FREE Revolver Training Resources

A vast majority of people who carry concealed carry some variation of the .38-special snubnose revolver. There are a lot of reasons for this: its portability, simplicity, stopping power-to-weight ratio, etc. And then there are a slightly smaller subset of the defensive community (like myself) who use or even prefer the revolver for the distinct virtues it has as a platform.

If either one of these is the case for you, then you may have noticed the profound lack of solid revolver training materials available from the gun press today.

While there are a handful of books and instructors who comprise the exception to this rule, generally speaking the professional firearms community at large tends toward space-age plastics and high-capacity semi-automatic pistols. While there is nothing wrong with either of these, we wheelgunners very often end up being left out in the cold.

But no more.

Seeing the need for quality defensively-oriented training for revolvers that doesn’t involve flying out of state, I’ve been working for a few months now to provide a couple of different resources for my fellow wheelgunners.

The first is an ongoing series of blog posts over at my personal blog, The Gentleman Adventurer. The series of posts is entitled The Way of the Wheelgun and is intended to cover the gamut of revolver training issues, from sound revolver techniques to the general defensive mindest.

The second is a related Youtube Channel, also entitled wayofthewheelgun. This brand-new Youtube channel already has a number of videos uploaded on the fundamentals of the defensive revolver, and new videos will be uploaded on a weekly basis.

It’s my hope that the combination of these training tools will result in a concealed-carry community that is better prepared and more focused on practical, reality-based training. It’s a rough world out there. Keep your powder dry.

The Way of the Wheelgun

The Way of the Wheelgun – Youtube Channel

Richard W. Rohlin is a shootist, aspiring warrior, and wheelgun aficionado. His permanent home is the Gentleman Adventurer, a thrice-weekly blog on all things manly.

Dangerous Flash Mobs

Over at my personal blog (The Gentleman Adventurer) we just recently wrapped up a series on violent flash mobs and how to be better prepared for them. Violent flash mobs are one of the single most dangerous forms of violent crime we face in America today, and they are becoming increasingly common. Any individuals serious about their personal defense or the defense of their family need to be aware of this growing threat so that they can be physically and mentally prepared to deal with it.

With that in mind, I’d like to point you toward a couple of helpful resources. The first is a series of 6 blog posts over at my personal blog. The second is a link to a helpful article penned by Gabe Suarez of Warrior Talk News. If you’ve got a half hour to do some reading, I’d recommend taking a look at both sites. If you’ve only got a second, at least read Gabe’s short-but-sweet article from Warrior Talk News.

Coming to a City Near You: Violent Flash Mobs

Flash Mob Attacks – How to Defend?

Richard W. Rohlin is a shootist, aspiring warrior, and wheelgun aficionado. His permanent home is the Gentleman Adventurer, a thrice-weekly blog on all things manly.

Is your range time meaningful?

How long has it been since you went to the range? And I don’t mean went to the range to bust sporting clays (and don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with that!) or zero in your hunting rifle. When was the last time you took your personal defensive carry handgun to the range and spent some time with it? Hopefully, it’s been within the last month or so.

If it hasn’t, then you need to consider whether you are maintaining the skills necessary to use that platform responsibly. But that’s really a post for another day. Let’s assume you’ve been recently.

Here’s my question: The last time you took your carry gun to the range, what did you do with it?

I spend a lot of time at the range and I spend a lot of time getting to know range people. And I see a lot of paper-punching: Shooters standing locked in isosceles, Weaver, or other popular shooting stances, shooting round after round into an x-ring or bulls-eye target.

This kind of shooting is fine for what it is worth: developing and sharpening fundamental marksmanship skills. It’s also a lot of fun. If all we were going to do in the future was bulls-eye competition or some other kind of target shooting, then this kind of paper punching would be sufficient.

But the point of any defensive shooting practice should be to equip us to deal with an unprovoked, unforeseen violent encounter with three-dimensional threats in a complex environment in which we may need to be able to quickly distinguish between friend and foe. Therefore, in order for our range time to be meaningful, it needs to incorporate a certain level of stress, require a certain amount of mental exercise, and equip us with a skill set that allows us to solve real-world problems.

With that in mind, here are some questions to ask yourself about your next range trip.

Are your techniques reality-based? Are you using a specific marksmanship technique or stance that allows you tighter shot groupings, or do your stance and the techniques used to manipulate your gun reflect an actual dynamic critical incident?

At the range last weekend I witnessed a former law enforcement officer and long-time shooter assuming a shooting stance that involved angling his body almost entirely away from the target and resting the elbow of his shooting arm on his abdomen, reaching his supporting arm across his torso – sort of a modified Weaver stance. He felt the stability of this stance allowed him a greater level of accuracy and thus tighter groupings than he would have been able to achieve otherwise.

Whether this is true is not really the point. In the event of an ambush or other critical incident, your body will instinctively orient itself toward the threat. Training with a stance that will be almost impossible to assume in a real fight not only invalidates your practice (at least, invalidates it as defensive practice), but it results in a false level of confidence in your ability to handle the situation.

The same can be true for how you reload your handgun during practice. Do you reload from the shooting bench, or do you reload from magazines or speedloaders carried on your body in the same way that you carry them when you go out? If the former, you may be training your brain to look for a reload on a non-existent wooden bench during an emergency.

Are you focusing too much on accuracy? I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard or even been guilty of the phrase (or something like it): “He’s dead!” or “That oughta do it,” after a shooter finishes a shot string that results in a nice tight little group in paper.

Precision and accuracy are the two most rewarding, most readily quantifiable aspects of shooting. Thus, we often wrongly associate our ability to shoot tight groups into a static, two-dimensional target as actual fighting skills. What we want to be focused on is combat accuracy. While there are many definitions of “combat accuracy,” most authorities on the subject agree that any hits to the thoracic region are acceptable, as are hits to the spinal column or head.

Among other things, this means that a 6-8” grouping fired in two seconds is almost always going to be better than a 1” grouping fired in five. Put another way: If you’re shooting nice, tight groups, you probably need to pick up the pace.

Let me give an example. Any of the 5 groups in the photo below are tight groupings by anyone’s standards, especially given that they were fired from a snubnose revolver at a range of seven yards:

The rate of fire in this particular case happens to have been 0.9 seconds between shots. This is really too slow for an experienced shooter as demonstrated by the shot groupings, which are tighter than they need to be in order to be combat accurate. Using the same ammo, the same shooter could easily dump all five rounds the snubby holds into a 6” grouping within less than 2 seconds – and in a fight, that’s almost always going to be more desirable.

