So You’ve Got Your Concealed Carry Permit. Now What?

Email Print

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.

Reprinted with permission from

Email Print
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts