? for NRA Certified Instructors


PDA






granuale
September 22, 2007, 06:02 PM
I am very interested in becoming a CCW instructor. If you are NRA Certified, do you find this credential is highly valued?

Where/With whom did you do your certification class? Would you recommend them? I am an experienced shooter and would like to teach others. The only formal training I have to date is LFI - 1. Any advice you can give for becoming an excellent instructor is highly appreciated.

Thanks,

Scott

If you enjoyed reading about "? for NRA Certified Instructors" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Starter52
September 22, 2007, 06:39 PM
I have been certified rifle-pistol-shotgun since 1982. I don't find the credentials to be "highly valuable" but they are certainly nice to have.

Spreadfire Arms
September 22, 2007, 06:49 PM
what it is good for is:

(1) credibility in court
(2) liability reasons

if you ever instruct anyone, and that person uses your training in a deadly force encounter, you bet you will be subpoenaed into court to testify that this person did what you taught them to do.

now, in order to have any credibility in court, and/or to be recognized as an expert witness by the court, you will have to demonstrate that what you taught is correct, besides having the training and experience to be an "expert" in the subject matter (use of force). by being NRA certified you can show that your lesson plans were approved by NRA, and/or you were teaching the "NRA way" how to do it.

that being said, the NRA states that they have never had any court challenge the validity of their firearms training. so, that definitely helps you in court.

also, the NRA offers liability insurance to all of their certified instructors. definitely a plus if you are looking at instructing. the liability is tremendous when being a firearms instructor. if you are out there teaching and don't have the training, experience, certifications, and/or qualifications to teach, you may find yourself exposed to alot of liability that a civil attorney will be more than happy to point out.

my credentials as a NRA instructor are via the NRA Law Enforcement Activities Division (LEAD) which can be seen at this link:

http://www.nrahq.org/law/

my instructor was Mark Fricke who is a retired Prescott, AZ Police Officer. he was a great instructor. he didn't hesitate to jump your sh*t if you didnt do something that was prudent. that made me learn.

if you are thinking about instructing, start building your resume. LFI is a good start, but try to attend as many classes and instructor courses as you can. another thing is experience. training is great, but without any experience you're an academic instructor (all classroom theory and no real world experience).

i find that the best instructors are the ones who have both documented training and experience.

my two cents.

CTPistol
September 22, 2007, 07:05 PM
I dont think they are highly valuable per say....and I definitly dont buy the credibility in court thing for a second.

BUT - I like having it as its just another part of the hobby, and Im able to sign someone off for their CCW once they express interest in shooting and commit to safe learning. Its a great way to build our ranks. I dont care to teach CCW fighting techniques - I'll leave that to the rambos - I just enjoy teaching someone new to the sport how to shoot responsibly.

Mine was about $175 (?) and is the NRA Pistol Instructor.

Spreadfire Arms
September 22, 2007, 07:11 PM
CTPistol wrote:

I definitly dont buy the credibility in court thing for a second.

would you be able to justify this statement, that not having an NRA instructor certification would be the same to a court of law, vs. having an NRA instructor certification?

CTPistol
September 22, 2007, 07:26 PM
yes I would!

It wont do a single thing if you are in court for a shooting...in fact, IMHO it might hurt you.

We like the NRA - we support it....but a large % of the population thinks NRA members are "gun nuts". I want to be on defense as a simple, law abiding citizen...not a NRA Instructor or any kind of "munitions expert".

either way - its an endless battle and just an opinion.

:)

Steve in PA
September 22, 2007, 07:44 PM
As a LEO Firearms Instructor who has had two officer involved shootings (not me personally), my credentials, firearms lesson plan, firearms qualification and training I gave to my officers were checked and given the thumbs up.

I have contemplated crossing over to the non-LEO level of instruction, but my plate is very full right now. However, there are lots of people in my neck of the woods looking for instruction and this need may drive to me to clear my plate some.

I failed to read where anyone said anything about "fighting techniques". If you have not received a "certification" in that aspect, then its best you stay at the level you do have. One of my NRA LEO certs is in "tactical shooting", so I could teach/instruct "fighting techniques" if I so desired.

