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Finding the right instructor is very important when you’re looking to take a concealed carry class. While it will depend on your state, you are almost likely to be required to take training (and if you’re not, read up on why you might want to take some anyways), and the quality of that training matters when it comes to you being able to protect yourself when you’re carrying and a threat arises.

Just as you want the right gun, holster, ammunition and clothing, you want to find someone who will teach you to be the best you can be and bring out both the skills you already have and the questions you need to ask to become better.

Finding a good, licensed instructor can turn your concealed carry course from a boring, learn-little experience into something you’ll remember and something that makes you excited about learning more.

The first thing you should look at is how safe your instructor is. What sort of safety precautions has he taken? He should have a first aid kit at the ready, he should be ready with ear plugs if you are live-firing, he should have safety goggles for you, and he should stress the importance of safety when handling a firearm. In fact, if safety training is the first thing on your curriculum, you’re probably in good shape. This is pretty basic stuff for a good firearms instructor, so if the person you’re considering doesn’t seem like they value this highly, you should find another instructor.

References are very helpful when you are looking for an instructor. Get it right out of the mouths of people who have trained with him before. Is he any good? Did they learn everything? Do they feel like he made them a better handler of their firearm? Check online, ask your friends who have taken courses in your area, and ask around the local gun groups/shooting ranges.

How much experience does this person actually have with guns, shooting and teaching? How often does this person actually shoot? Have they trained for a long time? Find out how familiar they are with firearms and training, because while some people may think they can instruct, there are a lot of poor instructors out there who think that just because they can shoot a gun they can train. Just make sure your instructor actually shoots and enjoys it. While not necessary, it can help if the instructor has military or law enforcement training and experience.

What is the course structure? Different teachers will have different styles when it comes to the course structure and material. Some want to be the ‘big man’ in the class and will make you feel stupid for asking questions. Stay away from these guys with big egos. You’ll learn nothing because you’ll be afraid to screw up or ask questions, because they’ll belittle you in front of everyone. Get someone who genuinely cares and wants to help people learn.

Does your instructor know a lot? Seriously – how knowledgeable is he or she about state laws? Does he or she stay up to date on the latest firearm news and technological advancements? It helps to have someone who has a vast knowledge base because lots of different questions can come up when you’re training.

What kind of class sizes does the instructor typically deal with? Your ability to learn may increase if you get more one on one time, and that means that a smaller class size is usually better for you getting the best training.

How much are you going to be paying for this training? There isn’t usually too much variable in how much a CCW class costs. If you find a $50 difference, that’s usually quite a lot, so you should check into that. The thing is, if someone is charging way too much, make sure you’re talking about value, not just monetary cost. If it’s more expensive, but way better training, you might consider it. On the flip side, if an instructor only wants $10 for training compared to $100 down the road, ask yourself how good the training is and why it’s so inexpensive.

Don’t go for the ‘too good to be true’ or ‘salesmen’ instructors. There are so many people out there looking to take your money and scam you. We like to think that in the firearms community we’re all good to each other and have a sort of unique bond. However, people will always be trying to make a buck and this is not exception. Just look out for people who seem scammy or shifty.

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Federal Firearms License (FFL)

A Federal Firearms License, of FFL for short, is a national permit that allows you or a company to do business related to the making of firearms and ammunition. It also allows for the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms.

There are eight (8) types of FFLs.

How to get an FFL or become a Federal Firearms Licensee

First, you will need to fill out an application and send it back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

  • The application must contain only truthful information.
  • You will need to provide a photograph and fingerprints (the form will include instructions on these items).
  • If you are a nonimmigrant alien, you will need documentation showing that you have an exception or have obtained a waiver from the nonimmigrant alien provision.
  • You must also include a complete ATF Form 5300.37 (Certification of Compliance with State and Local Law) and ATF Form 5300.36 (Notification of Intent to Apply for a Federal Firearms License) (Get these forms by contacting any ATF office)
  • Finally, you’ll need to include the proper fee in the form of a money order or check made out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

If your application is filled out correctly, you shall be approved for a license as long as:

  • You are 21 years old or over
  • You are not prohibited under the provisions of the Act from shipping or transporting in interstate or foreign commerce, or possessing in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition, or from receiving any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce
  • You haven’t willfully violated any sections of the Act
  • You have not willfully disclosed information on the application nor lied about any material fact on the application
  • You have premises in a state to conduct business subject to license under the act, or if you’re a collector, premises in a state to collect subject to license under the act
  • You have filled out an ATF Form 5300.37 with ATF in accordance with the instructions on the form

Who can get an FFL?

