Ladies: Should you get your Concealed Carry Permit?
This has been a popular topic for many years with the rise of individuals, particularly women, wanting to protect themselves in dangerous situations when law enforcement may not be close by. Concealed carry or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is the practice of carrying a covered weapon (such as a handgun) on you or in close proximity. There is no Federal statutory laws regarding concealed carry permits, it is a state level matter. Each state has their own unique gun laws, with the majority requiring you to get a permit and also go through proper education and training to build the confidence to carry.
As a woman, living in North Carolina, I have been curious about obtaining my permit. It’s crucial to take responsibility for your defense, especially if you work late hours, live alone or with other female roommates, or live in an area with a high crime rate. In this article, we are going to focus on the rise of women carrying firearms, the process of obtaining your permit, and the positive and negative impacts.
According to the National Carry Academy, “Enrollment in its concealed carry courses rose 24 percent in the weeks following the tragedy in Parkland, FL. While calls for gun bans reverberated across the mainstream media, concealed carry permits obtained through NCA jumped 120 percent, with women making up half that number, compared with just a third earlier.”
While doing my own research on the process of getting my permit, I realized it’s something I cannot take lightly. It requires dedication, time, money, and your full mental and physical focus. Being granted the responsibility of carrying your own licensed weapon in public places is no joke.
Here is the general process for obtaining your CCW permit in North Carolina:
- Make sure you are eligible to apply for your concealed carry license.
- Sign up for and complete a concealed handgun permit class.
- Apply for your permit with your County Sheriff's Office.
- Wait for your license to be issued!
The NC State Legislature has outlined a specific set of guidelines for who is and who is not eligible for obtaining a permit in NCGS 14-415.12. Depending on what state you live in, a simple Google search will give you step by step instructions on the specific process for obtaining a permit, and what unique laws there are for carrying a concealed weapon.
So, with the application process completed, it’s the perfect time to start shopping for your new weapon and begin training. What do you look for in a gun and who do you trust for proper education?
Here are the top selling handguns for women:
Let me start by saying there is no particular gun that women should or should not be using. We are all different in our experience levels, the way we hold a gun, the motive behind why we want to carry a gun, etc. There are several options you can try to suit what you are looking for.
Based off of data collected from The Well Armed Women, their holster sales for 2015 showed the top three out of ten most popular guns were Glocks. This may be surprising due to the myths that women need a smaller caliber or a revolver. Again, these are myths!
The top five include:
- Smith & Wesson Shield- 9mm
- Sig Sauer P238- .380
- Glock 43- 9mm
- Glock 42- .380
- Springfield XDs- 9mm
Robyn Sandoval, from the popular blog, agirlandagun.org, discusses each of these guns in detail based on her experience and what she believes to work for most women. These are reviews by women for women. The most important factors to consider are “reliability, stopping power, wearability, and user friendliness,” Sandoval explains. With reliability being the most crucial element here, we at 80PBuilder understand quality and make it our first priority. We sell gun parts that ensure optimal functionality for when you need them the most.
Training for Women
If you’re like me and didn’t grow up in a family that hunted or went to the shooting range often, then you may have little knowledge and training needed to carry a gun and/or potentially use it in an intense situation. No need to worry, we all start somewhere and it’s never too late to educate yourself. When it comes to training, it’s important to find training that is geared towards your experience level and overall geared towards women. Do your research. What kind of credentials does the training company or school have? Do they have female instructors on staff? How long have they been training women? Obviously, you do not need to be trained by a woman, but it is good to know that there are females that work and train there and they gear their training methods towards the needs of females. Once you narrow down your choices, go meet with them directly and discuss your goals.
These are the basic skills you should look to develop:
- How to hold a gun properly and basic functioning of the firearm.
- Shooting one-handed and learning multiple techniques.
- Shooting accuracy: with one target, multiple targets, and moving targets.
- Gun safety: how to reload quickly and safely, how to prepare your gun for fire, and how to use the safety feature when gun is not in use.
