The Sheepdog Concept - Why Get a Concealed Weapons Permit

  • By Ryan Thomas
  • 16 May, 2016
By Lt. Col Dave Grossman

Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.” Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

This is the reason I got my concealed weapons permit , I want to protect the sheep from the wolves. 

Stay Safe & Help Others!


Florida Concealed Weapons Permit

By Ryan Thomas 03 Oct, 2017

Trisha attended our Concealed Carry permit course in July and I can't tell you how nervous she was. Trisha wanted a carry permit due to threats she has been receiving from an ex-boyfriend. "I've never handled a gun before and really didn't want to come, but my friend is forcing me," she said to me before the class started. By the end of the class, I could tell her anxiety was gone. 

Check us this great review Trisha left us on Google!

"Let me start off by saying I am petrified to even hold a gun. Recently I had a crazy ex which made me scared to death. My friend gave me moral support to go to this class. I never in a million years thought I would do something like this. Ryan was the NRA instructor who made me feel comfortable. He was funny and made the class enjoyable very informative. Ryan made it interesting by sharing his personal experiences and his "what if" situations. The videos Ryan shared helped put some of the info into perspective. At the end of the class, he took the time and give me personal attention on how to hold a gun. I can't wait to attend a private lesson with him I highly recommend this class." Trisha

On Monday Trisha and I met at a local gun range for a little private instruction . As you can imagine she was nervous. When I asked her to pick up the gun she started shaking a little. I was very surprised at what came next. Trisha was extremely accurate in her shooting. It blew my mind, and even though she didn't stop shaking. She was consistently shooting 2" groups at 10 yards with a Walther P22. I think Trisha may have been lying to me about her previous experience shooting. She claims that she has never shot a gun before. I think she is an undercover CIA agent pretending to be a new be. I guess I will never know.

Here is a video of Trisha loading, shooting and clearing a Walther P22 like a pro.

By Ryan Thomas 22 Sep, 2017

Do I need a Concealed Carry Permit to buy a firearm?

The simple answer is no you do not. To buy a firearm in the State of Florida all you need is a valid government issued ID ( Driver's License, Identification Card) or a combination of ID to prove:

  • Your current residence address
  • Your Full Name
  • Your Date of Birth

You only need a concealed carry permit if you're planning on concealing your firearm on or about your person. Which means in your waistband, purse or backpack. If you do not have a concealed weapons permit you will have a three-day wait. The only difference with a concealed carry permit you will not have to wait the three full business days for your firearm, you will be able to take it with you right after you purchase it. You can read more about the Florida three-day waiting rule by reading our Why is there a Three Day wait to buy a firearm article. For a detailed explanation of the process to buy a firearm along with ID requirements check out his post How to buy a firearm in Florida.

If you would like to get your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit, click here to see our online concealed carry class schedule.

Keep Packin' 


By Ryan Thomas 19 Sep, 2017

Step One:

Take our Florida concealed carry class! it's only $49 and we teach classes weekly in Tampa, Largo,  and Brandon. The State of Florida requires you to take a class by an NRA Instructor before you can apply for your permit (that's the part we do).

Here are the two options to submit your application.

Regional Office- Scheduling an Appointment

I believe this is the easiest way to submit your application, however, it does cost a little more money. I would also like to note that they're very efficient and you will be in and out in 15 minutes...they should get the Driver's Licensing place right?

The first step is to schedule your appointment by going to CWP Appointment . The wait times for your appointment will be one to two weeks, however, some of the offices will allow walk-ins.

At your Appointment:

First, you will complete your application on a computer from the 1980’s. It's a pretty basic application, however, there are some key points I want you to be aware of.

Your social security number is optional in this document. My word of advice is to list your social security number. It makes the background check a lot smoother. You will also be asked to answer some questions which can be confusing for some people. If you get stuck,  just ask for clarification from one of the representatives.

Second, you will be electronically fingerprinted. So if you have outstanding warrants for kidnapping a goat or anything similar. I would clear that up before proceeding.

Third, It's picture time. Make sure you look nice for this part. I was wearing and brushed off my haircut for the last three months and didn’t think for a minute they would ask me to remove it. Well...I was wrong and I look like a drug addict in my picture.

Fourth, Pay your filing fee. If you're submitting your application for your concealed weapons permit at a Department of Agriculture office the processing fee will be $102. If you're at a Regional Office, like the Tax Collector or Clerk of the Court, the fee will be $124. I'm not sure why but this is the Government we're talking about. Remember most offices will accept all payment forms except cash.

