In the United States, about 1 in 5 women own a gun. The reason given by 92% of women for gun ownership is protection.
Women are less likely to belong to a social group where most people own guns. Only 1 in 4 women say all or most of their friends also own guns. Women are also less likely to go practice shooting or hunting.
Whether making a first gun purchase or refreshing yourself on gun usage and laws, a concealed carry class is important. Combining gun ownership with other basic personal protection measures results provides the best level of personal safety.
Personal Safety Measures
There are habits everyone should follow to protect their personal safety. The most obvious is to always be prepared. Put your cell phone away and be fully alert to what is going on around you.
When walking out of a building you are a prime target. Do not walk close to bushes or other areas an attacker could hide such as dumpsters or large trucks. As you approach your vehicle let your eyes skim the area below your car to make sure no one is hiding underneath where they can grab your legs from below.
If you are being followed, do not go to your car where the few seconds it takes to get inside and lock your door can give the attacker sufficient time to stop your safe entry. Instead walk across the street and into a populated area where you can call for help.
Simple safety devices such as the Brutus Self Defense Keychain can provide a second line of defense. You carry the keychain with your fingers through the eyes of Brutus and his ears form pointed jabbers that can help in fighting off an attacker.
A personal alarm comes in a variety of styles, including keychain/flashlight/alarm combination and even one that looks like a lipstick. Attackers want silence, and if they grab you over the mouth hoping to keep you quiet you can activate the alarm, potentially scaring them away.
Advantages of a Concealed Carry Class
Whether or not your state requires a permit to carry a concealed weapon, there are numerous benefits to taking a concealed carry class and obtaining your permit. It is the gun owner’s responsibility to know their state carry laws. You are obligated to know what the state requirements are, where you can carry, and what to do if you discharge your weapon during an attack.
Most states require an owner to show competency with a handgun before a permit is issued. The best way to show competency is to take a training class. The concealed carry class will increase the gun owner’s knowledge of gun ownership and use.
What to Look for in Class Curriculum
You will find classes offered online and in the classroom. What works best for you will depend on your state’s requirements and/or your familiarity with guns. Review what the course offers to make sure you walk away with the knowledge you need to carry your gun legally and safely.
Most gun owners want to take a class that is fast so they can carry their gun right away. This is not a safe route to take. Rushing the process increases your risk of making a mistake in gun operation or ownership laws.
If you take a quick course that does not teach you how to load your gun and clean it after use you put yourself at risk. If you have never fired a gun, what good will it do you in an attack?
Do you know all your state laws about carrying a gun? A class will teach you the laws of your state, and when you can and cannot use deadly force.
You might assume that going out to a gun range and firing your weapon will automatically be part of your class, but that is not always true. The National Firearms Training Academy does not provide a live-fire component in its concealed carry course.
Attend a class that offers the opportunity to test your gear and gun with actual shooting practice. A gun is no good if you can’t hit your target in an emergency situation. It is even worse if you miss the target and hit an innocent bystander.
A live-fire component provides target practice and gives you the opportunity to draw your gun out of your holster or remove it from the gun trigger block. The class you select should teach the basic principles of how to care for, clean, and store your weapon. They should provide tips on how to carry your gun safely in a holster, pocket, or concealed carry purse.
Advantage of License in Unrestricted State
Even if you live in an area that does not restrict concealed carry, a concealed carry license can be beneficial. If someone sees your gun and calls police or you are pulled over for a traffic stop, having a license makes the law enforcement encounter easier. Being able to provide the officer with a carry license shows that you have undergone the required background checks and are presumed to be a law-abiding citizen.
Another advantage is that a license will make it easier for you to purchase additional firearms. The state’s background check that is required every time a weapon is purchased may be waived if you have already obtained a concealed carry license.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
Ownership of a handgun is a personal choice and taking a concealed carry class is only one aspect of personal protection. You must take additional steps to provide all-around protection for yourself.
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