Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Carrying a concealed weapon (also known as CCW) is a term used to describe carrying a concealed pistol or similar weapon in public. Forty-eight states have laws which allow citizens to carry a concealed weapon. The process may have varying degrees of difficulty, depending on your state of residence. These permits go by many names, such as Concealed Handgun License (CHL), Concealed Pistol License (CPL), or Concealed or Carry Permit (CCP). If you are lucky enough to live in a state that allows private citizens to carry a concealed weapon, the process involves a number of steps.

Step 1
Purchase a gun. This is not absolutely required, but will make the process of getting a concealed carry permit much easier. When you take the required handgun safety course, the instructor will often have a limited number of handguns available for you to use. You will be much more competent and have a greater chance of passing if you use your own gun, however.

Step 2
Practice shooting your gun. Make sure you enjoy shooting before you go through all of the trouble to obtain a concealed pistol license. Practice will also help you when it comes time to take a handgun safety course.

Step 3
Enroll in a certified handgun safety course. You can find a course that will satisfy the local requirements for obtaining your concealed carry license at the local shooting range. Don’t expect to pass automatically just by showing up, though. You will be required to demonstrate your ability to shoot safely on the range and must also pass a rigorous written exam.

Step 4
Get a concealed carry permit application packet. In most states, these can be obtained at the county administration office or local sheriff’s department.

Step 5
Check to make sure you qualify. Most states require that you are:
1) 21 years of age
2) A citizen of the United States
3) A resident of the state (This is not required in some states. Check local laws.)
4) Have successfully completed a pistol safety course
5) Have no record of mental illness or a felony conviction
6) Have no record of misdemeanors involving alcohol (a complete list of misdemeanors will be listed with your packet or on the state website)

This is not a complete list. The requirements will vary by state or local jurisdiction. Some states have very simple requirements which allow any law abiding citizen to obtain a permit, while others are very stringent and may only offer a few permits per year per county.

Step 6
Get fingerprinted. Fingerprinting is generally done by you local sheriff’s department. The application packet or your county clerk will be able to give you instructions for getting fingerprinted.

Step 7
Complete and turn in your application. You will need to fill out the application and turn it in at the county clerk’s office or similar local jurisdiction with one or two passport quality photographs and a copy of your handgun safety course completion certificate. Some clerk’s offices may be able to take a photograph for a nominal fee.

Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by a local gun board and your permit will be issued or denied generally within 45 days. The amount of time for approval may vary by state. If you are denied, most states also have an appeal process. Details on this should be included in your application packet.