Fifth, You will need a couple of additional documents. A valid driver's license or ID card, a copy of your concealed carry class certificate you received at the end of your class. If you are Active Duty Military or veteran you will want to bring your DD form 214 or CAC card. This will expedite your application.  

Waiting Sucks

It never fails. When I’m super excited about something it takes forever. One cool thing is that the application office will provide you with an Application Control Number which you can use to check the status of your Florida concealed carry permit application online. Use the link below Check Permit Status.

Snail Mail

I find this process to a pain, but it is the best option if driving to a regional office isn't an option.

First, you must complete the concealed weapons application and have it certified by a notary. Your local bank or Post Office can help you with this.

Second, it's time to get fingerprinted by a law enforcement officer. Your local Police or Sheriff office can take care of this for you for a small fee. Usually around $20.

Third, You will need a passport style photo taken of yourself.  Any photography studio or Walgreens can do this for you for around $12-$17.

Fourth, You will need a couple of additional documents. A copy of your driver's license or ID card, a copy of your concealed carry class certificate. If you are Active Duty Military or veteran you will need a copy of your DD form 214 or CAC card. This will expedite your application.  

Finally, you need to submit the above documents to the Department of Agriculture. Along with a check or money order in the amount of $60, this is your filing fee. You will also need to include a copy of your concealed carry class certificate . It's never smart to send the original.

The snail mail option is great if you live out of state or out of reasonable driving distance from a regional office. This process requires a lot of running around,  but it's important to choose the best option for you.

I hope this helps clarify the process of submitting your application through the State. If you have additional questions please feel free to comment below or contact Tampa Carry by email at or you can call or text at 813-545-1798. If you are interested in getting your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit , please click here to see our online concealed carry class schedule.

Stay Safe Friends!

Ryan Thomas

P.S. Sorry for any grammatical errors, I am an instructor, not an editor :)

By Ryan Thomas 18 Sep, 2017

Today I headed out to the range with Jason. Jason attended one of our Concealed Weapons Permit Courses  in Tampa. He has been shooting a few times and is extremely competent in firearm safety. What he needed help with was improving his accuracy.

Jason brought a Walther PPS 9mm and a Smith & Wesson BodyGuard .380 ACP. I gave Jason a few basic tips and asked him to fire two mags down range so I could watch him.

Mistake #1 - Jerking the Trigger

What I noticed is that Jason has a tendency to jerk the trigger, this causes the round to impact randomly on the target. This is pretty common with newer shooters. Remember we want to pull the trigger slowly and smoothly to the rear until the trigger breaks. I also recommended that Jason practice taking up the slack in his trigger then aligning his sights and finally pulling slightly until the round discharges. Taking up the slack refers to pulling the trigger until you can feel resistance, this is usually half way. By doing this you're reducing the distance that you must pull the trigger for each shot, therefore reducing the possibility of pulling the sights off target.

Mistake #2 - Lowering the Gun Between Shots

After every shot Jason likes to lower the firearm, losing sight picture, to see where his round impacted. This is never something we want to do. When I'm shooting my goal is to pull the trigger, allow the recoil to push the firearm up and then fall right back on target. This allows me to make very quick follow-up shots and maintain a high level of accuracy.  

Mistake #3 - Closing One Eye

I didn't realize Jason was doing this until I reviewed the footage from our time together. Its natural for people to try to close one eye when shooting. However, by doing this, you're losing 50% of your vision and I a self-defense situation I need every advantage I can get. I know it can be a little hard to get used to but you need to push through to develop your eye's ability to focus.

By Ryan Thomas 05 Sep, 2017

Hearing a story of violence or an innocent person being victimized seems to be commonplace these days, but rarely do these stories occur so close to home.

Recently I had a student who wanted to get her FL Concealed Weapons Permit , I asked her why she wanted to carry concealed. The story that followed left everyone in the room with an eerie feeling. Here is the story  

A few years ago I was in my home excited for a relaxing evening at home when I hear a knock on the door. I opened the door to find a young well-dressed man, who was looking for someone. I recognized the name as a friend of my mothers. I informed the man that I hadn't seen her today and I closed the door. To my surprise, I heard another knock a few minutes later so I approached the door and asked: "Who is it". It was the same man asking if my mother's friend was back yet. I opened the door to tell this man that no she is not here and leave me alone. When I opened the door six men forced their way into my home. I've never been so scared in my life. One of the men was pointing a gun at me and telling me to get on the floor. I ran to a dresser drawer and grabbed my boyfriend's, who is a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy, firearm. When I pulled the pistol from the drawer the six men were running out of my home as fast as they entered. I was very scared but happy that I had a firearm to protect me.

