Shooting Competency for Carry Permit?

More from our private discussion at Z’s insistance/permission.


From our discussion above.

I wonder how many people are even aware of the 4-H rifle and shotgun programs?

These may be more prevalent in southern states and the SW but they are very valuable programs.

I started shooting competitively the first year I joined 4-H. I think I was about 14 at the time.

Schools, even in larger cities used to offer archery, riflery, skeet, and trap at the JH and HS levels but I think all of those programs have been pretty well driven out of public schools.

I was offered several scholarships, both ROTC and Athletic because of those programs but with the big gun control push in the late eighties and throughout the 90’s I think even at the college level most of those programs ended.

For a while with the Clinton Safe Schools initiative and federal ban on firearms on campus even ROTC units had to go off campus to shoot firearms for practice and qualification.

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That’s one of the nice things where I live in Southern Illinois. We have the 4H stuff, of which my brother in law is an NRA certified instructor. They can start the shooting program at 11 or 12 I believe. Some of the local schools, have shooting teams as well. I’m hopeful my son will want to do this when old enough. I hope to find time to become a USCCA Certified instructor by then. I would gladly volunteer my time to coach the shooting team. Good excuse to buy a new precision rifle too.


Glad you’re going to do that, you’ll be awesome!
You ever need a co-teacher let me know… I’ve got to drive through IL 4 times a month anyway and getting together for that with you would make the whole driving-through-Illinois thing worthwhile.

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You live close enough the USCCA HQ I’ll say don’t put it off, sign up for the next instructor course that’s open near you. If you time it right you can get the entire thing from home defense and CC DSF 1 and II all in the same week.

You’ll really need to do your homework and I suggest going through the E learning portion as many times as you can, not just once to meet the requirements and start working on them six weeks or so before the class.

It’s a tremendous amount of info to get through in a short time even if you are well versed in the basics before you get there but it certainly can be done.

I’ve been through a whole lot of training over the last forty years and as far as I’m concerned the USCCA has by far the best overall program for training self defenders and instructors up to a very high level of competency and quickly.

I love the NRA program for complete novices but honestly if you already have a good background it’ll bore you to death before you get to the really fun personal protection and defensive pistol courses.

Texas has a proficiency test, though the shooting portion and the classroom portion are not, in my opinion, difficult enough to prove sufficient competency.

CA certainly does. While I was qualifying recently for an alternate weapon on my permit, the guy next to me shredded the top of his left thumb on the slide. It was not an automatic fail for functionality, but he was told to reschedule his qual appt. I was kind of surprised at how “normal” this seemed to the Sheriff range officer. Also that he got off all 6 shots at 15yds, after the first one bit his thumb. Ouch.

Perhaps it was a new weapon, and he took the shooting qualifying class prior to his required 8 hours of basic training (also req’d in CA)… IDK.

Our right to life is a natural right. Self defense is simply the natural corollary of the right to life. Driving a car on public roads is a privilege. What other ‘rights’ should we require training/competency to exercise?, speech? It does seem we have decided to have safe speech zones at our universities. I strongly support education and training, but not at the cost of liberty. As Jefferson said, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” In short, strongly encourage education and training, make easy to get both, but no to requiring it.

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As you’re hearing, the competency requirements vary from strict to nothing. It also depends upon the issuer. For example, when I got my very first concealed carry permit it was in Massachusetts, and my local police captain merely signed off, knowing I was military. In California, where I also hold a CCW, the initial requirement is a multi day course including shooting. To me, this is the way to go. Granted, the majority of those going after a CCW must have an interest in firearms to begin with, so we assume some level of competency. That a big assumption, however.

I also hold permits in Utah and Florida and you need to prove competency with them as well.

I don’t know if I have posted on this or not in the past.
In NY (not City) you can get a pistol permit with (less than legal administrative restrictions) for range and hunting. They don’t want it concealed carry (though that is the legal part) but in a bag…
For an “unrestricted” permit, in my County you take an 8 hour approved course, write a proper letter to the judge and he will approve it.