If you meet the requirements laid out in the Act based on the application and licensing process, you can get an FFL.

Why Get a Federal Firearms License?

If you’re interested in the manufacture of guns and ammo or the sale of firearms, you will need a FFL. You cannot do these things without a license due to the Gun Control Act of 1968. Penalties and consequences can be severe, so you should always be sure to follow all laws and rules pertaining to firearms and firearms related activitiesand the licensing thereof.

More Information on FFLs

All the information you need to become a Federal Firearm Licensee can be found at the ATF’s website:

Types of FFL

Type 1 – Title 1 dealer or gunsmith other than destructive devices. Can also deal in Title II NFA firearms with class 3 tax stamp.

Type 2 – Title 1 dealer doing business as a pawnbroker

Type 3 – Licensed collector of Curio & Relic (C&R) firearms.

Type 6 – Licensed manufacturer of ammunition and reloading components other than ammunition for destructive devices and armor piercing ammunition. Must also register with the Department of State under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). Current registration costs start at $2250 per year.

Type 7 – Title 1 manufacturer of firearms and ammunition, who may also act as dealer; may not manufacture or deal in destructive devices, ammunition for destruction devices, or armor piercing ammunition. Must also register with the Department of State under the ITAR. Current registration costs start at $2250 per year. Can also manufacture and deal in Title II NFA firearms with class 2 tax stamp.

Type 8 – Importer of Title 1 firearms and ammunition. Must also register with the Department of State under the ITAR. Current registration costs start at $2250 per year. Can also import Title II NFA firearms with class 1 tax stamp.

Type 9 – Dealer in firearms, including destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices, and armor piercing ammunition. Requires payment as an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer) Class 1 (can act as an NFA Dealer). To deal/broker any DD with an explosives content (e.g. flash-bangs) requires an additional Federal Explosives License as a Dealer of High Explosives.

Type 10 – Manufacturer of firearms, ammunition and ammunition components, manufacturer of destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices, and armor piercing ammunition; may also deal in all of the aforementioned items. Requires payment as an SOT Class 2 (can act as an NFA Dealer). To manufacture any DD with an explosives content (e.g. flash-bangs) requires an additional FEL[3] as a Type 20 Manufacturer of High Explosives. Must also register with the Department Of State under the ITAR Current registration costs start at $2,250 per year.

Type 11 – Importer of firearms, ammunition, destructive devices, ammunition for destructive devices, and armor piercing ammunition; may also deal in all the aforementioned items. Requires payment as an SOT Class 1 and registration with the U.S. Department of State as a Broker under ITAR/D-TRADE. To import any DD with an explosives content (e.g. flash-bangs), requires an additional FEL as an Importer of High Explosives.

Source: [Wikipedia]

*As with all information on this site, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the statements made in this article, but strive to provide the most up to date information available*

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What is a concealed weapons permit?

A concealed weapons permit (sometimes called something else, like a concealed handgun permit, a license to carry a concealed weapon, etc.) is a permit or license that is issued to you by your state that allows you to legally carry a concealed weapon.

While there are a few states in which you can carry concealed without a permit, the majority of states require you to get one of these to stay on the right side of the law.

How do I get a concealed weapons permit?

This depends largely on your state.

A ‘typical’ state will make you fill out an application, provide finger prints, undergo a background check, take a firearms safety training course, and pay a fee.

You’ll have to check with your local issuing authority (usually your local sheriff, chief of police, or attorney general) to get the laws for your state.