Stories of home invasions are far too common in Tampa Bay.  I'm very happy that this woman is ok and that she had a firearm easily accessible during this incident. But I think the situation could have been avoided altogether. Part of the home invasion strategy is to trick the homeowner into opening the front door and they've come up with some pretty creating stories to get you to do this. Some of the most creative are "Have you seen my dog?" "I have a UPS delivery" and of course "Have you seen this person?". I ask my wife to never open the door unless we know the person on the other side. Keep the door shut and talk thru the window. I believe this does two things to the mind of a potential bad guy. First, it tells them your home. The last thing I want is for some scum bag to think my home is empty and attempt a burglary while my wife and kids are inside. Second, I believe that by not opening the door you present yourself as a hardened target. Hopefully, the bad guy will see you as more work and risk than its worth and move on.

Having a firearm for home defense is important for the safety and protection of your home, but a firm believer that most dangerous situations can be avoided if we are aware of our surroundings and vigilant. You need to know that bad people exist, they are around us every day looking for easy victims. Make yourself look like a difficult target. Keep your head on a swivel and remember peoples intentions are not always what they seem.  

If you have a similar story, please share it with me in the comments below. I would love to write an article about your story of survival.

Ryan Thomas

Tampa Carry | Concealed Carry Permit

By Ryan Thomas 09 Jun, 2017

I frequently get asked about the process of selling a firearm through a private sale. Here are some important rules and tips to keep you legal and safe. You do not need a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit to purchase a firearm in the State of Florida.

Florida Law

The State of Florida requires that if you're going to transfer ownership of a firearm through a private sale you follow the following rules.

Rule #1 - Identification Requirements

The buyer and the seller must possess a valid government issued ID from the State of Florida.

Rule #2 - Minimum Age Requirements

The buyer must meet the minimum age requirement for the firearm type being transferred.

Pistol / Revolver - 21

Shotgun (No Shoulder Stock) - 21  

Shotgun (w/ Shoulder Stock) - 18

Rifle - 18

Rules #3 - Is the buyer a prohibited person?

To the best of the seller's knowledge, the buyer is not prohibited from possessing a firearm. To learn more about prohibited persons, click here.

That's it as long as you follow the legal requirements listed above your well within your rights to sell your firearm. However privately selling a firearm can be dangerous, so here are some helpful tips to keep you safe.

Tip #1 - Make the trade in a public place.

The first firearm I purchased was through a private sale. I met the seller online and after some negotiating we decided to meet. As you can imagine I was a little nervous. I mean this guy knows that I have $600 cash and I'm not even sure he has the gun. I was supposed to meet the seller in a Starbucks parking lot. I figured it was a public place and it should be ok. When I arrived I couldn’t find the seller. “I'm in the alley behind the Starbucks” the seller said via text message. I proceeded to the alley where the seller opened a bag to show me the shotgun. I gave him the cash and got out of their as fast as I could. It was like a scene out of a movie. I have never made a purchase like that again. I choose the location like a gun show, gun store or very public parking lot.

Tip #2 - Use a Bill of Sale Document

If the firearm you're selling is ever stolen or used in a crime, a firearms trace will link the weapon back to you. A bill of sale will help you prove who you sold the firearm too. Here is the bill of sale that I use, you can download it here.

Tip #3 - Verify the Firearm isn't Stolen

The State of Florida has a website that allows you to see if a firearm has been reported stolen or not. FDLE Stolen Gun Search. Simply type in the serial number of the firearm and if the search results say “No Records Found” your good to proceed with the sale. However, if the search results list a detective name and phone number you should walk away from the transaction as safely as possible.

Tip #4 - Take a Friend with You

Private sales can be very dangerous. Take a friend for backup.

Tip #4 - Be ready to walk away

If the situation doesn’t look or feel right, be ready to walk away. Many years ago I was meeting a buyer in a very public parking lot. When the buyer arrived and stepped out of his vehicle. I quickly realized that this is not a person I wanted to sell a firearm to. It was the face tattoo that tipped me off.

