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!