Fact Check: Online Certificate Does NOT Qualify Veterans For Permit To Carry Concealed Firearm In All States

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Online Certificate Does NOT Qualify Veterans For Permit To Carry Concealed Firearm In All States Misleading Ad

Can veterans now qualify to download a certificate that authorizes them to carry a concealed weapon, as promoted in a post on social media? No, that's not true: The misleading advertisement leads users to a site with a disclaimer that states that the certificate "is not a license or permit to carry a handgun." The certificate is just for completing an online firearms safety course. The disclaimer advises users to apply to the proper state authorities for a concealed carry permit. Users finally reach this disclaimer via a click funnel, a digital marketing technique that can be used to harvest user information.

The promotion appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook by Inner Glow Insights on February 27, 2024. It was captioned:

My son just told me about this new program and I was able to download mine in minutes! Click now to get yours.⬇️

The text in the promotion read:



Vets Get Yours Before It's Too Late
Simple Advice For Americans

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 7 16:14:26 2024 UTC)

Certificate with questionable value

The certificate offered in this promotion is not a concealed carry permit. It is a certificate for completing an online firearms safety course from Countrywide Concealed, which lists its address in Las Vegas.

A long series of clicks from the promotion on Facebook leads the user to the website of Countrywide Concealed. That website features a disclaimer in which Countrywide Concealed explicitly states that the certificate is not a concealed carry permit.

Countrywide Concealed describes itself in the disclaimer as "a training resource for consumers who want to educate themselves in firearm safety." The text, with highlights added by Lead Stories, can be seen below. (The disclaimer text, which appears after a survey, reflects the user's state of residence.):

Countrywide Concealed is not a government agency nor are we affiliated with any government agency or entity. Countrywide Concealed is a training resource for consumers who want to educate themselves in firearm safety. We are not affiliated or associated in any way with the State of Indiana nor do we guarantee or infer in any way that you will qualify for a concealed carry permit. The certification you receive from Countrywide Concealed is not a license or permit to carry a handgun. To secure a permit it is your sole responsibility to apply to the State of Indiana and submit all paperwork required along with any fees. It is your responsibility to research and understand your local laws as it relates to handgun ownership and concealed carry.


Lead Stories has published fact checks in the past about misleading concealed carry promotions (here and here). In both those instances, the company in question was US Concealed Online with an address at 848 North Rainbow Blvd #508, Las Vegas, Nevada. The links to usconcealedonline.com (archived here) are no longer functional and now redirect to countrywideconcealed.com, which is the focus of this fact check.

The site also lists Countrywide Concealed's address at 848 Rainbow Blvd #508, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nevada's online business registry contains no information about a Countrywide Concealed.

Nevada Business Portal -- Countrywide Concealed.png

(Source: https://esos.nv.gov/ screenshot taken on Fri Mar 8 at 23:50:00 2024 UTC)

There is also no Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing for Countrywide Concealed. A registered company listed at the same address is Concealed Coalition, Inc. Its rating on the BBB website is F.

Complex and widely variable state laws

As Countrywide Concealed's disclaimer states, it has no connection with a state government, and the burden falls on users to know local laws for concealed carry permits.

Laws regarding carrying a concealed handgun vary across the country, and are changing by the day -- one reason why the misleading promotion could attract attention. There currently are 29 states with laws that authorize individuals to carry weapons without a permit.

Even in these states, however, there are many variations according to age, type of gun, whether it is carried openly or concealed, and if the law applies to non-residents. States can also vary widely about whether they will honor concealed carry permits from other states, as this World Population Review graphic shows.

In states that do require a permit or license, the requirements also vary. In some cases, there are exceptions extended to veterans and active-duty service members.

For example, in Florida, the concealed weapon license requires a firearms safety course, but this requirement is waived for those who would have received that training in their military service and have military discharge papers.

In 2022, Louisiana passed Senate Bill No. 143 (.PDF here), which allowed residents who were active-duty military or veterans to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, though other residents must still get a permit. In Illinois, a training course (part 7, second and third questions) with time on a firing range from a certified instructor is required in order to get a concealed carry license, but veterans and active-duty military are granted eight hours of credit toward the requirement.

The click funnel

The creators of the certificate promotion on Facebook use a click funnel to direct users to what may seem an easy way to get around these legal complexities -- a downloadable certificate.

According to the email marketing service MailChimp.com, a click funnel is a series of pages leading to a conversion event, where customers are guided to buying products or services. In the case of the claim about an online concealed carry certificate, the funnel goes from a Facebook promotion to an affiliate landing page and then finally to the countrywideconcealed.com website.

The Facebook page Inner Glow Insights, which posted the certificate ad, has a computer-generated face for a profile icon. It uses the tag line, "Unleash your inner glow. Find inspiration, insights, and positivity here." The promotion links to the website innerglowinsights.com, which is billed as a career and personal finance blog and does not seem to have any content related to firearms.


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Mar 08 21:14:29 2024 UTC)

From the Facebook promotion, the viewer is linked directly to the landing page targeting veterans with a concealed carry certificate promotion (archived here and pictured below). At this point, there has been no information about the origin or destination of this promotion.

This landing page employs the marketing tactic of urgency and has deceptive wording. The first sentence misrepresents the certificate as the actual concealed carry permit. To take a firearms safety course, there is no reason a person should expect "strenuous checks" or a "lengthy application process," as the text claims is the case for a gun permit.

By suggesting that this initiative allows veterans to avoid that hassle, the landing page implies this certificate is the actual concealed carry permit (this type of confusion was a common complaint raised in BBB comments).

The claim that "the program" is about to end adds urgency to the misrepresentations about the document. The page reads:

This new initiative allows veterans who have received their DD214 to download their concealed carry certificate online in minutes bypass all the strenuous checks and lengthy application processes.
Act now, before the program ends on the 31st and join thousands of veterans who have got their certificates online.
Click Below Now To Download. ⬇️


(Source: Innerglowinsights.com screenshot taken on Thu Mar 07 22:01:28 2024 UTC)

After a user clicks on the image to download a "certificate," a page asks the veteran to indicate which branch of the military they served in. This leads to other questions, such as the length of service and the year of enlistment.

After this short survey, a 60-second countdown clock appears. Text says:

Claim Your Certificate For Your National Service Now With This Initiative.

But there is no urgency. The website allows a person to proceed at any pace -- even after the timer expires. If they click "Download Now," the user is transferred to countrywideconcealed.com. This page will populate with some state-specific wording (pictured below for Indiana).


(Source: countrywideconcealed.com screenshot taken on Thu Mar 07 23:10:55 2024 UTC)

This page starts a brief survey with "yes" and "no" answers. It then collects the user's address, email and phone number for "FREE access to the Certification Video!" The page features a lengthy disclaimer, already excerpted above.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about concealed carry permits can be read here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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