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

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ShooterMcGavin, May 14, 2007.

  1. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Active Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    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.).
  2. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Participating Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    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.
  3. HuntAndFish

    HuntAndFish Active Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Kansas City, MO
    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.
  4. rkh

    rkh member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Hartford, CT
    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.
  5. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    SW PA
    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?
  6. CajunBass

    CajunBass Mentor

    Jun 2, 2005
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    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.
  7. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Participating Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    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!

  8. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Participating Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    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.
  9. JohnBT

    JohnBT Elder

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    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. :)

  10. Deanimator

    Deanimator Elder

    Mar 30, 2006
    Rocky River, Ohio
    Ohio requires the equivalent of the NRA Basic Pistol course, with an additional section on Ohio law.
  11. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Participating Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Happy Valley, Oregon
    Oregon's pretty much a standard Basic Handgun Safety class with Use of Force law thrown in.
  12. mcneill

    mcneill Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Texas Hill Country
    Texas class covers some basic safety stuff, laws regarding when can/can not shoot, and a lot of emphasis on conflic resolution.

  13. mlandman

    mlandman Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    S. Fla
    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.
  14. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Participating Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Jacksonville Beach, FL
    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.
  15. pax

    pax Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    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 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.


    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.
  16. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Senior Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    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.
  17. -terry

    -terry Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    WA, Bellingham
    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.


    PS: I don't know Pax
  18. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Senior Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Redacted: Forgot to think first, then post.
  19. pv74

    pv74 New Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    It is good to take a class even if not required. Use of force laws vary from state to state.
  20. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    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.

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