- Handgun Carry Philosophies
- How To Apply For A Concealed Carry Permit
- Dealing With The Police When Carrying Concealed
- Aftermath of a Shooting
- Concealed Carry Tips
- Concealed Carry Mistakes
- Retention Holsters vs. Non-retention Holsters
- Carry With A Loaded Chamber vs. Unloaded Chamber
- Carrying Extra Ammunition
- Concealed Carry Organizations
- Related Savannah Arsenal Pages
Handgun Carry Philosophies:
How to Apply for a Concealed Carry Permit:
What You Should Know:
County probate courts issue firearms licenses to state residents 21 and older.
When you arrive at probate court, you’ll need an official form of identification, your payment and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submit your application at the court along with your fingerprints. Within five days, a county probate judge will request a criminal history records check and a background check on you. About 30 days later, law enforcement will finish its background check and determine whether you can receive a license.
County probate judges may restrict state residents with criminal records from getting licenses. Read more about these restrictions.
If you’ve been in a mental hospital or drug treatment center within the last five years, you must ask that your county probate court judge approve your license application. The judge will seek a recommendation from the superintendent of your hospital or treatment center, and then determine whether it’s safe for you to carry a gun.
How much does a license cost?
While $75 is an average fee for licensing and fingerprinting, costs vary by county. Contact your local probate court for details.
How long is my license valid, and when should I submit my license renewal?
Licenses are valid for five years. At least two months before your license expires, you should go to court to apply for renewal.
What states does Georgia share firearms license reciprocity with?
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming all recognize Georgia-issued firearms licenses. You should acquaint yourself with firearms restrictions in those states when possible.
Savannah Arsenal’s Note: Effective June 2016, Georgia and South Carolina now share reciprocity.
Savannah Arsenal’s Note: In Georgia it is suggested to call the Probate Court of the county where you reside to find out their exact application process. Other states that issue Concealed Weapons Permits will have their own process. Check out USA-Carry.org’s Concealed Carry Permit by State, or contact your county’s Probate Court.
Dealing With The Police When Carrying Concealed:
Aftermath Of A Shooting:
Concealed Carry Tips:
Be sure to check out Savannah Arsenal’s Handgun Accessories page for discussions on belts, holsters, and other concealed carry gear.
Concealed Carry Mistakes:
from Dieter Heren’s blog, Saltwater & Gunpowder:
“None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes from time to time, it’s how we learn. However, making mistakes when concealing a firearm can have serious implications. Instead of making you learn by trial and error, I’ve compiled a list of 10 common mistakes so you don’t have to find out the hard way. Most of the mistakes I’ve listed are made by those still new to carrying concealed, but even those with years of experience can be guilty of making a couple of these mistakes from time to time.
1. Having the minimum required training:
In many states, a hunter safety course is enough to qualify you for a concealed weapons license. However, these courses often focus solely on being safe with a rifle in the woods. Although it’s great to know you’re not allowed to shoot over a road the next time you go hunting, it doesn’t exactly prepare you to go out into the regular world and interact with others now that you all of a sudden have a gun on your hip.
Even some classes that are specifically designed around qualifying you for a concealed weapons permit don’t do much in the way of preparing you. Do your research before choosing a class and find a reputable one that is more concerned with proper training rather than getting you out of the course as quickly as possible. The course concerned most about money will often go through some of the basics, have you shoot a few rounds, and send you on your way. You want a course that has instructors who are going to help you in every way possible to make sure you leave their class prepared.
Finally, don’t think that just because you met the minimum requirements for a license you’re now ready to navigate every situation you find yourself in. A responsible person who carries concealed is constantly learning, both mentally and physically. As legendary football coach Bo Schembechler often said, “Every day you’re getting better or worse…you never stay the same”.
Printing, where the outline of your gun appears from pushing against your clothing and exposing a part of the gun are mistakes that often arise from complacency. When you first start carrying, often you’re so concerned about your gun showing in public you’ll do anything and everything to make sure it never happens. After carrying every day for years, it’s still a thought but you’re nowhere near as scared of it happening. Just take that extra second to make sure you’re not printing or going to expose your gun at some point.
Honestly, most people are pretty ignorant to their surroundings anyways, but it certainly isn’t worth the trouble of someone freaking out if they do notice because you didn’t want to bother changing your 2 sizes too small shirt. Although some people are extremely concerned about printing, it’s not the end of the world if it happens at some point (although it may be illegal in some localities). It’s certainly not something to get into the habit of doing, but compared to exposing your gun, printing is nowhere near as big a concern. If your gun is exposed, you could find yourself in some serious hot water. The last thing you want to deal with is half the police station closing in on you with guns drawn because you bent over to pick something up and the lady behind you happened to notice your gun.
