A North Carolina concealed carry handgun class is teaching students more than just shooting techniques and liabilities, but also giving out reckless advice, according to one of the class’ attendants.
“Perhaps the most shocking was the advice we received from a practicing law enforcement officer regarding the storage of firearms: under the bed, preferably loaded,” wrote Ty L. Bullard, a North Carolina doctor who recently published an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer about his recent experience in a concealed carry handgun class.
In order to obtain a concealed carry handgun in North Carolina, a person must complete the state mandated class. But the class may be doing more harm than good according to Bullard:
“Our instructor was well-qualified enough – a very experienced local law enforcement officer, with considerable advanced weapons training of all sorts. We proceeded directly into the letter of the law regarding explicitly what the state did and did not allow regarding concealed handguns. And then, almost immediately, things began to descent into a mockery of reason and good judgment.”
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Among the questions asked, wrote Bullard, were, “What if I come home and someone is in my house? Can I take my gun inside and shoot them?” to which the instructor responded, “Well, the law says technically not if you’re outside, but as long as you put yourself in the house then you should be good.”
David Harrington, a North Carolina firearms instructor, told the Record-Eagle that leaving a loaded gun under your bed “is the most foolish thing you can ever do, in my opinion – other than having it under your pillow.”
In North Carolina, the concealed carry handgun classes consist of eight hours of instruction and extra time spent on the shooting range. Instructors are provided with standard lesson plans, according to the Record-Eagle, but they are allowed to register their own course materials with the state. There is also a questions and answers portion.
“I’ll be honest: The people ask some crazy questions in class,” Harrington said. “And I don’t think it’s much that they’re the ‘shoot first’ type as that they’re thinking about the oddest scenarios they can come up with.”
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But it’s up to the instructors to use those questions and scenarios as teaching moments, rather than fuel students’ paranoia, he said.
“When I teach my courses, I teach that your gun is your last line of defense, not your first line of defense,” Harrington said.
Harrington said instructors like the one Bullard encountered are the ones that give programs like these a bad name.
“You’re just handing our certificates for money,” he said. “I probably have more people fail my class than any other instructor in my area. I tell them, ‘If you’re not safe, I will not pass you.’”
Sources: Charlotte Observer, Record-Eagle