I'm still trying to figure out how "it might hurt you".

SteveS
September 22, 2007, 07:48 PM
I definitly dont buy the credibility in court thing for a second.

Maybe courts in NY are different, but in most jurisdictions, advanced training can help establish you as an 'expert'. Having reputable training will certainly help you. I'd like to know about some actual cases where having training or credentials hurt.

granuale
September 22, 2007, 08:00 PM
Steve in Pa and CTPistol, where did you get your training? I'm looking for instructor certification now.

FYI Spreadfire: I'm a lawyer and don't care about "expert witness" qualification at all - that is a seperate business. I am however conscious of libility issues, and will conduct myself accordingly (good to know about the liability policy via NRA) .

Spreadfire Arms
September 22, 2007, 09:06 PM
CTPistol wrote:

It wont do a single thing if you are in court for a shooting...in fact, IMHO it might hurt you.

We like the NRA - we support it....but a large % of the population thinks NRA members are "gun nuts". I want to be on defense as a simple, law abiding citizen...not a NRA Instructor or any kind of "munitions expert".

i was not an NRA member until i completed my LE Instructor Certification last month. i fail to see how i went from a regular good guy to an evil gun nut because i merely gave the NRA $60 for 3 years of membership. nothing else about me has changed other than i went to their select fire instructor school and actually learned something from two accredited instructors (forgot to add i was also taught by RK Miller).

if you read Mark Fricke's and RK Miller's biographies at this link:

http://www.nrahq.org/law/training/leadadjuncts.asp

you'll see this:

Mark is a retired police officer from Prescott, Arizona with almost 28 years of law enforcement experience. After four years as a Security Police officer with the U.S. Air Force, Mark went to work with the York, Nebraska police department, where he remained for the next three and a half years. Mark went on to spend the next 20 years in the Prescott, Arizona Police Department where he retired in 2000 as a Sergeant. During his career with Prescott P.D., Mark served as their chief firearms instructor as well as the primary trainer and member of their SWAT team. He is a certified instructor in all disciplines of firearms (handgun, shotgun, rifle, patrol rifle, sub-machine gun, long-range rifle, and tactical), as well as less lethal munitions, chemical munitions, and several defensive tactics disciplines. Mark has served on the Arizona Department of Public Safety's Concealed Weapons Advisory Committee, and is the founder/owner of his own firearms training company. He is a past Vice President of the Arizona Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (ALEFIA), and is a member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), where he has also been a frequent presenter at their national conferences. Mark is a life member of the NRA.

and

R.K. is currently a lieutenant with the Huntington Beach, California Police Department where he is assigned as a patrol watch commander. With over 27 years of law enforcement experience, R.K. has worked in a variety of assignments including as a Field Training supervisor, FTO, SWAT, detective, narcotics and gang suppression. R.K. is a court-qualified expert on heroin influence, street gangs and white supremacist groups. He is an instructor in a variety of disciplines including firearms, SWAT tactics, chemical agents, less lethal munitions and diversionary devices. In addition to working as an NRA Law Enforcement adjunct instructor, R.K. serves as an adjunct instructor for the Golden West Police Academy, several other private training facilities. He is a USMC Vietnam veteran, holds a B.S. from Long Beach State University and has authored numerous articles which have appeared in various publications including Tactical Edge, Dispatcher, Law & Order, and Police magazines. He is a member of the American Association of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), the National Rifle Association (NRA), and serves as a board member of the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO).

id sure like to say that the course material that i taught was from these two guys. they'd make me look pretty good in court, dont you think?

i dont think "NRA" is an evil word, and i really dont think any juror will automatically discount any affiliation with the NRA as me or anyone i have instructed as being a "gun nut." i think what would make someone think you're a "gun nut" is your demeanor, appearance, and statements made in court. if you're sitting on the stand with an NRA baseball cap, mirrored sunglasses, black gloves with the knuckles and fingers cut out, your favorite "Kill 'em All, Let God Sort 'Em Out" t-shirt, cut-off shorts, and cowboy boots, then yeah, your NRA membership status at that point probably wont even be an issue.

more easily disproven is how many LEO's are NRA members. if all NRA members are gun nuts, how many LEO's are then subsequently gun nuts, and how come these gun nuts have infiltrated police ranks?

to me, it looks like an illogical argument. i dont really think that affiliation or certification from NRA will hurt you in court.

