I’ve put my application for a RI concealed carry permit on the back burner. My English daughters are finishing their summer vacation in the Land of the Free; I resolved not to wear my workaholic shoes this year. Even so, I managed to find enough time to walk it down to the American Firearms School and complete my Rhode Island qualification. Here’s what I had to do . . .
Training Requirements – No person shall be issued a license or permit to carry a pistol or revolver concealed upon his or her person until he or she has presented certification as prescribed in § 11-47-16 that he or she has qualified with a pistol or revolver of a caliber equal to or larger than the one he or she intends to carry, that qualification to consist of firing a score of 195 or better out of a possible score of 300 with thirty (30) consecutive rounds at a distance of twenty-five (25) yards on the army “L” target, firing “slow” fire. The “slow” fire course shall allow ten (10) minutes for the firing of each of three (3) ten (10) shot strings.
Truth be told, I’m not much of a .45 guy. I can perforate a plum-sized bullseye at a twenty-five yards with my XD while hopping on one leg singing Live and Let Die. When it comes to combat bullets, I’m a graduate of the More Bullets is More Betterer School of Self-Defense Handgunning.
But I understand the value of a larger bullet as much as the next armchair ballistic expert. I want to keep my options open. And I want to be able test the carry ergonomics of .45s and .45-compatible holster systems on TATG readers’ behalf. So I sent the L target downrange with a .45 on the table in front of me.
I made my first run at the RI qual wielding a $2300 Wilson Combat X-TAC (currently visiting the Carrube-ian for a full test). Wilson certifies that an X-TAC owner can shoot match-head sized groups from the next state over. In Rhode Island that doesn’t mean very much; if you’re not in the next state over, your bullet soon will be.
It was my first time experiencing X-TACy. Mr. Squishy Trigger here is still getting used to firearms whose triggers are so light they make a French soufflé seem like a Big Mouth Burger®. Hang on. Did I mean to fire that bullet? That soon? For 1911 newbies, sometimes you fire the X-TAC, sometimes the X-TAC fires you.
Not to worry. As always, trigger control keeps things safe. I shot five bullets at a time, gradually getting the measure of the beast. I racked up the required 195 points. Exactly. One-ninety-five. On the nose.
The second time ’round, I’d calibrated my finger to the Wilson smash-and-grab trigger. Holes were appearing in darkened spaces on a more regular basis. At some point, a bystander told me to ease up. “You’ve qualified,” he said. “You don’t want to get too high a score.”
Here’s the thinking: if you score too highly in the qual, it can work against you in court.
“You’re a crack shot, aren’t you Mr. Farago? Says so right here. Two-hundred-fifty-five points out of 300. That’s only fifty point away from a perfect score. So why did you feel the necessity to shoot Mr. Insert Non-Ethnic Name Here seven times in the chest? According to this paper, you could dispatch an alleged attacker with a single shot. Why did you shoot him in the chest anyway? Couldn’t you have aimed at his leg or shoulder?”
Alternatively . . .
“Mr. Farago, this paper says you are an expert marksman. And yet you only hit the victim once in, how many shots was it? Ten? Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. One hit. Thank God no innocent bystander was hurt. Given that you’re such a great shot, given that you only hit my client in one out of ten shots, would it be safe to say that you were out of control during the alleged attack?”
Apocryphal? I’ll make some phone calls. Suffice it to say, neither scenario is unimaginable. Not in a state where there’s a seven-day “cooling off” period for all gun purchases. A “shall issue” state, despite the fact that . . .
If the permit is not for employment, a typed letter must be submitted by the applicant stating the reasons why a permit is needed on a full time basis.
I’ve already explained my main motivation to get an RI CCW: my desire to protect myself and my family against violent criminals. Although I do security consultancy, rumor has it the RI licensing folk like to issue rent-a-cops with work-restricted permits. So that’s out. But I still reckon I need . . . more.
I carry a lot of expensive guns from dealers and manufacturers to my house to the range and back and forth. Thanks to this website, my movements aren’t exactly Classified. I also accompany my FFL dealer during firearms appraisals, schlepping hugely expensive firearms to and fro, hither and yon. (I’ll lay off the Shakespearean language for the app). And I eat downtown on a regular basis.
Does any of that qualify me for a RI concealed carry permit? We shall see. But one thing’s for sure: I have no desire to shoot anyone, ever. But if I had to, both RI and I now have a reasonable expectation that I could do so without harming innocent people. In some states (e.g. Indiana), you don’t have to prove even that much. How great is that?