National Concealed offers to walk you thru the process of getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon and give you the required training for free. At first glance their website looks unpromising, with big graphics and big red buttons. On February 21, 2017, with Scam-O-Meters in hand, Let’s take a closer look at this enterprise.
Ridiculous claims: +1. I see nothing wild or crazy here.
- “By taking our online course and passing the test, you will have fulfilled the training requirement to obtain your Virginia Concealed Carry Permit. We will guide you through all of the steps necessary to complete the course, submit your application and obtain your permit.” They make it clear that your training certificate is not a concealed carry permit.
- “… even if you live in a different state, you can still use your Virginia permit to carry a concealed weapon as long as your state recognizes this permit.” They make it clear that the State of Virginia issues the permit, and that it’s not valid in every state.
Post Office box: -1. The school’s “campus” is a UPS store at 556 S. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Onerous terms: +1. Tho rather formal, their Terms and Conditions are mild compared to many I’ve reviewed. These terms are worth pointing out:
- You can’t sue them, or join class action that’s suing them
- They don’t guarantee that their product is suitable for any use.
Ads, spam, robocalls: -1
- They’ll use the personal information you give them and all that they can suck out of your browser to beam ads at you and spam you.
- You can opt out of this.
- If they sell their company, your personal data will be part of the deal.
Lying and deception: 0. This is a pretty straight site; but it could be straighter.
- They delay telling you that they charge for the certificate that you passed the free class. The Virginia State Police requires the certificate to issue a permit; so in effect the class is not free.
- They only tell you that you have to pay additional money to the State of Virginia for your permit in the Terms and Conditions.
Obfuscation: +1. None found.
Phony reviews: 0. The web site includes a review by Andro May. A large photo shows him holding up a concealed carry permit; so it’s not clip-art. But his name links to the qualification questionnaire, not to information about him. I couldn’t find any external reviews.
Crummy product: 0. I couldn’t find any ratings for this type of training. OTOH I couldn’t find any complaints in the BBB, RipoffReport or PissedConsumer either.
Overpriced: +1. This training is hard to shop for; but I see that the NRA offers its basic online pistol course for $60, about the same price.
Unauthorized charges: +1. I found no reports of this.
Total Scam-O-Meter score; +3
My only big objection to National Conceal is the spamming. This outfit looks fairly okay. It is disturbing, tho, to realize that I could get a concealed carry permit without speaking personally to someone who would notice how poor my vision is.