Many states allow people to carry firearms concealed on their person for protection, but most require that you have a concealed weapons permit to do so. The requirements for the permit can vary from a simple application and background check to concealed carry classes that train and certify you. The laws vary from state to state, but your local police department should have the information your need when considering concealed carry.
What Is Covered
Like the laws in each state, the content of concealed carry classes can vary greatly. Many states only require a weekend course that goes over the gun laws, rights, and privileges of concealed carry, while others lump in range time and physical training like gun maintenance, clearing jams, and other things that the state feels are important. Most programs will provide information about the law and when it is okay to use your firearm or not, as well as registration requirements that you need to follow.
The federal government has laws that require registration and background checks for purchasing firearms, but they leave concealed carry classes and permit requirements to the states to design and enforce. Because of this, you may find that a training class in one state allows you to get a permit there, but that permit may not be transferable to another jurisdiction.
If the state you live in wants concealed carry classes to include range time and other factors, they may require it. However, most do not operate their classes as a pass-or-fail program but instead want concealed permit holders to complete the training and be responsible with their firearms.
If you are new to shooting and firearms, some training programs can provide concealed carry classes and firearms training classes together in a beginner's program. These classes are often available through private instructors or training facilities, making them excellent options for anyone new to firearms that wants to learn and carry a gun to protect themselves.
When taking concealed carry classes that also offer handgun training, finding a program that will provide the firearms for the training can allow you to learn about different styles and calibers and help you decide what to buy when you complete the training. In some states, a training certificate is necessary before purchasing any handgun, but this is not the same from one state to the next.
It is a good idea to check with the trainer or program administrator to determine if you need to bring a firearm for training or if they will provide one for range time and use during the training sessions. If you are required to provide your handgun, you may also need a minimum amount of ammunition, and the instructor may recommend a specific amount and type for range use.
For more information about concealed carry classes, reach out to a program near you.