Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that we encounter in our Concealed Carry Classes. During the course of the class, we discuss many different aspects of this subject, including but not limited to, personal preferences, your feelings about certain subjects, personal encounters, scenarios, the facts and science behind different aspects of concealed carry and much more. Obtaining a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) is a big step in legal self defense. Let’s examine some of the more interesting questions.
Why should I get a CHL in the first place?
Why should you get your Concealed Handgun License? That’s a great question. For starters, it’s your right. If you are able to legally exercise this right to carry, why wouldn’t you? Remember there is strength in numbers. Second, in many states it acts as a substitute for filling out a form 4473 when purchasing a firearm from a FFL (Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer). Third, it expands the areas you can carry in many states that would normally be off limits. Fourth, doing so also means you have attended a class that introduces and explains the laws in your stat. This information is invaluable. Many times this is overlooked by those simply trying to get their CHL in the quickest way possible. Individuals who prefer not to get the training associated with their state’s CHL process tend to miss out on valuable information on everything from handgun basics to updated laws in your area. There is always something to gain from these courses.
Should I carry Every Day?
We never plan for trouble. Why would you leave the safety of your family or yourself in the hands of others or worse, simply chance? We need to always be prepared for the unexpected. You don’t expect a fire but I would bet you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home right now. Examine your personal level of preparedness and make it part of your every day routine. Carry your firearm daily. We call this EDC (Every Day Carry) in fact there are several items you should be carrying with you every day. Your firearm is just one of the tools to keep close and operational. We will expand on EDC more in the future.
What ammo should I carry?
Let’s just hit this one head on. You need to be carrying JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) ammunition manufactured specifically for self defense. What if I want to carry my own reloads. I would strongly advise against this for legal reasons. Can I carry FMJ (Full Metal Jacket)?In a nutshell, no. This is not a good idea given the nature of FMJ to over penetrate a target. You run a much higher risk of injuring others and damaging property. Remember, keep it simple. You should be carrying ammunition designed for self defense or law enforcement duty, nothing more, nothing less.
Should I carry with a round in the chamber?
Why wouldn’t you? If it’s a comfort level you honestly need to examine your routine and practice more, seek proficiency courses and advanced courses to become proficient. Do you really have time to “rack one” into the chamber at the onset of a life threatening encounter? This doesn’t take into account the noise from the slide being operated which can cause you to lose element of surprise or equally as bad, giveaway your location to any bad guys in close proximity.
What gun should I carry?
This one subject alone could go on for days and days. In fact it does on many bulletin boards across the country. Here are a few things to remember when selecting a firearm that you plan to trust your life to. You want to carry a firearm that is comfortable for you first off. You also need to consider the largest caliber that is comfortable and that you are accurate with. Are you accurate with your 9mm XXXX brand Semi Auto and only marginally proficient with your .40 S&W XXXX brand Semi Auto? Carry the one you are most accurate with. What about revolvers? Once again, are you accurate with it? The Semi Auto versus Revolver debate is a whole new blog post in and of itself, but can you operate what you plan to carry efficiently? Another thing to consider is ammunition availability. I only carry a caliber that is readily available at local sources. If you have to special order it from Siberia and wait 6 months for it to arrive, it’s not a viable option for carry in my opinion.
Why should I tell the police I have a CHL?
Why not? You have invested a significant amount of time and money to do this right. What are you hiding from LEOs? In reality, if the officer had time, they already ran you through their system and know you have a CHL. The fact that you are one of the “good guys” is a little more evident now and more than likely this encounter will turn out favorable. Any unwillingness to be forthcoming and honest with Law Enforcement will produce a negative effect on your situation and likely cause some level of distrust, thus not helping your case.
How old do I need to be to have a CHL?
This varies by state and your profession in some cases. For instance an Active Duty member of the United States Military will be allowed to carry at a younger age that civilians in many states.
Do I still need a CHL if my state is a Constitutional Carry State?
Is it REALLY a Constitutional Carry State first of all? There are a few reasons in actuality to obtain your CHL through the process set up by your state. Do you ever plan to leave your state? Do you live near the state line? Are only certain parts of your state considered Constitutional Carry while other areas require a CHL to carry? You are actually adding to the strength of the 2nd Amendment by becoming another licensed CHL holder. The more of us that are legally armed the better. Lawmakers do take this into consideration come election time.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of questions that we encounter. Look for more CHL related content on our site covering other aspects of the Concealed Carry world.
Remember, the fact that you are a CHL holder is typically not public information. There are reasons to keep this information under the radar of others. Don’t make yourself a target. Be the gray man or woman... (more on that in another post).
Written by: Doug Bennett | US Air Force Veteran