About this time last year I spied a Living Social for a pistol class and asked my wife what she thought about attending. She indicated it would be a good idea and would help familiarize her with safe handling of a handgun. Before we attended the class in the late fall another Living Social popped into my Inbox for a concealed carry class and it was being held just a few miles down the road. I told my wife I would like to attend, but probably would not turn in the paperwork. My reasoning was due to the fingerprinting. I’ve never committed any sort of crime which would get you fingerprinted in the first place and have no plans to ever commit any crimes, but I just didn’t like the thought of my fingerprints being in the system.
At any rate, I selected and purchased a Ruger SR9C as my concealed class qualifying pistol (note: it could have been any handgun in any caliber in NC), and then we joined a small and dark, local range so I could practice becoming proficient with the gun. After the first of the year I went and took the course and had an excellent instructor and by that time had decided to become a NRA Pistol Instructor and had signed up for that class. One of the nice things about the concealed permit is you no longer are required to purchase pistol permits and do not have to undergo the NICS background check for long gun purchases. So in the end I decided to go the Monday following the class to the courthouse and submit the paperwork and fees as well as the fingerprints to have a concealed carry permit.
Let’s peel the onion a little further and look at the costs involved in the process. There are incredibly inexpensive classes for concealed, but I don’t believe they have the attention to detail that I desired so I have no regrets on what I spent for the coursework. The class alone was $89 plus $13.50 in tax for a total of $102.50. I did purchase the Ruger which was $410 if the permit fee is included. In practicing for the class I probably shot 500 rounds of 9mm and then shot another 50 rounds during the class, so $120. We also joined the range for $250 so let’s say $50 for the range time. Finally the application fee was $80 and the fingerprinting fee was $10. My grand total is almost $800 if you include the pistol and $400 if you do not. It is not inexpensive to be a permittee.
Once the application was submitted the waiting period begins. I’m not really clear on what happens during the waiting period, but I assume the fingerprints are checked, a criminal background check is performed and medical records are checked. Prior to the rules change enacted in December 2011 the waiting period was 90 days. Since my application was submitted in early January the new 45 day rule applied. Fast forward to the date I received my permit in the mail and it took 53 days. Some counties are faster at permits and some are much slower. I recently heard of one asinine county which requires applicants have an appointment and had no open appointments for months!
Do I plan to carry a pistol? The answer is definitely maybe. I don’t routinely run into situations where I believe a firearm is the solution, but these are uncertain times. What is for sure is in NC concealed carry is not allowed in a bar or a restaurant with a bar and is certainly not allowed if you have ANY alcohol to drink or residual alcohol in your system. If you have a beer with dinner the gun must be locked away out of reach and we all know I tend to lean toward a beer on occasion. So while I won’t say if I will now have a pistol at the ready, assume I do and we’ll certainly get along just fine!