Tip #5 - Must have a Concealed Carry Permit

One of the tricks I like to use is to only buy or sell a firearm to individuals who have a valid Florida concealed carry permit . If the buyer or seller has a CWP I know they have passed an FBI background check and they are not a prohibited person. This will reduce the pool of potential buyers or sellers but it will make for a much safer transaction. Personally, if the buyer doesn’t have a concealed carry permit , I walk away.


  1. Don’tsend someone money without seeing the firearm in person.

  2. Don'tallow people to know where you live or work.

  3. Don'tget suckered by a deal too good to be true

    1. There are lots of scam artists posting amazing firearm deals online. They tell you to act quickly before it's too late. Don't buy into this. Firearms have very little margin, so if you find a huge price difference between top sellers there's a reason.

I hope this article has been helpful. Tell me what you think of this article by giving me a thumbs up and share with you friends.

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me by phone, text or email. If you're looking to get your Florida Concealed Weapons permit, take a look at our class schedule here.


Tampa Carry | Concealed Carry Permit


By Tiffany Thomas 04 Jun, 2017
If you are looking for Concealed Carry Classes near me ....You found it! Tampa Carry the best concealed carry class in Tampa. With over 2500 students safely armed and over 1000 classes taught we have the experience and know how to make sure you know all the rules and regulations concerning concealed Carry in the State of Florida. 

The number one reason that people get their concealed weapons permit suspended or revoked is by carrying a firearm in a building or on a property that is forbidden. Tampa Carry will cover this is detail during our two and a half hour concealed weapons class so you do not ever have to wonder where you are allowed to carry your firearm concealed legally. 

Florida recognizes " Stand Your Ground ". It is very important for you to fully understand exactly what that means so you can make a safe and legal decision quickly should you ever find yourself in that situation.  Your Instructor will go over the Florida Stand Your Ground information in detail so you can be better informed and avoid costly mistakes. 
By Ryan Thomas 03 May, 2017

Last year,  I met a man who had recently purchased a firearm by private sale. He felt that the transaction was a little strange and wondered if the firearm was stolen or not. I ran the serial number on the Florida Department of Law Enforcements stolen firearm database. To our surprise, the name and phone number for a detective in Miami showed up. We called the detective who told us that the firearm was stolen during a burglary two years prior. Needless to say, my customer was not happy with the fact that he had purchased a stolen firearm.

Here is the best way to make sure this never happens to you.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was a website that allows you to see if a firearm has been reported stolen or not.  The site is called FDLE | Stolen Gun Search . Simply enter the serial number for the firearm in question and click submit. If the search results say No Records Found, then this firearm isn’t stolen. However, if the search results list a detective name and contact info, I would walk away from the transaction.

I hope this article has been helpful. Tell me what you think of this article by giving me a thumbs up and share with you friends.

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me by phone, text or email. If you're looking to get your Florida Concealed Weapons permit, take a look at our class schedule here.

Stay Safe, and Help Others,


Tampa Carry | Concealed Carry Permit


By Ryan Thomas 06 Dec, 2016

Do you have a Florida CWP permit but need to update your address? The process is actually really simple and luckily Tampa Carry gathered all the links and information for you!

Florida Concealed Carry Permit Change of Address:

Prior to 2010, the State of Florida required your home address to be listed right on your Concealed Weapons Permit this is no longer the case.

You're required to notify the Division of Licensing online within 30 days of your change of address, the State will not issue you a revised permit for this. They simply need to keep up with your records. The process is fairly simple. Start by entering your Name, Concealed Weapons Permit number and date of birth. Your social security number is optional. Next your going to update your contact information. 

By Ryan Thomas 15 Sep, 2016

Your F lorida concealed carry permit is valid for 7 years. If you move out of State during this period I strongly recommend you keep your concealed weapon permit valid. You will need to change your permit from a resident status to a non-resident status, but it is always worth having a Florida CWP because it is reciprocal with so many other States.

If you decide to renew your permit the process is very simple. The Department of Agriculture is supposed to send you a renewal form with instructions by mail . Don’t count on this happening,  it's your responsibility to renew your permit before it expires. You can renew your permit in person at one of the regional offices or by mail .

Here is a link to Renew your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit

If your permit expires you will have up to 6 months to renew before you have to start the process over again. By that I mean,  take another concealed carry class . If this is you, take a look at out Concealed Weapons Permit class schedule here.

Hope this helps!

Keep Packin'



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