Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: Is Online Concealed Carry Training Such A Bad Thing?

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

There’s a certain amount of debate over whether online concealed carry training should be acceptable for getting a carry license. Some states won’t accept it at all, as some jurisdictions mandate classroom instruction for getting a concealed carry permit.

After all, a person would ideally have a grasp of gun safety as well as the relevant firearm and self-defense statutes of their state prior to putting a gun in a concealed carry holster and going armed for their own protection. Whether a license should be required is a discussion for another time; while the Second Amendment doesn’t mention it, most states still require one. The permit system, for good or ill, remains the law of the land in those states that haven’t adopted constitutional carry.

With the rise of the internet (a series of tubes invented by Gore Verbinski or something like that) has arisen online concealed carry training. Obviously, range instruction still needs to take place under the supervision of a qualified instructor, as gun safety is of paramount importance.

Some insist that it should never be sufficient for licensure. Others maintain that online instruction is or should be perfectly acceptable for the classroom portion of instruction.

The issue isn’t exactly simple.

On one hand, a modern truth about education of any sort, at least when it comes to general knowledge and theory, is that online instruction is a very viable alternative to the traditional classroom. Provided good course materials, people are able to absorb the same knowledge gained in a typical classroom in a vastly more convenient and modern way.

It’s happening right now at every level of actual schooling. Primary, secondary, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students are taking courses online and in subjects vastly more complicated than a CCW course. While certainly not completely remedial, let’s be honest here – learning state gun laws and basic firearm theory is not exactly calculus.

Furthermore, a lot of knowledge can now be gained free! Khan Academy and many, many other sites offer courses in all sorts of subjects. There are people that now enjoy near six-figure salaries having learned to code online without stepping foot on a college campus.

It should also be mentioned that while only three states currently accept online courses for concealed carry training, more than 40 accept online instruction for hunter’s safety, though a range day is still usually required. So out of the two most common firearm licenses that a person can get, it’s become acceptable for one of them in most states.

On the other hand, corners cannot be cut when it comes to the subject matter. Without a standardized curriculum, it’s hard to gauge which courses are up to snuff and which aren’t. Plenty are; sites such as Concealed Carry Ed take pains to put together comprehensive course materials that cover all the relevant points. Others don’t, and it’s hard to tell them apart at face value.

So, while it’s undeniable that a person can learn the relevant classroom knowledge through online concealed carry training, it’s also true that it’s hard to separate the worthy courses from the unworthy, unless a person does their homework about the organization offering the course prior to taking it. Range days, of course, must-needs be done in-person, under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

If you have any experience with online training sound-off below.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.