Smart Defense KC, LLC

If you're gonna carry, carry smart!

Frequently Asked Questions

 Click on the questions below for answers.   If you have a question and it is not listed, please use the "contact us" page.

 Who can get a concealed carry in Missouri?  

The requirements come from the
Missouri Revised Statute 571.  The Summary that follows should help you decide if you qualify or not.

A person must be 19 or  older, a US Citizen,  and a Missouri resident (no wait time).  Alternatively, if you are not a resident of Missouri, then you must be an active member of the armed forces stationed here, or the spouse of someone in the military who is stationed here.

You may NOT obtain a permit if you:

  • have been convicted of a felony of any kind
  • have been convicted of one or more misdemeanor offenses involving crimes of violence within a five year period, including domestic violence 
  • have been convicted of more than one misdemeanor DUI offense within the last five years
  • are a fugitive from justice or currently charged with a felony
  • Dishonorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces  (not the same as ‘bad conduct’)
  • have been convicted of two (2) driving while intoxicated charges in the last five (5) years
  • The applicant cannot have been convicted of possessing a controlled substance (illegal drugs) in the last five (5) years
  • Adjudicated mentally incompetent at the time of application, or five years prior to the application, or have been committed to a mental institution. 
  • A respondent of a full valid order of protection, which is still in effect. 
  • Engaged in a pattern of behavior that leads the sheriff reasonably to believe the applicant would be a danger to himself or others.

The last one is fairly subjective but basically if the cops keep being called to your residence for shenanigans, you *might* find yourself having a hard time getting the endorsement.

Please note that if you are not sure whether one or more of these conditions applies to you, I advise you to seek out legal council before you proceed.  If you apply for the permit and fail the background check because of one of these conditions, you will not get your application fee back.  Likewise if you sign up for this class and it turns out you are not qualified to obtain a CCW, you will not get a refund. 
Taking the class when you KNOW one or more of the above applies to you is a crime! Carrying concealed comes with grave responsibilities, and one of those is knowing and following the law.  Simple enough.

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 How old do you have to be to get a concealed carry permit?
Nineteen or older.

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 How much does it cost to get a concealed carry permit?

As is so often the case the answer is “it depends”. 

The basic class is $125.00. That fee includes the course, range fees, the use of either a semi-auto or a revolver (both are .22 caliber) and the ammo for them.  You have to supply eye and ear protection.  NOTE:  if you would like to take the course with something other than a .22 caliber but don't own a gun yet, call me. For a $5.00 wear and tear fee I will loan you a gun in the caliber of your choice.  We do ask that you use our ammo with our guns. I will provide suitable ammunition at the cost I paid per round. 

After you complete the course, assuming you apply for your permit, the application fee can vary by county, but is not over $100 by state law.  There are links to each county's individual web sites detailing their fees on our "useful sites" page.

I encourage people to bring their gun to class if they have one so that the class is more useful to them (i.e. they train with what they will carry).  But since the course includes information on choosing a good handgun, many people wait until after the course to make that purchase.   If you do bring your own weapon, you need to bring your own ammo as well.   Ammo is cheap if you buy .22’s and expensive if you buy .45’s.  Your choice of handgun obviously will dictate that.  

Basically, figure around $225 start to finish including your permit fees, if you use one of our 22 caliber handguns.  Your mileage on that figure may vary.

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 What about Specials?  Do you offer any discounts?

As of this time I am not running any specials.  Call if you have a large group (4 or more).

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 Do you teach anything other than CCW?

Right now I run two additional types of instruction, these are both purely by appointment.  The first is a "one on one" by the hour class where I work specifically with you to improve your confidence in handling and marksmanship.  Another is what I call "try before you buy".  For this class together we will select 5 to 6 handguns that will fit your hand, and about 5-10 rounds of ammo for each one, and let you try them out.  These will be various sizes and calibers so that you can get a good feel for what guns fit your hand, what you can and can't handle in the way of recoil, what you can and can't conceal, and various safety mechanisms so that when you go shopping, you will know what you do and don't like.  Most people have found this very helpful.  Call or email me if you would like to take either of these training courses.

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 How long does the class take?

Missouri requires a minimum of 8 hours of training including range time.  Classes often run over. You may not be absent for any portion of it.  The range portion of the course can take a long time if there are many students or if students are sharing a weapon and so must wait on each other.  Expect to allow 2 hours for the range and 7-8 hours for classroom time but that can vary with number of students and the questions they have, also the amount of experience with firearms they may already have.  More important than how long is how well you are trained.  Be sure you get all your questions answered no matter who teaches your class!

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 What do you teach in this class?

Missouri Revised Statute 571 specifically mandates what must be taught.  Among other things that includes:  safety, how to load and unload both a semi-automatic and a revolver, marksmanship, care and cleaning and storage of the weapon, legal aspects including Missouri laws pertaining to weapons, and also justification for the use of deadly force.   This includes a practice of  20 rounds either a  revolver or a semi-automatic, and a qualification session with both guns of 20 rounds each, 15 of which must hit within the silhouette target.  You will fire a total of 40 rounds.  What is equally important is what we DO NOT teach.  This class will not cover tactics.  For that, you need additional training.  We recommend several sites for all your training needs under our “useful sites” page.

