I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a concealed carry (CCW) workshop at one of the local gun shops. These workshops are put on by San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) and hosted by various shops and ranges throughout the county. The workshops describe the process of obtaining a CCW permit in San Diego County, answer attendee questions, and provide additional information.
There is a workshop almost every week somewhere in the county and attendance is typically between 15 and 50 people. 43 people attended the one I facilitated. Participating in the workshop gave me a chance to think about a few things that I’d like to share with you here.
- Thank You– Thank you to everyone who has decided to go through the process and bear the expense, as well as assume the responsibility of being a legally armed citizen. One of the instructors from the host facility observed, as he looked out over the audience, that “our community is much safer having all of you armed”. I could not agree with him more. Thank you all for making our community safer.
- Our newly regained rights – For at least the past 30 years, it has been virtually impossible for the average citizen to obtain a CCW permit in San Diego County. That is no longer the case due to efforts led by SDCGO that persuaded the Sheriff to change his policy. SDCGO continues to work very hard to help the Sheriff improve the system and better serve the community.
- Mindset– Legally armed citizens need to develop the proper mindset to carry responsibly. Know the rules for use of deadly force. Avoid bad people and bad places. Leave your ego at home. Read as much as you can. There are numerous websites (PDN and ASP are two) and books (Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials, The Law of Self Defense, and Deadly Force are three) by reputable firearms trainers that offer a wealth of great information.
- Insurance– Buy carry insurance. Do this before you ever leave the house with your new CCW permit. Unless you have a pile of money to deal with the legal aftermath of a self-defense incident, you need insurance. There are many choices and most will provide adequate coverage for less than $150 per year. Look for plans that emphasize education as well as financial coverage. Research and find the plan that is right for you. USCCA, Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (ACLDN), and Firearms Legal Protection are three good places to start.
- Gun Skills
- Classes– It does you no good to have a firearm and not have the skills to competently use it. Shooting is a perishable skill. Get to the range regularly. Try to take at least one multiday course each year. Attend half day or full day workshops when you can.
- Shooting Sports – Handgun matches are great fun and a wonderful way to develop your shooting skills. They welcome all level of shooters and include men and women of all ages. USPSA, IDPA, and ICORE are just three organizations that offer regular matches open to everyone.
- Everyday Carry
- Carry whenever you can– Carry whenever and wherever it’s legal to do so. The more you carry, the more comfortable you will get and the safer you will be. Carrying a handgun during your normal day takes some getting used to so the more you do it the sooner it will become a natural part of your routine.
- Clothing– Concealed means concealed. In the beginning you’re going to feel like you are always printing and everyone knows you’re armed. The reality is that you’re probably not printing and no one knows. Carry consistently and you’ll get to where you can carry with minimal adjustment to your current clothing.
- The right gun– Take your time and find the gun that’s right for you. There are many choices, even in California. The gun you choose needs to be one you can shoot well. It also needs to be comfortable and easy to carry or you won’t.
- The right holster– Same as the gun, there are many holsters and one size doesn’t fit all. Plan to accumulate a drawer full of holsters as you search for the one that’s right for you. It needs to securely retain your gun and completely cover the trigger/trigger guard. And just like the gun, it needs to be comfortable, if it isn’t, you won’t carry.
- The belt– Buy a heavy-duty belt specifically designed to support a firearm. A good belt makes a huge difference.
If you’ve made the choice to become a legally armed citizen, thank you again for making our community safer.
If you want to keep your rights defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.
©2019 Joseph T Drammissi