SteveS
September 22, 2007, 10:05 PM
I'm a lawyer and don't care about "expert witness" qualification at all - that is a seperate business.

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I still fail to see how any training wouldn't help (as long as it is decent training). An instructor credential won't get you out of jail, but the training that goes into is certainly an asset in understanding defensive gun use.

Rembrandt
September 22, 2007, 10:29 PM
Not sure instructor certification is the golden key to open all doors, but it's not akin to being radioactive either.

The only instance I can point to was when I got my CCW permit. In our state the local sherrif determines who gets CCW's or not. When asked about any training I had recieved, the Sherrif was quite pleased to find I was an Instructor and the CCW sailed through immediately. His comment was that he wished more CCW holders were instructors. One satisfaction is hoping that your instructional efforts may have saved someone from a possible firearm accident or death.

boalex207
September 22, 2007, 10:42 PM
I dont care to teach CCW fighting techniques - I'll leave that to the rambos -

Didn't really care for this one. I teach the Carry Permit classes occasionally, and I am by no means a "Rambo". I do like doing my part to help a few law abiding citizens help themselves to feel a little safer and a little better able to defend themselves from criminal attack. A "Rambo" ? No, my friend. The basic theme of my class is "Don't go looking for trouble...trouble will find you soon enough."

Steve in PA
September 22, 2007, 10:57 PM
I got most of my certifications through the NRA LEO Division. I have a few left to get, precision rifle instructor and select fire instructor. I may take the handgun/shotgun instructor, although I don't need since I'm already certified in those areas.

The NRA allows a LEO to turn his LEO credentials into certifications for non-LEO instruction without having to go through the non-LEO classes.

After I finish up with the NRA certs, I'll probably move on to those offered by Sig Arms or S&W.

boalex207
September 22, 2007, 11:07 PM
To the OP's question....

The NRA offers both LE and civilian instructor certifications. I believe you are referring to the civilian Instructor credential.

The TN Dept. of Safety will accept the NRA Pistol Instructor certification to issue a Handgun Carry Permit instructor authorization. BUT, around here anyway, having that credential, by itself, is not highly regarded as the basis for a Carry instructor. I reiterate, that credential by itself.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with it. I have it. But think of it as another tool in the box and continue to train and earn other Instructor ratings.

granuale
September 22, 2007, 11:10 PM
Steve in PA, are you saying that any cop is entitled to instructor status, or that any LEO whose MOS is a firearms instructor is entitled to instructor status?

Do you know of any classes/instructors in PA or nearby that offer NRA instructor certification in pistol or personal defense?

granuale
September 22, 2007, 11:11 PM
boalex, if you can answer the following from my original post I would really appreciate it.

"Where/With whom did you do your certification class? Would you recommend them? "

Thanks,

Scott

boalex207
September 22, 2007, 11:16 PM
Smyrna, Tennessee from Leroy Farris.

Where are you, Granuale ?

granuale
September 22, 2007, 11:27 PM
Near Philly, Pa. It seems like these instructor certification classes are relatively few and far between - so it looks like travelling to get the cert might be the way to go.

Thanks for the info!

boalex207
September 22, 2007, 11:39 PM
granuale,

see if this helps.


http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp

Trebor
September 23, 2007, 12:54 AM
The first thing you need to look at are the requirements for a CCW instructor in *your* state. Some states require NRA certification specifically. Other states require NRA or similiar certification. Yet other states require *more* then a NRA cert. Find out what your state requirements are first. (And, some states don't require that a student receive *any* formal instructon at all)

In general though, NRA certification is the *minimum* I'd expect to see in a firearms instuctor. Unless you have extensive experience as a soldier or cop, no one is going to go to an instructor without at least a NRA cert. It doesn't matter how long you've been shooting. The fact you have a NRA cert establishes that have a minimum level of competency as an instructor.