In most states, as mentioned, you’ll need to take a concealed carry class. To find out more about the training laws in your state, click here to find your state.

A .460 S&W with a K40 Kahr

A .460 S&W with a K40 Kahr

Why get a concealed weapons permit?

This is a very personal question. Most people get a permit or license for self-defense.

If your state allows it, you may feel more safe and in control of any situation if you are allowed to carry a weapon. While some states allow for open-carry (not having to conceal your firearm when carrying it), some people still prefer to carry concealed.

CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) gives you the element of surprise in a moment of danger. If you are assaulted or if you are in a place of business that is ‘held up’, you will have a great advantage if the perpetrator does not know nor think you have a gun. With your sharp skills (maintained through constant training and classes) and your concealed firearm, you may be able to save many lives, including your own and your family’s.

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Concealed Carry Instructor

A concealed carry instructor is a person who is certified and approved to teach a concealed carry class. An instructor will be a very highly trained and qualified marksman and firearms safety expert. He or she will have intimate knowledge of the laws governing concealed carry in your state, and will have to be very familiar with all aspects of carrying a concealed weapon.

States usually allow for firearms safety and training courses to be given by state-approved instructors. Usually, this includes NRA Instructors, Police or Sheriff Instructors, or Military Instructors.

NRA Firearms Safety Courses are widely accepted as appropriate training to acquire a concealed carry class. (You can find out what requirements your state has by clicking here.) Therefore, civilians can and do teach carry courses by becoming an NRA Certified Instructor.

Concealed Carry Instructor Course

To become a certified and approved concealed carry instructor, you will have to take training and pass a test. Additionally, it is likely that you will need to fill out a form and provide documentation showing that you have the appropriate certification to teach a concealed carry class.

Like the concealed carry class itself, to become a concealed carry instructor, in some states you will have to provide information on your mental health, your background, criminal record, and provide proof of training.

The course you take will likely be an NRA course. It will teach you multiple facets of concealed carry, firearms laws in your state, and how to safely handle weapons. However, it will also teach you what you need to know to be an effective teacher. Just because you know a lot about guns, carrying, etc., does not mean you will necessarily be a top-notch teacher.

How to become a concealed carry instructor

So, you might now be asking, “How do I become a CCW instructor?”

Because NRA Instructors are widely recognized (though not universally recognized), you are best off becoming an NRA Instructor. Again, double check what kind of instructors your state approves for concealed carry classes. If in doubt, contact your local sheriff’s office or your state’s Attorney General.

To become an instructor, you will have to have a real passion for teaching people and spreading firearms awareness and safety. You are doing yourself and your students an injustice if you aren’t fully engaged. Teaching firearms safety isn’t just about going through a text book. You must know what to do in any given situation, so that you can give the most informative classes and answer any questions that may arise.

As long as you are sure that you are teacher material, you can begin the process to become an NRA Instructor.

You will first need to sign up to take a course. Courses are divided into disciplines. For example, you can be an instructor for the Pistol Shooting Course, the Home Firearm Safety Course, etc.

Fill out the application. You will be accepted or denied based on your background in firearm safety and shooting skills. This can be demonstrated in numerous ways.

Qualify based on the Pre-Course Qualification Checklist. This can only be done if you have passed the course you hope to teach, with a very high score (90% on the test). This can be skipped, as long as you have other equally impressive shooting skills that you can prove.

You need at least 80% on the Pre-Course Qualification to make it to the actual instructor course. You will be tested on things like loading/unloading, clearing jams, firing proficiency, etc. Safety is paramount. Failure to adhere to good safety practices will result in a 0 mark for any particular section of the Pre-Course Qualification.

If you pass this part of the application, you will take the actual training, usually 2 weeks or so afterwards. The training will consist of 2 days, typically. You will learn basic instruction first, and then have a second day, where you will delve further into your specialty.

Finally, you will need the endorsement of your teacher (an NRA Training Counselor).

As you can see, this test process is not quick, nor easy. The NRA Instructor Course can cost anywhere from $200 to $400, and can only be taught by NRA Training Counselors.

