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Let's talk about CCW classes(your horror stories and opinions)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MagnumDweeb, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    Here in Florida you can take a class to apply for your CWP. Before I turned twenty one I paid for the class and the first weekend after I turned 21 I took it (got my first handgun when I turned twenty-one, my uncle was so happy to be remembered as they guy giving me my first handgun).

    I took my class with a 'K' license Sheriff's Deputy, and it was shocking, oh I had read and researched plenty about the statutes and such but this guy went and said at one point in the class "you have the right to stomp out evil"...Well it was distinctly mentioned on the Department of Agriculture's website that you were not a cop, should undertake the stopping of crime, and to pretty much just be a civil and law abiding person who has a right(should trouble find you, not you find it) to defend themselves.

    He went on about a couple local shootings, asked that if we lived in apartments not to blind fire or use FMJs and to get Magsafe or Glacier rounds and such. He went quickly over the statutes and told some horror stories.

    And then we went and shot three rounds into a target and that was it.

    Here's the problem though, you can't depend on legal advice of individuals who aren't source's of authority like a regular street cop or deputy. You can as I understand it, and don't quote me or take what I say as legal advice, only depend upon the opinions and advice of Chief's of police, Sheriffs, Attorney Generals, and the directors of groups like the FBI or ATF.

    You can't depend upon some deputy who's behind isn't going to be on the line in court. There was an incident as I've been told by a police officer, I know (make sure you have plenty of grains of salt), where a guy took the class and after he got issued his permit he open carried and got busted, and the judge didn't care what his instructor told him.

    I only bring all this up because I'm an NRA certified pistol instructor and when I try to explain that the courses I offer are primarily to learn how to safely and competently shoot targets, pieces of paper on a range, and that they are not CWP courses, people don't understand how they can use it to apply for a CWP. It's just how Florida has it I guess, I guess the legislature figured if someone understands that guns are dnagerous and should be stored and fired safely then those persons are competent to keep that gun on their person.

    I've walked into ranges where they are advertising CWP courses and when I ask if they are using 'k' license guys I seem to get blank stares, and they only have NRA guys, but the NRA guys aren't teaching Personal Defense outside the home for the course, they are teaching the same courses I am, and that's a problem as I see it. Don't tell the public you are going to teach them law, and put them in a position to reasonably infer that you are going to teach them how to conceal their firearms and carry them properly, when you really aren't going to, oh they might share some 'wisdom' but these are not recognized experts (they are not Masad Ayoob), and if you wind up in court because of what someone tells you in the course, it doesn't matter one bit. One who is not a lawyer or in a judicially recognized position of power(Attorney General or Sherriff and such) should not be giving legal advice.

    Okay that was my rant, I was at a buddy of mine's father's place of business and was handling a .460 S&W that had come in early that day, and my buddy ran his mouth to a few folks in the shop and I got all kinds of legal questions, uninformed based questions, and all sorts of inquiries into CCW, and when I politely mentioned that I was not a CWP instructor but only that taking one or two of the courses I offered and they went to the range with me at another time, that they could use the completion of the course and the certificate stating so, to apply for their CWP.

    Well that didn't go over well, and now I'm just feeling livid. I tell them the truth and I'm the <expletive deleted>:banghead:.
  2. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    My CC class in VA was weird. Guy operated the class out of his condo in a highrise in N. VA. He explicitly stated, "do NOT show up early. Get here 5 minutes before class, I will buzz you in."

    Fine. 8 of us showed up and entered his place. There was a CCTV monitor in the corner next to his desk. We were being...observed.

    Took the class, then were told to head to a range 10 miles from there. Absolutely no legal issues were covered, and we were told to "go find out on our own, IANAL".:scrutiny:

    On a side note, my friend in Alabama told me last night there is no safety class in that state. $25 to the local sheriff, fill out the form, get your permit in 48 hours.
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    No issues here in PA. 'Course there is no class. Pay the money, fill out the paperwork, get your background checked, pick up your license.

