Gun class not required by my state - What'd I miss?


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ShooterMcGavin
May 14, 2007, 12:19 AM
For those (unlike me) who were required to take a firearms safety class to obtain their concealed weapons license....

How advanced or "tactical" was the class? Or, was it just the basics on safety and how to handle a gun? Is the class something you could brag about taking, because it was either very informative or intense?

I plan on taking an advanced handgun class in the future. Until then, I do run drills with my friend when we go shooting in the woods (moving and firing, reloading, obstacles, multiple targets, etc.).

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Aguila Blanca
May 14, 2007, 12:22 AM
Required CCW firearms safety classes are firearms safety classes. With VERY few exceptions, they are not "tactical." In fact, they aren't even intended to teach you how to shoot. They are intended to teach you when to shoot, when NOT to shoot, and how to NOT shoot yourself or your neighbor when cleaning your gun.

Tactical has nothing to do with required firearms safety classes.

HuntAndFish
May 14, 2007, 12:37 AM
CCW class in Missouri covers very basic pistol safety and shooting. It covers the self-defense laws in Missouri in depth however, and that is its main purpose.

rkh
May 14, 2007, 01:14 AM
I was required to take the NRA basic pistol class.

It covered the four rules, squib load/hangfire identification and avoidance, operation and maintenance of double action autoloaders and revolvers, use of pistol sights, an introduction to various calibers, proper grip and firing technique, and a few other basic things that I can't remember right off the top of my head.

It was pretty straightforward, but since I was new to handguns I don't feel that it was wasted time.

pacodelahoya
May 14, 2007, 08:03 AM
Pa does not require any type of classes either. I took the NRA Basic Pistol Course with the wife since she was new to firearms. The course itself was very good with lots of live fire. The last day, A sheriffs deputy came in to talk to us about the legal aspects of ccw. He gave out all kinds of good info like it is illegal to carry in bars and banks in PA.:rolleyes: Man oh man, do them types catch an attitude when corrected!

One more thing, I was the only male in the class and the vast majority were little old ladies. What does that signify?

CajunBass
May 14, 2007, 08:18 AM
Here in Virginia, you're not required to take anything specific. You are required to show some type of firearms training. Prior military service, police service, armed security guard training, hunter safety course, etc..

The "course" that most people that don't have any of that generally take is just a basic NRA safety course. It covers basic identification, loading and unloading, etc. The instructor goes over very basic self-defense law with the "I AM NOT A LAWYER" disclaimer.

RPCVYemen
May 14, 2007, 08:45 AM
How advanced or "tactical" was the class? Or, was it just the basics on safety and how to handle a gun? Is the class something you could brag about taking, because it was either very informative or intense?

Friends at work who CCW were mostly surprised by some of the "no shoot" cases - basically someone has to have the motive, means, opportunity, to kill or inflict serious bodily harm, and issue a threat, or you can't shoot. If sounded like much of the training was presenting scenarios with one of those elements missing.

I think the same material is covered in Mas Ayoob's "In Gravest Extreme."

You might want to arrange to get very clear about those issues - better now than as a defendant!

Mike

feedthehogs
May 14, 2007, 08:47 AM
I do run drills with my friend when we go shooting in the woods

Unless one of those friends has had training themselves, its a good way to pickup bad habits that will be hard to get rid of later.

I can't tell you how many people who have been "shooting handguns for years", even been in the military have horrible habits for just basic shooting technique when giving them a class for their CCW.

JohnBT
May 14, 2007, 08:57 AM
The best part of the class I took many years ago from an NRA-certified instructor was the presentation on VA gun laws by a lawyer. He was a former marine and practicing attorney.

Second best was watching some of the other class members shoot after I ripped off my 100 rounds of .45 and only had one hit outside the center of the target (~2 inches, low left.) Okay, I shouldn't have rushed, but I had enough loaded mags and I was having fun. I think a couple of folks near me stopped shooting and waited until I finished so they could concentrate. :)

John

Deanimator
May 14, 2007, 09:14 AM
Ohio requires the equivalent of the NRA Basic Pistol course, with an additional section on Ohio law.

Stickjockey
May 14, 2007, 09:44 AM
Oregon's pretty much a standard Basic Handgun Safety class with Use of Force law thrown in.

mcneill
May 14, 2007, 10:01 AM
Texas class covers some basic safety stuff, laws regarding when can/can not shoot, and a lot of emphasis on conflic resolution.