Of course, you can shoot too fast, and at some point your accuracy will pass an unacceptable threshold. And obviously, as distance (or the need for precision, i.e. a necessary headshot) increases, speed must decrease. That’s why it’s so important to practice regularly and be confident in your own balance of speed and precision at a variety of realistic distances and circumstances.

Bottom line: When those groupings start getting under 3 inches, it’s time to add some form of speed or pressure to your training regimen. If you don’t, you’ll have an unrealistic view of what you can do. Because the bad guys probably aren’t going to wait for you to line up your sights and control your breathing.

Are you thinking like a warrior or thinking like an athlete? Most shooters are, on some level, athletes. They are training for a specific physical skill set (in this case, shooting a gun at a target) under a specific set of controlled circumstances (at the range on a firing line or possibly in a competitive shooting event). What this means is that they will tend toward a set of skills and equipment that function well for that given setting.

For instance, the hardcore competition shooter may practice with a firearm that is too large or too specifically modified to be practical for everyday carry. They may also (and almost always will) spend their time practicing with ammunition that is significantly less powerful (and thus softer-shooting) than defensive ammunition.

Likewise, the confirmed target shooter will be likely to use firearms that are comfortable and accurate to shoot – if not always practical for their daily carry needs. And they will adopt stances and techniques that are suited to getting tight groups on paper and impressing their buddies.

There is nothing wrong with either of these approaches – but we need to be careful not to think that this sort of training or range time will be useful in an actual deadly encounter.

The warrior takes a different approach than the athlete. The warrior is primarily interested in preparing for battle. The warrior trains with his battle-gear because it is a matter of life-and-death that he be familiar with it. The warrior trains for the scenarios he is likely to encounter based on the demands of his life, and this includes developing skills (such as intuitive or “point” shooting) that may not necessarily be the most conducive to tight groups on paper.

One of the easiest things you can do to enhance your training is to simply envision the sort of scenario you are likely to face if you are ever to be violently attacked, based on your lifestyle. Then, prepare for that attack as much as possible, through the use of live-fire, dry-fire, and force-on-force techniques. When you shoot, visualize the threat, as well as the emotions and instinctive processing that your mind will be going through. This is a technique that research has shown to be effective in increasing actual performance under pressure.

Obviously the goal here is not to discourage target practice. Target practice is infinitely preferable to no practice at all. But for most of us, after a few regular range trips we will get more or less competent at bulls-eye shooting. At that point it’s time to press on and make sure our range time is truly meaningful.

Richard W. Rohlin is a shootist, aspiring warrior, and wheelgun aficionado. His permanent home is the Gentleman Adventurer, a thrice-weekly blog on all things manly.

Lifetime member and happy about it!

Join the NRAI’m not a big fan of joining things.  But the NRA is an exception for me.  They are about the only folks with a constant vigilance over my God-given firearm freedoms.  I believe every American who owns or uses a firearm should be a member of the National Rifle Association. No other organization has done so much to stand for our freedoms in the U.S.A. I am a lifetime member as is my son. Make it a family tradition in your family, too! This is a freedom that few nations have — let’s protect it. Thomas Jefferson commented tha the 2nd Amendment was the one that kept government from taking away the freedoms granted in the rest of the Constitution.

The primary purpose of the NRA is to create and distribute educational programs to help people enjoy their 2nd Amendment freedoms in a safe and responsible way. Their budget reflects this as education is far and away their biggest expenditure. (It is NOT political lobbying as some people think.)

But the NRA is also a watchdog group looking out for government’s unceasing efforts to encroach on our right to bear arms. The Supreme Court has ruled that is an individual right. But it might only take us agreeing with one U.N. designed treaty to cause us all to have to register our guns and then have them confiscated. Does that seem farfetched to you? Well, watch the video below and then think again! Then join the NRA before it is too late! You will receive a subscription to one of several fine publications, discounts on a number of items and courses related to firearms, and the good feeling that you are supporting an organization who is looking out to protect YOUR freedoms.

And if you are ever near the Dulles / Herndon / Sterling Virginia area, check out the awesome NRA firearms museum. It is worth a trip out there just to see that!

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Now that you’ve seen the video, please don’t hesitate to become my fellow NRA member!

Best ammo choice for combat shotguns

A shotgun is still one of the best alternatives for home defense.  It imparts more power, creates more wounds to bleed,  and requires less aiming skill (unless using slugs) than a handgun under most home defense circumstances.  But it is a bit harder choosing ammo.  There are basically 3 zones of defense for the shotgun:

  • The A Zone — From zero to 7 yards.  At this range, pellets stay close enough together to act like a single projectile.
  • The B Zone — From 7 to 25 yards.  At this range, pellets spread out.  Your goal is to keep all the pellets on the target.
  • The C Zone — From 25 to 100 yards.  At this range, you need a slug and you need to carefully aim to get the slug on the target.  A rifled slug will have greater accuracy.

The first rule is to have ammo.  But if you can afford to be picky, here are my recommendations for defensive ammo:

  • For A & B zones — Federal Premium’s Tactical Buckshot with FliteControl wad.  This produces the tightest patterns of shotgun ammo available today.  Look for the full power 9-pellet 00 (double-aught) buckshot.  The patented FLITECONTROL® wad provides the delivery system for new Precision Buckshot. This unique development keeps buckshot in the wad until contacting a hard target, providing the kinetic energy of a slug with the impact of buckshot. Get more penetration through barriers and minimize collateral damage with this load.
  • For C zone — Federal’s Truball Rifled Slug.  This slug has amazing accuracy for the 12-guage shotgun with 2″ groups at 100 yards using the proper sights.  Comes in  2-3/4″ with 1 oz. and 3/4 oz. (for reduced recoil)  loads.

Isn’t the US safe?

A lot of people have the idea that violent crime can never happen to them.  So they never take the time to get trained and licensed to carry a firearm.  Let me share just 2 thoughts with you on this subject.

1.  Don’t believe government statistics that they have made things safer for us.  When you hear statistics applauding the current administration (whoever that is) saying that murder is down, learn to read between the lines.  Murder IS down.  You know why?  Because you have to have someone die in order for murder to occur.  Medical technology has made it possible to save lives from knife wounds, gun wounds, and beatings that would have been lost just 15-20 years ago.  But violent crime — assault, aggravated assault, robbery, kidnapping, and rape — have increased more than 400% in the last 20 years.  The government wants you to think they are doing a good job of protecting you.  But nothing is further from the truth.  We still have brave and valiant police officers that are a line of defense to prevent evil from overrunning society.  But there are too few of them and too many of the bad guys.  You must defend yourself and those you love!

