The to 5.2% of the total adult

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The
Benefits of Concealed Carry Training

Over
the past year, 1.7 million additional new concealed carry permits have been
issued across the U.S. This is a 15.4% increase in just one year alone according
to a Report from the Crime Prevention Research Center. That is the largest
increase in the number of concealed carry permits issued within one year. It
equates to 5.2% of the total adult population in the U.S that are now concealed
carry permit holders. There are two main types of carry, open and concealed. Those
who reside in constitutional carry states can choose between concealed and open
carry usually with little or no training required. This paper will discuss why concealed carry is superior to the open carry option, legal
obligations, and the profound awareness gained from carrying a firearm.

The
main obstacle of obtaining a concealed carry permit is the time and cost of receiving
training which, for some, might be prohibitively expensive.
Receiving professional training is also one of the greatest advantages to the concealed
carry option. The subjects covered in the class room and practical supervised
range time have a massive impact on the ability to confidently and safely a carry
firearm.

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Concealed
carry classes might not be offered near the local area where the applicant resides
or it just seems easier to open carry. According to Walter Rickshaw (2016) Depending
on the state, a concealed carry class can range anywhere from $40 to $175. The
average cost of training nationwide is $100. Not to mention the cost of the
carry permit itself in whichever county or jurisdiction it’s issued. For
example in Jonson County, Missouri the cost of a concealed carry permit is $100
for 5 years with a $50 renewal every five years after.  The amount of time training typically lasts
ranges from one to two days. Concealed carry permits from one state aren’t
always recognized in other states. The same is also true with open carry. In
some states open carry is prohibited by law. A quick google search or a phone
call to the local sheriff’s office will give vital information on training
locations.

Buying
a gun is just the start. Learning to hone skills in threatening situations is
the key to success. According to Dick Jones (March 30, 2015)
“While
it’s reasonable to say you can develop your own level of marksmanship and gun
handling skills, I find this very rarely happens with most gun owners. In
reality, most people will progress much faster by spending time with a
reputable trainer who shares a similar philosophy as they do.” Training should
be conducted wearing similar clothing warn every day and be practiced in both winter
and summer clothes. The types of training typically offered are basic and
advanced.  This could benefit anyone who
would choose to carry regardless if is open or concealed. In training, students
become familiar with safely storing a gun, target acquisition, behind target
awareness, safely drawing and holstering, basic trigger discipline and carry
laws within their state. Those who open carry and don’t seek training learn
none of this from a licensed instructor.

The
benefits of receiving training can have a huge impact, especially in
self-defense situations. Deterring criminals is one of the main reasons people open
carry firearms. However, there are no statistics that support this claim. Sara
Ahrens (October 7, 2016) a twenty year law enforcement veteran, in her article
“Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry”, states, “I feel comfortable saying that my
gun was never as much of a deterrent as I, or my fellow officers, had hoped.
“He’s got my gun!” or “He’s grabbing my gun!” are phrases I have heard far too
often in my life. The warning here is this: If you are carrying openly because
you think that no one will mess with you, think again!” Often those that choose
to open carry become targets for would be criminals. Once targeted the individual
that is armed would most likely not be successful in defending themselves due
to the criminal’s actions beating the target’s reaction. The biggest upside to open
carry is accessibility. There is nothing standing between drawing the weapon if
the situation arises. Those who concealed carry have to move over garments to
draw and there might a couple of layers, but antinomy remains intact. So, in
essence, the choice comes down to accessibility or anonymity. By choosing to
conceal carry the element of surprise and the ability to opt out of a fight are
maintained.

The
cost and time might be a deterrent to receiving training and obtaining a
concealed carry permit. Knowing what to do in a self-defense situation by
pursuing accredited training outweighs the un-trained open carry option. When
attending concealed carry training many aspects of carry are covered, but one
of the most important is the legal obligations associated with carrying a
firearm.