Jim

mlandman
May 14, 2007, 10:53 AM
Florida run the basic NRA pistol course and covers FL. statutes. In the one I took, the instructor went through some real world interpretation of the statutes and how the courts and prosecutors interpret the laws.

Dr. Dickie
May 14, 2007, 11:23 AM
I have taken the class twice in Florida (once back in '87 when they first offered a CCW and about two years ago--I let it lapse).
In both cases, the class could have been replace with a pamphlet.
Sorry, but in my honest opinion, you missed nothing.

pax
May 14, 2007, 11:24 AM
ShooterMcGavin ~

What you missed out on is something every CPL holder really needs, but that few get: a working knowledge of the law as it applies to the concealed carry permit holder. That is the one thing that is covered in every CCW class throughout the country, but is not required of WA citizens. The specific requirements in CCW classes does vary from state to state, and may or may not even include a shooting component, but they all cover the basics of the deadly force laws as they apply to defensive gun use.

It is my firm opinion that people need this information; it's also my firm opinion that it is the individual's responsibility to learn it even if the state does not cram it down their throats. (And, um ... for the record, I believe the state should not be cramming it down anyone's throat, and that WA laws are excellent in this area -- but that's an argument for another thread!)

There's lots of ways to learn the information, but the easiest way to learn it is to take a basic-level class somewhere.

The high-speed, advanced stuff is admittedly more fun, but it's an irresponsible instructor who would teach someone how to shoot without first making sure the student knows when to shoot, and more especially when not to shoot, and also knows how the laws apply to him.

If you're within driving distance to Chehalis, WA (halfway between Seattle & Portland), the Firearms Academy of Seattle (www.firearmsacademy.com) offers a free Handgun Safety Seminar which covers this information. The seminars include several hours in the classroom followed by several hours on the range, a total of six hours instructional time. The range work is very basic, but it does lay the foundation for good shooting and it provides people with a chance to see whether the instructional style at FAS suits them or not. If it doesn't, you've lost one day out of your life, 50 rounds of ammunition, and no money.

Worth a look.

pax

PS Fair disclaimer: I'm an Assistant Instructor at FAS, and am obviously a big fan of their programs. But I volunteer to work these seminars. They're an excellent intro to the school, and there's no sales pressure there at all. Marty & Gila figure this is their outreach to the gun community, and that FAS easily sells itself to students without any of that sales crap.

Sistema1927
May 14, 2007, 11:29 AM
I would suggest that you study up on your state's laws concerning the use of deadly force. That is the only thing of substance that I took away from the New Mexico curriculum.

Other than that, spend lots of time at the range.

-terry
May 14, 2007, 12:01 PM
I've taken the Firearms Academy's free course. It's very good. I think it's probably what you would get from another state's required course. A lot of information about safe gun handling, opportunities to reload, shoot, eject magazines, etc. all while making sure the gun is always pointed downrange.

In addition there is a fair amount of discussion of legal issues plus a chance for all us newbies to ask our stupid questions in a relaxed and helpful atmosphere.

As you may guess, I strongly recommend it.

-terry

PS: I don't know Pax

WayneConrad
May 14, 2007, 12:48 PM
Redacted: Forgot to think first, then post.

pv74
May 14, 2007, 01:20 PM
It is good to take a class even if not required. Use of force laws vary from state to state.

Henry Bowman
May 14, 2007, 03:23 PM
Pax and Shooter: Doesn't WA state still give out the pamphlet on CCW laws when you get/renew your license? They used to. It was a good guide on the law of where you can and cannot carry. It was sparse on use of lethal force, though.

pax
May 14, 2007, 03:57 PM
Henry ~

My local Sheriff does not. I don't know about other jurisdictions.

pax

p85
May 14, 2007, 04:41 PM
In NC, you are required to take a class before applying for the permit. In my county, the course was 8 hours on a Sat. You must show proficiency with your choice of handgun. Pretty lenient on proficiency, 40 out of 50 shots inside the 7 ring of a b-27silhouette target. 6 hours of classroom training consisting of carry laws, safety, do's and don'ts. 2 open book quizzes and an hour and a half of review with questions and answers.
The main part of the classroom training was to give different scenarios and show what would be legal and what would not be. I thought it was a decent course.

