In most states, if you want a CCW permit that allows you to carry a concealed weapon, you will need to take a training course approved by the state. The CCW training program is intended to educate gun owners about the laws in the state, when you can unholster your gun, and what the process will be if you use it.
Who Needs Training
Each state is different, so you need to check with the state police or the state government about the firearms regulations and the rule for concealed carry in your state. Every person applying for a CCW permit needs to take a CCW training class in many states.
Sometimes that means a gun owner that has been handling guns for twenty or more years still must sit through the training and take a test to prove they understand the weapon, the laws, and when to use their gun. This ensures that every gun owner with a permit has the same training and is familiar with the rules of carrying.
In some states, police, former military, and people with documented training may be able to bypass the CCW training, but they will still need to pass a background check to get a permit. If you are in a new state or have never had any CCW training, it is good to take a course even if you are not required to. Most of the training programs can be completed in a few hours on the weekend, and you may learn some things you didn't already know.
Where Can You Get Training
CCW classes are often offered by firearms instructors certified by the state you live in. The training programs are often offered at local ranges, and there is often a fee that helps compensate the instructor for their time and the cost of the ammunition you will use.
If your local gun shop has instructors working there, talk to them about their courses and how to sign up for one. If no instructors are working in the shop, the owner or employees there may be able to put you in touch with a local instructor that offers CCW training in the area.
Most carry concealed weapons training programs include some class training and some time on the firing range, but the focus is often legal aspects and your responsibility as a gun owner. Many times the programs are not intended for you to shoot your gun, so if you don't have experience with a firearm, you may need to take a shooting course first to prepare for the CCW training.