Electronic Training for Concealed Handgun? Virginia ACTION ALERT

Electronic Training for Concealed Handgun? Virginia ACTION ALERT

This is a discussion on Electronic Training for Concealed Handgun? Virginia ACTION ALERT within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; By Julia O'Donoghue Wednesday, February 04, 2009 The Virginia Senate Committee for Courts of Justice moved forward a bill that allows an applicant for a ...

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  1. #1
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    Electronic Training for Concealed Handgun? Virginia ACTION ALERT

    By Julia O'Donoghue
    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    The Virginia Senate Committee for Courts of Justice moved forward a bill that allows an applicant for a concealed handgun permit to demonstrate competency with the weapon by taking an online, video or electronic course as long as it is taught by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor.

    In order to get a concealed handgun permit, Virginia residents are currently required to complete a hunting course or a firearms training and safety course with a National Rifle Association or criminal justice-trained instructor. Exceptions to this rule include people who can prove they are currently in the military, were honorably discharged from the military, participate in competitive rifle events, have formal training with government agencies or previously had a concealed handgun permit.

    The bill, introduced by Fairfax County Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), received bipartisan support among committee members.

    Another Fairfax County Senator, Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35), and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-25) both voted to support the bill.

    Fairfax County senators Janet Howell (D-32) and Toddy Puller (D-36) voted against the bill.
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Um... do we like this idea?
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    Sounds reasonable to me with proper safeguards.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Um... do we like this idea?
    Believe it or not it already exists. The gun shop sponsoring the test sued the local judge for one jurisdiction who initially had reservations. The gun shop won and this class is all that is required. The video and test is about 1.5 hours. Go HERE to see the info. I know the same test also exists ifrom a gun shop in Richmond as well.

    Like Paymeister, I too have a tinge of doubt about the issue. Does it do us more harm than good? I do not know, so what do others think?
    Men look out for themselves; real men look out for others!

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    Senior Member Array f8lranger4x4's Avatar
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    I think you need a proper hands on training. If i had it my way people here in Virginia would have to qualify with their weapon the same as we do for work.

  6. #6
    Member Array swaggs's Avatar
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    I'm more comfortable knowing a permit holder has had the hands on training. Didn't seem to me like the requirements were all that difficult to knock out and they were appropriate to demonstrate a level of responsibilty and commitment to carrying.

    Seems like something the anti's will be able to point at saying "look, we made it easier for you to get your stupid permits." And we'll have to deal with the fact that they made it easier for less dedicated people to get permits. May or may not lead to more people who maybe shouldn't have them...

    I, of course, say all this not having seen the video, but by my gut reactions, I'm not in favor of this.

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    It really scared me how easy it was for me to get my CC permit in NC. It was easier than getting a hunting license in CA. At least now they have increased class time and are teaching gun safety as part of the course with a live fire qualification. We that carry, practice live fire, drawing etc are a extreme minority in the gun world. Most get their permit and either never carry or they carry and never practice. This should scare some of ya!! How many are toting a 45acp they have no idea how to control and fire accurately. I believe there should be one set of standards of permits in all states, I think this would make the reciprocy much easier, because then any permit should be valid in any shall issue or may issue state. I know this is dreaming but I am still all for it!!
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    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    When I obtained my Virginia CC permit my only prior experience with firearms was with a 22 rifle at a Boy Scout camp decades before. To obtain my VA CC permit, all I had to do was take a three hour course with about two hours of classroom training and an hour on the range, during which I fired 50 rounds at a large silhouette target at 7 yards. I found this training to be wholly inadequate to the responsibility of carrying a handgun in a number of respects.

    The instructor's view of the law was biased by a very pro 2A/pro conservative/pro gun culture point of view so that his 'guidelines' represented wishful thinking about what the results of using lethal force would be rather than a more cautious view about how the law operates in the real world. In fact, he made some outright errors in his legal conclusions. There was no written or oral test to see if we had absorbed the training. Fortunately, due to my legal background, I was able to recognize where he was being overly optimistic.

