• Gabby and Kris Garren

My Conceal Carry Experience as a 22 Year Old Women

Growing up I was always around firearms and was taught the safest way to maneuver when I am around them. As a teenager I had been in a couple classes at a nearby gun center, but was never consistent with practicing outside of those scenarios. There were periods where I would go with my family to the range, but those times were not exceedingly often. Because of my past with firearms and being in a gun friendly home, I always assumed that I would one day get my conceal carry license. I honestly was not in a hurry to do this because colleges don’t allow anyone to carry on campus and I had enough to keep track of without adding a firearm into the mix. It also wasn’t on my top ten things I wanted to do so that had a slight impact on why I hadn’t gotten it yet. The main reason why I decided to get it at this time is because my mother and I have started a company called Drawer Full of Holsters LLP. I wanted to at least get my conceal carry so I can be legitimate and knowledgeable on the type of culture and products that our customer base is involved with. One aspect of business owners that always drive me crazy is when you go into a store and you know more about the products they are selling then they do. I did not want to become one of those people.

The week before my class I went to the range with my father so that I wouldn’t be completely out of practice when I went in. We had the option to bring our own firearm to the class for the shooting portion of the day so I wanted to choose the one I liked the most to bring. At the range I shot at Sig Sauer P238, and Glock 42 and 43. I decided that I liked the P238 the most, the G43 was second and the 42 the least. We were there for about an hour before I started to wear out because I was the only one shooting for majority of the time. Also because I had no upper body strength so by the end my shots were way off and my one eye was refusing to close anymore. I tried shooting with both eyes open but so far my efforts were unsuccessful. I decided on the P238 for my gun of choice for the class because I liked it the most.

The next week was my conceal carry class. My expectation was to go in and find a room full of middle aged white men and maybe a couple women. To my surprise, about half the room was women with a range of ages, from my age to around 55. Also, not all the men were middle aged. It ranged from high 20s to around 70 years old. The only slightly uncomfortable part was that I was the only one in the whole group that didn’t bring someone else along. I didn’t mind too much but it did catch my off guard a little bit. Once we got into the class, I realized very quickly that I had a long day ahead of me. First of all, I definitely didn’t bring enough snacks. Note #1: If you going to be somewhere for 8 ½ hours with one lunch break, bring many snacks and water bottles! Thankfully they had water in a mini-fridge so I could mooch off of that supply. The instructors of the class were very laid back and fun to be around. They tried to make us laugh a bit and it made the class go along a bit quicker. One thing I noticed and appreciated was that they had many pictures of women shooting in their powerpoint presentation. Even though it is a male dominated field I hope that more women will get involved. I think they were trying to promote that a bit in the slides. As the day went on, we were in the classroom for about 6 of the 8 ½ hours. We had lunch about 3 hours in that we had to bring ourselves and we got 30 minutes to eat. In the classroom portion we learned a lot of valuable information. They taught about safety and the golden rules that should always be followed when handling a gun. They gave information about types of bullets and hand guns that are used for conceal carry. There is much more than that but it is a 6 hour span of learning so I can’t list everything.

I am overall very happy that everyone needs to take this type of course in order to get a conceal carry license. Information is extremely important when it comes to guns and knowing that every person who has the license to carry has this information makes me feel better. Once they were done with all the talking points we were administered a short test on the information that we were given over the past 6 hours. It was open book and they gave us all the slides at the beginning.

After the classroom portion was done, we went to the range. What happened in this portion was we had 2 rounds of different shooting exercises. We had a full class size so it took a while to get everyone through each round. The first was a simple target that you just try to hit the bullseye. The second was a little more involved where you had to change positions as they called the specific target out to you. I shot pretty well with the gun I brought and was pretty satisfied with my performance.

After we got everyone through the 2 rounds then we went back to the classroom. We found out if we passed the test (which everyone did) and they gave us a certificate for our efforts. After they gave us the certificate they finally let us leave. By the end I was very tired and ready to go to bed. Since I took it in the winter, it was freezing cold and already dark by the time we got to our cars to leave. Overall I am happy that I had to go through the class because I feel more competent in my ability to handle myself with a firearm. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or out of place being there as a young woman. I honestly think that no matter what age you are, as long as its 21 or older and it’s safe enough for you to physically handle a firearm, it’s acceptable to get one. Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

A few weeks after I attended the class I was able to go into the sheriff’s office and turn in my paperwork. It was a very simple process. They had me print off the paperwork from the website and bring in items like my drivers license and a self addressed envelope with a stamp for when they send the card, along with a couple other things. There was a male and female Sheriff's deputy in the office when I walked in who were both very nice to me. Since I had everything I needed already in hand when I walked in, the whole appointment took at most 10 minutes. My concealed carry license card came in the mail about a week or so after the appointment and I was excited to finally have it in hand.

Practicing at the range to prepare for my CCW class!

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