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What Are Concealed Carry Classes, and Why Take Them?

What Are Concealed Carry Classes, and Why Take Them?

Whether you’re looking to get your first CCW license or want to improve your self-defense skills, a concealed carry class can be a valuable resource for new and experienced shooters alike.

Concealed carry classes, also known as CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) classes, are courses that teach individuals how to safely and legally carry and shoot a concealed weapon. They range from basic safety courses to training for more advanced self-defense scenarios.

In this article, we will explore what is involved in a CCW class, why you should take one, and how to choose the right class for you.

What Is a CCW Class?

A CCW class is a course that covers the legal and practical aspects of carrying a concealed weapon. These classes typically include instruction on state and federal laws regarding concealed carry, as well as training on how to safely handle and use a gun.

A basic concealed carry class is typically required for those who want to obtain a concealed carry permit in the United States. The class covers the laws and regulations related to carrying a concealed firearm, as well as general safety and self-defense techniques.

The class usually involves both classroom instruction and range time to provide hands-on CCW training. Upon completion, you may be eligible to apply for a concealed carry permit in your state.

That’s not the only type of CCW class, however. More advanced classes are often available that teach shooters how to do everything from drawing their weapon to crafting a home self-defense plan.

What is a CCW Class? - Model holding a gun wearing a Vedder Holster

Types of CCW Classes

There are several types of concealed carry classes you can take. Some courses focus on the legal aspects of concealed carry, while others go over the practical aspects of using a firearm.

Some classes are designed for beginners, while others are geared toward more experienced shooters. Classes are typically held in a traditional classroom setting, though some are held in a more hands-on, outdoor setting.

There are several different types of concealed carry classes, which vary in terms of focus and level of instruction. Some of the most common types include:

Basic Concealed Carry Class: A beginner's carry class is designed for individuals who are new to concealed carry and want to learn the basics. They typically cover state and federal laws, as well as basic firearm safety and handling techniques. This is the class to take if you’re looking to qualify for a CCW license.

Intermediate Concealed Carry Class: These classes are intended for shooters who have some experience with concealed carry and want to learn higher-level techniques. They typically cover more advanced topics such as drawing from a holster, close-quarters combat, and low-light shooting.

Advanced Concealed Carry Class: Advanced CCW classes are made for experienced shooters who want to take their concealed carry skills to the next level. They typically cover specialized topics such as tactical shooting, multiple-target engagements, and advanced tactics for self-defense.

Legal Concealed Carry Class: These classes focus on the legal aspects of concealed carry, covering state and federal laws, as well as the legal responsibilities and liabilities of carrying a concealed weapon.

Women’s Concealed Carry Class: Certain classes are crafted specifically for women and may cover topics such as how to carry a concealed weapon while wearing different types of clothing, as well as how to handle different situations that women, specifically, may face.

Renewal Concealed Carry Class: These classes are designed for those who need to renew their concealed carry permit. They typically cover updates in laws and regulations and may include some level of training or testing.

Online Concealed Carry Class: Some classes are offered online and can be taken at your own pace, which can be useful for people who have a busy schedule and for those who want to take the class from the comfort of their own home. Some classes are also offered virtually with live instruction and interaction.

It's important to note that the availability and specific content of these classes may vary depending on your state and local laws.

Why Take a CCW Class?

Taking a CCW class is an important step for anyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon. Not only will it ensure that you understand the laws and regulations surrounding concealed carry, but it will also give you the training you need to safely handle and use your firearm.

There are many reasons why someone might want to take a concealed carry class. The first is to acquire a concealed carry permit. Many states require you to complete a class as a prerequisite for obtaining a CCW license.

Some people take these courses to learn about the laws and regulations related to carrying a concealed weapon. These classes cover the legal aspects of carrying a concealed gun, including when it is legal to use a firearm in self-defense, and what constitutes a justifiable use of force.

These classes can also help you stay updated on new laws and regulations. Laws regarding concealed carry are subject to change, and taking a class periodically can help you stay current with any new laws and regulations of your state and make sure they are in compliance.

Another reason to take a CCW course is to learn about specific safety and self-defense techniques. Some courses provide training on the safe handling, storage, and use of firearms, as well as self-defense techniques that can be used in various situations.

Others take carry classes to gain confidence in handling a firearm. CCW classes offer hands-on training and practice in handling, loading, and firing a pistol, which can help you gain confidence in your abilities.

Another reason is to meet personal or professional requirements. Some professions, such as law enforcement or security, may require employees to be trained in concealed carry.

Whatever your reason for taking a CCW class, you can almost certainly find one that will meet your needs.

Why take a class? - Model aiming gun and shooting, wearing a Vedder Holster

How to Choose a Concealed Carry Class: What to Look For

When looking for a concealed carry class, it's important to find one that will teach accurate, safe techniques and up-to-date information. When looking for a quality CCW class, you should consider the following factors:

Instructor Qualifications: The instructor should be certified and have the necessary qualifications to teach the class. They should have experience with firearms and be knowledgeable about the laws and regulations related to concealed carry.

Curriculum: The class should cover a range of topics, including the laws and regulations related to concealed carry, safety, and self-defense techniques.

Hands-on Training: The class should provide hands-on training with firearms, including loading, unloading, and firing. This will help you gain confidence in your abilities and learn how to handle guns safely.

Live-fire Training: The class should include range time for live-fire training. This will give you the opportunity to practice the skills you have learned in a controlled environment.

Safety: The class should prioritize safety and ensure all participants follow safety protocols.

Up-to-date Information: The class should provide current and accurate information about the laws and regulations related to concealed carry.

Test and Certification: The class should provide a test and certification upon completion, which can be used to apply for a concealed carry permit if that’s your objective.

Class Size: Ideally, the class should be small enough to allow the instructor to give personal attention to each student.

Cost: The cost of the class should be reasonable and commensurate with the level of instruction and training provided.

Location and Schedule: The class should be conveniently located and offered at times that are convenient for you.

How to Find Concealed Carry Classes

You now know what to look for in a CCW class, but how do you go about finding one?

One way to find classes near you is to search online for "concealed carry classes" and the name of your city or state. This will likely bring up a list of local businesses or organizations that offer classes. You can also check with your local law enforcement agency or gun range to see if they offer or know of any CCW classes in your area.

Another option is to check with national firearms training organizations like the National Rifle Association or the United States Concealed Carry Association to see if they have any certified instructors or training programs in your area.

Items to Bring to CCW Class

When you attend a concealed carry class, you'll want to bring a few key items with you.

First is a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport, to prove your identity.

Some classes may also require you to bring your own handgun for training. If this is the case, the class should provide information on the type and caliber of handgun you need.

If the class requires you to bring a handgun, you may also need to bring a holster. The class should provide information on the type of holster that is required. If you need a holster for your class, check out our selection of IWB and OWB Kydex holsters here.

While many classes will provide eye and ear protection, it's always good to check first and if not, bring your own. You’ll also want to ensure you’re wearing comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes.

You may want to take notes during the class, so a notepad and pen or pencil are also a good idea to bring. Depending on the duration of the class, you may want to bring snacks and water to keep you hydrated and energized as well.

It's always best to check with the class provider for any specific requirements or recommendations before the class.

Items to bring - Vedder Holster, handgun, shooting ear protection, tactical knife and shooting protective glasses


Concealed carry classes, also known as CCW classes, are courses that teach individuals how to safely and legally carry a concealed weapon.

It is important to understand the legal and practical aspects of carrying a concealed weapon, so choosing a certified instructor and the right type of class is essential. With the right training, you can be confident in your ability to safely and legally carry a concealed gun.

If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.

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