2.  We now have a new phenomenon in crime — flash mobs and flash robberies.  Perhaps you have heard about this in Europe or Greece where riots have been taking place.  And you think, “I’m so glad that isn’t here.”  But it is here.

This Is What Happens When People Are Unarmed…(just in 2011)

  • In August, innocent civilians were viciously attacked at the Wisconsin State Fair
  • In July, an angry group of youths beat and robbed innocent bystanders in Philadelphia
  • In July, a gang flash robbed a Victoria’s Secret store in Washington DC
  • In June, a Chicago man was dragged through a street and beaten by 20 teenagers
  • In April, a liquor store was emptied out by a flash mob in Las Vegas
  • In April, a crowd of teenagers flash robbed an upscale clothing store in Washington DC
  • In February, 50 teenagers raided a convenience store in Minneapolis

In a flash mob, an angry group of youth armed with knives, baseball bats, and homemade weapons storm an area and beat innocent victims — just for the thrill of it.  In a flash robbery, similarly armed teens (these are usually made up of males ages 14-19) attack for the purpose of committing robbery of a store — and innocent victims are often injured or killed.  With the increasing violence in our society and the increased economic pressures brought about by failing government policy that insists on printing money to pay bills it could never afford, it is only a matter of time until these events become the fodder for the nightly TV news.   And it may soon come to individual homes.

Are you prepared?  Have you taken a CHL class yet to prepare you to defend yourself and your family?

Are guns for Christians?

As a pastor with the gift of teaching, I have a great concern that people properly understand the Word of God.  Truth out of balance leads to heresy. One of the areas that is a theological problem for many Christians is the subject of self-defense and the use of lethal force to protect yourself and your family or others.  Many Christians have a distorted view that God is a God of love and that we should always just be willing to die for any reason.  I am perfectly willing to die for my faith as a martyr.  However, I am unwilling for anyone in my family to die as result of senseless violence.  A person’s death should mean something – just as much is his life should have meant something.  Yes, I do know God can get glory out of whatever life you have already had.  But could He not also get glory out of prolonging your ministry?  In other words, why not preserve and protect the life He gave you so that you can serve Him longer?

Let me give you some typical comments that I will hear from Christians regarding the use of firearms in self-defense (from actual conversations):

“Don’t you think you should just trust God for your safety?  Isn’t He responsible protect you?  Why do you not just pray Psalm 91 over your family every day?”

OR

“The problem I’m having is that I’m a Christian and the thought of shooting another child of God, even to save my life, is troublesome. . . .  [Jesus]  even admonishes us to ‘turn the other cheek’ or to ‘walk a second mile’ or to ‘give your other cloak as well.’  He never says fight back, defend yourself and your family. He says to trust in God and not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.  So as a believer in God and a follower of Jesus Christ, I feel more compelled to follow what Jesus said than to follow human survival instincts.”

OR

“Isn’t it unspiritual to carry a gun?  Shouldn’t you just trust God?”

These viewpoints are from very loving Christians with a great concern for doing the right thing and for showing the love of Jesus to others.  For that, they are to be commended.  I even have a family member that thinks that  you should just always be willing to die – and he does not see a distinction between dying as a victim of violence and dying for your faith as a martyr.  All of these views are well-intentioned.  But they are also biblically out of balance.  We are always in danger of making a theological mistake if we do not take the whole counsel of the word of God and consideration.  If you ignore any part of Scripture, then you are in danger of misleading yourself into error.

So what does the Bible say about self-defense?  Both the Old and New Testaments address this concern.  Some Christians mistakenly say that nothing in the Old Testament applies to us any longer because it is part of the Law.  That is erroneous.  There are still promises and prophecies in the Old Testament that have not been fulfilled.  So it is wrong to simply dismiss the Old Testament.  The writer of Hebrews would suggest that the principles outlined in the Old Testament are fully explained in the New Testament.  So let us look at what both Testaments have to say about the subject of self-defense.

Firstly, what about the person who says that we should just trust God for our protection?  Jesus often answered a question with another question.  So let me do the same.  “Do you trust God to feed you and to put food on your table for your family?”

Any person who has put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior will readily say, “Of course I trust God to feed my family.”  We know that all good things come from the hand of God.  He does indeed give us each breath that we take and provides for each of our needs.  However, there is a balancing truth in Scripture.  Paul instructed the early church at Thessalonica about some who were wanting to simply live off of the generosity and charity of the local believers there.  Here is his instruction:

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

I trust God to provide the food that I need to eat each day, but God holds me responsible to earn a living in order that I may pay to feed myself and my family.   In fact, God says that if a man will not work, neither should he eat.   In the same way, I trust God to protect my family (Psalm 91) but God has charged me with the responsibility of protecting them.

What about the person who wrongly assumes that Jesus never said anything about self-defense?  At the Last Supper, Jesus knew that he would no longer be physically present with his disciples.  He knew that the days were coming very soon when they would have to go out and spread the gospel to the world that would receive it with hostile attitude.  He wanted them to have a long and fruitful ministries share the news of Jesus Christ and his redemptive death with as many as possible.  Many Christians seem unaware of specific counsel that Jesus gave on the subject of self-defense during the Last Supper.    In Luke 22:36,38, Jesus says this:

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one…. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Jesus knew he was going away and instructed his disciples to do the following things:

  • Take a purse with money in it so you can provide for your needs.  (Even though God would ultimately provide for their food and clothing, they were responsible to carry money to change for the things – and they would have to earn money if it was not given to them.)
  • Buy a sword if you don’t have one.  I used to think that this was a radical instruction for Jesus to give his disciples.  However, they were not really surprised by it.  In fact, a disciple went away for a few seconds and came back to report that two of them already had swords.  In other words, these disciples carried swords with them on a routine basis.  Not everyone carried a sword.  But it was also not considered an unusual thing for them to carry a sword – as two swords were present at the Last Supper!
  • The disciples responded that they already had two swords.  It wasn’t a strange thing for them to have.  In fact, they’d been carrying these two swords with them while traveling with Jesus.  Jesus said that was enough.  In other words, Jesus did not think that every one of the disciples needed a sword.  The disciples did not need to go out and purchase a special safe and stock it full of every kind and caliber of sword.  But Jesus did say that part of their preparation for ministry after he was no longer physically present with them was to carry a sword so that some defense could be made for their group.
  • It seems likely that one of the swords belonged to Peter.  Remember that he used one to chop off the ear of a man who came to the Garden of Gethsemane during the arrest of Jesus.  In that case, Peter used his sword inappropriately in terms of God’s will.  Jesus was predetermined to die for the sins of mankind from the beginning of time.  However, Jesus gave instructions to his disciples to have swords to protect themselves (had firearms been available, I believe he would have suggested a Sig Sauer P220 .45 caliber instead).

