Firearms training - Becoming an instructor

Firearms training - Becoming an instructor

This is a discussion on Firearms training - Becoming an instructor within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been thinking about becoming a firearms instructor over the last few months and have finally decided that I really do want to go ahead ...

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Thread: Firearms training - Becoming an instructor

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array gddyup's Avatar
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    Firearms training - Becoming an instructor

    I've been thinking about becoming a firearms instructor over the last few months and have finally decided that I really do want to go ahead with it. I'd like to start ground level doing a basic pistol course with a view ahead to becoming a LEO instructor at some point in the future.

    I plan to start out with the NRA training courses and progress through their curriculum. I'd like to become certified and then propose a training curriculum at my local shooting club who, at this time, does not offer any type of formal training program.

    I am a professional person who has the intellectual and personal abilities to become a great instructor. I am passionate about my shooting and take great pride and satisfaction from teaching others everything I have learned up to this point.

    My questions go out to others who have taken to the training programs via the NRA and anyone who has been or currently is in the LEO training field. If you would, please let me know the steps you took to get where you are and offer any advice or opinions pertaining to being an instructor. I'd really like to hear from you.
    "You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.

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  2. #2
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    I did ''all five'' with NRA about three or so years ago - Basic Pistol, Basic Shotgun, Basic Rifle, Personal Protection in the home and RSO.

    Good Councellor teaching and it was all spread over two full weekends and one half weekend. By time I factored in travel and Motel over-nighting (as it was too far away for easy drive home during full weekend) - I reckon it cost me about $600 or so.

    That is as far as I have gone but of course this makes for a good springboard for further levels of training. If I add my decades of shooting experience and some competition experience too - I can if need be, outside of these, help folks a bit further too.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

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  3. #3
    Member Array Sam Douthit's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Bowdon, GA
    I just have the pistol and it cost me around 300 dollars with the travel and weekend of hotel and meals and what the instructor charged. However the NRA course is not an LEO course. I believe you have to be a police officer to conduct such a course and have additional training. There is a law element to teaching LEOs sometimes actually done by a person with law training or a lawyer. It varies with the local departments. Look into this. Also do you like to teach and stand before groups and lecture. It helps if you are an outstanding shooter or a competitive shooter. Work at a range after getting qualified as a range officer and remember safety is a large part of the training.

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  5. #4
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    I believe you do not have to be an LEO to be a certified Police Firearms Instructor. While it definitely helps, I don't believe it is required.

    I am a certified advance trainer in defense and control tactics, ground fighting, handcuffing and handgun/long gun retention trainer with the National Law Enforcement Training Center and a member of American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers. I am not required to be an LEO to be a certified trainer by NLETC or a member of ASLET.

    The NLETC based in Kansas City has several levels of instructor certification. To be a national trainer, you have to an advanced level instructor in all programs they teach which numbers approx. 25 - 30 disciplines. Several of our National Trainers are not LEO's.

    While I haven't been active in the last 3 years, I was for over 6 years and am planning to get recertified when I have some spare time.

    For information on being a law enforcement firearms instructor contact the NRA or the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors at:
    Semper Fi

    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #5
    Member Array Lochinver's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Aurora, CO
    This is also something I have been interested in doing for the last few months. I'm going to be watching this thread with great interest.
    "I no longer list firearms I own as a signature. Why give them another list to use when they come to get them?"

  7. #6
    Member Array Linda's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    central Ohio
    I'm NRA certified in Basic Pistol, Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home, and soon to be RSO.

    Best advice for being an instructor (besides knowing the material you're instructing) is be fun, energetic and interesting to your students, or you will put them to sleep! I look at some of the instructors out there, including the ones I took my CCW class and instructors course from, and they are SO BORING!
    Member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors Buckeye Firearms Association Central OH Chair
    NRA Instructor/CCW Instructor/Realtor
    2009 NRA Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award Recipient

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Array sojourner's Avatar
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    Like P95Carry, I also did all 5. Make sure your instructor counselor (the person who teaches the instructors) is a good person. S/he will be the one you deal with for support after you become an instructor.

