The Truth Behind the Shortcut


UPDATE: Effective January 1, 2021, the Virginia State Police will no longer accept online course certificates showing proof of competency for the purposes of obtaining a Virginia Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit. Any application containing an online certificate, that is not postmarked prior to January 1, 2021, will be returned to sender unprocessed.

Several weeks ago, we published a post on the scam that has been emailed to many of our students (Online Concealed Carry Courses? Buyers Beware).  In the article, which is linked to several resources, we approach this tactic as an illegitimate shortcut.  The truth is, if you are a North Carolina resident, then you should follow North Carolina’s protocols for it’s citizens shouldn’t you?  I was willing to let this topic rest, until I ran across some unscrupulous (and un-named), so-called trainers, offering this online option to their students!  So I said to myself, there must be something to this.  Aside from taking revenue away from my state of residency and sending it to a state who took away a plethora of gun rights from it’s citizens, this practice not only is unethical, but it actually costs more to the end user.  But once again, they are using the “shortcut method” to appeal to lazy citizens who will take the path of least resistance for everything.  If you are one of those citizens, then stop reading now!  You deserve what you get from taking this route.  Consider this as a Public Service Announcement.

This so-called shortcut is to take the Virginia Non-Resident Concealed Handgun Permit course online.  They market it as a means of by-passing the required 8 hours of classroom time, plus the range proficiency course of fire required by North Carolina law.  So, I took it upon myself to do a little comparative shopping.  The long story made short… This is a lie!

Upon looking at every requirement that the state of Virginia requires, this route will actually cost you more money and take much longer than the conventional route of obtaining your North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Permit.  I was astounded.  This particular trainer advertises:

  • Approved in N.C. for Concealed Carry
  • No Live-Fire Qualification (Shooting) Required
  • Train from home on your time
  • Just complete the online training program and then stop by (business name omitted) for a quick face-to-face review with your NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and pick-up your basic handgun safety / concealed carry completion certificate!
  • Fast, Easy, & Inexpensive!
  • APPROVED FOR CONCEALED CARRY IN N.C.! (they mentioned this again, in case you didn’t see it the first time)
  • ONLY $39.00

You know, Grandpa always said if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!  So, here is the results of my research regarding the Virginia Non-Resident Concealed Handgun Permit course route, and how it stacks up to doing things the honest, and state-prescribed method of legally obtaining your North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Permit.


(source for Virginia requirements:
(all pricing, is based on current government and commercial sources)

So, as you can see, what meets the eye is not always the real deal.  Please don’t be fooled.  There is a prescribed path for law abiding North Carolina citizens to obtain the proper training and get lawfully permitted to carry their handguns concealed.  As a retired Federal law enforcement officer, I have seen much of this type of misleading advertising in my career.  As a 27 year firearms instructor, it is degrading from the gold standard of training that the NRA has been producing since 1871.  Don’t believe the hoopla!  If you are an instructor, please do things the right way.  If you do things the right way, you will always be successful and you will impact your world.


Tight groups!

Erik Heck
co-founder Home Front Freedom LLC
NRA Certified Instructor
NRA Chief Range Safety Officer
NRA Training Counselor
NRA Appointed Training Counselor Liason for North Carolina
NC Dept. of Justice Certified Concealed Carry Handgun Instructor
Retired US Coast Guard (DHS) Law Enforcement Officer/Trainer
Law Abiding Armed Citizen

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