Is it reasonable to get your CCW/Permit before even choosing a firearm?

This is a discussion on Is it reasonable to get your CCW/Permit before even choosing a firearm? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; - I'm curious about a commonly told tale in the forums - the person who decides to get their CCW License/Permit to Carry before even ...

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Thread: Is it reasonable to get your CCW/Permit before even choosing a firearm?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Question Is it reasonable to get your CCW/Permit before even choosing a firearm?

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    I'm curious about a commonly told tale in the forums - the person who decides to get their CCW License/Permit to Carry before even considering their choice of firearm.

    First, my tale:

    Aside from a short target shooting session with a 30.06 rifle before my first (& only) deer hunt in my teens & popping off a few rounds from a .38 revolver with a co-worker when I was in my 20's, I was not 'in' to firearms. The first time I really spent an hour or so with a firearm was with a Glock 19 at a local gun range's spring show that I went to with my wife & a few of her friends. I'd say that after that show, I was fairly hooked.

    I started reading up on the Glock history, looking at their web site & all the little details they give about their firearms. I also started to dig around the numerous firearm-related web sites & forums, spending hours & hours weeding out the sites with mostly garbage posts & old information. I also started looking into the many theories on "the perfect pistol" & its desirable attributes, which led me to many other manufacturers & styles of pistols. I think that the hardest part of all of my research was trying to determine what the ideal ammunition caliber & type were. Because I was between jobs at the time (my first bout of unemployment in 22 years), this was about as far as I could go for the time being.

    When I finally got some job interviews rolling & was blessed with two job offers, I put a plan in motion regarding a small investment that I had & got serious about purchasing my first firearm. At this time, I also started doing research into my state's must-issue permit laws & found a great primer book on Minnesota's permit to carry. I purchased a gun range membership which had several free pistol rentals so I could try a few out & get comfortable with the mechanics of their use. I then took a basic handgun familiarization course & convinced the wife to join me, because I wanted both of us to be a bit more familiar with handguns before I brought one home.

    I zeroed in on a solid performing full-sized pistol (G17) & a decently rated entry-level carry pistol (PF-9) as my desired first purchases, & started gathering what I felt were the necessary accoutrements for the eventual pistol purchase - a wall safe, a bedside safe, an IWB holster for the PF-9 & a Serpa holster for the G17, some FMJ ammo for practice & a box of Hornady HP's for self defense.

    After the short wait for my permit to purchase, I lucked out during my pistol search & found a sweet deal on both of my firearm choices & brought it all home. I carried whenever I was at home to get comfortable with the holsters & went to the range monthly for practice sessions to build my marksmanship & handling skills. After a few months of safe handling practice, I felt comfortable enough & was convinced by my research to start keeping a round chambered in both pistols.

    After all of that, I still waited about a year after my purchases to get my permit to carry as I wanted to keep training & studying the pros & cons of carrying in public. I didn't really make the decision until about two months before getting into the necessary qualification class.


    In my Permit to Carry class there were several people who did not own a firearm & some of those had never picked up a firearm in their life. Two guys had only recently purchased their firearms - one, a Marine, at least spent a few weeks & a few range trips with his first, the other bought his the day before...I'll let you guess whose firearm failed to cycle properly during the range qualification.

    Now, I've had many discussions on various forums as I was building my knowledge base, so I want to make clear that I'm not trying to denigrate others who are doing the same here. To me it seems somewhat backwards to get one's CCW or Permit to Carry first.


    Thanks in advance for your response!
    Last edited by ArkhmAsylm; November 18th, 2011 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Removed a second question at the end.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    No, you have to start somewhere. Sometimes circumstances in your life lead you in a general direction for one reason or the other which you really have no control over. Myself, I was going to be a printer, joined the Air Force to get a journeyman's certificate in 4 years instead of the then required 6. After basic training they advised me that I was going to be a Police Officer, after 4 years as an Air Policeman, I got out of the Air Force and joined the Delaware State Police, started cc'ing while active duty, and have never stopped. Just worked out that way.
    Hiram25
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    Member Array paching's Avatar
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    Sure it is. I had my cc and my G license before I purchased my 9mm. I tried out several types of pistols at the range before deciding based upon my budget and preferences.
    Why?? Because at the last second, the Police are minutes away.

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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    My opinion on that question could go either way depending on what, if any, prior experience anyone had with any kind of firearm (especially handguns) before taking the CC class and getting a license.

    If the person already had prior experience with shooting many types of handguns, then I'd say NO. That person would already have enough practical experience to select (or already have) a type, style and size handgun that would best serve their particular lifestyle, activity level, and ability to carry it concealed without posing any major problems - and are only taking the course to learn the legal aspects of CC and get licensed.

    If the person had little or no prior experience, limited experience, or experience with only one type handgun, then I'd say YES. That person would be better served to first go through the CC course to learn all the different aspects involved in order to make a more informed decision on the particular type, style, and size CC weapon that would be best and most practical for their particular carry ability and effective defensive use.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In my early teens I carried a condom in my wallet for so long it left an impression in the leather,I didn't even have a girlfriend,but I was planning on getting one someday
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    While I owned quite a few pistols prior to getting my permit, I did not start buying concealed carry equipment until after getting my CHL. I did quite a bit of research on both pistols and holsters, and even at that, I hardly ever use any of my initial gear. I eventually switched from .45 M1911 to Glock 9mm, and my belts and holsters have evolved, as well. Honestly, many of my early decisions were based upon internet reviews and advice. I have pistols I will never carry and seldom shoot, a drawer full of holsters I will never wear, and belts which did not hold up well under the strain.

