North Carolina law mandates that the training required to apply for a concealed carry handgun permit be 8 hours of classroom plus range qualification. That’s listed on page three of the Concealed Carry Handgun Training manual published by the North Carolina Justice Academy. As instructors we are charged with teaching our students North Carolina law as it pertains to carrying a handgun and the use of deadly force and then evaluating their overall proficiency with a handgun. We teach students to be responsible and safe firearms owners. A current Groupon add for a company that provides online concealed carry training to North Carolina residents does none of that.
Full disclosure here – as instructors for a company that provides the training required by the state of North Carolina for a citizen to apply for a Concealed Carry Handgun permit, we encourage anyone who wishes and is qualified to get a CCH to do so. We also encourage them to get the best training available. We believe that we provide that training. We also believe there are other fine instructors throughout the state who provide the training, insight and knowledge mandated by the state and required for every citizen to carry a concealed firearm responsibly. This online training company does none of that.
This company – www.onlinecarrytraining.com – provides a 15-minute, basic handgun safety video hosted by an unnamed instructor, followed by a twenty-question test. Watch the video, pass the test – something any fourth grader could do after they have had a chat with a parent about firearms safety – and you will get a certificate that will allow you, as a North Carolina resident, to apply for an Arizona Non-Resident Concealed Carry Weapons permit.
All one has to do next is contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety and you will receive instructions, an application card, 2 finger print cards and a self-addressed return envelope. Fill everything out, send them $60.00, allow 60 days for processing and you will receive your Arizona Non-Resident CCW permit that will allow you to carry a concealed handgun in North Carolina – and many other states. A person will have not learned one thing about the law in North Carolina and will not have fired one round from a handgun.
Is this legal? Unfortunately, yes. The North Carolina legislature has decided to recognize any and all concealed carry permits issued by every state in the Union as legal for the purposes of carrying a concealed handgun in North Carolina. The thinking was that residents of other states, if allowed to carry in their home state, could visit NC and legally carry here.
That NC residents could bypass the state requirements and get a non-resident permit from another state falls into the category of unintended consequences. The legislature thought they were creating a high standard for North Carolinians to carry concealed by establishing the 8 hours of class plus qualification but they also created an enormous loophole.
Only the most irresponsible people in our community would think this is a good thing. I, for one, don’t want people carrying concealed firearms who don’t know the law and who haven’t proved that they can safely and correctly handle the gun.
What does a person gain by taking this shortcut to concealed carry? They get a fast and easy ticket that allows them to pack a pistol when they go out and about town. But do they know where they can legally carry? Do they know when they have the right to use deadly force? Do they know anything about the legal responsibilities that come with carrying a firearm? Do they even know how to use the firearm?
People think they know what they can legally do with a firearm by watching the news or from listening to their equally uninformed friends. They get a story out of Florida or Michigan or Texas and think that the same circumstances would hold true for North Carolina. Not so. This on-line pathway to a concealed carry handgun permit is a recipe for disaster.
It’s not hard to picture a North Carolina citizen with an Arizona Non-resident CCW permit using their firearm and killing someone when they had no legal right to use deadly force. The headline the next day will scream about a concealed carry permit holder shot an innocent person and ALL North Carolina concealed carry handgun permit holders will get smeared as trigger-happy, blood thirsty goons just looking for the next target. We’ll get labeled as irresponsible and untrustworthy and that will just fuel the argument for everyone who already wants to limit our right keep and bear arms.
So please, don’t take the easy way out. Don’t risk your freedom, your rights and your finances and those of everyone you love by taking a cheap shortcut to concealed carry. Get the proper training from instructors who are certified to teach concealed carry in the state of North Carolina.