When
choosing to carry a firearm there are a plethora of regulations and
responsibilities that now must be understood. Knowing how to properly carry a
firearm is just as important as knowing where to carry and not! Moiling
over the different regulations by state, especially for travelers, can equate
to a veritable roller coaster ride! Most states are currently maintaining a
“Shall-Issue” policy. As recently as the 1990’s many states were
may-issue or no-issue. Within the past few years states have been adopting less
restrictive policies. In Federal court there is a split decision
on may-issue verses shall-issue. The 9th and 3rd circuit courts ruled in favor
of may-issue permits, while the 7th D.C. circuit Court ruled that states are
required to adopt shall-issue policies. The Federal Gun Free
School Zones Act limits where an unlicensed person may carry a weapon openly or
concealed within 1,000 feet of a school zone, with exceptions granted in
Federal law to holders of valid State-issued carry permit.

There
is also the matter of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction
dictates under what criteria a permit its granted. There are four main
jurisdictions shall-issue, may issue, no issue and unrestricted or
constitutional carry. In shall-issue jurisdictions a license to carry a
concealed handgun is required. Being granted a permit is subject only to
meeting criteria laid out by law. Issuing authorities have no discretion in
awarding permits, and the applicant is not required to demonstrate “good
cause”. In a May-issue jurisdiction a permit is required to
carry a concealed handgun. The granting of a permit is partially at the discretion
of local authorities. Usually the county sheriff’s office or local police.
In
No-issue jurisdictions, with few exceptions, carrying a concealed handgun in
public by any private citizen is prohibited. Many states
recognize, or honor, a permit or license issued by other states. This is called
reciprocity. Reciprocity may be granted to all jurisdictions, or some, which
meet a set of permit issuing standards. Usually training comparable with the
honoring jurisdiction. Many states have formal agreements to mutually recognize
permits. A few states do not recognize permits issued by any other state, but
offer non-resident permits for out of state visitors. These are granted to
people who are issued a valid concealed carry permit from their home state. Some
states have an outright ban on concealed carry all together. In un-restricted
jurisdictions a permit is not required to carry a handgun open or concealed, better
known as constructional carry.

In
most cases, carrying a weapon into a court, bank, school, post office, fair
grounds, sporting event, or church is prohibited. This
prohibition also extends to federal, state, county and municipal buildings. In
most jurisdictions it is against the law to carry a firearm into a bar if the
carrier is drinking. In some restaurants where a certain percentage of their
sales comes from the sale of alcohol carrying is also prohibited.  This applies weather carrying open or
concealed.

Knowing
the responsibilities and legal ramifications that come with carrying a firearm should
also be heavily considered. Such as, justified self-defense, a responsibility
of bystander intervention, and police interactions.

In
his 2010 article “Charges in stray-bullet death: Carjacking victim faces
manslaughter rap”, Joe Swickard states, “If innocent bystanders are hurt or
killed, there could be both civil and criminal liabilities even if the use of
deadly force was completely justified.” Some jurisdictions
technically allow a criminal who is shot by a gun owner to initiate a civil law
suit. In some states, liability exists when someone brandishes a firearm,
threatens its use, heightens the situation, or is carrying while drinking. It
is important to know that simply pointing a gun at anyone is felony assault
with a deadly weapon unless the situation justifies the use of force. In other states
that allow concealed carry deny suits brought in such cases, either by prohibiting
lawsuits for damages resulting from a criminal act on the part of the perpetrator,
or by granting a gun owner immunity from civil law suits if they are justified
in shooting. Especially in the defense the lives of others or their own. This
is concept is also known as bystander intervention.

Bystander
intervention can be simply defined as intervening in a situation that one
witnesses but may not be directly involved in. For example, if a woman and her husband
are in the midst of a heated verbal argument in public and he begins to hit her
is there a responsibility to intervene. Also, if someone is in a gas station
and it gets robbed is there a responsibility to intervene? As a trained
concealed carrier, the responsibility is for one’s own self-defense, that of
family, and personal property only.  The
farther away from personal property, the more likely it is that charges could
be filed agent the gun owner.  There are
legal doctrines, in some states, that allow for a person to “Stand their
Ground” or a “Castle Doctrine”. Unless the gun owner is a sworn officer of the
law or a clear and present danger is apparent self-defense, that of family, or
personal property, every precaution must be taken to apply deadly force
justifiably.  It is imperative to know
when inserting oneself into a conflict is not only appropriate but also legal.
If a firearm or weapon is pointed at someone personally they inherently have
the right to defend themselves. Every available opportunity should be taken to
defuse or deflect a situation and that a victim gets to safety.  Similarly, there are laws, in some jurisdictions, to inform law enforcement of
carry status during interactions whenever they occur.