If you get through this process and become an NRA Instructor, you can be sure that you are a highly qualified and skilled firearms safety and training expert.

Now, while this is the tough part, you will probably have to get approved by your state, in order to actually teach.

To do this, contact your local sheriff or police chief. If your concealed firearms program/legislation is run by another state department, contact them (i.e., Attorney General).

It is likely that you will need to fill out a form that confirms you are of sound mind, do not have a criminal record, don’t abuse drugs nor alcohol, and have the appropriate training requirements.

There are some states that have different CCW instructor certification guidelines. To find out more about your state’s requirements to become a concealed carry instructor, click below.

How to become an instructor in each state – Coming Soon!

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When carrying a concealed weapon on your waist, utilizing either an Outside the WaistBand (OWB) holster or an Inside the WaistBand (IWB) holster, you must take concealed carry belts into consideration.

A belt is an integral part of your concealed carry outfit. It can be as important as your holster, because they work together to give you comfort and accessibility.

When looking for a gun belt, or a concealed carry belt, you’ll want to make sure that it is quite rigid.

One of the main purposes of your belt is to keep the holster rigid, which allows for a clean draw. This means that when you pull your firearm out of your holster, it does not catch or pull the holster with it, therefore impeding your ability to quickly and efficiently draw your gun.

An extra second or two could mean the difference between life and death if you need to pull your firearm, so having the extra rigidity of a specially designed belt is a very important.

Your belt might be 1.25″ thick, 1.5″ thick, or more. This allows for more rigidity and stability. Keep in mind, though that if your belt is too thick, it may become obvious to the casual observer that you are wearing a heavy duty belt to aid you in carry concealed. This is not a good thing if you are trying to hide the fact that you are carrying.

Concealed Carry BeltsThe other main objective of your belt is to distribute the weight of your weapon, along with any extra ammunition or accessories you are carrying. This is mainly a comfort issue, but comfort is a vital aspect of carrying concealed.

If your belt is sagging under the weight of your gun and holster, it will be uncomfortable. You will be fidgeting with it all day, pulling your pants up, and be generally distracted from the constant vigilance you should be exercising.

You must keep comfort to a maximum, especially when it also improves your concealment and accessibility.

When looking for a good gun belt, it should be a double thickness of leather.

Again, this can give your belt away to the casual observer, so make sure that the belt you purchase is not over-the-top in any way. Do your best to find an average sized belt, so that you can remain inconspicuous.

Pick a belt that you will wear. It must match your everyday clothing. If you usually wear a suit, make sure you pick a good dress belt that goes well with your clothes.

You can get strong casual belts, too, which you can wear if you normally dress in jeans, khakis, cargo pants, or shorts.

Too many people do not pay attention to their belt choice. You likely spent a lot of time and energy getting the right holster, so why not spend as much time getting the right belt?

If you’re smart, you’ll buy a concealed carry belt that is top quality and wear it everyday with your holster to get the most out of carrying concealed.

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You’ve decided that you should start carrying concealed, but aren’t sure where to start. Do you need a permit? How easy is it to get a concealed carry permit? Do you need to take a training class? How much does it cost?

Although each state is different, there are some basic steps you can follow to determine how to get your concealed carry permit.

Step 1 – Find out if you need a permit

You will likely need a permit, but there are a few states that are considered “Constitutional Carry” or Unrestricted, because you don’t need to have a CCW permit.

Click here to find out if you need a permit in your state.

Step 2 – Find out if you need to take a class (and then take one!)

Most states have mandatory training requirements in place. In most states, you will need to take a firearms safety or training course to prove your proficiency with a handgun.

There are a few exceptions, but in most cases you’ll need to take a concealed carry class.

Click here to find your state’s course requirements.

Classes vary by company and by state. Most involve classroom time, some involve live-fire on a range, and some are even available online. Be sure to choose the course best for you, and consider doing more training than what is required by law.

You can never know too much or be too good when it comes to defending you and your family from threats.

