What You Will Learn in Your Concealed Carry Class: Legal

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Concealed Carry – Beyond Just Handguns

Concealed carry is more than just shooting.  In fact, concealed carry is mostly about avoiding CCW-Instructor-Robbietrouble and having a backup plan just in case.  This being said, any credible instructor will spend some time on situational awareness, conflict avoidance and some general personal safety concepts.  After all, the best gunfight you can be in, is the one you avoid entirely.

Where can you carry your pistol?

Each state has a list of prohibited places.  Further, the federal government prohibits carrying a concealed weapon in certain places.  At the very least, the instructor should provide information by the state and a list of resources where a responsibly armed citizen may find out where they may legally carry their firearm.  Realize, laws are constantly changing and the student is responsible for knowing where they can and can not carry.   Fortunately, a competent instructor will help you know where to get this information.

Interacting with Law Enforcement

Chances are, at some point in our lives we will have our interactions with law enforcement. Whether from a speeding ticket, a fender bender or a chance encounter as our officers patrol our communities.  It is important to interact with officers in a way that prevents any misunderstandings.  This keeps the concealed carrier and the officer safe and is a requirement no class should skip over.  In fact, many states have laws on the books governing things like duty to inform an officer if you are carrying.

What do you do, should the worst happen, and you are involved in a defensive handgun use?  It is a difficult topic to discuss, and most instructors will have a legal disclaimer statement, but it is very important to start a conversation on this topic.  Most, if not all, instructors will have at least read some perspective by experts like Massad Ayoob, and will have content on what happens after a defensive gun use.

Legal, moral and ethical use of deadly force is an intense subject.  Firing your handgun at another human being, even in self-defense, is being willing to take another human life.  Beyond the legalities, there are psychological and moral consequences for taking a human life.  This will take a lot of soul searching on the part of the concealed carrier.  A proper class will start this discussion, even if a state approved booklet covers the legal part.

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