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    Member Array redbeardsong's Avatar
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    I got my carry license before I owned a gun, partially because it allowed me to skip the background check for gun purchases. Georgia doesn't have a training or live fire requirement, but I did get private instruction on my own.

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    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    I know people who have done it both ways. I had been shooting firearms since I was a teenager, both casually and competitively, mainly with rifles. Began shooting pistols competitively in my mid forties. Never considered carrying a defensive handgun until in my 60's when my wife brought up the subject! She had shot some, but wanted her own handgun for protection.

    We went to a range, along with a woman who works with my wife and her husband. Her husband had a little experience with firearms and she had almost none. We rented a variety of pistols to try and I let them shoot my Kimber 1911, as well. My wife purchased a Beretta PX4 Storm in .40 caliber and the other woman purchased one in 9mm. We all took the CCW class together. My wife's friend shot better than her husband during the qualification part of the class, even though she had very little experience before! In the class of about 18-20 people, we had very experienced shooters to complete novices. Since the class, which was about 2 1/2 years ago, I have carried nearly every day. My wife has not carried at all (mainly because she works on a government installation and cannot take a firearm to work and even leave it locked in her car, let alone carry).

    So, there are many different ways to reach the same end. And they all work. It just depends on the individual.
    Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King And keep a .45 handy Kimber Custom TLE II

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    We have had multiple people take our CHL classes who do not own firearms at the time. I simply rent them the gun and ammo for the class. Do I think that they shouldn't be in the class, nope, and it isn't because I am charging them, it is for various other reasons.

    To start with, if a person who is unfamiliar with handguns goes out and purchases a gun for concealed carry, they may not have any idea of what they are doing. They might come home with a Judge or 6" 44 magnum or something else that is totally impractical for concealed carry.

    A woman might go out and purchase a small .380 with the intentions of carrying it in her purse without the knowledge that a revolver will function if she has to shoot through her purse but the .380 won't function from inside the purse.

    Some men who want or own a .40 find out very quickly that they shoot my 9's and .45's much better than they shoot their .40's, and comment that man I wish I had purchased this other gun instead of what I have.

    So, I think there are some very valid arguments to be made that taking a good CHL class before one even owns a firearm can actually be a good thing.

    BTW, how many people go and purchase a car before getting thier drivers license? I would venture to say that most get the license before actually owning the car. No they are not exactly the same, but similar.
    RoadRunner71 and TVJ like this.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    I think so. I had my drivers license before I owned my own car.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    One thing to consider if taking your test before deciding on a weapon. In my State of Oklahoma if you take a test with a revolver you can only carry a revolver. If you take the test with a semi-auto you can carry either or both under your permit.
    Make sure you take the test with the firearm that will not restrict your future choices. I have loaned friends semi-autos to take their test with even when they planed to carry only revolvers. No reason to restrict your self needlessly.

    Michael

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Just a few thoughts...

    A vehicle & a firearm aren't really that similar in their purposes so as to be compared, are they?

    farronwolf, my instructor was pretty much of the same mind-set as you. I don't believe that his opinion was based on the fact that he got paid either. He thought that it was more important for someone to get their permit so as to be proactive in their own self defense. He thought that being armed without proper fore-knowledge was better than being unarmed.


    I do feel that people have a responsibility to educate themselves & to be more proactive in being able to properly & safely use that education before moving to that next level of responsibility that is licensed defensive carry. It seems that it would be hard to do so without even owning a firearm.

    One important takeaway that I got from my Permit to Carry class: At the beginning of the class, the instructor covered the proper use of a trigger guard on a pistol. I thought that this was an strange thing to be teaching, partially because I don't agree with the use of trigger guards. He showed us how to take it off & put it on properly by doing it in front of us all. He then sent the revolver around the class (of about 14 people) to let each of us take it off & put it back on properly. I was one of the last people to try it before the instructor retrieved the pistol.

    He noted that it was not properly installed the last time, giving the last guy a hard time about it before giving it back to him to get it right. Once he was satisfied, the instructor took the gun back to the front of the room & removed the trigger guard. He then pointed it towards the side of the classroom & pulled the trigger five times. The last pull sounded with a minor BANG! - he had left a blank in the gun to see if anyone would check it before handling it.

    To say that I was embarrassed would be an understatement. Whenever I picked up my own pistols, I always dropped the mags & cycled the slide, but I didn't want to insult the instructor by checking 'his' weapon. Heck, I do it in the gun stores all the time! I was fine with trusting his judgement & felt that as long as I made sure not to cover anyone that I was alright. But even being one of the more knowledgable people in the class, I still made one of the most basic blunders, & a dangerous one at that.

    One of the students said she was bothered by the fact that the instructor expected her to perform an action that she had no clue how to do (opening the cylinder to check). She was one of the people for whom I wondered, "did they learn anything from this class?"


    By the way, I bought my first car before I took my drivers test when I turned 16. Learned to change the oil, spark plugs & wires beforehand as well. Rare? Perhaps.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    Member Array NRAInstrctor's Avatar
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    I would say that the vast majority of my students take the class first and then buy the gun.

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    Are there any States that still require the listing of the carry weapon on the permit? I know there used to be years ago...
    Rick

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    Member Array gunsnroses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    In my early teens I carried a condom in my wallet for so long it left an impression in the leather,I didn't even have a girlfriend,but I was planning on getting one someday
    You poor thing, you!
    INccwchris likes this.

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