Obviously the reason that you go to a concealed carry class is so that you can get your concealed carry permit.
However, there is a lot of lag time in between when you take the class and when you actually get your permit. Some of this depends on your own speed, but a lot of it is dependent upon your local law enforcement agency that issues the permit.
One thing you don’t want to do is forget everything you learn while you are sitting around waiting for your permit to arrive. Instead, use this time to set yourself up to be ready when that permit finally makes its way to your door.
First, turn in your application as soon as possible.
This is pretty obvious, but there is no need to wait after you have taken the concealed carry class. You will probably need to either turn it in by mail or by dropping it off at your local county sheriff’s department, but don’t delay, get it done right away.
This is the whole reason you took the class, so the sooner you turn in your app, the sooner you get your permit. Sometimes you may only have to wait a matter of weeks, but many times it could be anywhere from 60-90 days before you get your permit back.
You would be amazed at how many people take the class and then put off sending in their application.
Next, you can use this lag time to select a carry style and begin experimenting a little bit.
If you are going to carry on a regular basis, there are all kinds of things to consider, from the type of clothing that you wear accommodating a firearm, to the holster that works best for you.
You may not have even purchased the firearm you want to use for your carry weapon, so this is the time to start figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Depending on what position you want the gun to be in, if you want to utilize a cross-draw style etc, there are all kinds of different decisions to be made in order to get yourself set up to carry a firearm.
You may want to experiment with different drawing positions to see what works for you before you start spending money on holsters etc. You may even want to consider an ankle holster. The point is, there are a lot of variations here and different strokes work best for different folks.
There is no ‘right way’ to carry a concealed weapon. There is simply the ‘right way’ for you.
When you are picking out the type of firearm you want to carry, its always a good idea to ask your friends and other people you might know what they carry and what works best for them. You might find that a lot of people have carried various calibers and changed back and forth to find out what they like best.
The same goes for holsters and even clothing, as the choices here are pretty much endless. Get the opinions of others and then make the right decision for you. If you can, try out different guns at the range, or get a friend who carries to take you shooting.
It is much better to eliminate things that don’t work for you ahead of time, rather than spending your harder earned money and finding out you purchased the wrong things. Tip: Ask others in your concealed carry class about this.
Clothes are one of the things that most people don’t consider when they decide they want to carry a firearm.
You need to keep in mind that you probably can’t just wear the same old clothes that you have always worn when you are carrying, especially depending upon what firearm you select for your carry gun. Obviously a smaller, more easily concealable gun will allow you to wear a wider range of clothing than something larger, with higher capacity. These decisions are more important than you might think because you need to be comfortable when you are carrying. If you have a gun/holster/clothing combination that makes you feel uncomfortable, you will find yourself making excuses for NOT carrying. This clearly defeats the whole purpose, so take the time now to find out what works best for you.
The next thing you can do is plan to practice and train.
Especially if you are not overly familiar with firearms, or a life-long gun owner, you don’t want to forget everything you learned. Plus, you can always get better. This is pretty critical, as you are essentially beginning a whole new lifestyle when you make the decision to carry a weapon on a daily basis.
Go to the range when you can. Maybe think about taking another concealed carry class that covers things that your first class didn’t. There are live fire exercises that you can do, but there are dry-fire exercises as well that you can practice at home. It may sound silly to you at first, but practicing your draw at home is a critical component once you start carrying. Again, you want to be comfortable with a weapon on you and the best way to do that is to practice, practice, practice.
There are always more things that you can learn about carrying a concealed weapon. We live in a day and age where there is a plethora of knowledge at your finger tips, so take advantage of that and look to further education yourself. Subscribe to newsletters, watch YouTube videos and podcasts on the subjects that affect you.
It is very easy to get smarter about carrying a weapon, so don’t stagnate, access all the endless information that is available to you.
Above all, don’t be afraid to practice.
Many newer shooters will get to the range 3-4 times per month. This just serves to get you more and more comfortable with shooting your weapon. If you are going to be a well oiled machine when it comes to carrying a gun, you need to put in the work. Attending one concealed carry class is simply not enough, it takes an ongoing, concerted effort to make yourself comfortable and effective.