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Some got Florida concealed weapon permits training on toy guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by funnybone, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. funnybone

    funnybone New Member

    Dec 28, 2007

    Some got Florida concealed weapon permits training on toy guns
    Henry Pierson Curtis

    Sentinel Staff Writer

    April 30, 2008

    Some of the 500,000 people holding concealed-weapons permits in Florida qualified by using toy guns.

    Recent complaints to state officials pointed out that almost anyone who wants to carry a handgun to the movies, mall or church can do so. The shortcomings they cited include training that allows firing bullets without gunpowder, and passing students for merely pulling the trigger once or twice without ever loading or unloading a handgun.

    Quickie permit classes had become so common, the National Rifle Association threatened this month to fire any NRA-certified instructor who didn't use real guns to teach students in Florida.

    Though carrying a concealed weapon requires a state permit, gun owners need only take a gun-safety course and show they know how to safely fire a real bullet. That's not the case in at least eight states -- where applicants must be able to hit a bulls-eye repeatedly.

    "Unlike Texas, we do not have to have so many rounds at 10 feet or so many rounds at 15 feet. Florida just doesn't have that," said Buddy Bevis, director of licensing for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The concealed-weapon statute "just says you have to be able to fire and handle a firearm safely," he said. "It doesn't say if it takes one [shot] or 100."

    Shoddy training became an issue this month, more than a year after a retired military officer first complained to Gov. Charlie Crist about classes at gun shows.

    "You can only train a corpse in 3 hours," Col. James K. Otto Sr., an NRA instructor from North Florida, wrote to the governor. "Our NRA certified instructors take 3 days to a week to make sure their students not only know the law but also know how to handle firearms and ammunition safely with at least a half day firing at a local range."

    The letter started a sputtering chain reaction after landing on Bevis' desk with the added detail that some students at these classes trained with toy guns. Bevis called the voice of the NRA in Florida to complain.

    "I did call Marion Hammer and say, 'I don't know what you've got going on down there, but you better tighten it up,' " Bevis said in a telephone interview. "And that's it."

    Hammer, a former NRA president and one of the state's most powerful lobbyists, alerted NRA national headquarters. Within days, every NRA-certified instructor in Florida was warned they would lose their credentials for not using real guns with real bullets in class.

    "Specifically, Air Soft or other air-driven guns are not acceptable," stated the April 14 memo. "Florida law requires that you maintain records certifying that you 'observed the student safely handle and discharge the firearm.' "

    Air Soft guns are plastic replicas of firearms, which cost as little as $5 to more than $300. Many are sold as toys equipped with orange muzzles to distinguish them from real guns.

    Hammer said the NRA issued the warning to make sure every class it certifies complies with state law. She finds nothing wrong with not requiring concealed-weapon permit holders to demonstrate a minimum level of shooting ability.

    "In the 21 years that this program has been in effect, I know of no incident or accident that occurred as a result of lack of training," Hammer said by phone from Tallahassee.

    The law "was never intended to make target shooters out of people. It was never intended to make street cops out of them," she said. "This is merely to show that individuals know how to load, unload and safely use a firearm for lawful self-defense."

    Florida permit holders can carry their concealed weapons in 32 other states. Fifteen other states do not grant such reciprocity. One of them, South Carolina, cites Florida's low standards as the reason.

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence advocates rigorous testing of shooting ability, knowledge of state laws and giving law enforcement discretion over who should be allowed to carry a hidden handgun.

    "In Florida, where you're permitting them to legally carry a loaded, hidden handgun in a crowded situation where people may be running all over the place and then you're expecting them with no training to hit their mark -- that's crazy," said Brian Malte, the group's director of state legislation and politics. "Law-enforcement officers . . . miss their mark 80 percent of the time even after all the training they get."

    Tighter restrictions on toy guns still don't mean all applicants must show they know how to shoot a pistol.

    Concealed-weapon permits are available to graduates of classes taught by state-certified instructors and hunter-safety courses as well as NRA-certified classes. Graduates of the state's 12-hour hunter-safety course fire a .22-caliber rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun and a bow and arrow, but not a pistol, according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    Many Central Florida gun-shop owners are critical of quickie permit classes.

    "If somebody was to cold call and say, 'Hey, I've never fired a gun before and I want to take your concealed-weapon class,' we will not allow them to sign up for the class," said John Ritz, manager of East Orange Shooting Sports in Winter Park. "It's not an introduction-to-shooting class. It's not a brand-new, basic beginner's class. We have those classes, and we do those classes several times a week."

    Ritz estimated that about 1 percent of permit holders actually carry their guns daily. Those tend to be shooting enthusiasts, who fire at least 50 bullets in practice each month. Perhaps 25 percent of his students occasionally go armed and the rest almost never do, he said.

