Now that you have exercised your right to carry a firearm, the next big step is the journey of being a responsible CCW permit holder. You may have thought that finding the right firearm safety course or getting a knowledgeable firearm instructor to train you was a big deal. Those were your first steps in becoming a responsible law abiding citizen.
As a Law Enforcement and a Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor, I see both worlds of concerned citizens and law enforcement officers. We all have the same common enemy, people who prey on law enforcers and law abiders. This is a reason why we must understand the need to protect ourselves, family members and our neighbors. You may hear these common phrases a lot “where is the police when you need them” or “the police cannot be everywhere all the time.” This is the moment you have been waiting for, the right to legally carry your firearm for protection (justice for all). This is a big responsibility to have, even for law enforcement officers.
While teaching one of my Concealed Carry classes, a student said to me “I don’t plan to carry a gun after taking this class.” I asked the student “why not”, the student said because I’m worried about the consequences if I have to shoot somebody.” Most people may think ‘why would a person take the CCW class, if they do not want to carry a gun.’ I thought two things; this is a responsible citizen and that question supports the need for a CCW class. I took that moment to share my work experience and knowledge of State Law with all the students in the class. I realized that taking the CCW course is only the beginning for my students; do they truly understand what comes after they receive their CCW permit and start the journey to become a responsible citizen. So I’m sharing some considerations a citizen should take before and after they receive their CCW permit:
Ask your CCW Instructor questions about your State CCW laws
Research and verify what you have learned in your class (don’t just take people's word for it)
Take your firearms training serious (train to prevent and respond)
Get involved in your community policing programs
Don’t be a hero unless “life” depends on it (let the police earn their pay check)