There are also some important principles in Scripture that address the subject of defending yourself and others with lethal force if necessary:

 

Giving in to evil isn’t spiritual!  There is nothing inherently spiritual about being a victim of crime.  A father is not a good father if he allows his wife or children to be victimized by criminals.  Listen to the words of Proverbs 25:26

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”

Did you hear what that said?  A muddied spring or a polluted fountain is of no use to anyone who needs it.  The Bible says that if you give way to the wicked – that is, you let the wicked have his way – you are of no use to anyone in need of your help.

  • I recently attended a seminar with about 400 police officers – and I was the only non-police officer in the bunch.  We listened with compelling interest to Col. Dave Grossman who is an authority on violent crime and has even written a book on why modern videogames are turning out a generation of children who kill without even the thought of consequences.  He told those police officers that they should always carry their gun when they are off duty.  He said that he had personally counsel with many police officers who had the opportunity to stop a violent crime while they were off duty but did not have a firearm with them.  These officers continue to live with the guilt that a friend or family member died because they were unprepared to help.
  • Last week in Ft. Worth Texas, two high school teenagers beat another student who fled from them.  They chased him out of the school and into the middle of the street where they beat him unconscious and stomped on his head.  This young man was bleeding from multiple body orifices.  Fortunately a policeman came by and was able to Taser the two young men.  As of yet, it is unclear whether the victim will live or die as a result of his beatings.  What would have been the Christian response if you had been a witness to that situation?  Under Texas law, had I witnessed such a thing, I would have been justified in the use of lethal force to say that young man’s life.  My instinctive reaction would be to do the Christian thing – to save the life of the victim.  If I let the wicked person have his way, then I am like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain – I am of no good to my fellow man.
  • Surprisingly, there is an interesting dynamic that takes place when witnesses view a crime.  If there is only one witness, that person will often attempt to help the victim.  If there are three or more witnesses, they seldom will help.  Instead, they just look on and hope not to get involved – or hope that someone else will instead.  There is a shocking video on YouTube showing a 91-year-old man getting beat repeatedly by a young, trying to steal his car while there at least for people looking on just a few feet away.  I believe that situation would have ended differently if a true Christian legally carrying a firearm had been there.

A Sword and a Trowel

  • In the book of Nehemiah, the people were attempting to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  There was constant opposition – including guerrilla attacks – to undermine their efforts.  Look what happened when Nehemiah addressed the situation.   Nehemiah 4:14 –And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people,

Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.

  • Here is an illustration of God’s man telling God’s people that they are to defend themselves.  Scripture says that each man worked to build the wall closest to his house.  He goes on to say that they kept one hand on the mortar trowel and the other hand on a sword.

While we are no longer under Old Testament Law, that law reveals principles that are still in operation today.

If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him.”  (Exodus 22:2)

  • Normally, when a person stole something from you, he had repaid four times the amount that he had stolen.
  • If a person broke into your house during the daytime and you saw him stealing your DVD player, under Old Testament law you should let him take the DVD player.  Once he is arrested by authorities, he should be required to pay you an amount equivalent to four DVD players.  I am not going to kill person over a DVD player.  Interestingly, under Texas law I am justified to shoot anyone who breaks into my house – daytime or nighttime.  However, it is not worth taking a life to protect a piece of electronics.  You can replace electronics more cheaply than you can pay for the lawyers’ fees.
  • However, if someone breaks into your house at night – particularly in Old Testament times without the aid of streetlights – it is impossible to determine what their intentions are.  There is no way of knowing whether they are there to take your DVD player or rape your daughter.  The Old Testament specifically states that if you kill someone who breaks in your house at night, you are not guilty of their blood.
  • So there are specific provisions in the Old Testament for defending your life and your family.  There are principles in the Old Testament that say that we are responsible to help defend the lives of others who are innocent victims.  There are many passages more than the ones I have quoted here they are readily available to the diligent student of God’s Word.

 

What about, “Thou shalt not kill.”

And of course, one of the greatest objections that people raised to the idea of self defense is the sixth commandment.    What about the 6th Commandment?  Doesn’t it say we shouldn’t kill?

  • First of all, “Thou shalt not kill” is an unfortunate translation.  The sixth commandment does not actually say “thou shall not kill,” but “thou shalt not murder.“  This is the correct interpretation of the Hebrew language.  What is the difference between killing and murder?
  • Murder involves malice, hate, and forethought.  A person who murders, plans to do so in advance.
  • When I got up this morning, I had no thoughts of taking anyone’s life.  I hate no one.  I have malice toward no one.  My prayer today is that everyone I meet can be influenced to understand that they came into the world a sinner but that Jesus Christ died to pay for their sins.  All they have to do is to receive the gift of God’s Son and His death on the cross and they can be gloriously saved forever.
  • Is it possible that I will kill someone today?  I certainly hope not.  But I have a 9 mm pistol within a second’s reach at this very moment.  I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.  I pray that I never have to use it.  But before the day is over, I might have an opportunity to save someone’s life.  That life could include my own.  While on the surface it may seem self-serving to want to save my own life, I can promise you that my wife, six daughters, and two sons, and the church that I pastor, will be grateful that I lived to serve them another day.  I have no murder in my heart – but am prepared to kill if absolutely necessary.  A firearm is a last-resort solution.  And according to the United States Supreme Court, my right to carry one is an individual right.

The bottom line is this.

