I have just received my concealed carry permit and now I am one cool dude, right? Well, maybe not. To become cooler, you need to practice, practice, and practice! I do not mean just punching paper. My NRA instructor opened his class with this statement, “Always a student, sometimes an instructor.” I believe in this motto and try and follow it myself. So what have I learned in teaching the “Concealed Carry Practical Classes?” I have learned that most people who begin to carry a firearm concealed, have no idea what they are getting themselves into. I do not mean this disrespectfully. They find a handgun that looks cool, they do not consider its size, weight, compatibility for carrying in a holster. They then pick out a holster that is cheap in price, or looks cool. They put the holster on, put the handgun in the holster and head out. What if they really had to pull the firearm? Would they be ready? Could they pull that firearm out of the holster? One of the most important things that you need to do is practice! When I was in the State Police Academy, they do not issue a firearm, holster and a box of shells and say, “Go get them kid”. No, they take you to the range and you shoot, and shoot, and shoot some more. This way you get good at what you may have to do out on the street. If you have a concealed carry permit and plan on carrying a hand gun, you need to do the same. By practice I mean go to the range, put the holster on, put the handgun into the holster, put some clothing on that will cover the holster, then practice drawing and firing at a target. By doing this, you will both become more proficient at your skill. You will also find out how your gear works. You may find out that your holster just won’t work with a particular type of clothing. You can’t get your handgun out of the holster. Maybe the gun you decided to carry just will not do the job you thought it would. Do you carry an extra magazine? Can you get to that and reload in a timely matter? All of these are things you will want to find out before you are in a crisis situation.
CAUTION: The number one reason for concealed carry persons shooting themselves is having a string, or waist tightening device on a jacket or sweater that catches on the trigger of the handgun when re- holstering.