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Should You Open Carry? It Depends.

Open carrying a handgun in North Carolina is legal as long as you are not in a No Firearms Zone. You must be eligible to possess or receive a firearm under provisions of law. You can not enter into any situation in where you are part of any aggressive act.

Although open carrying a handgun is legal in our state, should you open carry in public? My advice is always this – it depends. It depends on where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with. A couple of things that you should consider are:

· Could your open carrying alarm citizens?

· Could you become a target of others that intend mass harm?

· Could you be more open to false accusations of negligent gun use?

· Could you be a victim of a “gun grab”?

One thing I mention before I close each class is this: you are not ready. I get a lot of confused stares when I say this. Sitting in a class all day listening to a person talk about safety and law does not prepare you for the realities of the world we live in. Shooting 30 rounds into an immobile target does not make you ready to react to a deadly threat. It takes more training. Much more training.

I’m thankful that the state of NC requires education. I don’t know a single person who has been hurt by education. Requiring its citizens to become trained is something I will always stand behind. I just wish there were a requirement for additional training. It’s my opinion that everyone who wants to carry a concealed handgun should seek out advanced training. Training that will put you in real-world situations. Help you develop decision-making skills in the blink of an eye. Help you be more proactive rather than reactive to certain situations. In other words, recognizing the possibility of danger or violence before it happens so you can get safe. And if you can’t get safe, reacting from a trained mindset.

Heading to the range is always a fun time. But if you are going to an indoor range that employs shooting “lanes”, there is little chance for you to engage in more realistic training. Consider seeking out a facility that will give you a little more freedom in your training practices. Find an instructor who holds an impeccable reputation. Firearms instructors are becoming a dime a dozen. Be sure to read reviews before scheduling a class or training session. Invest in a good holster and a good belt. The last thing you want is a struggle to retrieve or draw your firearm. Develop good fundamentals within your training practices. And continue to train. No one has ever had enough training. No one.

Lastly, with the onset of more active shootings in our communities, I can offer a few tips:

○ Head on a swivel.

○ Put the phone away.

○ See something, say something. ○ Trust your gut. ○ Develop and practice a safety plan. ○ Be prepared. ○ Lock and load.

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