  • There is a clear difference between murder and  killing in defense of self, family, innocent victims, or nation.  Jesus said that being angry with the person was as bad as murdering them.  Why?  Because when you are extremely angry at someone, you determined that they are not worth living – the same decision a murderer makes when he kills.
  • There are specific guidelines for self-defense in Scripture.
  • Scripture says that the righteous are not to simply give way to evil.  There is NOTHING spiritual about being defenseless.
  • The psalmist David even said that God taught his “hands to war.”  There is an appropriate time to use violent force in national or self-defense.
  • Jesus Christ himself instructed his disciples to carry a means of self-defense.  He did so at his Last Supper – as part of his parting instructions to his disciples.  If it was good enough for my Savior, is good enough for me.
  • If we listen carefully to the response of Jesus, we do not need to go out and get one of every kind of gun.  But we should carefully consider being prepared to defend those we love.
  • Jesus warned us that in coming days the world would be more and more wicked.  The recent riots in London, Greece, Ireland, and parts of Europe are harbingers of what will soon be coming to our own shores.  It is not the will of God to simply allow our homes to be invaded, are wife and daughters to be raped, our sons to be killed – all is the consequence of senseless violence.  The recent rash of flash mobs and flash robberies here in the United States are a harbinger of things to come.  Will you be prepared to defend the lives of those you love?
  • There is nothing inconsistent with carrying a firearm and being a Christian.  The ability it gives you to protect the lives of others enables you to carry out your Christian duty.  In fact, those I know who legally carry firearms are often among the most helpful and caring people you would ever know.

 

Who really is a child of God?

I must address one other theological issue highlighted one of the comments that I quoted.  The person said, “I’m a Christian and the thought of shooting another child of God…  is troublesome.”  That is a very sweet thought spoken by an obviously loving and merciful person.  But is also a theologically incorrect statement.  God has indeed given life to everyone on the planet.  But not everyone out there is His child.  In fact, Jesus spoke to a group of people and told them, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44).   Obviously, if their father was the devil, then these people were not the children of God.  We need to be careful that we do not assume that every human being is a child of God.  The apostle Paul makes clear in the book of Romans that we become the children of God through the process of adoption.  We must be willing to be adopted in order for the adoption to take place.

So what is a child of God?  Is a person who:

  • Recognizes that he or she is a sinner – At some point in your life, you have broken one of the 10 Commandments.  Have you ever told a lie?  Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you?  Of course you have.  Then by your own admission you are a lying thief – a sinner.  Sin has a consequence.

 ”For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

  • That verse contains two halves.  The wages are contrasted with the gift.  Sin is contrasted with God.  Death is contrasted with eternal life.  So the death that is the consequence of our sin is an eternal death – an eternal separation from God.
  • Recognizes that he or she can do nothing to earn God’s favor.  How many lost you have to break to be a lawbreaker?  Just one.  So if you have committed even one sin, you do not have enough righteousness to get into heaven on your own.  Someone has to pay for your sin, because the righteous God has an absolute standard of justice that requires all sins to be paid for.
  • Receives Jesus Christ as his or her Savior.  God showed his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  Jesus took our punishment upon himself when he died on the cross.  He who had no sin of his own took all of our sins upon himself, which is why he cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Obviously, few people actually fit that definition of a child of God.  Those who do fit that definition are highly unlikely to ever be a person that you would need to shoot.  It is not the children of God against which you are likely to defend yourself.  Rather, it is those who do not have the love of Jesus Christ in their heart.  It is someone consumed by evil.  It is someone who could care less whether you live or die.  In fact, it may be someone who derives great pleasure from the suffering or death of others.  It could be someone that hates you simply because you are a Christian.  That person really does need a relationship with Jesus Christ.  If they were to attack you, your spouse, or a family member you love dearly, you would not be shooting a child of God.  Instead, you might be protecting a child of God by being equipped and trained to use lethal force to save a life.

I want to once again be perfectly clear.  I have zero desire to ever kill anyone.  I pray that it never becomes necessary.  I hope that if I ever have to use my gun, that merely showing it to someone will be sufficient deterrent.  However, I am prepared to defend my family, my friends, innocent victims, and myself with lethal force if necessary.  I suggest you do the same.  And if you ever find yourself unarmed and your life threatened, I pray that someone like me is there to help.

Every Christian needs to be guided by the peace of the Holy Spirit in all matters (Colossians 3:15).  If you cannot be at peace with the Lord legally carrying a firearm, then don’t do it.  But there is nothing biblically wrong with those who do so.  Be grateful that some of your fellow citizens — and in many cases, your fellow Christians — have decided to exercise their God-given and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  They may save your life one day.

The “Ultimate” Carry Gun?

Since about a year ago, I have been on the quest for the “ultimate carry gun.” This would be the one gun to rule them all – the “if I could only own one gun for daily carry and use” gun that would fill every niche.

It would have to be big enough to handle a reasonably powerful caliber, and small enough to be concealed under an untucked shirt or jacket. It would have to be reasonably accurate, but the barrel couldn’t be too long nor the sights too big since its primary intent is to be a carry piece. Heavy enough to soak up the recoil of heavy, manstopping loads, but light enough that it didn’t get tiresome to carry.

In short, it would represent the perfect balance of performance and compromise.

What if the "ultimate" carry gun isn't an individual gun at all?

Since then, I have come to realize a few key truths. The first is that there is no “ultimate.” The “ultimate” carry gun is the one that you have on you when you need it the most.

The second is that of far more importance than the hardware – the endless arguments about platform or caliber – is the software: the skills to handle the equipment and the willingness to use those skills when necessary.

The third is that the “ultimate” carry gun for you is the one that you will actually practice with and carry. And what that means that the most important part of gun selection is that you like it and be comfortable with it.

I know many people who in the past have bought a handgun based on its reputation for power or reliability, despite the fact that the platform was one that they did not personally like and usually just get frustrated shooting. The result? I can count on one hand the number of times they’ve practiced with it year-to-date. And carrying a gun you don’t practice with is a danger both to yourself and to others.

So find a gun that you like. It should be both comfortable and visually appealing, regardless of what your style is. There are flashy guns, tactical guns, old-fashioned guns, space-age guns, com-bloc guns, rubber grips, wood grips, plastic grips… The list goes on. One of the fabulous things about living in America is the sheer variety of choices that are available to shooters.

Reliability and accuracy are at least as important as likeability and should be taken into consideration, but they don’t mean a thing if you don’t enjoy your gun. Carrying a gun can and should be an enjoyable experience. So next time you’re in a gun store, don’t let the guy behind the counter sell you something because “this is a good gun for a lady”, or, “this is what the SEALS or <insert your special operations group of choice here> carry.”

Buy a gun you like. Practice with it monthly. Carry it daily.

