What to Do Before You Take a Concealed Weapons Class


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You take a Concealed Weapons Permit class to learn how to shoot, right? Well, no. You need to show up for the class knowing that you are going to pass the shooting qualification test. In South Carolina that means putting 35 of 50 rounds into the silhouette part of the target.

Here’s what you need to do BEFORE you take a Concealed Weapons Class:

  • Get comfortable with the thought of carrying a gun
  • Get someone knowledgeable to take you to the range
  • Learn the basic parts of the gun
  • Assemble your gear: a gun, 50 rounds of ammunition, eye protection, and ear protection
  • Consider at least an hour of training with a professional instructor

Get Comfortable With the Thought of Carrying a Gun

A Concealed Weapons class is not the place to wrestle with the ethical implications of choosing to carry a gun. You should think deeply on the matter, because it will change the way you live your life, but do that thinking before you arrive at the Concealed Weapons class.

First consider the reasons why you might not want to carry a gun:

  • The expense of buying a gun and getting a permit
  • The effort of getting a permit
  • The places you can’t go with a gun
  • The responses of your friends and family
  • The liability involved in defending yourself
  • The discipline required in handling a gun
  • The increased sense of responsibility

Now consider the reasons you might want to carry a gun:

  • The sense of helplessness that comes with being unable to defend yourself
  • Concern for the safety of your family in today’s increasingly violent world
  • Concern that the Second Amendment is under attack and the politicians may limit your access to guns in the future
  • Increased awareness of threats in your environment
  • Desire to be ready for unexpected events
  • Because guns are cool
  • Because someday you might be able to save a life and prevent a crime

See my article on deciding to carry a gun for a more in-depth discussion of the decision you are making. You will be surprised at the changes that occur when you carry a gun.

The extra responsibility makes you slower to react to an insult. The knowledge that you can defend yourself makes you more tolerant of others. The situational awareness training that comes with the Concealed Weapons Class helps you make better safety decisions with or without the gun.

If you decide that the pros are weightier than the cons, it is time to address the way you will address your decision with friends and family. You have three choices:

  • Explain your reasons and try to convince them your stance is reasonable
  • Let them know your decision is not for discussion
  • Don’t tell the people who don’t live in your house

Your spouse, of course, is entitled to a vote on whether you carry. What you tell your children depends on their age and attitude. See my article on how to introduce your children to guns in an age-appropriate manner.

The beauty of concealed carry is that you don’t have to tell anyone. In fact, you should be very circumspect about who knows you are carrying. If I did not have a passion to restore the Constitution to its proper place in American society, you would have no idea that I carry a gun.

Consider how you will store your gun, what you will do when you visit a place where you can’t take your gun in with you, and whether you will be able to carry at work. For further discussion, see my article on where you can legally carry a gun.

When you have decided that concealed carry is worth considering, you are ready to get some education. You can do this by consulting friends, qualified instructors, books, and internet sources like the one you are reading now.

Get Someone Knowledgeable to Take You to the Range

You probably know someone who carries regularly. Ask that person to explain the basics of shooting and then take you to a gun range for an introduction to shooting.

Most gun enthusiasts will be delighted to take you on your first trip to a range. See my article on your first visit to a shooting range to see what that will entail.

Your friend may be willing to let you use his or her gun, or you may want to rent a gun. Do a little research ahead of time to see if you would like to try a revolver or a semi-automatic. See my articles discussing the merits of the revolver and the semi-automatic pistol.

If you have the time and money, try out several different guns at the range. The one you think you want may not be the one you end up buying. See my article on what guns are available.

If you don’t have a friend who knows guns, look up a firearms instructor in your area. Your state’s licensing agency will have a list online, or you can visit the USCCA website to find an instructor.

Learn the Basic Parts of the Gun

Do a little reading online or buy a book that covers basic information to familiarize yourself with the structure and function of the gun.

If you want the information for free, read my blogs on the anatomy of the revolver and the semi-automatic pistol.

Assemble Your Gear

You must protect your eyes and ears when shooting a gun. This is not optional. Simple goggles and disposable earplugs are fine. For the class, you will need a gun and 50 rounds of ammunition (check the requirement for your state).

We will rent you a gun and sell you a box of ammunition if you visit our class, but you need to check with the instructor when you schedule your class. Procure your supplies ahead of time, because guns and ammunition are currently scarce as a result of the political climate.

Consider a Session With a Professional Instructor

It seems redundant to take a class before you take a class, but think of it as a prerequisite. You can’t take intermediate college courses until you have completed the introductory course.

If you are in the Upstate of South Carolina, you can take a class from Double Eagle Gunworks LLC. Chris will spend an hour or two with you in person helping you understand the workings of the gun and taking you to our onsite gun range.

You can also take an introductory class in a group setting without the pressure of passing the qualification test for your permit. Click here to see our course catalog.

A Final Thought

While you are making your plans, think about gun liability insurance. Just as you have liability insurance for your car and your house, you need to insure yourself against the possibility of a self defense situation. Check out US LawShield. See our YouTube video with Johnny Strickland to see how US LawShield approaches self defense protection.

For More Information

We are here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch. Consult our calendar to see our scheduled classes.

Sign up for our Concealed Weapons Permit Class at shop.doubleeaglegunworks.org

We are an FFL dealer and can help you with the sale or transfer of a gun.

For more helpful videos, see our Double Eagle Gunworks Channel on YouTube.

Use our coupon code “double10” to get 10% off your first purchase at these online retailers:

Get 15% off at We The People Holsters with our coupon code DEG15.

Carla Pittman

Carla is a Speech Pathologist working in Home Health by day and a blogger by night. She married Chris in 2008 and is working to help him unite his love of guns with his passion for teaching others to carry safely. Her other impetus for blogging is to make Americans aware of their Constitutional rights, which are at risk in the current political environment.

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