Now, I did witness and comment on a person who was LESS than adept at handling an empty firearm (to the people that ran the course) and that person still passed. I would not trust this person with a drivers license!
All things being equal, I don’t think you need to pass a course but you should want to.

One of my neighbors is a driver for UBER and as we walk by her car frequently and see new dents on a monthly basis… I’d be scared for my life with her driving! Stops signs mean nothing to her…

The moral of the story is just because you pass a “test” does not mean you are truly adept at that task.

Agreed. Handling a firearm properly is a particular skill set with important details that some do well, and others should NEVER do, much like driving (and more importantly, surviving) a motorcycle or flying a small plane. Much more particular and demanding than a license to drive a car.

Not everyone is cut out for it, and not safe to themselves or others around them, regardless of if they can pass the rudimentary test required to get the permit to do so.

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Texas has a range qualification but it’s very easy

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I’ve been at my range quite a bit lately and I have to applaud the members who continue to shoot for practice. As we all know, marksmanship is a fleeting skill and must be refreshed. Don’t let this shut down hold you back.

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Personally, I think there’s some value to shooting competency for a carry permit. Strengthening the permit holder’s knowledge and safety. Such as enjoying the range all the more, or if ever having to use in a defensive situation, reducing accidents.

Other topics shared about the value of drawing and shooting without spending extra time on focusing on the gun’s sights, when seconds count during an emergency.

However, on the topic of using the sights, I was reminded how nervous I was my first time quailing for my permit. I learned I want a more accurate gun, but check out the video attached which goes over using one vs. both eyes and how to train your eyes and mind onto the sight to the point where it’s almost automatic:


One of the things I love about this forum, beyond the amazing and diverse amount of thought content, is the history it captures.

I agree with @WildRose that this shouldn’t be a political issue, and I’d like to think that we as a nation are able to make progress in this direction. But sadly, that’s not the case. Just as Newspeak has made “right” wrong, and “tolerance” intolerant, so bodes 2+2 no longer equaling 4:

I fear we are going backwards, and maybe the Sun has begun to rotate around the Earth.

Regarding Dawn’s comment:

I went to high school in TX from 1985 to 89. We were taught in two admittedly optional vocational ed classes many skills. Including how to change a tire, the basic 1040EZ at the time, checkbook balancing etc…
I don’t know if those classes are still available.
I will also note I was on the University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team. So at least at the college level guns are being taught (I know not ALL colleges.)

As to shooting competency, I think everyone who carrys should get training and be able to demonstrate safety and accuracy with a firearm. I just don’t think it should be mandated by government.


I don’t need to take any training in Virginia because I’m a veteran and a former police officer. Either one is presumes by law to have provided sufficient raining.
I am all for as much training as one can get, especially based on the realities of violent encounters. I do not think government mandated training is a good solution, though. It would be too easy for anti gun bureaucrats to engineer testing requirements that simply cannot be met except by a favored few.


Competency test? Yes. More than a couple people in my class had never held a firearm in their lives.


Competency with regard to safety, sure.
Competent enough to slow fire and connect with C-O-M at 10’ is minimally reasonable, but anything beyond that is tricky when it comes to folks who are physically impaired.
I think we need to determine if CCW is a right, or a privilege.

As far as schools go, I’d personally like to see varsity marksmanship return as a student sport.
Gun safety should also be part of the curriculum. Firearms present a hazard----especially now with the record number of new gun owners—and kids need to understand the hazard, just like with plastic bags, blasting caps (remember ?) and household chemicals

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Where I live, it is, sort of. A couple of schools have a school sponsored trap team. The Bearcats, and the Tigers. Team name=The Trapcats.

Then, we have 4H. I coach the small bore rifles, my brother-in-law the trap team, and a good friend of mine coaches archery. We focus on safety first, while encouraging young people, and the competition aspect last. One of our 4H kids(my nephew) earned top honors as the 4H shogun Grand Champion this year. I do believe he received an invite to be on the state team to represent at nationals. They activities are out there. Ask around. Or, even better, it’s easy to be certified as a volunteer instructor, and self rewarding.