 

Richard Rohlin is a blogger, gunwriter, and shootist. He has a penchant for wheelguns and a passion for helping others learn how to protect the ones they love. He also runs gentlemanadventurer.org, a multi-topic blog on all things manly.

Wondering what’s going on with gold?

Many Americans have been trying to figure out how to protect themselves from the coming economic collapse.  If you didn’t know there was one coming, then wake up.  It is mathematically inevitable.  We are seeing a contraction of the currency supply (deflation) and at the same time we are seeing inflation rates over 9.2%.  (The government likes to tell you that the consumer price index (CPI) is 3.2% which is moderate inflation.  But they took all the energy costs and several other costs out of this figure.  A better measure of inflation is the Producer Price Index.  Or you can go to www.shadowstats.com and get the real truth.  The government also doesn’t want you to know that 1 in every 4 Americans is out of work, so they doctor the unemployment figures to only count those recently unemployed.)

Naturally, when you have deflation or inflation — and especially when you have both at the same time — people run to the stability of precious metals to protect their purchasing power.  Essentially, it is wise to convert your worthless paper currency (a dollar bill is just an IOU on a debt note) for real money — something that has intrinsic values.  So recently we saw gold shoot all the way up to $1912.50 and then it is back down today (8/25/2011) to $1729.

  1. Many investors were lulled into thinking the economy is somehow in a state of recovery.  While it may show temporary signs of improving, no economy can sustain itself when it has a debt that is 10 times its annual Gross Domestic Product.  But even a hint of improvement sent gold prices down.
  2. They went down so far in fact, that commodities companies found themselves at risk.  So the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) raised margin requirements after gold futures surged to a record above $1,910 an ounce this week and then plunged the most since March 2008.  (Basically, the decline in price overshot the margin that was required, forcing CME to raise the margin).  The minimum cash deposit to borrow from brokers to trade gold futures will rise 27 percent to $9,450 per 100-ounce contract in the speculative Tier 1 category at the close of trading today, CME said. The maintenance margin will rise to $7,000 from $5,500. The Shanghai Gold Exchange said Aug. 23 it will hike margins from settlement today.
  3. On a more realistic note for us small fry…. to trade in 10 oz. of gold used to have an initial margin requirement of $245 but today it  is $342.44.

So that makes it a bit more difficult for those of us trying to invest.  But right now, gold and silver are the only real ways to secure your purchasing power in the future.  Look at the temporary price reduction as an opportunity to buy at a discount.  Precious metals are the only real money in the immediate future as our already worthless dollar becomes worth still less.

Not today…

As I write this, it is 7:46 a.m. Texas time.  As you no doubt know, Harold Camping — current president of Family Radio — has said it is absolutely, positively certain that the Rapture (where Christians still alive on earth are taken to live in heaven by Christ prior to the Great Tribulation period) will happen today — May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.  This of course, engenders many questions:

  • Is that 6:00 p.m. Texas time (since it is the center of the known universe), California time (because judgment should begin in the land of fruit and nuts), or Israeli time?
  • Will Harold Camping — who has once before been positively certain of the return of Christ — have the good sense and politeness to resign his position at Family Radio (a really fine Christian radio station) when he is still here after May 21st?  Or will he at least disappear so he can make the rest of us think that we missed the Rapture?
  • What part of “No man knows the day nor the hour — not even the Son of Man” does Harold Camping not get?
  • How in the world did Camping come up with the idea that the Great Tribulation was 23 years long — and that we are already in it — with only the last 5 months being really bad?  Every other scholar that understands Scripture knows it to be a 7-year long period — all of which will be bad, but the last 3-1/2 years of which will be hell on earth.

I’m writing this by faith — I believe I will still be here tomorrow precisely because Harold Camping says the Rapture is definitely today.  For me, this is an almost certain guarantee that it will NOT be today.  If I’m right, I’ll post more blogs in the future.  I’m not sure what Harold Camping will do when he is wrong.

At the core of this issue is a failure of many Christians to differentiate the truths taught in 1 Thessalonians from those taught in 2 Thessalonians.  One book was written to Christians who — because they were suffering — thought they were already living in the Tribulation.  Another book was written to help people understand truths about the Second Coming of Christ.  Here’s the gist of the issue:  Christians who think they can predict the Rapture are off their rocker.  The Bible lists NO prerequisites for the Rapture.  Many point to such passages as “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world and then shall the end come” or some snippet from Matthew 24 and say that the Rapture cannot happen until all these prerequisites are met.  But all these conditions apply to the Second Coming of Christ to earth at the end of the Tribulation period just prior to His Millennial reign here on earth.  Jesus said the rapture will come like “a thief in the night” in a totally unexpected manner.

So, if you hear anyone predicting the Rapture, they do not understand that the Rapture has no prerequisites, no predictability.  They fail to understand the differences between that and the Second Coming of Christ.  At the Rapture, Christ comes only in the air to receive His saints.  The Rapture is instantaneous and invisible.  The Second Coming will see Christ come to earth and will be an event the whole world can witness.  There are no prerequisites to the Rapture, but there are several things that have to occur before the Second Coming of Christ.

Here’s one other thing Harold Camping and others miss.  They miss the fact that the Bible did not give us details of prerequisites and events so we can be predicting timetables and waiting for the day.  Instead, the Bible means to encourage us in difficult times that there is a better life ahead.  And it means to exhort us to be fruitful in serving Christ until we meet Him in Hallelujah Square either through death or through the Rapture.

Personally, if I were in Harold Camping’s shoes after all the time zones in the world have passed their 6:00 p.m. mark, I would publish an apology to my fellow Christians for damaging the cause of Christ for bringing the world’s mockery upon Christians.  Atheists are already having parties with a “countdown to backpeddling” to count down the time until Harold Camping has to come up with an explanation for why he’s still here after May 21st.  In Mr. Camping’s zeal for Bible study, he has gone off the deep end and predicted the unpredictable.  In so doing, he has damaged the cause of Christ and causes the world to look with more ridicule at those who have the one real answer the world needs — Jesus Christ.

Mr. Camping — if you’re still here, take off the weekend and reflect on this.  Then please write an apology to all your fellow believers in the world who worship and serve Christ waiting patiently without pridefully thinking that they can predict what Christ said was not predictable.  I’ll be waiting to read it myself.  Meanwhile, I hope FamilyRadio continues — they have excellent music even if they have questionable eschatology.

Is our government involved in murder?

