All Classes are NOT the Same – Buyer BEWARE!

Once again, it happened.

I was enjoying a dinner party where two gentlemen sitting at the same table began a lively conversation about the concealed carry class they had taken recently.

The ‘instructor’ was touted as “experienced” and “knowledgeable,” by them – of course their only frame of reference was what they were told by that ‘instructor.’

The class they took was quick, simple, and seemed like a reasonable deal to them as they got what they wanted – a certificate that they could send to the state of AZ with their application to get their CWP (concealed weapons permit) and then their Utah permit as well.

I asked them if they could explain to me when they are legally able to “defensively display” their firearm without “brandishing” it – the empty stares began.

Likewise, I asked them:

If the AZ gun laws were “provided to them” as required by state law,

If they knew if and or when they were allowed to use their gun if in public,

If they knew what would happen with adrenalin in their bodies if and when they were ever in a gunfight

If they knew what would happen to their minds and memories if and when they were ever in a gunfight,

If the ‘instructor’ offered any advice on how to learn and or prepare for such things or offered any additional resources (library, links, further reading, etc) on the topic of mindset,

If they could explain to me why they would have to be able to prove that they were, in fact, the “innocent party” after an altercation involving self-defense,

If they understood that Utah REQUIRES that their class be taught in an 8-hr format and will NOT be “piggybacked” onto other state classes and that ANY “instructor” doing otherwise is in obvious violation(s) of Utah state law, and that the Utah permit only adds 2 states to the list of states they may carry after AZ,

Etc., etc., etc.

I didn’t mean to be a downer, but it was quickly clear to all that they were, as many people are, poorly prepared and had taken what I refer to as a “coffee and donuts” class – hardly the kind of info they might need to know if their legal lives were on the line after a life-threatening incident.

Heck, they didn’t even know which states they could and could NOT carry their guns in and were taught exactly WRONGLY in California!

The worst part of this is NOT that they spent good money and got little info, but that they were packing heat and thought they were prepared with all of the info they needed and then realized they were not.

I explained to them that it was not their fault – when the state of AZ decided to reduce the requirements for the CWP permitting process a few years ago, they also tossed the MINIMUM contents of curriculum standard as well.

As it stands today, the AZ law reads that “any NRA instructor” teaching “any class” qualifies as good enough.

That means, BUYER BEWARE!!!  All classes are unique and few are of a substantive quality.  (Until our legislature deals with it again, anyway.)

Please, before you book a class on concealed carry, understand that it is very difficult to get these topics all in and learn to safely operate (only the basics) a firearm in only 8 hours.  Anything less is not cutting it.

Our advice is to ask what curriculum is used, how long and on what topics are covered, exactly what experience the instructional staff has, if they keep their clients in the loop on legal changes later on, what types of training methods they use, if it is a ‘watch this DVD and I will be back when it is over’ or a discussion on many topics, where they learned to instruct, etc.

Ask if they are licensed, certified, insured and have business licenses as well.  Then ask for references who have taken multiple classes.

A CWP is more than a wallet card – it is a state certification that you really know what you are dealing with in a gunfighting situation.  Please take it more seriously than a coffee and donuts morning confab.

We do.

Jim Liesen, Apex Arms.  Don’t just own it, know how to use it!

NRA Range Safety Officer, Instructor for Pistol and Personal Protection

Front Sight Firearms institute Instructional Staffer since 2011

Arizona, Nevada, Utah states certified for CCW, Armed Security, LEOSA (law enforcement national carry),

USCCA Instructor and USPSA Competitor

“Apex Arms and all of our affiliated staff are dedicated to the highest safety standards and go to great lengths to make our classroom and ranges as safe as possible.”

Stay safe and we will see you on the range.  Real Classroom + Real Curriculum + Real Rangetime = Real Confidence.