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5 Questions Before You Carry Concealed
by B. Gil Horman - Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Choosing to legally carry a handgun for personal protection is a big responsibility that must be taken seriously. Above and beyond which caliber is the best or what action type to choose, there are a variety of important considerations which need to be taken into account. Here are a few of the many questions someone should ask himself or herself before buying a firearm to carry outside of the home:
1. Do I understand the legalities of carry in my state?
Although our rights of gun ownership, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are enumerated in the Constitution, the list of American laws governing when and where a gun can be carried in public is long and complicated. In addition to restrictions instituted at the federal level that apply to everyone throughout the country, each individual state has its own set of rules which can vastly differ from those of their neighbors.
Do you need a permit before you can purchase a firearm? Once you legally own the gun, do you need to acquire a special license to carry or does your state allow carry without a license (also known as Constitutional Carry)? When the gun is on your person, does it have to be concealed or can it be worn openly? When you're in possession of a loaded gun, where can you legally go with it? Which locations are restricted? If you have a concealed-carry permit, which of the other 49 states does it share reciprocity with?
Violations of carry laws, even unintentionally, can land folks in seriously hot water. Do not rely on second-hand information or gun range scuttlebutt. Take the proper permit classes, read the law, consult a lawyer and contact the proper state agencies for additional information.
2. Am I prepared to alter my daily routine?
Owning a gun for daily carry is a lot like buying a dog. Although it's not an unpleasant or onerous change, it does affect several facets of a person's lifestyle. The gun itself needs to beproperly cleaned and cared for. You will need a plan for securely storing it any time it's not in use.
No matter what method of carry you choose (belt holster, in-the-waistband, pocket, ankle, in a purse) it will likely be necessary to buy new clothes or accessories to wear around the gun. Throughout your day you'll need to pay attention to what you're doing and how you're moving to avoid exposing your pistol if it's in a holster. If the gun is carried in a purse or sports bag, it will need to be kept in direct reach, secured to your body by the carry straps or tucked into a lockable container to prevent unauthorized access.
A critical part of working out the new routine is ensuring that the gun is never left unattended or unsecured at any time during the day.
3. Do I trust my support gear?
Just as it would be a big mistake to carry a handgun loaded with an untested variety of ammunition, it's also not a good idea to strap on a new holster system and walk out the door. Instead, the system should be carefully tested and broken in at home using an unloaded gun.
Wear the rig while working at the computer, watching TV, or cleaning the house. In a defensive situation you might have to run, jump and crawl to get out of the line of fire, so go ahead and move around your house (as much as your health will allow) in the same way. Some products, like leather, will stretch and shift in such a way that they will need to be adjusted. It's much easier to shift strap lengths and holster positioning in the privacy of your bedroom than to try and fix the rig in the middle of a work day.
If at any point in the testing process the handgun shakes loose or falls out of the carry system (hopefully onto carpet), then it’s a good idea to try something else.
4. What is my defensive Plan A?
Handguns for personal protection are an important element of a self-defense plan but they should be considered the last line of defense, or Plan B, when all else fails. Some situations demand nearly instantaneous action on the part of the self defender to draw and fire in order to protect themselves or their loved ones. It's these situations that handgun training tends to focuses on.
However, other potentially dangerous situations can be dealt with using less lethal Plan A tactics. These include avoidance of known places and people who pose a possible threat, the use of situational awareness and organizing a set ofdaily carry tools that can be used instead of the gun when circumstances allow.
5. How much training and practice do I need?
This is a tough question to answer because the amount of training and practice deemed appropriate will change depending on who you ask.
I remember listening to a conversation between two shooting instructors certified to teach their home state's mandatory concealed-carry permit course. One of the instructors went off on a bit of a rant. He was openly critical of instructors who settled for teaching only the mandated half-day class. He, on the other hand, insisted on teaching a full-day course with supplementary materials that (in his opinion) truly prepared the students for what they might have to face.
Although I respect this instructor's desire to provide more bang for the buck, I was concerned that he might be giving folks the wrong idea about how much training someone needs. You may only be required to take a permit certification class once but developing a good set of personal-defense skills is a lifelong pursuit.