Trust me, if someone sees your gun and they’re scared, the 911 call won’t be a rational explanation of what happened. Take your time to make sure you’re not printing or in danger of exposing your gun before you leave the house.
3. Using a cheap holster:
This mistake is made not from purchasing an inexpensive holster, but a poorly made one. That nylon holster you got on special for $2.99 probably isn’t going to become your go to holster. There are some great holsters that aren’t overly expensive and some pretty awful holsters that are way too expensive. Whatever material you prefer for your holster, it needs to be able to retain your gun properly and be comfortable enough to wear day in and day out.
There’s a reason those who have been carrying for years have a drawer full of holsters in their house, the holsters didn’t perform the way they needed to. Don’t be afraid to experiment with several different holsters to find the one fits your lifestyle and your body properly. The benefits of a quality holster far outweigh the true cost of buying a holster solely based on price.
4. Wearing improper clothing:
There are two different aspects to this mistake. The first goes back to the mistake of allowing your gun to print or become exposed. Just because you carry a gun doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of Hawaiian shirts and baggy pants. You can still have a sense of personal style while carrying, you just need to be sure that the clothes you’re wearing accommodate the gun you carry. With a little bit of experimentation you should be able to find the best way to do this that fits your own personal style.
The second aspect of this mistake comes with wearing tacti-cool clothing. Walking around in head to toe BLACKHAWK and 5.11 Tactical clothing just screams gun. The idea is to conceal the fact you have a gun on you, not announce it to the world.
5. Fingering/Checking the gun:
This is a bad habit often seen by those just starting to carry concealed. As they go about their routine, they’ll casually reach back and touch the gun with their fingers or sometimes blatantly just check to see if it’s still there. Don’t worry, if you’ve gotten a proper holster it’s still there. If you catch yourself doing this when you carry, suppress the urges and leave it alone! All you’re doing is giving people another chance to see that you have a gun on you. With a bit of experience and self control this urge will go away.
6. Not practicing with SD ammo:
A self defense situation is not the time to find out that your gun doesn’t like to feed your chosen self defense ammo. Take the time to practice with several different brands of SD ammo and find the one that your gun likes best. Yes, it’s more expensive than strictly shooting white box Winchester, but the extra expense is worth knowing that if the time comes to defend yourself or your family, you’re actually going to be able to do so.
7. Adjusting in public:
Unlike checking to see if the gun is still there, this mistake comes when the holster has slid to an uncomfortable position or something has happened that you now need to re-adjust your holster. Doing this in public is a very bad idea. The movement of re-adjusting will draw quite a bit of attention to yourself, much more so than just touching the gun. If you do need to make an adjustment and you’re in a public area, the best places to do so are in a locked bathroom stall, your car, or a dressing room without security cameras. Just find a private place where you’re able to fix whatever needs to be fixed without worrying about someone figuring out what you’re doing.
8. Carrying on occasion:
If you’re going to carry, do your best to carry all the time. You wear your seat belt every time you drive (at least I hope you do) but you likely won’t end up in a car accident. The same concept applies to carrying your gun. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need it, whether you’re away from home the whole day or just making a quick run to the gas station. Incidents happen when you least expect them, it pays to always be prepared.
9. Not understanding firearm laws:
It’s your responsibility when you decide to carry to know all the laws that can effect you, whether local, state, or federal. Every state and area is different. Find out what the exact law says for every area you find yourself in. Know whether you’re in a stand your ground or a duty to retreat state. Know where you’re allowed to carry and where you’re not. These laws are typically very easy to find with a quick Google search so you have absolutely no excuse not to know.
Luckily, the vast majority of people who carry are extremely responsible and have studied the laws so much they could pass as a lawyer. If you’re not one of these people and haven’t taken the time to know the ins and outs of firearm laws in your area, take the time to do so now.
10. Having the wrong mindset:
As I previously mentioned, most people who carry concealed are extremely responsible and have the mindset that they’ll do everything in their power to avoid a conflict, but if violence comes their way, they’re prepared to do what it takes to protect themselves and their family. This is a great mindset to have. A big mistake that some less responsible people make is having an invincible or escalation mindset. These people will go out of their way to go down that sketchy alleyway or will intentionally escalate a fight. Just because you carry a gun it doesn’t mean it’s time to start looking for trouble or trying to start a fight. In fact, it means the exact opposite. By carrying a gun, you must do everything in your power to avoid trouble.
