By Home Defense Gun staffer Shana
Making the decision to pursue a concealed carry license is a big step, one that you need to make sure you’re ready for before you get to the classroom. Do you know what to bring to your concealed carry class? When should you bring your gun? Are there any specific identification items you need to bring with you? You should always check with your instructor before the class date, but here are a few tips to help you prepare for that day.
Know your state’s requirements
This is the most important part of getting a concealed carry license. Each state has their own laws and requirements in order to get a CCL. Be sure to look up the laws for your state so that you know what you need to obtain from the class and you can then make sure that the class you’re looking into will fulfill those requirements.
Have some practice in shooting
Most concealed carry classes allow you to bring your own handgun for the range part of the test. If you don’t have your own gun yet, that’s no problem as most instructors have guns you can use if necessary. Either way, it’s best to have experience in shooting before you get to the class time so that you know what to do when you get to the range part of the class. Understand the basics of how guns work, how to load the ammunition and get the first bullet ready to fire. Know where the safety switch is and how to turn it on and off. Be sure that you know how to hold the gun comfortably and safely, particularly in a way that won’t cause injury to your hand (or to anyone else) when you fire.
Practice loading ammunition
You’ll most likely need to load the gun you’ll be shooting at the range yourself. If you’re not very experienced with guns, be sure to practice loading ammunition in magazine clips a few times before your class. Make sure you understand which way to put the ammo in the clip and then how to load the clip into the gun. Another thing you should know how to do is how to remove the magazine clip from the gun once it’s empty. These are all things that the instructor may show you either during class or at the range, but it’s best that you be familiar with these steps before you get there to ease any nervousness you may have.
Perfect your shooting stance
Your instructor will most likely go over this during the classroom time and will probably help you adjust your stance once you get to the shooting range. But if you’re able, watch videos online of the proper shooting stance and practice in front of a mirror. It’s easy, especially for women, to tend to lean back once you hold the gun up. You could also accidentally hold the gun at a bad angle, which would keep you from being on target. Know how to position your legs and arms to get the most accurate shot and to keep your arms from recoiling too much once you shoot.
Know when to leave your gun in the car
Does your instructor want you to leave your gun locked away in the car or somewhere else during classroom time? Many instructors don’t want you to bring your gun into the classroom and only want you to carry it when you get to the range time. Other instructors may have classroom time in which you practice taking your gun apart and then putting it back together.
In any case, know whether your instructor allows you to bring your gun into the classroom and if so, when that time is. Your instructor may have a gun checkpoint at the door in which he or she ensures that all guns coming into the classroom are unloaded and they may want you to not bring your ammunition into the classroom along with the gun for safety reasons.
Know whether you can bring your own ammo
Along with having guns available to shoot at the range, many instructors also have ammunition you can purchase from them for the shooting portion of the test. But some instructors also allow you to bring your own ammunition if you want. This can be a much cheaper option for you than buying ammo from the range or the instructor, so be sure to ask if you can bring your own.
Bring a hat!
The sunlight can interfere with your shooting accuracy during the range portion of the test. Some instructors include hats on their class materials list, but even if it’s not on there, be sure to bring a hat with a brim. You’ll be thankful to have this when you get to the shooting part of the class!
It also goes without saying that you will need hearing and eye protection. Make sure you take this with you.
With these tips, you can ensure that you’re prepared for your concealed carry class. Remember to ask your instructor for clarification on what he or she requires for the class and make sure that what the class offers matches with the laws for your state. In the end, just remember to relax, listen closely, be open to your instructor’s advice, and most important—have fun!