Bob

ShooterMcGavin
May 15, 2007, 02:19 PM
THANKS EVERYONE, for the input on what different handgun classes have taught you or lacked in teaching.

basically someone has to have the motive, means, opportunity, to kill or inflict serious bodily harm, and issue a threat, or you can't shoot
Huh? You did say "and issue a threat". Does that mean that someone can be pointing a gun at you, BUT if they are not mugging you or angry at you, you are not justified in defending your life?? Hmmm, maybe you live in Massachusetts.

Unless one of those friends has had training themselves, its a good way to pickup bad habits that will be hard to get rid of later
That's a good point. My friend has run drills with an FBI friend of his, so we use some of those drills as the basis. Real life is never predictable, so we change the target location, number of targets, barriers, and sequence of events. In the future, I want to run drills where someone else loads your magazine and adds a snap cap somewhere into the mix of real ammo. That is for FTF recovery procedures. As far as the basics, I have taken advice from former LEOs, friends, and reading on the web - so, no, I don't have the ultimate source for proper instruction.

If you're within driving distance to Chehalis, WA (halfway between Seattle & Portland), the Firearms Academy of Seattle offers a free Handgun Safety Seminar which covers this information.... I volunteer to work these seminars.
Wow! Thanks for that info pax!!! I am not near Chehalis, but I am going to make an effort to get there and try FAS out. I will check that website out. ...and thank you for your contribution, in regards to the volunteering.

I've taken the Firearms Academy's free course. It's very good.
Thanks for the personal recommendation, terry.

Doesn't WA state still give out the pamphlet on CCW laws when you get/renew your license?
My friend from Bonney Lake was given that pamphlet when he recently got his CPL. Unfortunately, I did not receive that pamphlet when I got mine (from a different area).

Outlaw Man
May 15, 2007, 05:07 PM
My class was taught by a narcotics/SWAT officer, and I believe he went a little above and beyond the requirements. In addition to the first-hand experience he has, he has spoken to several lawyers and prosecutors about legal issues as well as to the US Attorney that frequents the range.

He covered most situations you'd be in, muggings, home invasion, car jackings, armed robbery, etc. He told us what we were legally able to do, what he would do (usually avoiding confrontation if possible), and how to react to the situation if you felt it was necessary.

He also covered non-lethal force, basic firearm safety, proper holster selection and carrying techniques. He covered tactics, but in a classroom setting not on the range. The shooting part was only to make sure you could safely handle a gun.

He had a lot of good stories to share and was quite humorous at times, which kept the class attentive. I don't know if it was "exceptional," but it was definitely the best class for me. It prepared me more as far as my mindset was concerned. I already knew the basic safety rules and could handle a gun as safely and accurately as could be expected from what little range time we had.

I'd really like to take a tactical pistol course, though. Mostly to have someone really critique what I'm doing and offer some suggestions for improvement. It wouldn't hurt to learn a few new techniques, either.

MD_Willington
May 16, 2007, 11:19 AM
My local Sheriff (Whitman County) does send the pamphlets out with the CPL in the mail.

RPCVYemen
May 16, 2007, 08:48 PM
Huh? You did say "and issue a threat". Does that mean that someone can be pointing a gun at you, BUT if they are not mugging you or angry at you, you are not justified in defending your life?? Hmmm, maybe you live in Massachusetts.

Think again - someone could be very angry at you, walk up to you with a gun in holster. They would have motive, means, and opportunity but have issued no threat. I'm not clear on what the state has to do with it, but I think you'd find yourself in trouble in most states for shooting in that case.

Do you know the law to be different in you state? If you walk into an elevator (opportunity) and encounter a someone with whom you've had an acrimonious business relationship (motive), and you realize that they have a CCW and are packing (means), can you just shoot them in your state, whether they threaten you or not.

I am not a lawyer, but I feel pretty confident that a threat of a death or serious bodily harm is in fact necessary to establish self defense in many states. I think that's try in most states. Is it different where you live?

Mike

Waitone
May 17, 2007, 06:21 AM
NC takes pains to acquaint the prospect with the law, but tends to minimize proficiency with a firearm though there is a course of shootng designed to demonstrate.

SC takes pains to demonstrate proficiency with lethal, legal force being of secondary importance.

A cut and paste job would create a pretty good program.

SteveS
May 17, 2007, 08:35 AM
In a nutshell (and speaking generally), lethal force may be used when it is necessary to prevent an imminent attack that could cause death or serious injury. There are other nuances and aspects that vary from state to state. As some have suggested, it is worthwhile to have instruction on the legal aspects of deadly force in your state.

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