Just recently, one of our very own interns at The Foreign Desk underwent certification training for a Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit.
“There has been a strain on police departments amid continuing protests, that’s why I wanted to get my CCW,” the intern, dubbed Jane Doe for privacy concerns, said, reasoning that police shortages reported around the country even before the summer protests began gave her concern for her safety.
The push for a CCW coincided with a local protest-turned-riot in Jane Doe’s hometown, where a peaceful protest ended with rioters heavily vandalizing the local mall throwing hammers and baseball bats through glass windows and worrying residents in the area.
With many advocating to ‘defund the police,’ it is possible that the police system will no longer have the capacity or jurisdiction of responding to calls for help, she said.
For example, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced that police will no longer respond to calls pertaining to “non-criminal” activity and some state police departments are beginning to follow suit.
Conflict resolution is heading in the direction of a community-led public safety approach, meaning that other departments or programs will be responsible for responding to some incoming 911 calls.
“My instructor told me that if I rely on the police to save me in a life or death situation, it is too late,” Jane Doe explained. “I need to learn how to protect myself because I am my first line of defense.”
For Jane Doe, self-defense included obtaining a CCW.
No prior training was required for the CCW certification course, although she did have experience shooting a firearm.
The course began with a long discussion on the repercussions of using a firearm. If a shot has been fired and someone has been hit, a crime has been committed. It is in court where self-defense must be proven, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
The class was encouraged to purchase insurance for legal and self-defense, where yearly payments are a fraction of what it would cost otherwise.
Carrying a weapon requires knowledge of several pivotal laws and limitations that were taught in class, including the Castle Doctrine and where firearms cannot be carried.
This was followed by a firearm safety instruction course, where the basic rules of handling a gun were explained. The course finished after shooting a handful of live rounds.
In total, the course was 3 hours, although it will take much longer to obtain the actual permit because paperwork must be filed with the state.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government office processing the CCW paperwork in Jane Doe’s home county is closed until further notice. Residents in this county will now have to drive for hours to find one that can process the request.
Jane Doe’s permit is recognized in 35 other states and she will be responsible for learning the regional laws for where she will carry.
Jane Doe encourages other women to get their CCW, stating that “we should learn how to defend ourselves before we are put in a situation where we are unprepared to.”