When we are carrying a firearm for our own defense out in our communities, we have a choice. We can either be an asset to our community, or we can be a liability to our community. Being an asset means that we are maintaining training and we are proficient with our firearms. Being a liability would mean that we are not maintaining training and we are a danger to ourselves or others in our community. We owe it to our community to maintain a level of proficiency with our firearm so we are not a liability.
Law Enforcement generally has to go through weapons training quarterly, which means that they go through training courses and qualify with their firearms to maintain a certain level of proficiency. Why is this important to us? If a Law Enforcement officer arrives on the scene of an emergency and has to engage a threat, we expect that Law Enforcement Officer to be able to hit the threat and not be hitting innocent bystanders. The same is expected of those of us that carry concealed within our community. Who does our community consist of? Our family, our friends, our friends families are all out in our community. Every one of us has people who love and care about us, the same goes for everyone else within the community. If there are members of the community that choose to carry concealed and cannot hit the broad side of a barn, are the other members of the community going to feel safe with that particular individual carrying a firearm around their family and friends?
If we know that Law Enforcement generally has firearms training every quarter, I recommend that anyone who chooses to carry for their own protection do the same. We need to be out practicing with our firearms to ensure we maintain that level of proficiency. A PQC refers to a pistol qualification course, and anyone can search for a PQC course of fire and use this as a base of training. There is a misconception that a PQC is a test, I disagree with this. A PQC is a standard, which means that is the minimum level of proficiency one should maintain while carrying a firearm. I also recommend taking formal training every once in a while. There are a lot of Firearms Instructors that do courses at a very reasonable price all over the country. Never stop learning; even the best shooters take courses to learn new skills or to learn other ways to hone the skills they already possess. It is advisable to document all training as this will also aid you in your defense should you ever need to use force to defend yourself. Most of the Firearms Instructors give certifications upon completion of their courses, file these in a location that you can find them at a later date if you need to.
Training does not stop with firearm proficiency, there are a lot of other areas that a concealed carrier should stay up-to-date with. Laws have the potential to change every two years. Most Law Enforcement agencies go through use of force training on a regular basis as well. If we carry to defend ourselves, and we know that this could involve using force to defend our lives or the lives of another; it would be advisable to stay up-to-date on the use of force laws in your area as these can change over time. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and will not be a viable defense in a court of law.