The NRA cert is generally the standard for a private civilian instructor and is widely recognized and relatively straightforward to obtain. I can't think of any reason *not* to get the NRA instructor cert if you intend to work as an instructor.

Go to www.nra.org and look for the "Training opportunities" page. You need to find an active "Training Counselour" in your area. They are the instructors who instruct the instructors. There is a list of TC's on the NRA site, but it is not always up to date. You'll also want to ask around and ask your local NRA instructors who their TC was to find a TC.

Templar223
September 23, 2007, 01:19 AM
I am very interested in becoming a CCW instructor. If you are NRA Certified, do you find this credential is highly valued?


I am certified.

Highly valued? Yeah, it's kinda valuable.

Nice to have? You bet.

I'm quite glad I got my certification about ten years ago.



Where/With whom did you do your certification class? Would you recommend them? I am an experienced shooter and would like to teach others. The only formal training I have to date is LFI - 1. Any advice you can give for becoming an excellent instructor is highly appreciated.


Mary Brucker and Richard Pearson, IIRC. (Bloomington, IL)

They were fine. I'd recommend Sue Darnall ahead of them though.

Your formal LFI training will be a BIG plus for you.

Creds are just one part of the puzzle though. You have to be able to motivate people and coach/instruct them while helping them enjoy the experience. Patience, understanding and still more patience are highly useful. It is very satisfying to have a former student's wife tell you she's at the class because her husband "made" her come and she tells you later in the day that she's enjoying the class and glad she came... and by Sunday afternoon, she's eating it up and displaying poise dealing with malfunctions under a stressful environment and getting good hits. Makes you proud. Has happened many times with me, along with the students who are having real troubles or fears initially and helping them over those difficulties so they are comfortable and reasonably confident in their newly acquired abilities.

I've been teaching classes for ten years now and teach with another NRA Cert'd fellow, a retired FBI / Fed LEO firearms instructor and an active duty LEO instructor from "up north".

I find the blend of having several people working together to teach classes makes for a VERY good class for the students. We are able to complement one another to offer a high-quality class. And as I'm "the signature" on the NRA certs, they can get their FL permits. It's a win-win for everyone.

John

granuale
September 23, 2007, 01:30 AM
Trebor, there are no "requirements" in my jurisdiction. I was interested in how Certified Instructors thought others valued their credential. The reason not to get certified is the considerable expense in time and money certification will cost. If you are certified, I would appreciate knowing where/with whom did you do your certification class and would you recommend them?

Thanks for your thoughts.

I for one think soldiers and cops have very little to offer people who are interested in concealed carry and intro to firearms. They have no formal training in the majority of issues needing coverage, and unless they're LEO instructors have no idea about how to teach anything.

Trebor
September 23, 2007, 01:51 AM
I put my certifications right in the signature of my post.

I was certified through the NRA and later the SigArms Academy. The SigArms Academy class was a LEO/Security instructor only class. I was able to get in because I'm working with another instructor who is doing armed security training and who had taken the SigArms class for his certification. It's not normally available unless you are a LEO or employed by a security agency.

The NRA certification is really the minimum needed for a "civilian" instructor. It is widely recognized and shows you have gone through a formal training process and aren't just "making it up as you go along." The NRA has a set curriculum and provides lesson plans and support.

As far as how it is viewed, that depends on who is looking at the creds. The more fact you have the credential just shows you've made the minimum effort needed to be an instructor. Any additional training classes and experience you have over that definately help.

To be honest, no one is going to pay for instruction from someone who is uncertified unless they have *extensive* real world experience instead. If you are serious about being an instructor, and aren't an ex-Special Forces guy or SWAT cop, you need the NRA cert.

(btw, the training counselour who taught me is no longer active so no help there. The NRA website has a partial list and you'll want to ask around in your area as well to find active TC's in your state).

If you enjoyed reading about "? for NRA Certified Instructors" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!