8 Things Every Concealed Carry Holder Must Know

You’re walking out of Walmart reading a text from your wife when a guy wearing a mask starts to approach you with a knife in his hand, what will you do?

That’s the question isn’t it?

The pat answer is…I’ll kill the SOB. At least that’s what I often hear in the conceal carry classes I teach.

Let’s talk about that and a few other things you need to know about carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense.  There a many misconceptions about carrying a concealed firearm and when you can use it.

Before we get started it’s important to know we are talking about the laws in the State of Louisiana even though much up this will apply to everyone.

Now let’s see if we can clear up the confusion.

If You Carry a Concealed Weapon Here You Will Go to Jail

Will you go to jail if you are caught carrying a concealed handgun in a restaurant, move theater or any other private property that has a sign posted saying No Firearms Allowed? Private property owners are within their rights as the owner of the property to not allow guns on their property.

But just because you carry a weapon on to someone’s property where a No Firearms sign is posted, you’re not going to be arrested. The problem arises when you are asked to leave and you don’t, at that point you are now trespassing and can be arrested.

Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1379.3 is the state law that lays out the locations where carrying a concealed firearm is prohibited by law.

First, Section M mentions all state and federal properties.  As firearms are banned on all state and federal properties, it should stand to reason that concealed firearms would then in turn also be banned.

No concealed handgun permit shall be valid or entitle any permittee to carry a concealed weapon in any facility, building, location, zone, or area in which firearms are banned by state or federal law.

Secondly, Section N where it explain that no firearm may be carried into and in any of the following locations.

No concealed handgun may be carried into and no concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to this Section shall authorize or entitle a permittee to carry a concealed handgun in any of the following:

  • A law enforcement office, station, or building.
  • A detention facility, prison, or jail.
  • A courthouse or courtroom, provided that a judge may carry such a weapon in his own courtroom.
  • A polling place.
  • A meeting place of the governing authority of a political subdivision.
  • The state capitol building.
  • Any portion of an airport facility where the carrying of firearms is prohibited under federal law, except that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, if the firearm is encased for shipment, for the purpose of checking such firearm as lawful baggage.
  • Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship, eligible for qualification as a tax-exempt organization under 26 U.S.C. 501, except as provided for in Subsection U of this Section.
  • A parade or demonstration for which a permit is issued by a governmental entity.
  • Any portion of the permitted area of an establishment that has been granted a Class A-General retail permit, as defined in Part II of Chapter 1 or Part II of Chapter 2 of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
  • Any school, school campus, or school bus as defined in R.S. 14:95.6.

Most of this is common sense but unfortunately there are way too many people who lack common sense.

If Need Be Can You Actually End Someone’s Life?

In every concealed carry class we ask this question. We have those macho guys who just blurt out, “Hell Yea” and others who say maybe or I’ll just shoot to wound them.

Because I have had to shoot and kill someone in the line of duty I can share some of my experience. It’s a life changing event…let me repeat that, IT IS A LIFE CHANGING EVENT. I still remember the shooting like it was this morning.

Before you decide to carry a gun you need to sit down somewhere quiet and really put some thought into whether you can kill someone or not you can you look someone in the eye as the life drains out of them at your hands. Like I said, it’s a life changing event.

Don’t Shoot to Kill – Shoot to Stop a Threat

In every class someone ask the question when do you stop shooting. It’s important to remember that we are trying to stop a threat. If you’re attack and you shoot someone defending yourself and that person is now on the ground unconscious the threat is stopped and you should stop shooting.

If you walk over and put a round into the attacker’s head you’re about to find yourself in a bind. At that point you are no longer the defender but the aggressor.

Remember we shoot to stop a threat not to kill.

Adrenaline Dump and It’s Affects

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army has written many books on the psychology of killing. He’s an expert in the study and analysis of the physiological processes involved with killing another human being. I recommend reading some of his material.

So basically when you are inserted into a stressful situation where you may have to shoot someone you’re going to experience the effects of an adrenaline dump. Here is what you can expect:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration
  • Tunnel vision
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Auditory exclusion (may not hear the gunshot)
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Memory distortion

By the way, this happens to police officers and military members as well, not just the average person. You probably won’t experience all the effects but you may.

During one of the most important moments in your life your body will let you down and mind starts functioning poorly if you are not prepared. The only way to prepare is to train.

We can’t all train like the military or police do but you can train with your firearm frequently, training how to draw your weapon and firing under stress.

Your Car is An Extension of Your Home

Imagine this, you’re sitting in your car naked, half drunk in the parking lot of a local mall and the local police taps on your window and ask you to step out. Do you think there is a bit of a problem here? Of course there is. There are many things you can do in your home that you can not do in your car.

What most people are really talking when they say your car is an extension of your home is that you have the same right to defend yourself in your car as you do your home. If you’re in your vehicle and someone tries to enter the car you are within your right to defend yourself.

Never Fire a Warning Shot

If you fire a warning shot, are you really in imminent fear of great bodily injury or death? Do you know where or what that bullet will hit?

Warning shots are unnecessary and a waste of a good bullet. If I’m at the point that I fear great bodily injury or death and pull a gun then I’m 95% of the way to shooting someone. The person I’m pointing the gun at has a couple seconds to change direction of their life and avoid being shot.

If you fire a warning shot a number of bad things can happen and it will also indicate deadly force is not indicated.

Should I Drag the Body Back Into the house

I know you’ve heard it said, if they get out of the house after you’ve shot them just drag the body back into the house to keep it all legal.

Lets not do that unless you want to go to jail. I know it sounds like common sense but I hear this often in classes we hold.  So, no we don’t drag the body back into the house.

Some people kids, right?

What Should You Do After You Shoot Someone

Lets talk about this a minute. What you do during this time could make the difference between being arrested or not and the difference between winning and losing a civil lawsuit.

You were attacked and knew you were about to die if you didn’t defend yourself. So you pulled your gun and shot your attacker twice in the chest. He falls to the ground and the weapon he was using bounces away.

The attacker is no longer a threat to you but that SOB attacked you so you put a bullet in his head because he deserved it. This is a bad thing…don’t do it.

Remember earlier I spoke about some of the physical, psychological and physiological effect you will experience. Just because you pulled the trigger and stopped the threat those effects don’t just stop. As a matter of fact there is a reasonably good chance you’ll be flooded with emotions.

So lets have a plan in place just in case….

Call 911 – say something to the effect. I was just attacked and was afraid I might die so I shot this guy so he wouldn’t kill me. Please send the police and an ambulance. I am going to hang up and try to provide first aid until help gets here.

Then hang the phone up.

The 911 operator may try and get you to stay on the phone and start asking you questions about what happened. The one thing you do not want to do is to say something the WILL BE RECORDED that you do not mean but said because you were scared and angry.

There will be time to tell your story later once you have had the chance to calm down and review in your mind what actually happened.

As the Founder of ARCS Self Defense and ARCS CHP lead instructor, Jeremy Haas brings to the table over 8 years of experience as a full-time, sworn, law enforcement officer and trainer, and an additional 10 years of training experience as a U.S. military combat veteran that has served in various theaters.

He currently serves as a Master Training Instructor at a regional law enforcement training academy in Northwest Louisiana where he specializes in Use of Force Training, Defensive Tactics, Active Shooter Response, and various others segments of law enforcement officer training.

Jeremy is certified as a Louisiana P.O.S.T. Academy Master Instructor and P.O.S.T. Corrections Master Instructor, making him part of an elite group of less than 10 law enforcement instructors in the entire state of Louisiana to carry this dual instructor certification.

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