Many people have preconceptions of concealed weapon permit classes. One common preconception is that concealed weapon permit classes are only for firearm owners and enthusiasts. This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you have never actually attended this type of course, it can be difficult to accurately judge its value in a society where misconceptions exist of what a concealed firearm permit course actually teaches. I’d make the case that everyone, whether you are familiar with firearms or not, should take the time to sit through one of these courses. I’d go so far as to say the class should be taught in our schools and communities to everyone. Whether you own a firearm or not, whether you intend on carrying a firearm or not, attending a concealed firearm course will help you understand what firearms are–and what they are not. It will help you learn the basics of firearm safety and be able to treat and handle a firearm safely should the need arise.
I’ve taught the course to several people who had no intention of carrying a firearm. But those students wanted to be able to know how to safely handle a firearm should they be placed in a situation where proper firearm handling was necessary. In a few cases I’ve taught the class to some that were against concealed carry altogether, but wanted to gain a better understanding from those that do carry a firearm everyday. Once you take a course, you will then know valuable information and build an understanding of basic firearm safety, handling, and equipment. These courses are beneficial to everyone, whether they are familiar with firearms or not. In fact, it’s important for every citizen to understand their rights concerning concealed weapons, whether or not they ever plan on owning one. Chances are, they will hear about a situation involving a concealed weapon (or be in one).
Knowledge is power. On that note, one of the best parts of these courses is the access to a knowledgeable and experienced instructor who is excited to teach and answer any questions the students have. Participants should take advantage of this breadth of knowledge! Permit courses are primarily designed to teach the laws that govern concealed carry in the regions where they are valid. The laws vary from region to region, and state to state, so not every course will be the same. You can gain valuable knowledge of which laws govern your locale and will affect you if you ever need to protect yourself or loved ones. You may also learn surprising statistics about firearms, real life case studies and situations, and how to structure your decision making processes in defense situations. Perhaps more importantly, you can gain insight into the mindset of law abiding citizens who do decide to carry a firearm and why it is important to do so.
Above all, permit courses seek to build understanding about firearms and safety. Fear of the unknown can be very powerful, but when you seek to understand something, it can often become less intimidating. No matter what your stance on using or owning firearms may be, learning more about their safe use and true capabilities through a course is empowering. Taking the course does not mean that you have to apply for the permit, and applying for the permit does not mean that you have to carry a firearm if you choose not to. Instead, you can use the course to increase your understanding of personal safety. If you take anything away from reading this, it should be that these classes are for everyone regardless of their background. These classes contain valuable information and they help build understanding of a subject that many might be misinformed about. You don’t have to be a firearm enthusiast to appreciate the hands-on training provided by these courses.
To find a course in your area you can check out the You Can Carry CCW Course Directory. When you select a course ask questions like how many students typically attend the course, what services (if any) does the course offer (such as photos and fingerprints for your application), what costs and services does the course not offer that are required for the permit, etc. This will help you find the right course for you.