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Interest in Handgun License and Training Explodes

By Shane Reynolds  ::  Photography by Kelsey Grudle

When the COVID-19 crisis hit us in early spring, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on our outdoor recreation programming at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. Like most businesses, we had to navigate the concerns of keeping our staff and patrons safe while trying to offer some services that members and their guests could still partake in. Along with the COVID-19 crisis came social unrest, widespread protest and civil discord across the country. A bi-product of this was an increased interest at Cordillera Ranch to get trained on how to safely carry and use a handgun. 

During the past eight years, we have offered the concealed carry course and have had over 500 participants. When we offered the course in May of 2020, we had more interest in the course than ever! Over the past three months, we have sent over 40 people through the Texas License to Carry course as well as many more through our Introduction to Handguns course. 

Texas has been issuing conceal carry permits since 1995. The law was initially introduced following a 1991 mass shooting at a Luby’s in Killeen. In 2007, the Texas Legislature expanded the state’s Castle Doctrine with the Stand Your Ground Law. It cleared the way for gun owners to use deadly force if they feel threatened — not only in their homes, but also if they’re in their vehicles or places of business.

Seven years later, in 2015, gun rights activists scored two more big victories. Texas lawmakers passed the open carry law, giving handgun owners the option to show their holstered firearms in many public places. They voted to lift the ban on concealed weapons on college campuses, which has been in place since Vietnam war protests in the 1960s.

My opinion on the recent rise in interest to obtain a License to Carry permit is that citizens are concerned about safety. People’s primary motivation for purchasing firearms has shifted from hunting and sports to primarily self-defense and self-protection. 

On September 1, 2017, a new law in Texas went into effect that reduced the first-time fee for a license to carry from $140 to $40 and the renewal fee from $70 to $40. A License to Carry permit is valid in Texas for five years. Upon signing the new law into effect, Governor Abbot said, “The right to bear arms is something that is synonymous with the state of Texas. We are proud to expand the right to bear arms by lowering the cost of what you have to pay in order to get a license to carry. Texans’ ability to bear arms is going to be even bolder today than it’s ever been before.”

In response to the increased demand, we have developed a list of course dates for the remainder of 2020. Please remember it’s important to have a basic understanding of handguns prior to taking the License to Carry course. Also, please remember to buy ammunition well before your class because handgun ammunition around the country is in high demand and low stock. 

Our instructor for these courses is Dan Mosley. Dan lives at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio and has been teaching handgun training for over 40 years. 

License to Carry Course     September 12, 2020    8 am – 3 pm

Introduction to Handguns  September 19, 2020    8 am – 12 pm

License to Carry Course     October 10, 2020        8 am – 3 pm

Introduction to Handguns   November 1, 2020      12 pm – 4 pm

License to Carry Course     November 21, 2020     9 am – 4 pm 

Introduction to Handguns   December 12, 2020     12 pm – 4 pm

License to Carry Course     December 13, 2020     9 am – 4 pm 

In addition to these courses, we will be offering a LTC Combat Fighting course with the Clubs’ personal trainer and martial arts expert Kevin Durio. Why take this course to supplement your LTC? What if a bad guy sees your weapon on your belt or grabs it when you draw it … you need to know weapon retention and hand-to-hand combat. Kevin will focus the hand-to-hand combat in a few areas: pain compliance, full-on striking skills and stand-up weapon retention at its best. We also train in edged, blunted and improvised weapon use. We use real world scenarios — sitting at a table, in your car, standing at a bar… you name it. 

Our improvised weapons include using a magazine, towel, ink pen, cell phone, a cup of coffee… you get the idea. ANY item is a weapon of self-defense, IF it gets down to that in an altercation. Our ground fighting is based on “getting back up” FAST! These are real-world skills for real-world application, NOT for competition! Keep this in mind: Every day you aren’t training… the bad guys are!

LTC Combat Fighting Course  September 19, 2020  1 pm – 5 pm 

LTC Combat Fighting Course  November 14, 2020   8 am – 12 pm 

To register for classes, contact the Cordillera Ranch 

Outfitter Center.

Shane Reynolds is the Outdoor Recreation Director at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at 210.616.6051 or sreynolds@cordilleraranch.com, or the Cordillera Ranch Outfitter Center at 830.336.4823.