During
interactions with law enforcement a person with an in-state permit to carry a
concealed firearm or granted reciprocity my do so. In some jurisdictions a gun
owner must inform police of this carry status open or concealed in others it is
completely voluntary. This mainly applies to traffic stops. In concealed carry training
it is taught how to inform police of carry status without causing alarm or
duress to the officer. For example, in Missouri, a gun owner does not have a
duty to inform police but it is highly recommended that hands are kept free and
clear of the firearm if  Missouri law
enforcement come up to a vehicle window. Most, law abiding, gun owners choose
to inform the offer and present their permit along with driver’s license when
instructed by the officer to do so. Another thing to consider is Carry Issuance.
Yes it does exist!

There
are four organizations that offer carry issuance they the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA),  Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (ACLDN), U.S. Law Shield and NRA Carry Guard. These organizations offer similar coverage or
protection in case of civil defense or damages, and gun protection. It also covers
the immediate cost of retaining an attorney and immediate bail bonding while in
civil court. Coverage can be expensive and some are based on a tier level of
the membership. Without training most gun owners are not aware that this type
of coverage, even for their firearms, is available. The benefits of this type
of information cannot be overstated.

There
are many legal aspects and obligations to consider before carrying a firearm. Some
might go unknown if proper licensed instructor training is not obtained. It is
a gun owners duty to be as informed as possible when faced with so many responsibilities.
The last aspects of carrying is a social, civic and situational awareness.

Being
knowingly aware of one’s surroundings is a benefit and a trial that everyone who
chooses to carry a firearm must face. When concealed carrying, imprinting can
be akin to brandishing. Imprinting can be defined as bystanders having the
ability to clearly see the outline or imprint of a firearm under clothing. In
some jurisdictions, if imprinting, it is not considered actually concealing a
firearm. In this case it is considered open carry and might be illegal. It depends
on the laws of the judication. Some states also do allow peaceable journey. If
traveling it is imperative to know what the laws are of the state traveling
through. It is also important to know the political sentiment within the community
and the policies of local establishments. Most stores and restaurants are actually
private property and have the right to disallow firearms within. When in a store,
for example, if carrying openly it is important to have a holster that has
retention capability. It wouldn’t be difficult to come up behind the person
carrying, taking them by surprise, and taking their gun. When concealed
carrying this is of less concern. Also, understanding the political sentiment
can clue in a gun owner on how other citizens will react to seeing a gun. Is it
a gun free zone or are their signs posted prohibiting carry? Why be the catalyst
for some type of confrontation? It is important to be aware of what and who is
in the surrounding area. Going thru the motions is not an option for a gun
owner. It is their duty to maintain positive control over their firearm. If the
rights of gun owners are to be respected so are the rights of others.

Situational
awareness is the way an individual prepares to potentially protect themselves
by redirecting the outcome of negative or external factors beyond their
control. This is achieved by actively understanding, perceiving and reacting to
all external and personal factors going on around them. Situational awareness
also means making an actionable and accountable decision that creates the
highest probability of survival. There are four elements of situational
awareness. Observe, use all senses to determine environmental factors. Orient,
competently, and carefully focus and analyze information observed. Decide,
create a critical response to the information perceived. Act, follow through
with a course of action based on the perceivable factors at hand. During
concealed carry training these elements are taught. Through discipline and
practice these elements are not only reinforced but could be honed to save a
life. Without proper training these skills can wither or be non-extant in a
person who chooses to carry a firearm.

There
are a multitude of matters to consider before carrying a firearm whether open
or concealed.  Ultimately, the benefits of
concealed carry training are preferable to the open carry option for the simple
fact of awareness. Receiving training informs an applicant of how to carry, teaches
firearm proficiency, legal obligations, and situational awareness. It also shows
the applicant has gone above and beyond to prove a respect for the rights of
not only themselves but for the rights of others. “The right of the people
to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia,
composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most
natural defense of a free country.”- James Madison, I Annals of Congress
434, June 8, 1789

Categories: United States

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