aware of your state and local laws regarding guns, carrying them and so on.

With that said, the total newbie might be at a loss as to what the heck to do during these times. It's all a bit confusing, and the sudden realization of how vulnerable modern societies are to pandemics is kind of scary. Let's go over a few things you should know.

Getting Your Concealed Carry Permit And If You Need One

concealed carry permit

Okay, so first things first: your concealed carry permit. If you're a complete newbie to concealed carry, you might have heard a few conflicting things about permits.

Top tip: don't believe everything you read in the comments sections on the internet. Believe what you read from your state and city regarding lawful concealed carry. Listening to cranks in the comments section might land you in jail; listening to what your city and state say the law is will generally not.

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE LAW. Yes, it's cheesy to write in all caps (boomer alert!) but please, please, please learn what the law is in your state and city.

There are 16 states - AK, AR, AZ, ID, KS, KY, ME, MI, MS, ND, NH, OK, SD, VT, WV and WY - that have "constitutional carry." The short version of how that works is any person who can legally possess a gun can carry it without needing a permit.

If you don't live in one of those states, concealed carry out in public requires a permit.

Herein layeth the rub: how the heck are you supposed to GET a permit when the state government isn't completely open, and the police say that permits is either low or no priority?!

Chances are you won't be getting one, unless you can apply by mail through a state agency that IS taking and processing applications.

But what are you supposed to do in the meantime?

You can open carry in more than 30 states without needing a permit. Yes, you'll probably get some looks. It's also a good idea to obtain a active retention holster for open carrying in public.

However, it is also the case - in almost all 50 states - that you don't need a permit to have and conceal a pistol on your person IF you are in your residence or fixed place of business or engaged in lawful outdoor activities. You CAN conceal and carry in and about your home without needing a permit. Once you cross into public property, you need a permit.

So, you need to get a permit to conceal and carry in public unless you happen to live in a constitutional carry state or are only carrying at work or in your home.

I've Heard I Need Concealed Carry Training. How Do I Do That During Isolation?

concealed carry training

Concealed carry training is very important, including both basic training for firearm safety, basic marksmanship and of course the legal and ethical education about armed self-defense.

Such courses are the best starting point for most people, because you learn some of the basics and can build from there, especially when it comes to basic gun handling and marksmanship skills. While you can learn a lot on your own, there's no substitute for quality instruction from a qualified instructor.

To start with, read what you can, especially when it comes to the legal and ethical side of armed self defense. There are some great books on the topic that are excellent starting points. Examples include "In The Gravest Extreme" and "Deadly Force" by Massad Ayoob, as well as "The Law Of Self-Defense" by Andrew Branca, Esq.

If you ever have to use deadly force in self-defense, you WILL be questioned about it. There WILL be an investigation and if it doesn't look like anything other than a perfect claim of self-defense unde the letter and spirit of the law in your state regarding use of force in self-defense, you may be arrested and charged. Do not, for one second, believe that a castle doctrine law excuses all use of force in your home.

As far as marksmanship and concealed carry techniques, here you also want to do all the reading you can. Also, hit up YouTube to get some visual demonstration to hopefully get you started.

If you've never taken any handgun instruction before, it cannot be underemphasized how important grip and trigger manipulation are. Until you can get to a range and do some actual shooting, you want to get started on dry fire to get started on those basic skills.

You can teach yourself a lot. Anyone can, which is something that YouTube and similar content channels are an excellent tool for. However, it works best if you already have a grasp of some fundamentals. Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect, and if you don't know how to practice perfect...you can learn bad habits.

So while reading and YouTube can get you started, it's a good idea to get yourself into a training class after this period of isolation ends.

Concealed Carry And Gun Safety

concealed carry

So, a few quick words on concealed carry and gun safety.

Again, this is for the newbies that have joined the ranks of armed Americans, taking charge of their own personal defense. The thought has finally dawned on some people, after all, what some of us have been on about for years.

When seconds count, police are minutes away and so on and so forth.

But know this:

Regardless of the supposed goodwill of some of their intentions, there are some people that want ALL Americans and indeed all people disarmed. Many claim it is under the guise of "public safety," and wanting fewer people to die from gun violence and accidents and so on. Some of them even mean it sincerely, however misguided they may be.

Most people who (legally) own a firearm are responsible people. However, some of them act irresponsibly and put others in jeopardy. Accidental/negligent discharges occur. Sometimes, the consequences are just a hole in the floor. Sometimes, the consequences are much, much worse.

Every time one of us does something irresponsible, causing an accident, it makes the rest of us look bad. It gives those who oppose our Second Amendment rights ammunition in their misguided cause. When one of us acts maliciously, it paints us as bloodthirsty gun nuts itching to shoot somebody. That gives them ammunition in their misguided cause.

It is up to every single one of us to act the part as responsible gun owners. Each of us must practice sensible, safe and responsible handling and ownership.

So here are a few tips that will help.

First, know the four laws of gun safety, and act accordingly. Treat every gun as if it's loaded. Always point guns in a safe direction. Never touch the trigger unless you're ready to shoot. Be aware of your target and what's around it.

Second, loaded guns must be secured. Loaded handguns must be holstered on your person or secured in a locked storage device of some kind. You should have a safe. If not a safe, a lockbox that's kept out of the reach of tiny, inquisitive hands, with the keys under your control.

Third, if you're keeping a gun for personal protection, make sure that you get some ammunition that is made for the purpose. Expanding ammunition for rifles and pistols, and buckshot or slugs for a shotgun. Ideally, you'll have tested your self-defense load for function at a range, but with things the way they are...maybe you won't have had time, which is understandable.

Fourth, if you intend to carry a gun, especially a handgun, it MUST be holstered when carrying it. Putting it in a pocket is NOT sufficient. Get a holster. You can even do with a universal holster if it's made correctly.

This isn't to say you should be terrified of your own gun at all times. This is instead to say that along with owning the gun should be a healthy respect for the destructive potential it has if misused, and that you should act accordingly.

About The Author

Writer sam hoober