    Being able to teach and being the best/quickest/etc ... are not necessarily the same thing. So, do not think you have to be the best quickest shot to teach. Also, do not think because you are the quickest/best, that you can easily teach. I instruct for the NRA, the MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) and karate. All three I am teaching timid/nervous people how to use their gross and fine motor skills to do something that can quickly become dangerous if they forget what to do, if they do not properly do it (g/f motor skills). It is a totally different ballgame than actually doing it myself. Be prepared to always be "on" while in the classroom and especially the range. Learn to be diplomatic, yet assertive, and also calming at the same time. Never let your mind/thoughts wander while on the range.

    Get a legal disclaimer, hold harmless, contract for your students to sign before you teach them.

    Get insurance, hopefully you will not need it, but if you need it you really need it.

    Be ready to spend more $ on training aids, inert rounds, etc. ... Another benefit is you may have to buy more firearms to use as training aids (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

    Good luck.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    I currently instruct firearms and tactics for my agency. I have never attended an NRA program as I think they are limiting in regards to safety and the material they teach. For basic pistol the NRA course is great. If you want to step into the realm of cutting edge tactics and how to truly shoot and survive explore a different route. Gabe Suarez, love him or hate him, has been a great influence for me. Start there.

    If you have the passion you will excel. I also find it very important to maintain your skill set and to demonstrate your proficiency to your shooters/students. I always have gun/gear on when I teach to set the example. I hate when Instructors require body armor and full gear and then wear shorts and a polo shirt.

    I currently hold several LEO Instructor certs from various training agencies and I suggest you explore the web and this and many other forums on where to explore those training avenues. Get your instructor training from many...I have been through S&W Academy, SigArms, Team One, SureFire, Strategos, FLETC and others. The more exposure to any type of training the better. I think you need to have a solid resume. I always stand before my class and tell them my experience, not to boast, but to show that I have it and I would like to impart it to them.

    I have the ability to teach marksmanship but I don't per say. I have developed my Officers to shoot and operate in a real world. To me this is what firearms instruction is about. Teaching someone to shoot holes in a paper target on a square range is necessary but just plain rote. The square range is a helpful place but instills BAD habits.

    I just taught an Active Shooter Response Course last week and I have so much faith in my shooters that I go downrange to instruct while weapons are out. They are proficient in SUL (thanks Gabe) and muzzle awareness so there is no lasering. It's a beautiful thing to train an Officer up to a well tuned operator.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  10. #9
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    Array Scott's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the NRA Training & Education Department

    Here is a link to the how to become an instructor page.

    You will need to locate a Training Counselor (TC) who is training instructors in the disciplines you desire. If you pass the course you will be recommended for instructor credentials and then off you go. The NRA offers instructor insurance but only for their courses. If you are doing your own thing you will need to get insurance for that purpose. In addition to being able to train others being an NRA instructor will allow you to get discounts on training gear and support tools. So being an NRA instructor has benefits to you as well. Click on the special offers link on the page.

    As for certifying with other training schools and such, that is up to you. It comes down to how much money you wish to invest and what your expected return is, if any. Best of luck.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

  11. #10
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    While the NRA is a good place to start, if you want to get into LEO training NRA will mean nothing. I dont know what the NH governing body over LEO training is, but thats where you need to go. It is a fairly tough field to get into, as there are many interested.
    I am assuming that you are a firefighter, I would build on that to get you "in". Maybe to some combat medic stuff to build your creds.
    Another avenue is your community college if they offer police training of any sort. Again, I think you will better served to go the fire/medic route first, then slide into the LEO side of things.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  12. #11
    Lead Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    I believe you do not have to be an LEO to be a certified Police Firearms Instructor. While it definitely helps, I don't believe it is required.
    I think that it depends mostly on state statutes. Where I am at, to be an LEO Firearms Instructor, you must be employed by an agency FULL TIME.
    I am an NRA Instructor in several disciplines as well as an RSO but because I am only considered as "Part Time" with the Sheriffs Office I cant legally be a "certified Police"Instructor as it is specifically addressed in state law.
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  13. #12
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    Array 64zebra's Avatar
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    I too have been cosidering getting a lot more training and possibly becoming an instructor.
    I assume each state has its own laws governing what training and certifications officers as well as instructors must have and maintain.
    I know Texas does.
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