So you have made the decision to carry a firearm. Now what do you do? This is not going to be a pro/con over concealed carry versus open carry, rather some information to consider. So if you live in a state that allows the carrying of a firearm it is going to be imperative that you understand fully the law on when and where it is lawful to do so. For example, in my home state of Arizona, that affords very generous carry freedoms, it also takes a very dim look if you do it unlawfully and will not hesitate to prosecute you. Second, train with your gun. Start with the type of holster or carry option. I prefer a strong side outside the waistband holster that keeps the handgun close to my body so that concealment with a shirt is easily done. I can also wear this with shorts or dress slacks.
Now back to the training with your firearm. This issue goes well beyond just shooting at stationary targets at the range. Consider “real world” issues. Suppose you are out and the unthinkable occurs in front of you. Your ability to react quickly and within the boundaries of the law are paramount. The scenarios are plentiful, but remember your actions will be judged by those with the luxury of time and safety rather than in the rapidly unfolding situation in which you were faced.
What I have done is compile for you a short list of training considerations. They are:
1. Know the laws that pertain to the carry of a firearm and the lawful use/deployment of it.
2. Be familiar with your firearm. Don’t carry a gun you have not trained with. Know how to manipulate safeties, clear malfunctions and reload especially under stress.
3. Practice drawing from your carry platform (holster, purse, backpack, etc.) This includes using your weak hand (in case your strong hand is injured or occupied).
4. Train shooting at close distances, typically shootings occur less than 20-25 feet.
5. Practice tasks like bending, lifting, getting behind cover/concealment with your firearm.
6. Carry ONLY quality performance ammo in your carry gun.
Remember train like your life and freedom depends on it.