Getting my CCW permit has been one of those things on my to-do list that never quite gets done and, sadly, is probably one of the more important prepping actions to GET DONE! Fortunately, a few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at OnlineCarryTraining.com about their course. To be honest, I had no idea you could even take a CCW course online as I always figured you had to do it in-person at a local establishment. Well, happily that’s not the case!
As you might suspect, I had a few questions before I opted to take the course…
How long does the course take?
Hey, I’m a busy man… I can’t spend days doing this! As it turns out the course video is ONLY 15 minutes long. When you’re done you take a test and print out a certificate of completion and that’s about it! In fact, I decided to look into local courses here in goold ol’ Kansas City, Missouri and every course I could find was eight hours long. Really? I would suspect most of that is fluff for people who have never fired a handgun in their life but I honestly cannot say. I would suspect, however, that if you’re confident enough to seek a CCW permit then you’re probably well-versed in appropriate safety considerations and really don’t need to spend 8 hours discussing things like “don’t point the handgun at anybody you don’t want to kill…” and stuff like that. Personally, I was glad it only lasted 15 minutes.
How much does the course cost?
The cost is $70. At first I thought that was a tad expensive, until I noticed the prices for local courses and darn near every single course was $100 or more. I did, however, find a few that only charged $50 but then there’s still that problem of having to spend 8 hours trying not to fall asleep. 😉 I’m not sure the cost of CCW courses in your area but if it’s anything like what I found then $70 is a bargain.
Now the real question…
How does this really work?
The course you’re taking actually qualifies you for a Arizona non-resident permit, assuming you don’t live there, of course. Actually, there are a few other states where you can apply for a resident’s permit but most states are a non-resident permit. See their FAQ for more info.
This is actually where I got a bit confused but it appears that instead of applying for a permit in the state where you reside, in most cases, you’re actually applying to Arizona but there are a few states where that is not the case. You should locate your state here and follow the instructions. In Missouri, for example, I would be applying to Arizona for a non-resident permit. I would then need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the aforementioned page on “How to Apply for Your Arizona Non-Resident Permit” which basically requires me to contact Arizona’s DPS CCW Unit, request an application kit, pay their $60 fee, then hurry up and wait.
Is this legal to do?
This was my biggest concern. They discuss this in the FAQ but basically I think this is ok to do because of reciprocity rules between Arizona and the states that qualify. In fact, you can verify this at Handgunlaw.us [PDF File] under Arizona. You can also use this “cheat sheet” [PDF File] that lists state-by-state who honors which permits.
Why I didn’t take this any further
I totally wanted to finish the process but I’m actually moving to a state that does not accept Arizona’s permits–don’t ask, I’m not very happy about it–and since it could take two months to get my paperwork processed, we’d basically be moving shortly after I got everything in order. That’s a serious bummer! As for you, if your state accepts Arizona’s permits and you’re not moving to a “worse” state than you currently live in now, I would VERY strongly encourage you to take at most a half-hour out of your day and get your CCW permit at OnlineCarryTraining.com. I found the course to be easy enough to follow and fast enough to not put me to sleep.
Oh, and you do have to take a test at the end in order to pass the class and if you know anything at all about handgun or were even paying attention to the video then you should be able to pass with flying colors and get your certificate which can then be printed out after you pass the test.