There are some core competencies in concealed carry courses, but licensing requirements differ nationwide.
- Concealed carry courses should cover firearm safety basics
- Wider content varies based on each state’s concealed carry requirements
- You may already be qualified to concealed carry based on existing training
- Course completion should be just the beginning of lifelong learning
Starting your concealed carry journey involves making some important decisions and studying up on the related subjects.
Understanding the difference between concealed and open carry is a good place to start.
Knowing what to expect when applying for your concealed carry permit is next.
Another of these essential factors is knowing what to expect from a concealed carry training course.
These classes typically do more than educate; they also require applicants to show proficiency in using their intended firearm.
Here are some questions you should be able to answer and knowledge you’ll be expected to confidently demonstrate to complete a concealed carry course.
We’ll also cover how to find a concealed carry class that will satisfy the requirements for your license.
What to consider before selecting a concealed carry course
A little concealed carry-related homework is required before you begin looking for a training course.
First, there’s selecting the right firearm to fit your unique personal profile.
Next is understanding the concealed carry laws that apply to you (doing this will help retain the information before it becomes part of your concealed carry curriculum).
For example, some states will accept the completion of many forms of firearms training as sufficient proof of firearms competency toward concealed carry eligibility.
These may include an NRA course, a hunter education program, or prior military experience.
Having passed these could negate the need for further concealed carry training.
Other states, like Arkansas, have a list of licensed instructors who are the only ones capable of providing state-approved training for concealed carry qualification.
The length of the concealed carry training course will also differ depending on where you are.
You’ll need to complete 16 hours of firearms training for your concealed carry if you live in Maryland.
Tennessee applicants must complete an 8-hour course, and that’s if they wish to advanced carry.
This raises another important distinction in concealed carry training courses, namely the level at which you want to carry.
Will you be content with standard carry or prefer advanced/enhanced qualifications?
Not all states offer concealed carry credentials beyond a certain standard, but some will offer advanced or enhanced license/permit options.
These allow you to carry in more locations and under circumstances restricted to standard license/permit holders.
Choosing the advanced or enhanced route will at the very least help you with some more in-depth training.
Taking the time to consider all of these factors first will increase your chances of selecting the right concealed carry course.
You’ll know how long it has to be, what it has to contain, and what rights passing the course will grant you.
Basic expectations for a concealed carry class
A worthwhile course curriculum will split time between the classroom (in-person or virtual) and the firing range.
It should educate you on your state’s gun laws, permissible use of force scenarios, firearm safety, and the safe storage of weapons and ammunition to prevent accidents or theft.
A solid training course will also teach you the following:
- Aiming and firing a handgun (dry fire and live fire)
- Detailing which states have reciprocity agreements with yours so you know where in America you can concealed carry under your home state’s permit
- Firearms maintenance
- Safe handgun loading and unloading
- The legal and safety requirements of traveling with a handgun
- Being clear about how long your concealed carry license will last before recertification is required.
You can then take these basics and ask potential instructors about the other factors that apply to your home state (course length, exemptions based on personal status, etc.).
Not all courses will require you to complete live-fire training. It’s recommended to find a class that does because learning how to fire a gun and actually doing it are very different experiences.
It’s advised that you bring your own firearm to a training course that will require live-fire qualifications.
There’s no fixed fee for a concealed carry class, making it important to shop around.
The return on investment from a reputable training course is way beyond any fee because it could keep you out of jail or save your life one day.
Finding a concealed carry course near you
The NRA offers excellent practical courses related to concealed carry and frequently appears on many states’ lists of approved training options.
Organizations such as Concealed Coalition offer online and practical options to bring you closer to your concealed carry qualification.
Their firearms experts provide classroom and range training and offer advice and support toward applying for and successfully receiving your license.
They also offer an interactive reciprocity map that provides concealed carry information for your state and many more important details.
Contacting your local law enforcement or department of public safety are two reliable ways to get more information on concealed carry courses and instructors in your area that will satisfy the state’s training requirements.
Extending your concealed carry training
Passing your concealed carry training is something to be proud of.
However, you’ll recall we described concealed carrying as a journey just like all firearms ownership.
Your basic training is just that – basic – and it must be built upon to advance your skills, boost your knowledge, and increase your chances of performing as you want to in a real-life live fire situation.
The NRA is a popular way to develop better gun skills.
Their classes cover everything from firearms basics and reloading to self-defense tailored for both men and women.
Joining the NRA, a local firing range, or one of the other major gun groups will help you stay informed and educated about concealed carry issues that affect your rights and current training level.
Get ready to carry with Ammunition Depot
Our Gun Owner’s Gazette is a good way to stay current with concealed carry matters.
We can also help you select the right gun for the job from our selection of the highest quality firearms, ammo, and accessories.
Visit our contact page to learn more.