After you have found out if you need to take a class to get your CCW Permit, register for one and complete it. In most cases, you will need to show proof of completion when you fill out your application.
How to get a concealed carry permit

Step 3 – Find out your state’s laws

This is vital. It is very necessary to learn all of the laws regarding concealed carry to make sure you do not do anything illegal, because there can be big consequences.

You may have already learned most, if not all, of the laws at your concealed carry class. However, if you didn’t learn them all, or if you didn’t take a class, be sure to check your state’s legislation so that you have all the facts.

This can usually be accessed online, but you can contact your local issuing authority or your state representative for more information.

Step 4 – Fill out an application

In most cases, you’ll now be ready to fill out your application.

It is mandatory to fill out your application at the local sheriff’s office in some states, but other states allow you to fill it out online, or to print it off at home and send it in to the issuing authority. To find out more about this, check out your state’s page one more time.

Be completely open and honest in your application. It will be checked for accuracy and it will do you no good if you are found to be lying on your application form. Come prepared with all necessary documentation and information.

To find out more, please make sure you call or visit your local issuing authority to find out exactly what you will need in your state.

Remember that in most May-Issue states, you will be required to provide a ‘good reason’ for why you want to carry concealed, and in most cases “self-defense” is not a good enough reason. Many May-Issue states make it difficult to get a permit and may only issue permits in very rare cases where you can prove your life is in danger and you are doing everything else in your power for self-protection already.

Be aware and be prepared with your reasoning for wanting to carry concealed.

Step 5 – Pay the fee, get your fingerprints and finish up

After you’ve completed your application, you’ll need to pay a ‘processing fee’ of sorts. This varies in cost, but depending on the state can be as low as $5 or as high as $100+. Make sure you have asked the issuing authority what type of payment they accept.

In a lot of states, you will be fingerprinted when you apply in person. This usually carries an additional cost but is generally around $10, though this cost varies by state, too.

If there is anything else you are required to do, ensure that you follow through on this. Sometimes you are required to take training after your application, sometimes you have to follow up with another form. Make sure you ask when you apply.

Step 6 – Receive a response

If your application process went off without a hitch, you will now have to wait for a response. There are usually legislated timelines for how long a response can take, though in many states, responses are taking longer due to the increase in applications.

As long as you have done everything correctly and meet all of the requirements, there is a good chance you will obtain your concealed carry permit!

If you are not approved, find out exactly why. If it was something in your application or training that didn’t meet the requirements, address the issue and try re-applying. It could, however, be that you didn’t meet all of the requirements and are ineligible for a concealed carry permit. Hopefully this isn’t the case, but be prepared.

Step 7 – Carry responsibly and keep your permit up to date

Now that you have a concealed carry class, keep in mind the responsibility that goes along with it. You owe it to your community, your family, and yourself to be the best you can be with your firearm.

Keep up on your training. Ensure you don’t print or brandish. Always be vigilant.

You may be required to take further training to renew your permit. Once again, click here to find your state and see if there are any special requirements for renewal.

If you move, have a change of address, change your name for any reason, or have any other alterations to make to your permit, make sure you do so immediately. Check with your local issuing authority to find out how to update your permit information. In some cases, your permit can be invalid if it is not kept up to date.

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To safely, legally and effectively carry a concealed weapon, you must have the proper clothing. Remember that you can be charged with brandishing if someone sees your firearm, when it is supposed to be concealed. Because of this, you will need clothing that fits over your gun and conceals it, without being too obvious.

While it is not necessary to buy specific concealed carry clothing, there are some very good, helpful pieces available that are specifically designed with CCW in mind. This means that if you get a piece of clothing like this, you will discover that your gun will be concealed easily, and you will likely come across great extras such as useful pockets.

When you go about buying the best concealed carry clothing for your needs, remember that it needs to Conceal, be Comfortable and

Concealed Carry Shirts, Jackets and Coats

Concealed Carry Clothes

Now, many people use a standard holster, either inside or outside the waistband, to carry their weapon. If you do this, basically all you need to do is ensure that your top-level shirt is big enough and loose enough to conceal your weapon without printing.

