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concealed concealed carry license

Don’t Forget To Renew Your CHP!

No, I haven’t forgotten to renew my concealed handgun permit. I see folks all the time on Reddit saying they’ve inadvertently let their permit lapse.

Here’s what I do to ensure I don’t forget:

I ensure that I’ve my cards in hand, and I then use Google, searching for “90 days before (put expiration date here)”.

I’ve created a calender reminder on my phone for the date that Google generated. I was granted two licenses. I’ve two calender reminders that will remind me 90 days before the licenses expire.

This works for me. I renewed both license during the Covid pandemic, and both were submitted using online forms.

I’d rather do this than be carrying concealed with an expired permit.

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AG attorney general carry concealed FFL Immortal Arms license non-resident NRA-ILA reciprocacy Utah VA

Utah Non-Resident Concealed Carry License

Tomorrow I’ll be attending a firearms class that will broaden the number of states I’ll be able to legally carry while concealed.  Immortal Arms of Culpeper is giving the class.

The Virginia attorney general recently altered the reciprocacy agreements to where it negatively affects 26 other states.  They will not be able to carry concealed while in VA after 1 Feb 2016 (although open carry is an option).  5-6 of those states require VA reciprocacy, so those are immediately affected.  Two of those require you to be a permanent state citizen (ie, they don’t accept non-resident applications)  The Utah non-resident license remedies all of the negativity of the reciprocacy changes — all but the two that don’t allow non-resident applicants.

Here’s the deal.  This does not affect VA CC permit holders…not in VA, at least.  It does affect non-residents (visitors) who may want to carry concealed.  It will eventually affect VA CC permit holders that might want to visit NC (for example), as NC will more than likely deny reciprocacy with VA because of VA’s recent changes.  It’ll eventually affect most if not all of the 26 states that VA removed from it’s reciprocacy program.  Most people are complaining and we’re hoping that we can eventually reverse this decision, but it will take time.

Some options:

  • Get a Utah non-resident CC license
  • Get a VA non-resident CC license
  • Get a PA non-resident CC license
  • Get a NH non-resident CC license
  • Get a FL non-resident CC license

More reading on the issue is here.

Some people argue that one of those are better than the others.  IMO, there are no absolute answers.  It depends on what YOU want/need.  All of them have cons (they don’t all cover the same states).  Some have more prerequisites than others (Utah requires a fee for the class, FL’s license is far cheaper)  Pick which you think is best.  I opted for the Utah because it’s well-known and when I found out about the changes, I was able to immediately find an instructor who could give me a class within a week of the bad news.  With the other state licenses, I’d have had to wait.  Utah worked best for my requirements (being able to quickly obtain it).  None of the above options will give back South Carolina, by the way.

For those of you who visit VA frequently, look at getting the VA non-resident CC license or carry openly when visiting.  IMO, that’s the better way, unless you already have a license that will allow you to carry concealed after 1 Feb 2016.

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carry CCW commandments concealed Massad Ayoob open

Massad Ayoob’s 10 Commandments Of Concealed Carry

I saw a pretty good rundown of “laws” that people who carry should ingrain in their heads (even those who carry openly).  I’ll refrain from copying/pasting the article, but it is located here:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/14/massad-ayoobs-10-commandments-of-concealed-carry/

It is a good read…trust me.  Much of it is common sense, but it is solid advice.

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awareness backpack carry CCW concealed firearms holster situational

Everyone Wants To Think They’re the One-Stop Firearms Guy

Why is it that every gun forum has these guys that think that their methods of carrying (and their equipment) is the one and only methods?  These guys think that their answers are the absolute only way to address a situation.  They’re the one-stop guys…the guys that think that they’re asked first and the questioners have their answer and that’s the end of it.

Am I claiming I know better?  No, but a LOT of this isn’t one-shoe-fits-all, either.  And a LOT of it is common sense.  As well, there are soooo many variables with gun owners, their experience, and their equipment that it’s stupid to think that there’s only one answer.  These are the same people that will immediately call someone a sheep, but yet they’re giving these canned and wrong answers.

Where’s all this coming from?  There’s this guy on a forum that has two full-sized (or nearly so) handguns and he says they print too much with his summer shirts.  He wants to store his gun in a backpack when running and was asking for people who had experience with carrying in that manner.

The first forum responder asks if he’s talking about the legality or the practicality of carrying in a backpack.  He also shares his experience (he carries his in a dry bag when he’s boating or kayaking).  He also says that some carry methods aren’t optimal (carrying on a bike, for example) and that you have to do the best you can, and that “a little less reaction time has to be adjusted by more situational awareness.”  I agree.

Some others responded by stating to use backpacks that have CCW in mind, or even use a fanny pack or shirts that have robust built-in holstering.

