There are undertakings that come along with as much responsibility as carrying a concealed gun, but probably not many the normal person is concerned about. Few other actions can have such serious consequences.
A single mistake or a tad of poor judgment comes with unavoidable emotional and social issues you must now face. Most likely, legal and possibly criminal, financial and professional issues will folly shortly thereafter. Concealed carry is not for the unprepared or squeamish.
In the list of subjects a Colorado concealed carry instructor must cover in an approved class, the lawmakers never mention this one. In my classes it is Chapter One!
The day you apply for your permit at your County Sheriff’s office, you are committing yourself to becoming a life long student of multiple subjects. It is not for everyone. It is not uncommon after attending my concealed carry class that students come up to be with a comment, “I’m going to rethink this, I guess I never thought about how serious this can be.”
It’s not that I am trying to scare people off, it is that I feel responsible to do my best that they understand what they are getting themselves into.
Let’s look at a few of the responsibilities you are taking on when you get a permit. First, you are now responsible to know all of the laws concerning every aspect of concealed carry. That means not only federal and state laws, but County and City laws as well. If you carry out of your home state you can add reciprocity laws as well as the laws of every single state you travel through.
Next, since when you carry a gun, you carry the power of life and death, you are responsible to know all of the laws concerning the use of deadly force. Additionally, you are now responsible for the safety of yourself and all those around you. You must maintain absolute control of your gun at all times. This is why I am rarely in favor of open carry. It is not hard to convince myself when I see someone open carrying that I could easily distract them and take that gun away from them. If an unbalanced person sees the gun, they would likely not take the time to convince themselves. They’d just do it.
A high priority responsibility I try to really drive home in my classes is that you are now responsible to effectively use your gun. That means you must know and practice all of the techniques for any situation you may come across in real life. Standing in front of a zombie silhouette you bought at a gun show or Wally World and throwing lead at it a few times a year does not cut it. Neither does playing cowboy, Rambo or leader of Seal Team 5 at the range. Even though range time is not required by Colorado Statute, I am careful to explain what I believe you should know and practice. Of the few Sheriff’s in Colorado that insist on range time before signing a permit, one is in the County where I live. I embrace the chance to get people out on my private range.
It is set up they way it needs to be for concealed carry practice. Few commercial ranges allow you to do this because it may compromise the safety of other shooters. It doesn’t fit into their way of doing things. Without the intimate knowledge of what, how and why you should practice, you likely will not practice. This cold cost you your life one day.
Finally, I try to drive home that you are now responsible to carry your gun every single day whenever it is legal and appropriate to do so. The one day you don’t could be the one day in your entire life you needed it. Now you are dead without the chance of a fight. The Sheriff who issued me my first permit at 21 was so serious about this he told me if I didn’t he would take the permit back. That state was not a shall issue state!
As you make the decision to become a concealed permit holder, you must think about these responsibilities constantly and not ever take them lightly.