    In PA everything involved with the LCTF is administered by the local Sheriff's department and each does things a little differently. Some give you a nice plastic card with your picture electronically printed on it. Some give you a paper card and tape the passport photo you provide for them on the back.

    The only "problem" I had was that my local sheriff gave me a page with some carry rules on it and they didn't actually follow the state laws! The only discrepancy was that they said "don't carry in a bar" which may be o.k. advice, but is NOT a part of PA law. And they didn't mention a lot of things they could have about areas that are legal, not legal, and under some dispute.

    I recently took the Utah class and that was very well done and pretty exhaustive (although the laws of Utah are very different than PA). The instructor (Steve Silverman) is a great guy, though and a professional trainer for a lot more than just CCW classes, so I would have expected nothing less than the stellar class he put on.

  4. Ithaca37

    Ithaca37 Well-Known Member

    Deadly force laws are complex and have interesting a complicated case histories in every state. You can not cover that in a day or even 10 days. If feel you want more than just what the laws state, pay the fees talk to a lawyer.
  5. twoclones

    twoclones Well-Known Member

    Being from Washington where no class is required, I think it is a responsible action for anyone to take a gun safely class. I also resent the idea of a State requiring a class to exercise any of my rights. It's not like journalists are required to take classes on reporting stories accurately ;)
  6. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    I took the Ohio CCW class (really just the NRA Basic Pistol class) a year or so after I was certified to give it. The class was ok, nothing special. The girl who gave it was reasonably well informed, although not the best instructor I've ever had. She made some mistakes, including on the law. I just took the thing to be sure there were no issues over whether my NRA instructor's class counted.
  7. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    you have the right to stomp out evil"...

    perhaps the sheriff just changed jobs from the agriculture sector and he was referring to 'evil' weeds and such that endangers crops?:cool:
  8. jackstinson

    jackstinson Well-Known Member

    Same here (Ohio also)......very basic stuff. Getting a driver's license is harder. However, at least half of the class had never shot any gun before, so the NRA Basic Pistol course was valuable for them.
    The only quirk was when it came to the 2 hours of range time. The range they used then only allowed frangible bullets and the course provided both the pistol and the ammo. But, they only had one box of ammo on hand...50 rounds. Since I already had my appointment at the Sheriff's office scheduled for the following day, only I got to shoot. Everyone else had to wait a week until they received more ammo. Just a quirk though and made it easy for me. I shot my 50 rounds and was done. Went to the Sheriff's office the next day, handed them my paperwork, got my thumb print and photo taken, paid the $55 fee. Four working days later I had my permit in hand.
  9. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    A chief of police in a city near me shot himself in the ankle while taching a cfp class. I believe he was trying to field strip his glock while holding it under the table out of his view. Not exactly sure why he was doing that but the results were not good.

    I know what you are saying on this but honsetly after attending the class and seeing some people's gun handling and lack of knowledge I also believe that training well beyond what the class requires would be prudent and unless it is mandated most people simply wont do it.

    I_AM_LEGEND Well-Known Member

    what does the Dept. of Agriculture have to do with CCW??? that just seems odd the info would be found there...

    My class was here in Ohio was really informative, not so much the NRA basic pistol part, that was pretty basic. My instructor had video clips from different news stories and such and detailed what we can and can't do as well as covered a lot of grey areas and gave his opinion of what he would do if some iffy situtations usually cautioning on the safe side.
  11. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Well-Known Member

    No problems here. My instructor was former military/police, police firearms instructor and civilian firearms instructor, as well as various special departments within law enforcement (I just can't remember what), with over 20 years of service so. I got a very informative class... I think I asked the most questions too. He made it interesting.

    On a further note,

    We fired a box of 50 rounds, paid for by us. The instructor stressed that if anyone shows inept ability to handle a firearm, they would be escorted off of the premises and their money not refunded. They also had a professional finger-printer come in and do our fingers and photos.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  12. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    In Florida, our CWP is regulated by the Department of Agriculture, don't ask me why, guess maybe there wasn't enough work to justify the staff and so it went, of course you get your fingerprints done at a police station or sheriff's station.
  13. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Well-Known Member

    NRA basic pistol course was all I had to do (again,in Ohio). When we went to the range we fired 5 rds. using a support, five rds. two handed while standing and finally 5rds. one handed while standing.