One responder outright stated that using a backpack was a bad idea.  I responded to him by stating that there’s no absolute answer.  There are so many variables in assessing what’s best based on your individual needs that just because Owner A may use a certain holster doesn’t mean that holster will be acceptable for Owner B.  The original poster stated he wanted to carry his gun when he’s running with his dog.  His guns are difficult to conceal in his running gear, I assume.  One offered option was to downsize his guns (trade or sell his guns for smaller framed guns that are easier to conceal).  I also offered the option of maybe finding running gear that will better accomodate his handguns, or get some printed shirts that will hinder printing.  Telling the guy outright that carrying in a backpack was the worst answer was really awful…that’s what this responder did.  It started a debate between myself and the responder.  My argument was that you would need to give yourself more time to be situationally aware when carrying in this manner.  His argument was weird…he was like, “situational awareness has nothing to do with carrying”, which was the worst answer possible.  If you aren’t situationally aware and you’re also carrying, that’s dangerous, especially if you’re open-carrying.  He kept stating that it’s quicker to unholster a gun that’s being carried on your hip than it is to reach inside of a backpack.  He’s right, but no one was arguing that point.  Well, he was but no one else cared.  Several guys within the thread stated that you should always be situationally aware and if you are sufficiently aware, you could buy yourself time to get to the gun.  Another argument this person used was, “well, there was a guy in a van that pulled up next to this girl, he pointed a gun at her, demanded she get into the van, then he repeatedly raped her.”  He used this to argue his point of a holstered gun being better than a gun in a backpack.  I asked if she was carrying a gun and asked how that proved his point.  He never answered…just stated that I was being obtuse.

My point is, every gun owner that carries (whether concealed or not) should be performing mental risk assessments to determine how to best deal with potential problems based on the equipment they’re planning to use.  There are so many variables in assessing risk (gun, owner’s experience and training, owner’s holster, owner’s ammo, the potential defensive situation…), you can’t just say, “a bag isn’t going to cut it”. There’s no absolute answers. You deal with it the best you can. Even if you practice daily, real life situations aren’t scripted. You’ve to adjust as it happens.  Situational awareness is going to help with that.  His example of the girl being raped, for example…she could’ve done several things based on the risk involved.  She could’ve run, or yelled at the top of her lungs, or did both.  A gun wouldn’t have solved that and would’ve escalated the incident.  Running and yelling would probably have worked because those are defensive actions…potential rapists don’t typically shoot their potential victims if they yell or run.  People have been killed with holstered guns, as well.  Having a gun does not stop bad things from happening, but even if you’ve a gun, carrying in a manner that is basically looking for a confrontation with a bad guy is…bad.  If you see a bad guy coming toward you with a gun, are you going to just stand there and wait for him to get to you?  You should move, run, hide, or at least make enough distance between you and him so that you can get the gun from the backpack.  A backpacked gun is better than no gun in that situation.  One could argue that someone could steal the backpack.  Well, one could bumrush a person CCWing and take his holstered gun as well (remember the Walmart incident in Florida earlier this year?).  The gun by itself isn’t the weapon…your MIND is the weapon too.  Don’t let yourself be lulled by the fact that you’re carrying concealed.  If you’re printing and not aware of it and have the attitude that you’re safe, you’re now in a higher level of danger and you’re in a complacent state of mind, as a bad guy will more than likely see your printing gun and see you as an immediate threat.  I’m not even a LEO or have been through advanced or even basic defensive firearms courses and I know this.  What’s crazy is that it seems that everyone wants to be the internet expert on armed confrontation…they think they’re John Wick, I guess.

Is a backpack the best equipment to carry a gun?  NO!  But if it’s all you have, then you make the best of it, or get something that’s a bit better than a backpack (maybe a backpack that’s designed around CCW), or get a smaller handgun.  Work out what’s best for you and what you can cope with, risk-wise.

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carry concealed mistakes usacarry.com

7 Common Mistakes of Concealed Carry Licensees & New Shooters

http://www.usacarry.com/7-common-mistakes-concealed-carry/

I’m not sure I agree with all seven bullet items that the article describes, but this could be because I see the firearms training industry as money-grabbing organizations.  A lot of those courses are damned expensive and cram so much into a short session that the classes themselves become meaningless.  You’re supposed to take away something from those training sessions.  And not everyone needs operator-like training…yes, the article is talking about basic training, but basic training really just needs to reinforce the fundamentals…that doesn’t really take all that much other than reinforcement via repetition (this is coming from my military experience and in training lower enlisted in basic firearms safety and operation).  I refuse to spend large sums of money on training courses unless there’s some assurance that I’ll come away with knowledge I don’t already know.  I guess it depends on how you’re using firearms and how comfortable you already feel with C&Cing firearms.

A lot of what the article states is logical and common-sense information, especially pertaining to bullet item #1, “NOT UNDERSTANDING THE GREAT RESPONSIBILITY OF CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON NOR ADOPTING THE RELATED MINDSET AND TRAINING PLAN”, but do you need an actual training plan to carry concealed (while keeping in mind that not everyone is a soldier nor have a soldier mindset)?  There have been many people that took these training courses and still ended up in jail after a defensive shooting.