    When it came to the shooting part of the course, I was not required to demonstrate any level of accuracy or to draw the weapon, present it and fire under any time limits. I was simply required to fire 20 rounds at the large silhouette target after which the instructor pronounced that I passed -based on unstated criteria- and I was given my certificate.

    Although the certificate was sufficient for me to obtain my CC permit in Virginia (which I applied for the week I got the certificate), I knew I was not prepared to actually carry so I took additional training and started slowly. It took me six months of regular shooting before I began to carry and even then I did not carry with a chambered round for a while longer.

    Based on my experience, I believe that an online course taught by someone who actually knows the law and how it works would be an improvement over the live training that I received. It would also be an improvement if the course included an exam that the applicant was required to pass. (BTW, I was required to pass a written safety test before being able to use the range at NRA headquarters, so it appears that being able to demonstrate competence is not not alien to even a very pro gun point of view).

    Finally, I also believe that a live fire exam should be mandatory in Virgina as it is in some other jurisdictions. Limiting the right to conceal carry to those who can demonstrate that they have a minimal capability to draw and shoot accurately would make it more deadly for the bad guys and safer for the good guys.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy View Post
    ...
    Finally, I also believe that a live fire exam should be mandatory in Virgina as it is in some other jurisdictions. Limiting the right to conceal carry to those who can demonstrate that they have a minimal capability to draw and shoot accurately would make it more deadly for the bad guys and safer for the good guys.
    I very strongly agree. I was approached by a gunshop owner who told me he'd been solicited by a guy handing out cards offering an online course, a one-hour online forty dollar course. The gunshop owner figured the course must be illegal, so I looked it up. The statute says that the course used to qualify for the CHP has to be about either safety or training:

    Virginia Code 18.2-308
    "Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;"
    Thus if the course is only about safety, and no actual hands-on experience is required, in my mind, there hasn't been adequate instruction. I'd be willing to have the experience certified some other way, e.g., police or military training, etc., or even a written statement by the applicant such as "I was raised on a farm and fed the family myself from the age of four by shooting squirrels and rabbits.."

    Here's another thing - the instructors have to be certified, but they don't have to be teaching the courses they're certified to teach.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f8lranger4x4 View Post
    I think you need a proper hands on training. If i had it my way people here in Virginia would have to qualify with their weapon the same as we do for work.
    I think you've missed a basic concept of freedom...called self preservation. Would it be nice if everyone went out and got effective training? ABSOLUTELY! Should it be required? A RESOUNDING HELL NO!

    Why? What about those one in a million cases? Those single mother or old widows that realize that they're in trouble, get themselves a firearm to carry, sign up for a class, but the threat is real right now and they don't have weeks or more to wait for the class to complete(signup/waiting time+actual class time).

    Are you going to tell them..."Sorry you can't defend yourself and/or your child"?
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    Member Array gglockster's Avatar
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    I'll have to look into this more, but anything supported by Dick Saslaw tends to be bad for the Second Amendment. Remember this is the guy that made the Deliverence movie crack about Virginia residents legally carrying openly.

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    Member Array celticredneck's Avatar
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    When Va first passed the CHP l shall issue statute, live fire training was required by some localities. It did not however require one to fire the weapon they were planning on carrying, and proficiency wasn't required either. It was more about demonstrating safe gun handling. I guess it was decided that safety could be demonstrated by handling unloaded guns provided by the instructors, because the state did away with any live fire requirements. Personally, I would rather have had a chance to shoot during my course.

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    Senior Member Array rmodel65's Avatar
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    i think you guys should be fighting to remove the training requirement, since it is a backdoor ban on the 2A
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    What about duck hunt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Um... do we like this idea?
    Does my 1000 hours on the Atari Game System game Duck Hunt count?

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    No way, but my boys have the Nerf shooting arcade on Wii and maybe I can get a CCW for Virginia to! :-)

    I'm no expert by any stretch, but I cannot see how simulation could ever be a substitute for live hands on training. I can see the potential for some additional training perhaps, but there's just no substitute for actually going through the motions - IMHO.

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