    At the range the instructor set up targets about 7-10' away with an 11x11" piece of paper. If the students put all rounds into the paper from that short distance they recieved a passing grade.

    Some of those in attendance had never handled a firearm in their life. during the class time after the instructor covered the part about muzzle discipline we were reviewing some of the instructors hand guns. One guy was swept with a muzzle no less than 10 times.
  14. newbie4help

    newbie4help Well-Known Member

    My TX instructor was a cop. Tx mandated that we be taught the relevant deadly force/carrying statutes,and take a written test on that.

    Also, we had to do a timed shooting test of 50 rounds from 3, 7, and 15 yards.

    Also extensive background check.

    TX is pretty good I think about doing this.
  15. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    Colorado doesn't force you to prove proficiency in order to get permission to carry a weapon to defend your life, so I took a class which didn't have a shooting portion (some still do).

    While I could always learn some more, I'm pretty proficient, and I'd prefer to take a dedicated shooting class instead of a safety/"here's how to make a gun go bang in the right direction" class.

    The teacher is/was a local gunsmith/shop owner and spent most of the time covering legal aspects as well as setting up multi-faceted shoot/no shoot scenarios for us to discuss.

    He conveyed some misinformation, specifically on open-carry laws, which he essentially opposed for a couple of common reasons, but mentioned none of it's advantages, nor did he tell us that we could legally open-carry without a permit if we wanted to while waiting on the bureaucrats to shuffle papers. I would have done differently, if for no other reason, in case one of my students was currently being stalked, endangered, etc.

    All in all, he was witty, entertaining, generally very insightful, and creative with his teaching. His style was very opinionated, but from what I've heard, that's more of a 24/7 personality than a teaching style. It was an ok experience, although I could have been just as (un)happy with anybody else. I was really just there so I could say I had been there, and show the Sheriff some proof.
  16. Pork Fat

    Pork Fat Well-Known Member

    Charleston SC class- couple of weeks ago.

    I took my class at a large shop/range north of town. Local gunnies, you know where it is. I had to wait about 4-5 weeks after I signed up to get in one, they have been booked up since you-know-who ascended. Our class was full, 35 all told.
    We arrived early and had to fire 50 rounds at various ranges from ready and from holster. I blame the shop for not making clear to some that this was not a firearm instruction class and that you had to show proficiency with your handgun. A few older ladies present had arrived with guns in a box expecting to learn how they worked. After all, they paid $150 for a gun class.
    The instructor took shooters back in groups of 10, only 10 lanes in that section of the range. The rest of us waited and listened to sporadic rounds going off. The instructor threw open the door and strode out, tearing off his hearing protection and loudly declaring that some people had no business being around guns. How inclusive and welcoming the gun community looks at this juncture. He then goes behind the gun counter for his coffee, gulps some, and returns to the range shaking his head.
    After some more ragged fusillades, he storms out again and commands the next 10 shooters to fall in. We look at each other, gulp, and get in line. He then asks if anyone who is there does not know how their gun works or is unsure that their gun functions. Silence.
    He goes back in, a few more volleys are heard, the first shooters come out, one lady is crying, all look tense. Instructor still looking parboiled. We file in like the condemned, silently cursing whatever set this dude off.
    He rushes through an explanation of the course of fire. No more than 5 rounds loaded in the gun at a time, firing on command at prescribed ranges within time limits. The targets are life size silhouettes with an orange bullseye at center of mass and scoring rings out from it. We have to get 35 of our 50 rounds into it to pass.
    We all seem to know how our guns work and follow the instructions by the numbers.
    He is pleased with us, I am pleased that I shot well enough with my Bulgarian Makarov to get a compliment, all was well.
    We then adjourned to the classroom. The first 10 shooters are there waiting. When we arrive, only 15 more people have do their 50 rounds before the class can start, so we wait, talk, go to the can, etc. I already notice a big problem with the classroom. It is OVER the other range, the one that you can shoot rifles in. There is a class of Navy guys in there getting AR-15 and Beretta familiarization. AR-15's are loud. The classroom is no hushed hall of learning, it is noisy as heck.
    The class was mostly about law, mixed with opinion and borderline sexist "joking". I can tolerate that stuff when I'm just in a group of guys, but the class was 1/3 female of varying ages and it makes me uncomfortable. He also shared a personal story of his wife cheating on him with his best friend, and how he wanted to shoot them but didn't. Inspiring stuff.
    We were shown a long video from the NRA about home defense, a couple of years old, but done well enough. Absolutely useless for the purposes of CCW, though. We got fingerprinted and photographed and took an easy test.
    Bear in mind that when the Navy was done, the range hours started in the store and people apparently like to shoot rifles inside. One of the shop guys that was helping muttered ".300 Magnum" when one of them was going off, and I believe it. Incredibly distracting.
    I found some of the law section confusing because it seemed to apply mostly to non-CCW holders, leavened with CCW specific commentary by the instructor. Holsters and proper concealment were not touched upon.
    I left at 5:00 after 9+ hours feeling let down, not excited. It takes 3 months to get the CWP after successful completion of the course, so maybe in May I will feel as though I have accomplished something. Especially if I can find a Smith&Wesson 442 for appreciably less than $500 around here.
    Still, a better experience than the CCW process in Maryland, which starts and ends with NO.
  17. Hikingman

