Each state controls the question of whether its citizens can conceal and carry firearms. From a pro-gun point of view, there should be little doubt as to why a citizen might choose to carry a weapon. Personal defense, business activities, defense of home and others are common needs that gun ownership helps satisfy. Applicable state laws raise a need to research and consider whether a concealed carry course is a good investment for you or not.
What are my state’s concealed carry laws?
Most states regulate concealed carrying of handguns. They fall into the four below-listed broad approaches.
- Shall-issue states in which anyone can get a permit that meets certain criteria like age, mental health, and criminal history.
- May-issue states leave discretion to a public official whether to grant or deny a permit.
- No-issue states prohibit concealed carry entirely.
- Unrestricted states do not limit concealed carry.
For example, California is a may issue state. Although one may apply to get a concealed carry permit, the law assigns to local Sheriffs the tasks of deciding when and to whom on issuing permits. Many “may-issue states” rarely decide to issue permits to most people.
When Should I Carry?
If personal protection is the reason for carrying a gun, then one must consider the times away from home and in public as the ideal times to carry. However, local laws may make it less than convenient when they provide that one cannot drink alcohol or attend certain places such as gun-free zones, like designated schools or churches. The ideal times to carry may be tied to business activities which might require carrying cash or valuables. One might make choices in these situations. One must avoid carrying when it is problematic and yet have the gun at the ready in situations where one needs protection.
How Should I Carry?
A loaded weapon is not a toy. It can pose a hazard when mishandled, dropped, or left in a place in which unauthorized persons can get access to it. Carrying must be secure. If the idea is to conceal the weapon, it should also go completely unnoticed. Waist, hip, and shoulder holsters provide convenience and easy reach to the weapon. Ankle and other areas offer concealment but add to the difficulty of retrieving the weapon quickly. This is a balance each owner must find between safety, concealment, comfort, and ease of access.
Why Should I Carry?
Objectively speaking, a handgun is a tool for personal safety. Many people enjoy handguns as a sport and have a passion for the sounds, effects, and personal power it brings. Concealed carry policies aim to make the handgun a safe and useful instrument to promote public safety. The policy advocates training and high levels of responsibility.
When considering a concealed carry course, a primary goal is to learn safe handling of a firearm. Whether open or concealed carry status, the conduct must be safe if it is to be both helpful and effective.