Whether you need a tucked in shirt or not will depend on whether you carry inside or outside the waistband, obviously. If you cannot leave your shirt untucked, you must consider a jacket of some sort. A suit jacket or blazer works well if you are in a business or business-casual situation. If it’s cold out, your fall or winter jacket will likely suffice.

If you are wearing a top layer, such as a jacket, make sure that you keep it done up and wear it all the time, or you could risk showing your firearm.

Concealed Carry Pants

There are a few things you must consider for your pants when carrying concealed.

What kind of holster are you using? Inside the waistband? Make sure you can fit your holster and weapon comfortable and make sure it is accessible. Ankle holster? Make sure that your pant leg is wide enough to accommodate it.

If you’re not using a holster, and are carrying in a pocket, which some people do, make extra sure that you can comfortably fit your gun and access it. It can’t move around a lot, print, or have the slightest possibility of falling out.

Search for concealed carry pants here.

Concealed Carry Clothing for Women

Women, are you carrying using a thigh holster? Make sure your skirt or dress comes down low enough to cover your holster and firearm.

You can also consider a fanny pack or a purse to carry your concealed weapon. While this is a very good way to conceal your weapon, you must make sure that you do not let your handbag get away from your person. Keep it on you at all times. Be very aware of any situation where you might be a target for a thief – you do not want to have your purse stolen with a gun in it.

There are female-specific shirts that have holsters built-in.

Women also have the option of using a concealed carry bra holster. There are multiple styles, but basically your gun fits securely in your bra. This method is very concealed (if used correctly) and can usually be accessed easily and with a great element of surprise.

Concealed Carry or Photographer’s Vests

Vests are great for concealing your firearm, because they go overtop of your shirt, meaning you can conceal in various places. They also have many pockets for things such as extra ammunition, keys, tactical gear, etc.

Although some people say that if you are wearing a photographer’s vest, you are announcing to the world that you are carrying concealed, this really is not the case. Many people wear vests, and unless you are fidgeting with your firearm under the vest, or accidentally spill a magazine, you will not be discovered.

If this might fit your style, then view some of the best photographer’s vests.

Concealed Carry Belts

Click here to go to our page on Concealed Carry Belts.

Holster Shirt

Holster shirts are tight-fitting shirts, typically in t-shirt style, that have a pouch or two to safely and securely holster your firearm and other accessories (such as ammunition).

The pouch will be under your arm and contain elastic, for a snug fit. This way, your equipment won’t come loose, it will stay comfortably in place, yet it will still be fairly easy to access.

This type of shirt is good for wearing underneath a baggier shirt or jacket. Because the weapon sits under your arm and is held closely to your body, there are limited chances for it to print, meaning you should not run into concealment problems.

A downside to this shirt could be the slight extra time and effort it would take to reach under your ‘over shirt’ to obtain your concealed weapon. If you are wearing a button up shirt, this could take a number of seconds and be awkward.

Click here for some of the best holster shirts.

Concealed Carry Purse

A concealed carry purse (or handbag) is one method for a female to carry concealed. Typically, these will look like normal purses, but have specific compartments that are designed for firearms and related accessories.

You will usually find an easily accessible zipper compartment on the outside of the purse that comfortably carries most firearms. There will have been specific precautions taken to ensure that printing does not occur, especially if the purse utilizes this outer pocket.

While very good for concealment and comfort, one must be especially careful with a conceal carry purse.

Purses and all other off-body carry devices (think any sort of bag or coat that you may take off and leave beside you for any reason) have an inherent risk of leaving them behind.

While you may scoff and think that you would never do this, all it takes is one moment of forgetfulness and you could be facing serious consequences.

It would be bad enough if law enforcement found your purse and gun just lying around, but imagine if a criminal or even a child got a hold of your forgotten bag. So, if you are going to use a concealed carry purse, make absolutely sure that you do not leave it lying around anywhere unattended or forgotten.

Additionally, purses are a high-value target for thieves and pickpockets. Take as many precautions as you possibly can to make sure your bag doesn’t look like a target.

If you prefer this method of carry, click here for some of the best concealed carry purses.

