More and more women are choosing to exercise their second amendment right to carry a firearm. A recent survey stated that 22 percent of women own a gun, and almost one third of female firearm owners are new to gun ownership. For many, it gives them an added sense of protection in an increasingly dangerous world.
However, if you are new to gun ownership, it is important that everyone who carries a concealed firearm receive the proper training. Here, we’ll explore five ways that women can arm themselves and act with confidence if a situation turns precarious.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Gun
Whether you are a new carrier or you have grown up around guns your entire life, you must familiarize yourself with a new firearm. You cannot go to the store, buy a gun and expect to automatically know how to operate it. For most new gun owners, it is recommended that you test fire a gun before purchasing one.
Many shooting ranges offer guns for rent. That way, you can test some of the most common guns on the market today. From there, you can decide which gun is best suited for your needs.
Once you find the right gun for you, you can purchase the firearm and begin to familiarize yourself with all of its features. You’ll want to take it to the range, learn if it is a single action or double action, determine what ammo works the best, and consistently practice shooting it.
Apply for a Conceal and Carry Permit
Once you become comfortable with the new firearm, consider applying for a conceal and carry permit. Different states have different guidelines; some require taking a class before issuing a permit, and others do not. You’ll want to check with your state’s local law enforcement agency about the conceal carry laws in the area.
Most states will require a background investigation, as well as a waiting period. If the state you live in requires a course, you will want to sign up for that immediately. Some states waive the course for veterans or active duty military. Firearm experts highly recommend that everyone takes a class, even if you are not new to guns. Once you are approved — and only after approval — you can begin to legally carry your concealed firearm.
Enroll in a Self Defense or Conceal and Carry Course
Make sure that you bring the gun you want to conceal and carry, along with the holster and ammo that you plan to use with it. For most concealed carriers, it is recommended that you conceal your weapon with an inside the waistband holster. These provide the highest level of concealment. Either way, come prepared to run through drills that will help improve your shooting as well as your draw.
These classes provide valuable learning opportunities, especially since many of the instructors have lots of tactical experience. You’ll learn some handy tips and tricks, and always feel free to ask questions. The instructors are willing to help, no matter your level of experience. The class will not only make you a better shot, but you will become better prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.
Once you feel comfortable in your abilities, it is important that you continue to practice with the new firearm. Take the knowledge you learned in class and go to the range to hone your skills even further.
Once you find the right shooting range, purchase a membership that secures a discounted rate and become an active member in the range community. Just like any new skill, it’s important to practice diligently. It may even be helpful to join a women’s shooting team.
Joining clubs and organizations is a great way to get involved, meet other women carriers and learn new tips and tricks. All of this will help build the confidence that is important when carrying a concealed firearm. Also, increasing your network of fellow women shooters is a great way to create a social circle of likeminded people.
Concealing and carrying comes with a lot of responsibility. Now that you have completed the courses and are efficient in using your firearm, you should also adopt a defensive mindset.
When you carry, you need to be more aware of your surroundings as well as the local laws. Maintaining good situational awareness will make you more effective in self-defense — as well as making you a tougher target. It can even prevent you from getting into a confrontational situation before it occurs. More importantly, it will mentally prepare you to use your weapon if you must.
Entering the firearms world can seem intimidating in the beginning. If you take the time to get to know your gun and hone your shooting skills, you will gain confidence quickly. Not only will you feel more empowered, but you’ll be prepared if you ever have to pull your gun.
Contributed by Benji Menez
Director of Marketing