    Soon, gun owners in Florida will be allowed to take their weapons to work.. Floridians already had the right to keep a loaded handgun in their vehicles. The new law, which takes effect July 1, lets gun owners park on company property and leave a handgun locked in the trunk.

    Few safe places remain in Central Florida's urban sprawl for shooters to practice.

    Orange County -- home to more than 23,000 concealed-weapon permit holders and 70 gun dealers -- has five public shooting ranges and one private gun club, records show.

    Shoot Straight in Apopka, one of Florida's busiest gun stores, allows inexperienced shooters to take its permit classes. But store manager Larry Anderson said instructors stress that anyone carrying a firearm in public should be so skilled that its use is second nature.

    "People need to practice more, there's no doubt about that," he said. "You need to be so proficient with that gun, you're comfortable."

  2. sig228

    sig228 Active Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    South Florida
    This story is garbage

    While I might not have fired that many rounds during my CHP qualification, you can better believe that I have fired THOUSANDS of rounds since. Practice makes PERFECT.:)
  3. Winchester 73

    Winchester 73 member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Its so silly.Vermont,Alaska,Georgia,many states see no need for any guns,any training.
    This is the Orlando Sentinel.
  4. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I don't get this. What does it mean, and why does the NRA want to train corpses? :scrutiny:
  5. k_dawg

    k_dawg Active Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    The easier the permit is to obtain, the closer it is to the Constitution.

    [ of course, no permits required would be the best ]
  6. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Participating Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    I don't even know anymore
    Without proper training, PRACTICE makes PERMANENT. If someone continuously practices bad techniques, they will become a PERMANENT bad shooter.

    I got my CCW in FL about 2 years ago with a 3 hour class at a gun show, $170 (total for class and license fees) and a SINGLE ROUND fired downrange. All the instructor wanted was to see we could pick up a firearm (it was a .357mag loaded with .38 Special) with good trigger and muzzle discipline, fire one round and remove the finger from the trigger, and set the gun down on the bench. I didn't even look at the target, because I knew the requirement. I am one of those that practices regularly, I know the laws. but many don't.
  7. Elza

    Elza Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    North Texas
    Let the flames begin! Anyone carrying a gun in public should be required to be proficient in its use. Save me the 2nd Amendments arguments this is a matter of public safety. My safety, my family’s safety, your safety depends upon some neophyte pulling a trigger in the mall.

    I firmly believe that I, or any other law abiding citizen, should be allowed to own what ever we wish. Carrying (and possibly using) a gun in public is a different matter. What you have at home is (or should be) no bodies business but your own. What you do on the street impacts my safety and is therefore my business as well.

    I have a CHL and carry every place that it is allowed. Texas has some of the most stringent requirements in the country for concealed carry and I still get the shivers when I think back to my CHL class. Everyone passed but I’m more afraid of some of them than I would be some ‘banger on the street. One of the students scored 173 out of 250 on the range and this was because the instructor was being generous. The minimum is 170. I stood there and watched her miss the target at 7 yards! I hope to God that I’m behind her if she ever pulls her weapon.

    The 2nd Amendment is the single greatest protection we have as citizens and I will protect it with every means available to me. But, like all rights, there are limits. Any right that impacts the rights of others has limits. The safety of my family is at the top of the list.
  8. evan price

    evan price Mentor

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    We used "toy" guns in my CCW class.
    We had a couple BlueGuns for demonstration purposes and etc.

    Of course the practical portion was done with our own firearms and iirc I shot 'bout 100 rounds that day (not including the mag from the full auto M16 the instructor let us use)
  9. Dksimon

    Dksimon Active Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    South Dakota
    In the lovely state of South Dakota you dont even have to take a class. You fill out some paperwork and pay 10 bucks and your'e good to go. (once youre paperwork has been processed)
  10. camacho

    camacho Active Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    The gun show classes are one BIG joke. I took one and was utterly disappointed. The guy gave us wrong information (found out later) about carrying in a car, and pretty much spend most of the time going over the application. Shortly after, I took a basic NRA pistol course and what a difference. Personally, I am glad that Marion and the NRA are trying to remedy the issue of the plastic guns.

    Since there is a class required already might as well make it a good one where you can actually learn something. Most of us here are well past the stage of those classes but for a newbie it could make a difference!
  11. USMC 1975

    USMC 1975 New Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    I have to agree with this statement. I have worked hard at surviving my last 50 years and would hate to see my life end over some idiot with a CCW who knows nothing about firearm safety or how to shoot a REAL gun.

    I believe there has to be a happy medium somewhere to easily allow people to obtain CCW's yet mandate good training for them. Proper gun training should always be a requirement that is used to not so much prevent someone from getting a CCW but to protect the public, themselves and their families from an accident.

