CCW holders will need to prove marksmanship on the shooting range come January 1

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Starting January 1, 2019, every CCW holder in California will need to qualify their handgun(s) out on a shooting range if they want to continue to carry their concealed weapon(s).

Before Assembly Bill 2103, gun owners in California could acquire a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit without ever shooting a gun. That's about to change.

AB 2103 will go into effect January 1. The legislation will make more work for gun owners who choose to carry and for instructors as well. Chief Instructor, Ted Lidie with the Northern Firearms Instruction said that is not necessarily a bad thing.

"The more proficient you are, the more safety you bring to the community with the use of your firearm. On the other hand, and I believe (Sheriff) Tom Bosenko would agree with me, prior to AB 2103 there is no historical law that states with the Second Amendment that you should have to pass a qualification at all," Lidie said.

The institution teaches CCW classes in several counties across Northern California. Lidie believes the range time will only bring more education to gun owners, which is beneficial for the entire community.

"I believe it's a good thing, I believe that it can be a good thing. I don't I think that there's too much shooting for training you can ever do if you're going to carry a firearm. On the other hand, there are those who are going to say nowhere in our history does it say you have to qualify with a firearm to be able to carry it and I can agree with that too," Lidie added.

CCW instructors are required by law to deny someone who does not perform safely or accurately when using their firearm on the shooting range.

"The law states that we have to deny those who cannot shoot a qualification standard for marksmanship and safety, the ability to put that firearm on their CCW permit," Lidie said.

The amount of firearms a person is able to have on their permit varies between counties. For example, in Shasta County, the max number of firearms that can be added to a C.C.W. is five.

Starting January 1, all five of those handguns would need to be signed off by an instructor.

Lidie said the shooting standard is pretty simple as to what permit holders will have to do to pass. Shooting about six rounds between five, seven and ten rounds at a man size silhouette.

The change has already gone into effect in some areas of the Northstate. The City of Red Bluff has began observing AB 2103 and Tehama County residents who complete a CCW class before the end of the year will have 90 days to qualify their handgun(s).

The amount of hours required on the shooting range will vary between counties, as well as the amount of firearms a CCW holder is able to add to their permit. You should contact your local sheriff's office for more information.

The Northern Firearms Institution will qualify their students for free. Any other California residents who would like their handguns signed off can go through them with the cost of a $10 range fee.

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