Unlike swimming or learning to ride a bike, shooting skills are perishable. If you don't practice, they fade away. Making your way to the range to fire 50 rounds of practice grade ammunition and a magazine or two of defense grade loads every six to eight weeks is a good place to start if funds are tight. And the training necessary to know the legal, practical, ethical and tactical aspects of using lethal force can hardly be stuffed into a single day in a classroom. Invest in quality books and videos until you can get into a good live-fire class.
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Betty takes Smith & Wesson with her when she goes to the ATM.
She has NEVER had any problems.
Grandmas & Guns: More Women Over 50 Learning How To Shoot
By Britt Moreno
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – At a time in their lives when some are slowing down or thinking about retirement, a group of women say they are reclaiming a sense of security by enrolling in gun classes and learning how to shoot.
The fastest growing age group in a Colorado Springs gun club is over the age of 50. CBS4’s morning anchor Britt Moreno talked with a group of grandmothers and great-grandmothers about why they are taking aim and feeling the need to protect themselves.
Massage therapist and great-grandmother Peggy Gray said, “With things that have happened locally and nationally in our world, you need to know how to protect yourself.”
Lana Fore is a gun expert and instructor at Whistling Pines Gun Club in Colorado Springs. She says over half the women in the club are over the age of 50. She says women are enrolling in classes to feel more secure this day and age. Fore has taught women how to shoot in their 80s. Some are single and want to feel protected at home. Others want to feel safe when they are in public places.
Ann Macomber has been around guns her entire life because her brothers and husband shoot, but this week she purchased her own gun. She feels proud to be able to load a gun and shoot it the right way on her own.
“It empowers me. I am not naïve anymore,” Macomber said.
Beth Self was against guns the majority of her life because her father was murdered by someone who shot him. Beth says she feels more unsafe now than ever before given the nature of local and national violence, so she decided to embrace guns. She shed her fear of shooting and now she feels confident in her abilities to be able to protect her family.
I’m thankful I have never had to,” Gray said.
“It’s comforting to know I can hold that gun and I can do it. I’m proud of myself,” Beth said.
The group of women is supportive of each other. They hope to never have to shoot outside the classroom.
“I have two prayers. My first is that I never have to draw that firearm, and if I do, that it does what it needs to do.
2016 Gun Sales Spike in California!
California has seen a surge in gun sales in recent months, with background checks hitting new highs, continuing trends that began after last year's terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
KPCC obtained data on firearms sales from the California Department of Justice, which tracks them through a system known as the Dealer's Record of Sale.
As of April 15, the data show more than 44,000 firearms sold in Los Angeles so far this year, and another 21,000 sold in both Orange and Riverside. Nearly 20,000 firearms have been sold in San Bernardino County.
Sales are outpacing last year's, particularly for the Inland Empire counties.
The sales reflect both handguns and long guns, such as rifles. The numbers could all tick up, as there are pending sales in each county.
Local retailers say they saw the surge start after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, in which 17 people were killed.
"Everybody and their mother was coming out and just getting firearms," said Vince Torres, who owns the Bullseye Sport gun store in Riverside.
Business is still above average, Torres said. "But it's not as strong as it was December, January, February and through March." The store's hold message features Torres thanking customers for their patience in recent months.
He said he has no plans to swap out the hold music, which also plays an excerpt from "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic."
Torres attributes the sales bump to the San Bernardino shooting and President Barack Obama's executive order on gun control in January. He said he's trying to keep customers updated on a handful of gun control bills in Sacramento.
Between those bills and rhetoric on gun control in the presidential campaign, Torres predicted, "we're probably going to have a stronger summer than we usually do."
Federal data on background checks reinforces the trends on firearms sales in California.
In December 2015, gun dealers requested background checks on 253,946 potential buyers in California—the first time that number has gone above 200,000 since the FBI started keeping track in 1990. Every month since has seen at least 200,000 requests for background checks.
However, the FBI cautions that background checks are an imperfect measurement of actual sales—not all sales require background checks and not all background checks result in sales.
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