- How to quickly draw from your holster or concealed carry purse.
Do not feel that you are alone in this. It can become overwhelming trying to prepare yourself to carry and also, wrapping your mind around using a gun in a threatening situation. Consider exploring a local gun or shooting group in your community or look into joining the national organization, The Well Armed Women Shooting Chapters. TWAW Shooting Chapters is a non-profit organization that organizes local groups of women around the country that meet monthly to practice, learn and grow as shooters. They create the opportunity for women to come together to learn and grow in their shooting and gun handling abilities. To learn more about TWAW, visit their website here.
Let’s get into the pros and cons of getting your concealed carry permit.
Starting with the pros:
Learning new skills and expanding past your comfort zone. There’s no doubt that if you decide to obtain your CCW permit, you will increase your knowledge of gun safety, shooting, self-defence, and ultimately how you handle yourself in stressful situations (i.e. fight or flight). It’s an opportunity to grow your skills and step into a territory that you have not yet explored. In doing so, you’ll inspire others around you take their defense into their own hands.
Increasing your self awareness and confidence. The more practice we have in anything, the more confident we become in succeeding at that particular venture. In taking a course, educating yourself and practicing often, you’ll gain the confidence you need to operate a firearm safely and quickly. When situations arise that feel threatening, you’ll have the confidence to handle it with a logical, steady mindset. In my experience, the few times I have gone hunting, I have been aware of my surroundings, moving with focus and steadiness. I believe the same will occur when carrying your concealed weapon.
You will be prepared in the event you need to defend your life or someone else's. This is so important, especially for women who, in our society today, may appear to seem vulnerable or weak. Unfortunately, women are targeted for this reason, so in carrying a concealed handgun you may deter criminals or get yourself out of a sticky situation. If you have children or are pregnant, you may be at your most vulnerable time, so considering to carry may increase your confidence and sense of security when you have other lives under your protection.
It’s your constitutional right. That’s right, the good ol’ Second Amendment. As an American, we have the right to bear arms and that it is a beautiful thing. Remember, It is not something be to afraid of, intimated by, or even ashamed of. On December 11, 2012, The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Moore v. Madigan, ruled 2-1 that the Second Amendment's right to bear arms "must be interpreted to include a right to have a concealed gun in public, to have it ready for use, and to have it for self-defense."
It's your insurance policy. It’s better to carry the weapon and have the knowledge and expertise, than to not have it. Take a moment to think of yourself at an event with a group of people. It’s unlikely that those around you have training in carrying a firearm, and better yet, it’s unlikely they are carrying at an the event. You are prepared and have the training to back your confidence. If anything went awry, and you had to use your weapon to defend yourself and those around you, they would thank you immensely for the protection.
Carrying a concealed handgun may increase the likelihood of a confrontation turning lethal. This is always a possibility. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "members of the public who carry guns risk escalating everyday disagreements into public shootouts, especially in places where disputes frequently occur—in bars, at sporting events, or in traffic."
The process of obtaining a concealed carry permit is lengthy and financially strapping. It may take months for your application to get processed and approved. A family member of mine applied for their concealed carry permit in NY state, and it took almost 2 years to get approved. With it being a state procedure, there are fees and high costs around every corner. It can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on where you live and your gun purchases.
There are limitations to our Second Amendment rights. Although the Second Amendment allows the right to bear firearms, it does not mention concealed handguns. US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the court's 5-4 majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues."
Gives dangerous people access to firearms. There is a big debate today around giving carrying permits to those mentally disabled or with a criminal history. Who receives a permit and who does not, depends on the state and county you live in.
My hopes is that this article gave you some clarity if you’re deciding whether or not obtaining your concealed carry permit is right for you. Women are learning self-defense practices and protecting themselves more than ever. At 80Pbuilder, we believe in your right to carry and protect yourself. We believe in you and your ability to create a safe environment around you. To learn more about firearms, check out our other blogs posts.
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