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Best Handguns for Concealed Carry

One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is “what is the best handgun for concealed carry?”

If you ask 10 different gun owners this same question, you will probably get 10 different answers. However, if you ask 10 people who are experienced personal defense firearms instructors, their answers will be very similar.

Everyone is limited by his or her own experiences, myself included. Often times we don’t know what we don’t know. I’m far from being omniscient, but I have taught defensive firearms skills for more than 20 years, and before that, I had trained with law enforcement on the range regularly for 15 more. I have also drawn from the wealth of knowledge and experience of many other instructors at high-volume shooting schools, so my experience isn’t limited to just the guns I’ve shot or carried. I’ve seen just about every possible variation of gun and holster combinations come through a class. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.

(If you ask a gun store salesperson, you will probably find out what they are making the most profit on — I do not sell guns, though I can direct you to a few good places to buy one, as long as you go into it knowing what you want.) Continue reading Best Handguns for Concealed Carry

Pistols Prohibited?

In Michigan, otherwise legally carried and concealed pistols are prohibited for most people at the following places under Michigan law – even if you have a CPL. These places are commonly referred to as “Gun Free Zones” but they aren’t actually gun-free. In Michigan, you might be able to carry a rifle, or open carry a pistol legally. And of course, people who don’t follow the law might still be carrying too.

In most cases, the prohibition does not include the parking areas of the places listed.

  • School or School Property
  • Daycare center, child-caring agency, child-placing agency
  • Sports arena or stadium
  • Bar or Tavern (where the primary source of income is the sale of liquor consumed on-site).
  • Church property (any facility owned or operated by a place of worship – they may choose to allow)
  • An entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500+ (see AG Opinion No. 7120)
  • Hospital
  • Dormitory or classroom of a college or university
  • Casinos

Please refer to MCL 28.425o for the complete text with exceptions and penalties for the above list.

There are also many other places prohibited by other laws (other than MCL 28.425o), court cases, private property rights, etc.

  • Courts (or other space used for official court business – (AO 2001-1 of the Michigan Supreme Court – Contempt of Court)
  • Correctional facility (any jail, mental health facility, etc.) (MCL 800.283)
  • Federal Facilities (18 USC § 930)
    “Federal Facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties. Must be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to a Federal facility.Examples: Federal Court, Federal Prison, IRS, Social Security, Department of Labor, Military Base, etc.
  • National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges are permitted, but you may not possess a firearm in a Ranger Station, Visitor Center, bathroom, or any other US Government facility on these properties that are posted.
  • US Post Offices (all property, even parking, etc.) (39CFR, 232-1, title 39, paragraph L (I)
  • Indian Reservations – some honor State of Michigan CPL, some do not.
  • Airports – secure areas of commercial airports are prohibited (past the signs at TSA checkpoints) but you can check firearms in checked baggage if your firearm is legal at your destination. More details.
  • Amtrak – similar to airports, but there are no checked baggage stations in Michigan. (Public Law 111-117 Section 159)
  • Private Properly – any that are posted with NO GUN sign. (Trespassing – MCL 750.552)
  • A place of employment MAY prohibit an employee as a condition of employment.
  • A public university may be able to enforce a local ordinance – see this case. U of M Ordinance. Wayne State Ordinance.
  • An educational institution MAY prohibit a student as a condition of enrollment.

Last updated July, 2020. For more Michigan concealed carry information see www.gotCPL.com – and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter for updates.

Critical Defensive Handgun Skills

We conduct intuitive defensive shooting training individually, or in small groups that are tailored to the individual needs of those taking the training.

We recommend 4-hour training blocks but can break the training down into 2-hour (minimum) time slots to fit your schedule.

Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in scheduling an appointment.

This training is right for you if:

  • you realize that owning a firearm is more than a right, it’s a responsibility! You are responsible to be ready before, during, and after a self-defense incident.
  • you want to build your confidence with your firearm and you know that this means more than just being able to hit a still target that isn’t shooting back!
  • you may have taken your concealed carry permit training but you need to improve the defensive shooting skills you will need if you have to use that gun in public.
  • you want to have a better understanding of what those real-life defensive shooting skills are and how you can get good at them.
  • you want to practice, but you don’t want to practice the wrong things, or waste money shooting in a way that is nothing like what happens in real life.
  • you have purchased a defensive handgun, holster, or other gear and need to begin the process of vetting that gear for concealed carry.
  • your concealed carry license class left you knowing that it was just the beginning of the training you will need to conceal carry in public.

We focus on the intuitive defensive shooting skills that work best with what the body and mind do naturally when you are faced with a lethal threat.

You will learn responses that are the most efficient and will allow you to stop the threat when you are surprised by an attacker. The fact is, MOST defensive firearms shootings involve little or no warning.

In addition to the focus on practical real-world defensive handgun skills, we emphasize the constant assessment and decision-making process you will find yourself involved in when you face a lethal threat.

Physical skills are coupled with the crucial mental skills that will make a critical difference when everything is on the line.

We teach you to learn and develop the skills and techniques needed to learn and practice to;

  • evaluate your defensive carry gun & gear
  • safely and effectively carry – every day
  • draw from concealment
  • balance speed with precision
  • shoot while moving  (when, why, and how)
  • emergency reload
  • select and plan for vehicle carry
  • use your body’s natural reactions to your advantage
  • prevail in life-threatening situations
  • clear firearm malfunctions
  • operate your firearm with one hand & weak hand
  • defend against multiple threats

What you will need to bring:

  • Your CPL and Michigan Driver’s License/State ID
  • Your firearm, a strong side OWB holster, concealed carry holster, purse (any other device you plan to carry your firearm in)
  • At least 3 standard capacity magazines (4 or more for lower capacity guns)
  • At least 200 rounds of range ammunition (FMJ)
  • Outdoor clothing you don’t mind getting dirty in

This course is conducted on our private outdoor range.

All registrations are subject to our cancellation guarantee.

Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in scheduling a date for you or your group.

More defensive firearms training courses.

5 Questions Women Should Ask Before They Get a Gun

Last month an article by this name was published by a fellow firearms trainer writing for PJ Media, and some of his questions are pretty good, like this one:

Are you ready for the responsibility of owning a firearm?

However, the first, and most important question for anyone before they get a gun should be: Have you had any training? 

You won’t understand if you are ready for the responsibility of owning a firearm, or what kind of firearm is best for your needs without it.

Get competent training before you buy a gun. 90% of the people that come to me for training with a new gun leave wishing they had bought something different. They could have easily saved more than the training time cost by coming and learning what works best for them in the context of what they want it for before they buy.

His suggestion about where to find good advice about what to buy; “ask your local gun store” is the last place I would suggest you go (unless of course, the dealer is willing to tell the person to go to a defensive firearms instructor for help first). 

Uneducated, and untrained people should not be asked: “do you want to carry a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol?” – they should be trained and educated by a competent instructor that can help them figure that out – so they can pick the best gun for their specific needs and abilities.

We have lots of guns you can try, and lots of experience helping new shooters (men and women) figure out what they need.