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 Do I have to buy a gun before class?

Short answer:  No, we provide .22's and ammo needed to complete the course and the ammo needed.  Longer answer:  your training may be more useful if you train with the gun you plan to carry.  NOTE: We do not do gunsmithing!  If you bring your favorite heirloom that you've never tested and your gun doesn't work when you get to class, we will do what we can to work with you but, we can’t fix your weapon.  

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 What gun should I buy?

Wow.  How much time do you have?  Type this question into the search engine of your browser and see how many tens of thousands of hits you get, mostly forums but also web pages and expert discussions on the topic.  We will cover this in class.  But in general:

  • The gun needs to fit your hand.  A good gun shop will help you check the fit.  I recommend Great Guns in Liberty or Snapshots in North Kansas City.
  • Smaller is not necessarily better.  Women are forever asking, “Why is this so heavy” and then they look for the smallest gun they can get.  You may be able to hide it easier, but if you have small hands and a small frame, you may find you can’t control the recoil on a smaller gun.  You may also find you can't rack the slide on a smaller semi-automatic.  It has to do with the tension of the recoil spring.  The smaller the distance that the slide has in which to stop, the heavier the spring has to be, and so the harder it is to work the slide on a semi-auto. Also those polymer frames  and short barrels don’t do much to absorb recoil so guess where all that force goes?  Into your tiny little hands.  OUCH! Smaller guns are also much harder to aim and get a precision hit with.  When it comes to stopping someone, the super popular small guns are just a  way to buy time while you get to your real gun.
  • Revolvers can have really heavy trigger weights, by that I mean it can take a lot of pounds of pressure to be able to pull a trigger on a revolver, and even on a semi-automatic, particularly if it is double action only (again we cover all this in class).  If you have problems with your hands, for example, if you are older and arthritis is setting in or you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a revolver may be a poor choice, or it may be your only choice.  Also, consider that while revolvers seldom jam, if they do, they are destined for a trip to a gunsmith in order to be fixed.  That’s not what you need in a defensive situation.  But don’t get me wrong, I have a Ruger revolver and it is often my ‘backup’ of choice.

All that said, the best gun for you is one that you will carry every day, and one you are willing to go to the range  at least once a month and practice with.  Whatever great features a gun has, it is of no use if you leave it at home or don't know how to use it under stress.  

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 Do I have to be a really good shot first?

No.  Lots of people who take CCW classes have never handled a weapon before.  The target for practice and qualification is very close and very big; you aren’t going to miss it. The class will cover basic marksmanship and if you have problems, we will work with you.  That said, few people come to class and leave experts (unless they came in that way). This class is about learning the law...not necessarily becoming an expert marksman.  We will be able to help you get better, but we cannot make you an expert.  That takes time, and lots and lots of practice.  Consider that even after years of training my husband and I still go the to range easily once or more a month.  We had gone weekly for probably 3 years until we discovered some poor habits creeping in as a result of regulated range rules.  PERFECT practice makes perfect.  We strongly urge you as a responsible citizen:  let CCW classes be your starting point, not the end of your journey.  Take tactical training, and involve yourself in some kind of refresher training every 6 months to a year. 

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 What is your refund policy?

I have to rent a classroom and range facility whether I have 1 or 20 students.  It is not cost effective to hold a  course unless I have enough students.    Owing to previous no-shows and last minute cancellations, I must request full payment up front.  Fees are refundable less a $25.00 deposit, if you can't attend after you've reserved your space. Fees are fully refundable if I am forced to cancel for any reason, or you can have space in another class, at your option.

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 Why are you so adamant that women need to carry?

I have never understood the concept of leaving my safety up to someone else.  Lately in this country we talk a good game of “personal responsibility” but we don’t really mean it.  If we did, EVERYONE would carry concealed, in order to ensure their own safety.     Why would you leave your safety in the hands of someone else?  Why should a police officer, who gets paid very little, be expected to risk his or her life for you if you are too lazy to defend it yourself?   How can someone else protect you day in and day out, and more importantly, why should they? 

Our society  also loves to talk about women and “equality” with men.  Being equal with men means shouldering equal responsibility.  Do you love your man?  Why aren’t you helping to protect him and your family?  If your husband is busy worrying about you, his attention is divided.   That puts him, and your children, at risk.   Together you are both safer if each of you carries, is well trained, and practice together so you know exactly what to do when threats occur.  Put the kids between you, and together fight your way out of whatever comes along.   Biblical standards teach us that women are supposed to be their husband's  “help-mate” and that means you help see to the safety of your family, by seeing to your safety first.

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 I've been thinking about a concealed carry permit but people look at me funny...