So just how much is enough?  I have been sickened for months by what the United States government is doing to our economy.  It would seem to be an almost deliberate attempt to destroy the US dollar.  Now we get the news that US border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed by a gun sold here in the United States. But that isn’t the real news. The gun store owner suspected that a straw purchase was being made – this was an illegal purchase made with false information. The gun owner contacted The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. That government agency instructed the gun owner to allow the illegal gun sale to happen – reportedly so that they can follow the illegally obtained firearm to see where it went. Further investigations reveal that many firearms have gotten to Mexico illegally – AFTER this same government agency instructed other gun store owners to allow sales that the gun store owners new were illegal. The reason for this was an operation called Gunrunner. Reportedly, the Bureau was going to track guns to their purchasers in Mexico. However, the real reason appears to be political posturing. It seems that the government could not support its claim that illegal guns in Mexico were coming from the United States. So our own government works to help fulfill its own prophecy by facilitating illegal arms sales, knowing that these arms would be used in crimes and that they could then point at these illegally gotten firearms as evidence that the United States needed stricter gun controls.

So when the government cannot convince its people that an action is right, then it chooses to manufacture evidence that otherwise does not exist. Because of this, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry is now dead.  our government owes apology to his family and to the American people. And those in the BATF who gave instructions to allow these illegal sales should serve whatever prison time is appropriate for those who make illegal straw sales. They are complicit in the crime.

This is one more reasonthe lawful citizens need to be well-armed. It is no longer the bad guys in other countries who are out to damage Americans. It now appears that our own government facilitates criminal activity that threatens life of Americans. If you think those words are too harsh, perhaps you need to talk to the family of Brian Terry.  May God comfort them in their grief.  And may Americans demand justice for those in our government who contributed to his death.

Can we escape the lessons of history?

The Bible tells us that in the last days people will be living totally unaware of the impending doom of God’s judgment.  They will still be partying and playing right up until the end — without having given a lot of thought to preparing for eternity by inviting Jesus Christ to be their Savior.

Interestingly, it isn’t only eternal things we ignore.  Most people are not giving any thought to the fact that an economic disaster seems to be upon us right now.  The government no longer counts the “discouraged unemployed” — those who have given up seeking a job or who are no longer claiming benefits.  The actual unemployment rate can easily be 20-22% while the government is telling us only 9%.  They like to make it sound better than it is.

I remember as a kid that Richard Nixon took us off the gold standard.  The wording on our dollar bills changed since they were no longer backed by gold.  When a country does this, they are creating what is called a “fiat” currency.  A fiat currency is one that isn’t worth anything by itself (just paper unbacked by any precious metals).  It is only worth what governments declare it to be worthy. 

When any civilization or country in history has had fiat currency, they begin a cycle which seems to have 7 steps. 

Stage 1:  A country starts out with currency that is either a precious metal or based on it (usually gold or silver).

Stage 2:  The country develops and takes on more public works projects and social programs which have a cost to the government and therefore to its citizens. 

Stage 3: As a nation becomes more affluent, it usually must fund a larger military to defend that affluence.

Stage 4: Whenever that military is used, the expenditures rise exponentially and create a burden on the economy.

Stage 5:  The government replaces the precious-metal-backed currency with new money that can be created in unlimited quantities.  This allows them to fund warfare and government projects. Richard Nixon did this during the Vietnam War which was costly both economically and in terms of lives.

Stage 6:  The increased printing of fiat currency  triggers severe inflation (such as was seen in the Jimmy Carter years) and the people lose faith in their currency.  This has now been magnified many times as Obama has increased the national debt more than all his predecessors put together with a stimulus package that is actually just a transfer of wealth. 

(The United States is currently between steps 6 & 7.)  

Stage 7:  A huge # of people move out of the fiat currency into tangible assets (precious metals, real estate, etc.).  The currency collapses  and wealth is transferred to those who prepared beforehand.  The middle class is decimated and society becomes divided between the “haves” and “have-nots.”  

Now I’m not saying this will happen again.  But every time in history that the first 6 steps took place, the 7th step was inevitable.  So the question is whether we can escape the lessons of history or are doomed to repeat them.

You should seek wise financial counsel (from someone that actually has a lot of money and therefore might know what to do with it).  But you should also remember this:  Do not let security be your god.  Instead, let God be your security.

They Need to Look Fashionable

I am so glad that I am a guy – it makes it so much easier to carry firearms. I went with my son on his twenty-first birthday to witness him purchasing his first firearm on his own. He was able to complete all the paperwork and background check and buy a nice revolver on his birthday – something like a rite of passage.

While at the gun show, one of my friends – a married young lady who was there with her husband – decided that she needed a different firearm because her existing 9 mm was too bulky. It was only as I watched her struggle with her decisions that I realized what a great struggle most women have deciding what and how to carry. I recommended a SmartCarry holster for her. It really works well for almost anyone. You can wear pants or a loose skirt and still access your firearm quickly when you need to. It seemed logical for me, but this lady thought it added to much bulk to her profile and was worried people might think she was pregnant.

Similarly, a strong side hip holster for when she is wearing jeans distorts her waistline. And she is not comfortable using a purse for conceal and carry – because that necessitates having your purse with you constantly and never letting it sit where small children might gain access to it. I have seen mixed reviews on thigh holsters which might work well with a skirt, but not with pants. And most women do not want to have access a firearm in a thigh or bra holster if they are being attacked. Many women have a need to look fashionable and it makes it challenging to balance that with the need of being safe.

An in waistband holster (IWB) will work great for this young lady as long as she is wearing pants, but it would easily pull down a skirt. So it seems the only alternative will be a belly band or a compression undergarment. These can be worn with both pants or skirts and allow for quick retrieval of the firearm.

Everyone should get a belly band because it is the one method of concealment that will always work even when nothing else will. And I also believe that every man should have a SmartCarry holster simply because it is one of the easiest ways and most comfortable ways to carry a firearm even if you just want to go around in shorts and a T-shirt.

Whether you are a man or woman, focus on consistently carrying one firearm in one holster. You need to practice drawing from that holster – only with an unloaded firearm – at least 5000 to 7000 times (physiologists say it takes this many repetitions to develop muscle memory). If you have the ability to carry a backup gun (BUG), then practice with this as well. Do not add another carry a firearm to your list of alternatives until you have thoroughly practiced with one main firearm. When a dynamic critical incident happens, you will want your firearm to feel natural and act like an extension of your arm and you will not want to have to worry about whether that particular firearm has a safety, is single action or double action, is a semiautomatic or a revolver, or him many rounds that it holds. While it may be fun to switch guns from day-to-day, that is not the best strategy for self-defense.

