Two ways. You can take a class of some sort or you can show up with your DD214.
For those of you who don't know, a DD214 is a discharge paper given to you when you are, yes, discharged from one of the armed forces.
Now, the state of Virginia, without any kind of testing will issue a permit based strictly on a person's DD214. No test of any kind. You don't have to prove you can shoot a gun with any degree of accuracy. You don't have to answer any questions about where you are legally allowed to carry your concealed weapon. Nope, nothing. They don't ask about your weapons' training in the service. Absolutely, nothing. DD214 equals permit.
This is what the state of Virginia says...
The court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence:
- Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state;
- Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
- Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
- Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
- Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;
- Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;
- Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or on-line course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
- Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or
- Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.
Routinely police officers, who have some training, don't hit their targets and injure innocent bystanders. So, Virginia, with all of their wisdom will issue a permit to a person who filled out some stuff online and who maybe has only fired a gun once or twice. In fact, the online course taker could obviously have someone sitting beside them while they are taking the test and giving them the answers.
But, hey, it's only a permit to carry around a gun...yep, concealed and ready to fire.
Who are these people?
Well, I don't know, however you can go to some of the gun forums and get a pretty good idea....
I think most of them are praying that someone tries to break in their house or confronts them in a grocery store.
"Yeah, I'll fuck 'em up!"
"Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6."
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
"More people are killed by (fill in the blank) than guns."
"Don't tell me I can't buy a 100 bullet magazine."
"Guns are only a tool."
Yep, these are some of the folks walking around carrying heat.
OK, I fess up. I have a permit. Yep, DD214 and fifty bucks and I'm set. Not really sure why I got the permit. Some of it was because I could without doing anything other than going to the court house for a few minutes.
Actually, on rare occasions I travel pretty late at night on secondary roads and I just thought it'd be nice to have a gun along.
Do I have a gun in my car now? No.
When I leave my house do I strap on a gun? No.
Actually, I'd feel a little silly strapping on a gun. Also, I do not want to have to make a decision about when to draw a gun and who to shoot.
BTW, I was discharged in 1964. Yep, 1964. For all the state of Virginia knows I haven't even looked at a gun since 1964. And, at age 73, they have no idea what my mental state is, how my reflexes are, eye sight or heck, they know nothing about me other than I have an honorable discharge granted in 1964. A heck of a system, hey?
Frankly, I would say most likely 99% of the people swaggering around with a gun tucked in their waistband are not competent to draw the gun and fire. But, hey, that's just my opinion.
And, as I said in an earlier post, I surely don't want to hangout in the pizza place that gives 15% off.