What's it to you if they look funny?  My Mother always said, "don't stare, they know where their problem is located."  Either because of wisdom or lack of energy, I am no longer interested in engaging in battle with everyone I meet.  However, I do try to stay current on issues and in particular, to arm myself with statistics (validated only please) that support my right to self-defense.  See the useful sites page.  There are some excellent sites listed there to help you discuss and provide rational answers to gun-phobics.  But please, do it respectfully.  It does not help our cause one bit for people to be obnoxious or belligerent.  Leave that to the other side so that you appear to be the more sane one in the room.  We claim we have the higher moral ground.  Well then, let's behave like it!

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 Do you teach Kasnas CCH as well?


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 Can my spouse and I take the class together?

I encourage that, in certain circumstances.  My husband and I get along famously and we train well together.  That isn’t the case for every couple.  Consider how well you could wall-paper together.  If that won’t work, CCW training probably won’t either. If one or the other partner is overly critical, it may be best to train separately.  I encourage families to train together, if the dynamics are right.  At the very least I encourage you to both use the same instructor so that you have a similar foundation.

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 What eye and ear protection do you recommend?

This is another topic people debate, in my mind, far beyond the need.  You need eye protection to protect your eyes from accidents. You want something made of polycarbonate (most eye glasses are) and which wraps up, over, and around your eyes.  I use  safety glasses I bought on the NRA web site.  It has 5 or 6 different interchangeable colored lenses for different types of lighting (indoor, outdoor, nighttime, overcast, etc.)  You can find those
safety glasses here.  These were under 30 bucks, but I've seen eye glasses in the hundreds of dollars range; you can even have your prescription built into a pair.   You can spend more, lots more,  but these will do the trick.   For a complete discourse on the various properties of eye-glasses, see this site by one of my favorite women authors on the ccw subject.

Hearing protection is an absolute must. You can find foam plugs also headphone style.  You need something with a noise reduction rating of at least 23 db for  protection, more is better. Anything less and you will have to augment them with foam plugs, especially if you are working at an indoor range.  I consider electronic hearing protection a MUST.  If you are hunting alone (why?) then maybe you don't need to hear the noises around you.  But if you are on a range it is imperative that you be able to hear and immediately respond to all safety instructions.  Good hearing protection does what?  Blocks out noise.  All noise.  Electronic hearing protection blocks out the loud "boom" but still allows normal voices to filter in.  While most electronic head-phone styles are okay for outdoor ranges, for indoor ranges you may want to use foam plugs plus the head-phones.  You can spend a lot on Peltor, ProEars, Howard Leight...but you know what?  i just bought these 
Caldwell ear protection headphones from Amazon for under 30 bucks and they work great.

If you are looking for an inexpesive combination for your "first time out", here's  a combination set from Cabela's however, note that these only have a noise rating reducion of 21 db.  For an indoor range,  I don't think that's enough.  But you can fix that with a cheap pair of foam inserts, and use the headphones over the top.  Do whatever you can to protect your eyes and ears!

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  What do I need to bring to class and range?


  • Valid state photo id showing current  residence
  • Handgun (if you are not using ours),  fully cased
  • NO AMMUNITION in the classroom
  • Note paper
  • Pen or pencil


  • Handgun (if you are not using ours),  fully cased
  • 40 rounds of ammo (MO) and 25 rounds (KS) if you bring your own handgun
  • base ball cap or hat with bill
  • safety glasses
  • ear protection
  • please wear sensible shoes, not flip-flops or sandals 

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 Shouldn't I be trained by a cop or ex-military person?

I want to be very careful here.  When I say, "Not necessarily" the next question is immediately, "Are cops or ex-military are poor choices?"  Again, the answer is "Not necessarily.   Many of them make fine instructors".  My first trainer was a former cop, and I will love and respect him until the day I die for the many things he taught me.  Likewise, many of the best tactical trainers I've had were ex-military.  There is no doubt they know their way around guns and for the most part the law.   But to say that simply because of that background, they make the best instructors, I would have to disagree.  First, you are not a cop, you are not going to be a cop.  So if your instructor's main training is from the police academy, what percentage of that information will be used by a civilian?   And military?  I've been through some of that kind of training.  Did I learn some good handling techniques?  Sure.  But did it prepare me for carrying concealed in Walmart?  No.  I've been in some classes taught by former police who will say straight up "forget anything you learned in the service...".  You don't need rivalry between instructors, you need someone who carries in the civilian world, day after day, and faces the issues you will face as you travel and carry concealed.  And so the question is, how do you know for certain if your chosen instructor, regardless of their current or former profession, is going to do a good job of communicating the things you need to know?  You have to look at their training to teach CCW apart from what they do "on the job", regardless of what that job is.  I spend nearly all my free time outside of work studying aspects of  CCW laws, national issues, and  I do that so that I personally will not make a mistake.   In turn,  I share that experience willingly with others.  I do not do so because I need to make a living, but because I want others, particularly women, to benefit from what I've learned.   (And to that end, I  often sponsor women at discounted rates so more women can be trained).   Now, when it comes to tactical training, I think it helps to have someone who has been in the trenches.  But CCW is not about tactical skills; it's about safety and the legal ramifications of carrying and when necessary, of shooting to defend yourself.   If you want to know how to carry concealed as a civilian in a civilian world...ask a woman civilian who does it successfully every day.  

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