    Hikingman Well-Known Member

    New to handgun...

    Being in close enough to one individual gave me a new appreciation of 'pointing downrange ONLY' when the person began to point (loaded) in nearly every direction. Hey, LOOK OUT where you are pointing the BARREL! :what:
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    We were allowed to keep shooting after we shot the minimum. I'd brought a 100 round box of Winchester White Box 115gr. 9x19mm for my new Glock 19. I'm a bullseye competitor, so shooting two handed at seven yards wasn't especially taxing. After I shot the X ring out, I shot at the NRA logo, the copywrite notice and anything else that I could use as an aiming point.
  19. skwab

    skwab Well-Known Member

    My CHL class was interesting - The sad thing, and I've told this story before, was that it was taught partially alongside a course for those getting their security guard certification. When we got to the range there were about 24-28 shooters - class cut into two groups. Of those 4 were CHL renews, 4 (including my wife and I) were brand new CHL applicants, and the rest security.

    So the range rules were very basic, standard range rules - nothing exotic or out of the ordinary. I went first, my wife second. The moron two guys down from my wife (security guy) kept turning and pointing his gun down the firing line, and I kept having to remind him to keep his gun pointed down range. He'd have a question, and turn again and finally one of the instructors got onto him and he did fine, until towards the end he wasn't sure if he still had a round chambered - had a cheap little pistol where the slide didn't lock back - so how did he check? idiot pulled the trigger and discharged a round in the dirt. They should have pulled his butt of the line and failed him - they just gave him one of their guns and chastised him again.

    But out of all the shooters - There was this guy there for a renew standing next to me who had a brand new .45 HK who had all 50 rounds in about a 3in group - he turned to me and said, "this is the first time I've fired this gun, guess I'll keep it!"
    I was in the top 3 (IMO!). My wife, who had only shot a pistol two or three times prior was easily in the top 5. The security guys? There was one guy who I felt shot better than I did but not as good as the HK guy. All the others were pitiful - about half had to stay behind and retake it. Gave me more incentive to carry. If I ever had to rely on one of these jokers for help I'm done.
  20. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Well-Known Member

    8 hours in a hard, metal folding chair, going over some very basic things (which I guess is good.)

    20 minutes for lunch. That irked me.

    Half hour of range time. I got a perfect score (wasn't hard), as two other men, one who was recently hired at the gunstore, and another who just moved down here from New York, who shot the tightest groups with his Colt Python I have ever seen. I mean, tight like the instructors had to measure to make sure the guy shot the required number of rounds tight.

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