2/04/2014

What is covered in class to get a concealed carry permit?

In case you ever wondered what a concealed carry class was like, Mike Dumke at the Chicago Reader has a nice summary here:
. . . Vernon's two-day conceal-and-carry course is detailed and intense. Before heading to the range to shoot, participants spend a full day in the classroom. On the day I sat in, Vernon focused on basic firearm safety. "Number one, treat every gun as if it was loaded," he said. "Number two, never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy." 
One of the men in the class nodded. He recalled how his aunt once waved her gun at another car that cut them off in traffic. After she was able to pull away, someone in the other car shot out her back window. "My mom was like, 'Bitch, what are you doing?'"
"That's right," Vernon said. 
He told that class that he takes at least one gun everywhere he's allowed, but he repeatedly stressed that a gun should never be pulled unless it's a matter of critical urgency—and in those instances, you need to be practiced enough to put the threat down. You don't shoot for the legs, like on TV—you aim for the central nervous system, and you can't afford to miss. 
As the participants took notes or typed on iPads, Vernon demonstrated the proper ways to hold and load a weapon, then had the class practice repeatedly with dummy bullets. He dispensed advice of the most practical sort. He said the best gun to own is one that's reliable, fits your hand, and feels right to shoot; he prefers a semiautomatic Glock 22. Women don't need to limit themselves to tiny guns—"Oh hell, no!"—and just need to find one that's comfortable to handle. When leaving a gun at home, he said, make sure to lock it up someplace thieves won't think to look—definitely not under the mattress or in a nightstand drawer. 
And then there was the question of what to do when you're packing and have to use a public toilet. "Try to find a single-use bathroom, or a stall next to the wall," Vernon suggested—adding that it was a bad idea to set a gun on top of the tank, where it can slide into the toilet or be forgotten. 
He also methodically reviewed the specifics of the new law, such as the prohibitions on carrying guns in government buildings, in bars and any other business that posts a sign out front, and on public transportation—a provision that he found so absurd that it inspired him to act out how he would have to unload and break down his gun when he sees the bus coming and then reassemble and reload after reaching his stop. 
One of the women in the class wondered what would happen if she accidentally carried a gun into a Starbucks that banned them. "They could charge me with a misdemeanor?"
"If you stick around for the police, sure," Vernon said. But he pressed them to comply with all the provisions of the law, however illogical they might seem. . . .

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