Tactical Shirts

Tactical shirts are great if you’re active, enjoy hunting, are a general outdoorsman, do any sort of handiwork, or just enjoy the utility of having a great shirt.

They typically are made of very durable fabric, have numerous pockets to secure all sorts of accessories, and contain great features like great ventilation and being water repellant.

Basically, long sleeve or short sleeve tactical shirts are great for just about anything, and would go well as part of your concealed carry outfit – especially if they are a more traditional fit, which gives you a bit more room.

Check out some of the best tactical shirts here.

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An Online Concealed Carry Class is a course that teaches you the state-required firearms safety or training program that will allow you to get your license or permit. Unlike traditional courses, the content is delivered over the internet.

These classes can be video, audio, text, or a combination of all three. Generally, you’ll have to take a test at the end of the class to prove that you have a basic understanding of what you just learned. These tests are fairly easy to pass, with most courses boasting a 99% success rate after only one attempt.

Your online class should take about an hour or two. When you have passed the test at the end, you will be provided with a certificate of completion from the company offering the training. You will need to print this off, so make sure you have access to a printer. 

Online Concealed Carry Course

Once you have your printed certificate of completion, you can present it to your local issuing authority (whoever issues your permits – usually your local sheriff or the Attorney General) as proof of your firearms competency or completion of training requirement.

There are pros and cons of online classes, so you must figure out if it’s right for you. Are you comfortable taking online training that does not allow you to ask questions or fire a gun? Or do you think online classes amount to nothing more than an easy way to get around training requirements?


  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Offered by certified instructors or schools
  • Affordable
  • Convenient


  • Unable to ask questions
  • No live-fire exercises
  • No way to tell if you’ve actually gone through the training
  • Some sheriffs won’t accept online training, even though the state says it is legal

You should really think this through before you decide to take an online concealed carry course.

Check with your local sheriff to see if he will accept an online training class – this can save you a lot of hassle and time.

Think about how much you know about firearm safety and training. If you were attacked, would you be able to save your life by using your concealed firearm if you opted to take online training? Would an online course give you confidence in yourself to save your family in the case of an emergency?

On a basic level, do you think that online training is right? Some people think that there should be no laws restricting use and carry of firearms, and so an online carry course is the easiest way to bypass restrictive legislation. Others feel that there should be more strict regulations on who receives a license to carry a concealed weapon, including training regulations. What side do you fall on?

If you decide to take a concealed carry class over the internet, make sure you know all of the relevant laws.

Click on your state to find out more about concealed carry classes:

Iowa Oregon Virginia

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Whether you agree with certain legislation or not, it is imperative that you follow the laws of the land when you are carrying a weapon, particularly a concealed one. Penalties are generally very tough, though some do vary by state.

Please note that even if you are against certain restrictions or regulations, there are ways to take action. Join an activist group and get involved. Do not break the rules to make a point, you are simply putting your own gun-carrying future in jeopardy and making law abiding gun owners look bad.

Naturally, if you feel blatantly wronged in any way by the law, and are being punished for something you did not do or that the law does not prohibit, do what you need to do legally to seek justice.

Personal vendettas and justice out of the way, please follow all laws related to concealed carry.

Step one in your lawful quest to carry concealed is to know the laws. Check out some of the relevant laws for your state here but make sure you check directly with your state authority to get the most accurate and up to date legal answers. (While we check for the most up to date information, we do not guarantee any information is accurate.) Use common sense and check directly with your state.

If you know the laws of the land, respect them!

Most importantly, concealed means concealed. If you have got a concealed carry license and are carrying a concealed weapon, printing is not good. Having any part of your firearm visible is not good.

From time to time, you hear about people breaking the law by brandishing, even if it’s just a print or a lifted shirt that reveals your gun.

You’ll also hear about people who had a bit to drink while carrying concealed, because they thought the law forbids being drunk, rather than drinking. Please pay attention to the laws in your state, because you will likely find that it is illegal to consume any alcohol while you have a concealed weapon on you.

So, what kind of penalties are you looking at if you break the law?