Now, I certainly agree with ensuring you’re getting any legal/statutory updates from your town/city/county/state law enforcement organizations so that you’re current on the laws that could get you locked up if you’re cited for violation.  I also agree with the other non-training aspects of the article.

It’s a pretty short but good read.  I think I’ll bookmark it.  In fact, the whole site seems pretty good!

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2.0 Alien Gear carry Cloak Tuck concealed holster in-waistband IWB

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB Holsters

I ordered two Cloak Tuck 2.0 in-waistband holsters from Alien Gear on 3/1.  I was informed that the wait could be 4-6 weeks, but they shipped on 3/26.  I received the holsters on 3/30 (the shipment was 2-day Priority but took 3 days).

The holsters are awesome.  I got one for my Commander-sized 1911s and one for my XD Mod.2.  I also bought an extra shell for my SP2022.

The holsters come with a lifetime warranty and I can exchange all three shells for other shells, free of charge for the life of the holsters/shells.  The build quality appears to be good.  They also came with spare parts (extra screws and grommets).  They also came with detailed instructions on how to adjust cant and retention, as well as how to put it on and how to best wear it.

I’ve been wearing the XD Mod.2 holster all week, trying to get used to IWB.  The space of the pants you wear with the holsters make all the difference in the world (as well as a strong gun belt).  Most of my jeans have shrunk (no, I’m not fat and have recently lost 10 lb with much of it being off my waist), so I may need to go out and get more jeans and/or cargo pants.  My dress and work pants appear to be OK, though I can’t carry at work, so that doesn’t really matter as long as I’m on work property.

I think I’m going to trade my SP2022 shell for a Glock 19 or P320 Compact one.

I highly recommend Alien Gear.  Just be prepared for a long wait before the product ships.  It’s worth the wait, in my opinion.

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1911 carry CCW concealed Grand Power mag blocks magazines P11 SP2022 VA XD

Received my CCW Permit!

I submitted for my Virginia CCW on 20 February.  I received the permit in the mail on 28 February.  That’s eight (8) days turn-round!  Yes, I knew the VA process is simple in comparison to states such as California, but I’ve never heard of anyone getting their VA permit 8 days after submitting their application – don’t take that as a complaint, though…I’m VERY happy.

So, I’m now legal to carry concealed.  The studying of the laws and reading of others’ experiences has been ongoing and I’ll continue to do both until I become a CA resident.  My immediate tasks are to obtain several good in-waistband holsters.  This is difficult to do because I never considered which firearm I’d be carrying.  For now, I think I’ll carry my 1911s, but I also want to carry my XD subcompact, so I’ve ordered two IWB holsters for both the 1911s and the XD.  I also ordered an extra shell so that I can carry my SP2022.  Why did I pick these guns?  Because the 1911s have slide safeties, the XD has it’s grip safety, and the SP2022 has it’s DA/SA trigger (which I’m probably more acquainted with than the others’ safety mechanisms).  I’ll more than likely focus on carrying whichever is the least difficult to carry.  I’d rather have some type of safety on the guns I’ll be carrying, so that means I won’t be carrying the Glock 19 or the P320C (for now, at least).  You might not agree with the reasoning, but the choice is mine alone to make.

I ordered the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB.  I actually ordered two of them, as Alien Gear is having a two holster deal.  I ordered two holsters and an extra shell for $67.  It will be 4-6 weeks before I see those holsters, though.  If I can find something local at a LGS, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, Dick’s, or even Walmart, I’ll be lucky.

I also want to try to carry my other subcompact, the Grand Power P11, but I can’t find any holsters designed for it.  If I can find a decent generic holster that fits the P11 satisfactorily, I’ve the feeling that that particular gun would be ideal for me to carry.

Obtaining my VA CCW permit makes it more difficult to wrap my head around moving to CA.  We still remind ourselves that we can move to a state neighboring CA if we decided our liberties are being limited too much by CA.

I still have to order magazine blocks for the guns.  I’ll have to hack existing mag blocks for the GP P11, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.  If I find that they’re actually too difficult for me to hack, I’ll order 2-3 10-round mags from Eagle Imports.  My wife’s Ruger has one 10-round mag and one 12-round mag.  The 12-round mag has to go.  Her task is to find someone that’s willing to take it in exchange for their 10-round mag.  If it’s not gone by the time we’re ready to go to CA, I’ll either mail it to my parents or, worse case, throw it away…I’m not going to jail over a mag that my wife doesn’t want to get rid of.

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carry CC concealed Maryland MD Washington Post

Gun Owners Fear Maryland Cops Target Them

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/30/gun-owners-fear-maryland-cops-target-them-for-traf/print/

This is crazy. While the pull-overs have been reviewed and found to have been legal and justified, something doesn’t sound right with how the officers are aware that these people have CC permits.  It almost appears that they’re being screened, even if the officers swear up and down that they aren’t.  That bit about the cops smelling marijuana…that sounds like a fabricated reason to pull someone over to try to find a weapon.

This is another reason for me to avoid Maryland…never really liked that state, but this is a legit reason to stay away, IMO.