Go out there every day as a respectful and responsible person just going about your daily business and you likely will never have to use your gun in a self-defense scenario. Should the absolute worst happen, you and the police will know you had no hand in bringing the situation upon yourself. Don’t leave any room for doubt.”
Retention Holsters vs. Non-retention Holsters:
Carry With A Loaded Chamber vs. Unloaded Chamber:
- Concealed Nation’s How Safe Is It To Carry With A Round In The Chamber?
- Concealed Nation’s Why We Always Recommend Carrying With A Round In The Chamber (warning: graphic)
- Concealed Nation’s The Time Difference Between Carrying A Round In The Chamber… and not
- USA Carry’s Should You Carry With A Round In The Chamber?
Why You Should Carry With A Round In The Chamber:
As long as I have carried a handgun I’ve run across people with different opinions regarding carrying their firearm with a round in the chamber. Most want to carry with a round chamber in order to facilitate a quick draw and shoot, but some want to carry with the chamber empty to ensure against an accidental discharge.
In my humble opinion, planning to draw and chamber a round after the SHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stop sign.
Below are some blogs and videos that discuss whether or not you should carry your semi-automatic pistol with a round in the chamber. It is recommended that you carry your firearm chambered so that you can quickly engage a threat. You may find that you can’t draw and chamber a round with one hand if you are having to fight or hold back an attacker with the other. One arm may be injured making it more problematic to chamber a round. Law enforcement always carries with a round in the chamber for this very reason, and you should too.
Won’t I Accidentally Shoot Myself?:
If you are carrying with a round in the chamber of a modern, well maintained, quality pistol in a rigid Kydex or quality leather holster that covers the trigger and trigger guard, then there isn’t a way for your pistol to accidentally discharge. The linked blogs and attached videos will discuss safety issues and procedures related to carrying a chambered firearm, but some quick pointers include:
Follow the four golden rules of firearms safety:
- Treat all guns as though they are always loaded and always perform a clearance check every time you pick one up.
- Never point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot.
- Always be sure of your target and beyond.
Seek out professional training for concealed carry.
Practice. Practice. Practice: After triple-checking that there is no live ammunition inside and in the vicinity of the firearm, load the magazines with dummy ammunition. Practice drawing and presenting the pistol on target, being careful not to touch the trigger until on the sights are on target and you are ready to shoot. Practice dry-firing at a spot on a far wall. Be careful that the pistol does not move when the firing mechanism clicks. When the gun clicks, practice clearing a malfunction, and then carefully holster.
Use extreme care when holstering your pistol. Holstering may be the most dangerous part of carrying a round in the chamber. This is a task that is not to be taken lightly. Be very careful that your finger is not touching the trigger. Be EXTREMELY careful that your jacket, shirt, gear, drawstring, etc. do not get into the trigger area as you insert the pistol into the holster. People have accidentally been shot this way. Don’t be fearful, but do be respectful, and this won’t happen to you. As a practice, when first putting on your gun for the day, first insert the pistol into the holster, and then put on the holster with the gun already in it.
Use a modern, quality holster that completely covers the handgun’s trigger and trigger guard. Kydex plastic is best material, especially with IWB holsters (inside the waistband), but if you choose real or synthetic leather, make sure that it has inserts to keep it from getting worn and droopy, especially around the trigger area (as seen in the photo to the right). Throw away old and worn out holsters. There isn’t any reason to keep them.
Don’t carry a chambered semi-automatic pistol in a soft pocket holster. Most pocket-size semi-autos have long or stiff trigger pulls for added safety value when pocket carrying, however some don’t and require any more trigger effort to fire than their bigger brothers. Regardless of the make and model, I find it disconcerting to carry a chambered semi-auto that is pointing at my reproductive gear while in a soft pocket holster. Ironically I have carried a S&W 642 hammerless revolver (stiff trigger) in a pocket holster for over 20 years without any fear or problems (as seen in the photo to the right), but when I carried a Glock 26 in a similar holster I chose not to carry with a round in the chamber as the Glock has a much lighter trigger pull than the revolver. The choice is going to be a personal call for you.
Please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page with your questions, concerns, and experiences.
Carrying Extra Ammunition:
Concealed Carry Organizations:
Related Savannah Arsenal Pages:
- Handgun Essentials
- Handgun Accessories
- Handgun Ammunition
- Semi-Auto Essentials
- Gun Cleaning & Maintenance
- Gun Range & Training
- Open Carry