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CCW Tips And Tactics, Part III

DC Reed/Director

Part III of III

State Gun Laws

State gun laws vary considerably. Some states have many more firearms restrictions than others. Some gun owners who visit other states will be granted reciprocity and recognition for any “right to carry” gun laws they had in their home state. Not all states grant such rights. “Right to carry” laws are federal and state constitution provisions that recognize a gun owner’s right to use her or his gun for defensive purposes.

Some states give gun owners more rights than others. For example, twelve states currently prohibit employers from firing employees who leave guns locked in their personal vehicles on company property. That means 38 other states do allow companies to restrict employees from having weapons in their cars or trucks on company property.

States also have laws that either allow or prohibit you from openly carrying a gun in public. These are called “open carry” laws. Generally, states fall into one of four categories:

  • a) Permissive Open Carry States – Allow you to carry a gun without a permit or license.
  • b) Licensed Open Carry States – Allow gun owners to carry firearms openly only after they are issued a permit or license.
  • c) Anomalous Open Carry States – Carrying a gun openly may be generally lawful under state law, but local governments may pass their own gun laws that are more restrictive than the state’s laws.
  • d) Non-Permissive Open Carry States – Carrying a gun openly is against state law, or is legal only in limited circumstances (e.g., while hunting) or when legally used for self-defense.

If you just moved to a state with an open carry law, there is often a waiting period before you can apply for an open carry permit. Open carry restrictions are often the subject of lawsuits filed by gun owners against states where they reside.

Go to Findlaw’s site (http://statelaws.findlaw.com/criminal-laws/gun-control/ ) for a directory of gun laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. If you have additional questions, be sure to contact a gun rights attorney near you.


The key to successful carry and effective use of a firearm is training and of course, practice. Find a professional firearms instructor and check their references before investing in a training course. Reputable trainers should have a website or brochure that describes their training and background to teach. The NRA is a good place to start. Talk with your local law enforcement agencies. Many of the trainers who train them will train cleared civilians as well.

Look for trainers with a broad range of shooting/training experience. For instance a trainer who has just a police training background may not be as good a choice for civilians. A pure competition shooter may not give the best Use of Force legal advice. Military specialist may not be up on state laws.

Train to the threat you are likely to encounter. To give you an idea:

  • a. 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
  • b. 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
  • c. 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
  • d. 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source- FBI)


  • a. The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
  • b. The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
  • c. The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
  • d. 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
  • e. Most gunfights take place in low light conditions.
  • f. In most gunfights the aggressor does not stand still.
  • g. On average one shot in four actually strikes someone.

You need to know your abilities and benchmark yourself against known standards.

In conclusion, this path to carrying a CCW firearm for personal and family protection is an epiphany; that is, a permanent alteration of your life and your thinking and actions. From the day you obtain your permit and every day after that you are now different, and will be measured by the law differently.

It is an awesome responsibility to have; to know others close to you may now depend on you for their life. This heavy mantle is only mitigated by maturity, professional training, continued education, proper practice, and heavy doses of common sense.

God Speed and Good Shooting!

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