I did some research last week and today I finally had the opportunity to go to a “Handgun Intro” course. Something I was not aware of is that this four hour course also leads to a concealed weapons permit; even if you’ve never held a gun before. Unfortunately you have to have live in the US for this to be true, and not just be here on a tourist visa. So no permit for me.
Maybe next time.
You can do a lot without a concealed weapons permit though. Having a gun that is “securely encased” is perfectly legal for everyone. And apparently a glove compartment – locked or not – is enough. Or a snapped holster. As long as it’s hidden, not on your person, and at a place with a lock or a latch, you’re good to go. This place is so hugely different from Swedish gun law.
The course was a four hour course with the first two hours together with people who already knew how to shoot and only wanted the permit. So mostly a talk about legal stuff and help with filling out forms and such. This was followed by about an hour of showing us guns, how they work, and how to handle them. The teacher showed us a few different types of revolvers and semi automatics. Explaining their good sides and bad.
It boiled down to this: if you don’t plan on practicing, get a small revolver for carrying, and a big revolver for your home. If you are going to practice regularly, get the same revolver for your home, and get a semi automatic to carry. And preferably they should all come with a laser sight. Yeah, maybe this is a good place to say that this course is solely focused on using guns on people; if you want to learn how to do target shooting, that would be a different course.
Stand steady, lean a bit forward to handle the recoil, grip the gun just so, point at the target (don’t bother using the sight, because you are not going to do that in a live situation anyway), and pull the trigger. That’s about it. And then we headed for the firing range. Getting the chance to shoot all those guns was the best part of the day. We each had a hundred bullets, but since we pooled them and some people chose to shoot less, I got the opportunity to shoot a few extra. I’ve used a rifle before – and shot maybe ten shots over the course of my life – but never even held a hand gun. It rocks. A bit expensive to pick up as a regular hobby maybe, but really fun.
The holes in the picture are made by my first 14 revolver shots ever; two full rounds of seven. Made just after my first 48 shots ever with semi automatics. Click at the picture to see more (yes, that means you, Simon).