View Full Version : For New Gun Owners or Carriers

August 27, 2009, 04:20 PM
I got my CCW endorsement in Missouri last year after an eight hour training course preceded by fifty two years of gun ownership. I was fortunate to find TFL and THR shortly after that.

A number of themes keep recurring--when can I point a gun, what do I do when something goes bump in the night, what if someone..... I thought it might be worth while to jot down some thoughts for people who have not been logging in here. I'm not sure it will necessarily help anyone very much, but if it helps one person stay safe and prosperous, it will have been worth the trouble.

I invite comments from others. Also, understand that this is not legal advice.

Some "rules to remember":

Know and understand your state and local laws and those of any jurisdictions in which you will be carrying a gun. In general, the laws permit the use of deadly force only when it is immediately necessary to counter an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

Always remember that using--even showing--a gun entails significant criminal and civil liability.

Do not fall into the trap of believing, even subconsciously, that the granting of a gun permit confers police powers.

Consider your gun to be a last resort.

Realize that in general, laws governing the use of deadly force apply on your own property as well as elsewhere.

Always do your utmost to avoid getting into any kind of confrontation.

Know how to use your firearm safely and effectively. Practice. Avail yourself of all of the training you can afford.

Stay out of harm's way to the extent possible; do not venture from a place of safety to investigate anything--do so only to ensure the safety of your family.

Remember, when a threat ceases to be a threat, so does the justification to use deadly force--do not shoot at anyone who is fleeing or who for any other reason no longer constitutes an immediate threat.

Understand that the aftermath of a shooting can be extremely stressful and costly, if not otherwise devastating, to you and your family. If you must shoot, however, know what to do and whom to call afterwards.

Forget everything you've seen on television about drawing and pointing guns, "clearing" a house, apprehending people, etc.--life is not like television.

Don't be without your gun when you need it--and on the flip side, if there is some place you might not want to go without it, don't go there unless you have to.
Stay alert and observant wherever you are.

Some of these are very obvious. Some may not be obvious to everyone. I hope they prove helpful.

I now carry all of the time unless it is not permitted. I've been lucky--I haven't had to use a gun for years, and when the need has arisen I haven't had to fire.

There are a number of frequent posters who can improve this. I invite comment.

Brian Pfleuger
August 27, 2009, 04:24 PM
I could not agree more. Well thought out, well said, good advice.

I give you a Gold Star for today.;):)

August 27, 2009, 04:37 PM
Bravo! it should be a sticky!

WildlastclearchanceAlaska ™

August 27, 2009, 05:28 PM
If only all CCW classes focused on what you said instead of draw and conceal tactics.
Here's to wishing none of us ever have to fire.

August 27, 2009, 05:33 PM
I now carry all of the time unless it is not permitted. I've been lucky--i haven't had to use a gun for years, and when the need has arisen I haven't had to fire.Same here, and I pray that trend continues.

August 27, 2009, 05:56 PM
Very well spoken!! I think this is finally one post that everyone can agree on! Well, almost everyone.

August 27, 2009, 06:01 PM
Excellent post, O M. I agree with Wildalaska, that should be a "sticky".
All the rules for concealed carry boiled down into about a dozen very concise
points, all non-negotiable.


August 27, 2009, 06:32 PM
Wow, OldMarksman. *Very* well written. Staff, IMHO this deserves a sticky.

August 27, 2009, 06:38 PM
Succinct, clear, and practical. I agree it needs to be a sticky.

August 27, 2009, 06:52 PM
getting my first pistol in the next week, and then looking to get CCW, good advice, I'll certainly try to remember it

August 27, 2009, 07:03 PM
Beautifully stated!!


Evan Thomas
August 27, 2009, 07:15 PM
Really nice, O.M.

I have only one question: Why is this advice only for NEW gun owners/carriers?
These points should be stickied on ALL our brains, perhaps even on our fridges, IMO... ;)

August 27, 2009, 08:05 PM
Definitely agreed. Actually the CHL class I took did teach to most all of those ideas, in addition to technical matters, tactics, concealment, and the like.

August 27, 2009, 08:44 PM
Excellent reminder for everybody.

August 27, 2009, 11:18 PM
Chiming in with my attaboy...good post. Took a CCW course years and years ago which consisted of 8 hours of class and 8 hours of hands on gun range stuff. Four of the eight hours of class was taught by a Judge that spouted legalities and what can happen to one if he uses his gun in an improper fashion. The gun is the last resort and once the threat is ended, so doesn't the need for the weapon. One misstep can land a gun owner in deep doo doo and as mentioned, know the law and its ramifications...or be prepared to pay hefty fines, heavy duty attorney fees, and possible jail time.

Uncle Buck
August 27, 2009, 11:18 PM
Beautifully written. It should be included in all handgun classes and with all new handgun purchases.

August 28, 2009, 04:20 AM
+1 for STICKY!

Great post!

August 28, 2009, 07:45 AM
May I add to the chorus of acclaim? And another vote for a sticky? Thanks, OM.

Al Norris
August 28, 2009, 08:42 AM
Nice post OM. I also see this as a candidate for a sticky. I'll discuss it with the mods for this forum.

But I have one question for everyone? Who Reads Stickies? :p

August 28, 2009, 09:34 AM
But I have one question for everyone? Who Reads Stickies?

But iTs great when some guy posts some blathering nonsense and we can say....

Read the sticky!:D

WildinstantretortAlaska TM

August 28, 2009, 09:56 AM
I started out with a training officer who beat the following into our thick skulls...

"If at all possible, look out for yourself and keep yourself safe. If you get put out of commission you can't possibly help anybody else."

I always thought that was a good rule of thumb.

August 28, 2009, 11:06 AM

Well written summary. Definitely rules to remember.

Cope's Dist
August 28, 2009, 11:33 AM
Thanks a million for such a great post :D
I thought I was fairly knowledgeable, but you made me rethink some of my own actions and also those of others around me. I am planning to repeat some of your info in a discussion this weekend when we all get together to shoot. I think it will make for a safer, more enjoyable time for all. Most definately, +1 for STICKY!

Frank Ettin
August 28, 2009, 01:06 PM
An excellent overview -- very well done. Congratulations.

August 28, 2009, 04:19 PM
this is one of the reasons i like TFL so much. in between the banter and bickering, there are so many pearls of wisdom. Such as this.

August 28, 2009, 08:22 PM
I am overwhelmed by the positive response to this. I had expected suggestions of additions, edits, etc.

To give credit where credit is due, the source of a lot of what is distilled in the above list was found in comments posted by people on this forum, including a number of those who have already commented.

Again, if this helps anyone, it has been worth the small effort involved.