So for you ladies that have to look fashionable and cute while you are carrying a firearm, look for one gun and holster that you can do that with consistently and stick with that. And not worry too much about size. A .380 caliber Guardian or other small firearm that you practice with consistently and you always draw from the same location will be more effective in a critical moment than a .357 Magnum with which you are unfamiliar. When it comes to self-defense, the key is to have a plan and practice that plan consistently so that it becomes second nature to you. Then if you do have to use a firearm to defend an innocent life, you will be able to do so effectively.

Utah VS Florida CHL License

From which state should you get your concealed handgun / firearm / weapon permit?  This is currently a complex issue because the laws differ in every state and are constantly changing.  Some states allow open carry which means that you can carry a handgun in plain view with no threat of prosecution.  (Utah, Vermont, parts of Virginia, and Arizona are examples of these kinds of states.)  However, most states require some kind of special permit to carry a concealed protection device.  In some states that is a handgun (the only thing you can carry in Texas).  Some states allow a concealed firearm of any size with the appropriate permit (like Utah).  Some states also allow carrying other equipment – such as martial art equipment – in a concealed format (like Florida) with the appropriate permit.  Making a decision on which permit to get requires balancing the costs and benefits of each permit and checking the reciprocity agreements that each state has with other states.  Then you can make the decision that best fits your needs.  Having a permit from more than one state generally increases the places where you can travel legally with a concealed handgun.

Reciprocity  is where one state recognizes the validity of another state’s concealed handgun or weapon permit.  This is constantly changing as the position of leaders in each state changes with each election.  For that reason, there are several websites that allow you to view the current status of reciprocity.  The Utah and Florida permits have the most extensive reciprocity as of this writing.  But please be aware that you always need to check reciprocity with other states concerning the permit that you hold before traveling there.  For example, the state of Nevada as of this writing only recognizes permits from twelve other states making it one of the least friendly states for reciprocity.

Two Swords Protection offers training for both the Utah and Florida concealed firearm permits.  Instructor certification for the state of Texas is pending but training for the Texas permit is not available at this time.

So that you can make an educated decision, let us take a look at the Texas, Utah, and Florida permits.

Texas

Advantages

Having a Texas permit gives you only three advantages:

  • When purchasing a handgun in the state of Texas, it saves you approximately 5 to 10 min. because no background check is required.
  • Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states.  But they will recognize a Texas resident with a Texas permit.
  • It just looks cool to have the Lone Star in your wallet.

Disadvantages

  • The Texas license is more expensive.  The cost of the Texas permit is $140 for a new license and $70 for a renewal.  A renewal also requires you to re-take a portion of the training class (for which you pay) and re-qualify for the license.  A license is good for 5 years.
  • The licenses recognized in fewer states than the Utah or Florida permits.
  • Although many will tell you that you would get a Texas permit within 60 days, that is only a goal.  At present, it is taking 4 to 5 months to receive a Texas permit after successfully completing the training.
  • Texas only has one instructor training each year which limits the availability of classes.

Good news

  • We are currently working on Texas certification.  When that is complete, students who have already completed a CHL class with Two Swords Protection can attend the Texas class for a fee of only $25 to cover the cost of the range training.
  • You will automatically be notified when Texas permit training is available.

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Utah

Advantages

  • Utah is one of the most Second Amendment-friendly states.
  • A recent change to Utah law (as of May 1, 2011) only provides non-resident licenses to people who already have a license from their home state.  So if you’re in Texas (instead of just wanting to be here), you cannot get a Utah license unless you already hold the Texas license.  Prior to this change, the Utah license was one of the most desirable to get.
  • If you are visiting the state of Utah, a permit from that state election to conceal a firearm of any size (not just a handgun).
  • As of this writing, Utah has reciprocity with 32 states – one of the most widely recognized licenses.
  • The Utah Concealed Weapon Permit is the most economical.  It is $65.25 (only $35 of which goes to the state of Utah for permit processing while the balance goes to the FBI for fingerprint processing).  The state of Utah does not make money on issuing permits.  They issue them to reduce crime. The Utah permit is good for five years.  It cost only $10 to renew a license and you do not have to take the class again (making renewal much less expensive than the Texas license).
  • The training does not require range time.  This makes it easier to focus on giving you extra knowledge concerning conceal and carry rather than having to rush through the classroom training in order to get to the range on time.  The Texas range requirement means very little since almost everyone who takes the Texas course can qualify with very little instruction even if they have never shot a handgun before.
  • The state of Utah is very quick to process applications.  Currently, they are returning permits to qualified users in about 42 days.

Disadvantages

  • Florida, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states.  (Florida will, however, will recognize a nonresident permit from Florida.)

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Florida

Advantages

  • Florida was one of the first states to have a concealed weapon permit and is very Second Amendment friendly.
  • If traveling in Florida, the concealed weapon permit allows you to carry concealed weapons other than just handguns (e.g. martial arts equipment).  You cannot do this if carrying in other states, however.
  • Effective June 11, 2008, Florida weapons permits are for 7 years (2 years longer than other states).
  • Licenses are returned to qualified users within 60-70 days.
  • The Florida license is less expensive than a Texas license, but more expensive than a Utah license.  It costs $117 for a new permit (making it $3/year more expensive than a Utah license), and $107 to renew (making it $13/year more expensive than Utah). 
  • Florida currently requires that fingerprints for non-resident permit holders be taken at a law enforcement agency.

Disadvantages

  • Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states.  Minnesota currently does not have reciprocity with Florida.

Summary

When you attend training, you will receive the training mandated by the states of Utah and Florida plus several hours of additional training in specific techniques and recommendations concerning firearms, ammunition, and holsters that she would not get another classes.  If you desire both states, there is an additional $15 per person charge which covers the additional paperwork and photographs needed for that permit.   Additional training in law specific to the state of Texas will be given so that you will know what you can do here in the Lone Star State.  The state of Florida recognizes properly licensed instructors for the Utah CHL and NRA instructors as being able to administer an appropriate class and firearm training for the purposes of the Florida permit.

Once you have made your choice, click here to register for our next class.  (Jonathan, I will need you to create a link here to the registration page.  Also, I dictated this page and my computer has a way of misinterpreting my words occasionally where I do not catch them.  So I would appreciate your proofreading this document for spelling and clarity.)