Illegal carrying is a felony in most states, so if you are convicted of something related to the illegal carry of your firearm, you will lose your gun rights for life.

There are many violations of law regarding concealed carry, so make sure you know all the laws. Here are some of the consequences of being convicted:

  • Fines
  • Jail Time
  • Loss of Voting Rights
  • Passport Cancellation
  • Permit Revocation
  • Weapon Destroyed

As you can see, you don’t want to be found guilty of any sort of firearm related illegality.

There are many reasons you may need to take a concealed carry class, and this is certainly one of them. Your course will likely be required to teach you all about your state’s laws. Pay particular attention to this part of the class and stay up to date. Legislation changes all the time and it is up to you to stay current.

Tough penalties can be given for illegally carrying your weapon, especially carrying concealed illegally. Don’t take any risks. Know the laws. If you aren’t sure if something is illegal, check with your state or county before you go through with it. You could be risking your future safety or even be thrown in jail.

posted by on Concealed Carry, Permit

If you’re interested in your right to keep and bear arms, and you want to carry concealed, you have likely come across the terms Shall Issue and May Issue.

These are important terms when it comes to permit issuing in each state, and your likelihood of obtaining a permit or license will be influenced by whether your state is Shall Issue or May Issue.

I will quickly mention that there are Unrestricted states, which are sometimes referred to as Constitutional Carry states, which do not require you to get a permit before you carry concealed, but these are few and far between (Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming and parts of Montana are considered Unrestricted). Furthermore, there is still one state that is officially Restricted or No Issue – Illinois.

This means that the state does not allow you to get a concealed carry permit nor carry concealed.

Most states are either Shall Issue or May Issue, so it is important to know the distinction.

May Issue Shall Issue

So what do they mean?
Both terms refer to what kind of restrictive measures are available to the issuing authority. Are you able to get your license by virtue of passing the few basic requirements such as age, training, photos, and fee? Or is the process more difficult because you must satisfy the issuing authority’s request for a detailed explanation as to why you need to carry concealed?

Therein lies the distinction between the two terms – Shall Issue means that as long as you pass basic requirements set out by state law, the issuing authority (county sheriff, police department, etc.) shall issue you a permit. May Issue means that you must pass basic requirements and the issuing authority may issue you a permit.

Shall Issue states have clearly defined parameters that you must fall within to get your license. They usually including things like an age restriction (generally 21 years old), the requirement to take a firearms safety training course, and that you properly fill out the application, get finger prints done, and provide a passport-style photograph. You will also likely be subjected to a background check, and in your application, you will have to make it clear if you have any past criminal record.

If you do everything correctly, the issuing authority simply confirms all of the information you have given, and if all the information checks out, you shall be issued a permit, with no judgment given from or by the issuing authority.

May Issue states have defined parameters as well, similar to Shall Issue states. However, there is usually a requirement that you provide a reason for wanting to carry concealed. Usually this reason must be that you have a real reason to fear for your life or safety, or that of your family. May Issue states, therefore, are more restrictive than Shall Issue, because the issuing authority has a say in whether you get a permit or not. May Issue states give the issuing authority the right to pass judgment as to whether or not you should be allowed to have a permit.

If you do everything correctly, the issuing authority still must contemplate whether you should be given a permit or license, which means that even if you would have been granted a permit in a Shall Issue state, you may not qualify in a May Issue state because of the restrictive measures that an issuing authority may consider when deciding your licensing fate.

Overall, Shall-Issue states allow you to exercise more of your freedom, because you are not subjected to judgment by the issuing authority, who could come up with myriad reasons why you should not be able to carry concealed. Some May-Issue states have gone so far as to be considered Restricted or No-Issue in all but name.

Make sure you know the laws in your state before you apply for a concealed carry license. Click here to find out where your state fits in, so that you have the most amount of information before you apply.

Regardless, make sure you always take a concealed carry class, because it is always good to keep up with your practice and training. Having a CCW class might even help you get approved in a May-Issue state, specifically if you have gone above and beyond your state’s safety and training requirements.