I am relatively new to concealed carry and am going to be signing up for a defensive pistol class. I carry concealed every moment that I am leagally able and am very comfortable handling firearms. My question is how should I bring my pistol to a training course? Should I unholster/unload and put it in it's case in the parking lot? Is it looked down on to show up to training with a loaded firearm? From what I know, and for good reason, there are pretty strict rules at these training camps about "hot" firearms. So how have you all transported your favorite pistol to a defensive training class?
The best thing would be to call the range where you are taking your class and ask. However, I just participated in a girls only class and some people brought their own firearms. The first thing the instructors did was to take each firearm and clear them before starting class. So, it may be a good idea to do the same in the parking lot especially if you will be in a classroom setting.
Any reasonable instructor should have no trouble with you arriving with your weapon loaded and in the proper condition to defend yourself. Any instructor who does have a problem with students arriving ready and able to defend themselves isn't someone I'd want to train with anyway.
As long as it's cleared and shown safe when you enter the training room or area you should be good to go.
I always head to courses fully armed with my concealed carry weapon. On the range the question always comes up, from folks who are carrying, how they would like us to make-ready. Generally, a range officer will manage a few of us during the unloading and reholstering step. The rest of the students will be back near the gear getting ready. Personally, I think it's safer to come wearing your weapon the way you do normally. Just ask the R.O. He/she will direct you on clearance and making-safe.
Basic courses often have you show up with empty weapons and they verify they are cleared. Advanced classes are typically a hot range at all times. If an instructor at an advanced course doesn't run a hot range, I find that a little strange. The one exception to this is those instructors who have a military background and can't get away from the concept of no hot weapons off the firing line.
NRA courses will always have you disarm. No loaded weapons or live ammo in the training area, etc.
I have gone armed and stayed armed in other classes. It depends on the instructor. I don't have a prejudice toward those who ask you to disarm.
Typically if you will be handling the weapon in the classroom you have to make it safe before entering.
This is just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth.
If you already carry concealed then I would do so to the class, but not enter the classroom. Ask for the Instructor, while standing at the doorway, cash register or whatever. Then, when the Instructor appears, ask if there is someplace you can clear your weapon and make it safe before entering the classroom.
That, to me, shows a concern and respect for the rules that the Instructor has, while still allowing you to travel to and fro' with a means of self protection. After the class is over, ask the Instructor where you can safely make ready for carry before you depart.
Originally Posted by BikerRN
The policy of most instructors from whom I've taken classes is: "No Ammo In The Classroom".
I don't blame them, I understand.