So you’ve got your concealed carry permit. Now what?

Published June 17, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

So, you’ve got your CCW. Now what?

Years ago, when I took my CCW class, our instructor had us look at the student on either side of us. 

“Look right, then look left. On average, only one of you is going to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. This class is not enough to stay safe, and only about one-third of you will actually learn how to defend yourself with a gun.”

I knew I’d be in that third, because I was taking the necessary steps to protect myself long before I took that class. Such as…

  1. Paying attention to what you’re paying attention to.
    AKA Observational skills. The best fight is the one that didn’t happen because you were aware of your environment and didn’t look like a victim. Learn how to use the Cooper Color Code or something similar so you’re aware of your surroundings and what’s around you, doubly so if you are carrying. And make sure you have more than just a gun with you to deal with the other emergencies in life.
  2. Finding training.
    A CCW class is a licensing class: It is not a training class. Learn how you react in stress situations, and take classes to help you manage and direct your stress. I recommend something like the Fundamentals of Combat Focus Shooting class as quick way to help learn what to do when you’re caught in a bad situation.
  3. Training like you (might) fight, fight like you train.
    Practice with your firearm. Learn some good dry-fire drills and practice them regularly. Get a good holster for your gun. Go to the range as often as you can, and most importantly, practice shooting the gun in stress conditions. Learning how to shoot a perfect one-hole group in 20 minutes won’t do you much good if you have to draw, aim and shoot in only a couple of seconds. If you want to get a good idea of what stress shooting feels like, I recommend shooting an IDPA or IPSC match at least once (and you’ll probably want to do it more after you try it). No, it’s not “combat” training, but it does teach you how you react to complex situations with a pistol in your hand. 
  4. Relax. Be safe. Have fun.
    Deciding to get a concealed carry permit is a decision most people will never make and are probably incapable of making. You’ve decided that your safety is in your hands and not in the government’s, and that’s a good thing. 


4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Jun 19, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Great article. I’m about to get a CC permit but I’ve had over 5 years to train for it. Honestly I wouldn’t say “fight like you train”. I hate the heavy trigger pull on my HK but when I attended my first IDPA night it was extremely easy to rapid fire accurately.

    Most gun ranges don’t allow you to:
    Rapid fire
    draw from a holster

  • 2 KevinC // Jun 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    A lot of ranges don’t allow that behaviour, true. At an IPDA match, not only is that allowed, it’s encouraged! 🙂

  • 3 Andrew L. // Jun 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Nice article. I will take issue with number 4. Deciding on obtaining a CCW, or as I call them a self-defense permission slip, does not equate to “deciding your safety is in your hand’s and not the governments.” Getting a CCW is the opposite of not letting the government dictate the terms of your victimhood. By complying with all the legal regulations and limitations of the CCW in your particular state, you are validating the governments authority to determine your own safety. We all have a right to arm ourselves already; a CCW is a restriction on that right.

    Question: if your CCW state later decides to rescind CC, are you going to comply with that and cease carrying? If the answer is yes, then why are you carrying a weapon? If the police ask for your weapon are you going to hand it over? If yes, then why carry it?

    Getting a CCW paints a bullseye on you for the government to track, harass, and eventually confiscate your weapon. I never intend to get a CC permit; why should I beg for permission for something I already have? Have some pride, people, and use your rights!!

  • 4 FlintNH // Jun 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    If a mugger sticks a knife against your neck and says, “give me your wallet or I’ll kill you,” does giving him your wallet “validate” his “authority” to take it?

    Of course not. Complying with demands made by dangerously-violent individuals does not equate to any sort of consent. The threat of force if you don’t comply renders it impossible that any sort of consent could be given.

    Also, getting a CCW doesn’t necessarily cause one to be “tracked,” “harassed,” or have one’s property stolen. For example, in NH, CCW documents are kept by the individual department issuing the license. Someone attempting to create a centralized database would be violating the law, and there’s no way that a conspiracy of that size could ever be kept quiet (they’d have to go to each and every police department in the entire state, demanding the records, multiple times per year… there’s no way that /some/ cop wouldn’t talk). If I interact with a cop in my town, maybe he recalls that I have one. But he’s not going to harass me about it, because he’ll get nailed to the wall by the court.

    There would be no reason that such records would be used to confiscate any firearm I own – they cannot possibly know how many I have, so they realize that coming for one is stupid, because I may have another, or a hundred others, and they’d never know it. And what would be the purpose of confiscating firearms? NH law requires that any firearm seized by the police be auctioned to the public (that includes firearms used in crimes). So the most that they could do by such confiscation is transfer firearms to folks who like to attend property auctions.

    Heck, in NH, if I carry without a license and get charged, tried, and convicted of the same… once the trial is over, they have to return my pistol, and cannot even require me to undergo a background check before handing it to me.

    So don’t assume that the “rules” are the same, everywhere. It would be better if the licensing requirement was completely removed, of course, but $2.50 per year (not a typo) and a scrap of paper with your name and address on it (NH doesn’t require photos, fingerprints, training, or even a minimum age) just isn’t enough to get folks upset to the point that they’ll demand change.

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