This article will focus on the enhanced carry class that I attended in order to submit my application with the sheriff’s office for an Idaho enhanced concealed weapons license.
The class that I attended was provided by E4 Tactical Solutions, a local company. The two instructors for the course fulfilled their certification by receiving an Intermediate certification from the Peace Officers Standards and Testing Council.
The cost of the course was $70 for pre-registered individuals. This covered the instruction, range fees and mailing costs for the completed certificates.
The overarching concept given by the in-class instructor was the responsible ownership of firearms, which included training and being proficient with your weapon.
This was a one day, eight hour course where all requirements were completed in a single day.
The class opened with a discussion of the different types of concealed weapons licenses available through the state of Idaho, state gun laws and which other states would honor the license we were taking the class for.
For an overview of state gun laws and the types of concealed carry please see Part 1 of this series.
This was followed by a review of firearm safety. This included the four rules of gun safety: 1) Treat all guns as if they are loaded at all times, 2) Finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire, 3) Do not point a firearm at anything that you are not willing to destroy and 4) Be aware of your backdrop and what is behind your target.
How to properly clear and check a firearm, along with etiquette was included in this section.
The following section was the most important. It discussed when an individual would be justified in using deadly force, what to prepare for if you fire your weapon in a confrontation and advice on what not to do with your firearm.
In order to justify the use of deadly force, what is sometimes called the triangle of deadly force must be fulfilled. The first side is that there must be a weapon, the second side is that you must be within the range that that weapon could cause you harm and the final side is that there must be intent from the individual with the weapon to cause you serious bodily harm.
This can fulfilled on a mildly subjective basis; however you must be able to articulate how and why you felt in danger of death or serious bodily harm.
Some portions of the triangle have precedence in the courts. For example, an attacker with an “edged weapon”, any kind of blade, must be 21 feet away at the most before the range requirement is met. Any further away than 21 feet would not justify the use of deadly force.
Additionally, as soon as the threat of death or serious bodily harm stops, so must the intent to use deadly force to defend yourself.
The instructor then gave legal advice in terms of what ammunition to carry in your firearm and what type of modifications should be done.
Only use factory ammunition, no reloads, and do not modify the internal parts of your firearm unless you are a certified gunsmith for that firearm. The reasoning behind this is that it keeps you free of liabilities in the courtroom. If you shoot someone with personally reloaded ammunition, than your experience and ability to load a humane cartridge will be called into question. This is easily avoidable by using factory ammunition; in which case the manufacturer would carry that liability.
This was followed by a section that discussed active shooter situations in schools. The majority of this section were slides of the most well known school shootings starting with Columbine High School.
The only instruction given on how to behave in an active shooter situation was the government recommended course of action, Avoid, Deny, Defend. Avoid, do everything possible to get clear of the situation safely before a direct threat is upon you. Deny, if you cannot escape deny access to the area that you choose to hide in by locking doors and putting up barricades. Defend, if you must, defend yourself via all means possible.
One piece of advice given by the instructor was to fight dirty.
“There are no rules in a gunfight,” do whatever you can to win.
The next section was on basic shooting technique. Approximately 15- 30 minutes was devoted to instruction on how to acquire a sight picture, the proper footing, grip and technique to “press the trigger.”
All students then drove to the range in order to fire off the required 98 rounds of ammunition.
While accurate shooting was encouraged by the instructors, as well as trying one of the two new techniques shown in class, accuracy was not scored or tracked.
The instructors told the class that it would technically be acceptable to simply shoot the 98 rounds as fast as possible, without even hanging a target.
My certificate of training was mailed to my home address two business days after the class.