Published: Dec. 19, 2008 at 10:44 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM CST
What it Takes to Pass a Concealed Carry Class By: Crystal Britt
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - As Heartland News reported Thursday night, the number of people signing up for firearms training is up here locally. With a tough economy, and crime on the rise folks want to be able to defend themselves and their families. Crystal Britt took the story to the next level, and became a student herself. Crystal says she learned more than she expected. She wanted to simply do a story on the record number of people taking classes at a local firearms training school.
The instructor at Point Blank near Jackson, not only agreed to the story...which you saw Thursday night, but also agreed to let Crystal be his student for the day.
My first time on the range, and only my second time firing a handgun.
"Our Concealed Carry Class is pretty comprehensive. The typical class runs 8-10 hours, closer to 10 hours most of the time," said Christopher Moore.
Moore recommends his class for anyone wanting firearms training, not just for those who strictly want to carry a gun.
"We thoroughly screen our students. We run background checks on our students and not everyone passes the class there is a percentage that don't make it," said Moore.
He told me that before I signed up so, nervously I showed up expecting boot camp.
"Sometimes this just isn't cut out for everybody," said Moore.
We start in the classroom.
"What we'd like to see is 20 of your 20 shots 8 ring and in," Moore said laying out the requirements. "I'll be the first to tell you if you can't put 20 of 20 shots in the 8 ring, you have no business carrying a firearm".
No pressure. Then, it's safety first. I learn the proper way to hand over a gun. Then he teaches the law, and hits on a topic I hadn't really thought much about.
"What we're actually talking about here is applying deadly force," said Moore.
Wow it's obvious, but it's hard to imagine being in that situation.
"As a responsible gun owner, someone who's going to carry a gun, you've gotta understand this," said Moore. "Your first point of aim is always going to be center mass."
I must qualify on a revolver and semi-automatic gun.
"Magazine release is right here, push that to eject the mag."
We're now on the range. I learn the basics, then load up. First on the list, a diagnostic shoot.
"You'll lock your thumb down, you don't want to see grip between your palms."
He wants to see how I do first without formal training...and, I'm ready.
"On the whistle, fire a total of 20 rounds, make the weapon safe, and re-holster," he said.
After the line is clear, I head forward to look at my target.
"We'd like to tighten it up and see all in the 8, you got 3 outside the 8."
So, a lot of room for improvement.
"It's not hard to do," Moore said. "Marksmanship is very simple if you apply the fundamentals. The shots go where they're supposed to go."
It's back to the firing line. This time around, I'm more comfortable and have much better accuracy. I qualify, but still need more practice.
"We don't want a person to leave our class and have a false sense of confidence. Just because you can shoot good on the range, doesn't mean you're ready for a gun fight," said Moore.
Then at the end of the day, I'm given a written test. Thankfully, I aced it. I went home with not only a certificate, but a greater understanding and respect for firearms.
Next step for Crystal if she wants to follow through with a Concealed Carry Permit, she needs to head to the Sheriff's Department and apply for a permit. That's where she'll be fingerprinted and a background check will be ordered. Once that comes back, she'll have to go to the license bureau and retain a license.