If you ask the average person what type of training is necessary to become a concealed carrier, they will more than likely tell you that it means going to the shooting range and doing some target practice.
However, concealed carry training is not just target shooting. Practicing your shooting is important, but being prepared to defend yourself and loved ones against a threat is the entire premise behind concealed carry training. Concealed carry training is made up of a number of different components including:
- Firearms Safety & Laws regarding Firearms
- Fundamentals of Marksmanship
- Proper Drawing and Reholstering Technique
- Maintaining Situational Awareness.
Safety and the Law
You’ve probably seen headlines about accidental shootings where someone didn’t realize the gun was loaded, or didn’t see someone in the area when they fired their weapon. The majority of these tragedies occur because the person handling the firearm has not been trained to handle a firearm safely. If you don’t understand how to safely handle a firearm, you’re more liable to be a threat or a danger to yourself and those around you.
Anyone that owns a firearm needs to know what the law in their state is regarding firearms to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
Fundamentals of Marksmanship
A fair amount of knowledge, skill and experience is required to being a good shooter or marksman. One of the essential skills is accurately and consistently hitting the target where you planned to. Concealed carriers refer to this as “shooting for center mass”. It involves three fundamentals: Proper sight alignment, proper shooting technique and practice.
Proper Drawing and Reholstering Technique
Drawing and reholstering your weapon isn’t an ability you are born with, and it doesn’t just come to you intuitively. It’s a skill that you have to acquire through training and practice.
When you draw your weapon, you can seriously injure yourself or others if you don’t keep your wrist straight and the gun pointed down and forward. Keeping a firm grip on your gun while pointing at the target with the gun held straight is harder than it sounds, but that is exactly how you aim to hit the target. You need to practice putting your whole body into firing position, starting with extending both your arms straight out while holding your gun, squaring your shoulders to face the target and moving your stance to a slight squat. You will need to draw your pistol and quickly put well-aimed shots on target to stop a threat. Once the threat has been neutralized, you will need to reholster your weapon.
Maintaining Situational Awareness
Think about it as an actual defensive situation. You’ll need to be paying attention to more than what’s just in front of you. That means tuning out any distractions and being aware of who and what is going on around you in order to detect a threat.
A shooting range is a great place to practice all of these individual components and get better at making them come together smoothly, accurately and with more speed.
Part of being an effective concealed carrier is developing confidence in your firearm and your own abilities to handle that firearm. The best way to start is to take a concealed carry training course.
About the author: Chris Schutrop is the founder of National Carry Academy. National Carry Academy is the nation’s premiere firearm training resource for those who decide to carry a gun as part of their lifestyle. NCA offers online and in-person courses in over thirty states, and provides our students with the resources necessary to obtain their conceal and carry.