    I have a neighbor who took a FL gun class to obtain his CCW. He went right out and bought a 45 and a 9 mm. The first thing he does is hand the 45 to me loaded with the barrel pointed at me. He never removed the clip nor racked the round out of the chamber. I wanted to shove that 45 right up his A^& at that very moment. These are the people who will ruin it for all of us if they accidentally discharge and kill someone in public.

    Proper training is a must with a firearm that will be carried into public.

  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Elder

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    "Law-enforcement officers . . . miss their mark 80 percent of the time even after all the training they get."

    Scientific proof that training is almost worthless?

    ""Unlike Texas, we do not have to have so many rounds at 10 feet or so many rounds at 15 feet. Florida just doesn't have that," said Buddy Bevis, director of licensing for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services."

    10 or 15 FEET?

    "Proper training is a must with a firearm that will be carried into public."

    I know, let's make them qualify at 50 yards so they'll be really good. It will be so difficult to get a carry permit that a large number of folks will carry without a permit. Lord knows there are enough of them out there already with guns and no permit. Let's add more.

    In conclusion, I don't think getting a carry permit should be more difficult than getting a driver's license. Do they even make them parallel park anymore? I also think they should have to demostrate the ability to drive a stick shift, but I'm old fashioned.

  13. ufstuddmuffin

    ufstuddmuffin New Member

    May 22, 2007
    maybe for you if you need everything you learn spoon fed to you, but for those of us who know how to teach OURSELVES whatever it may be, practice sure as hell does make you MORE perfect then before. it's called re-adjusting after you make a mistake. it's not like there aren't a million diagrams on the web telling you how to correct your shooting depending on where you're hitting the target, but then again i guess you wouldn't know what to fix unless i stood over your shoulder and told you
  14. .cheese.

    .cheese. Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    seems like everybody is picking up this story now.
  15. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2003
    Chris, all of the .45 ACP semi-automatic pistols I've ever seen use magazines, not clips. Do you happen to remember which clip fed .45 your incompetent friend had?

    I wonder sometimes what's behind these threads in which people clamor to have stricter training requirements for new shooters. They seem to elicit confessions of poor training and proclamations of superior knowledge, but I've never yet seen anyone say "I have refused a concealed carry permit because I don't know what I'm doing." It's always the other guy who shouldn't be carrying a concealed firearm.

    What I do see often in other threads is people asking for help on one point or another and trying to learn. That's good. I've seen many people do that offline too. And that's good too. I don't know of any training class that covers all possibilities or wires every student into all that it covers.

    Most people seem to figure out on their own that guns are dangerous, and the rules for safe gun handling are published all over the place, so I wonder how much good it would do to require training for someone who doesn't know or doesn't care that there's a need to handle guns safely and that there are simple principles for doing so. When I've encountered a few people whose brains didn't seem to connect with the rest of their body, instead of getting angry at them I showed them what to do.

    I grew up during and after World War II when there was no firearms training for civilians interested in having handguns for self-defense. The American Pistol Institute (which became Gunsite) was the first and it wasn't founded until 1976, which was just about one generation ago. It never seemed to occur to anyone I knew to say that anyone needed training before being allowed to use a handgun in defense of his life or that of his family. And I don't recall a rash of incompetent shootings by such people in all of recorded time since before this generation.

    So I wonder, as always, whether there might be something wrong with the people of this generation that makes them so tentative and helpless when confronted by essentially minor problems that never troubled the generations that preceded them.
  16. USMC 1975

    USMC 1975 New Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Opps..my bad. It was a full " MAG " and a round in the chamber that he pointed at me.

    Clip, Magazine, it still doesn't make the issue of handing a loaded gun to someone barrel first with it pointed at their stomach OK.

    He was non military, had little experience with firearms and his only training came from his CCW class. It seems they would have at least taught him the proper way to handle a firearm and how to safely hand off a weapon to a second person.

    The majority of us on this site have a lot of experience with different firearms so we sometimes forget, there are those who will purchase a firearm and take a CCW class and never have handled a gun before in their life until that point in time. These are the people who will benefit from a good class using REAL firearms.

    I simply feel that these classes for these types of people should not be about preventing them from getting a CCW, but rather teach them safety and proficiency so they do not shoot themselves or an innocent bystander.

  17. waterhouse

    waterhouse Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Round Rock, TX
    I hear what you are saying, but there are many issues with this line of thinking. You personally feel that there should be a certain level of proficiency. You feel this way because you feel that untrained people walking around with guns has an impact on your safety, and the safety of your family.

    The antis have a similar argument, but in their case they feel that anyone non-LEO walking around with a gun has a negative impact on their safety. And the children.

    I personally feel that anyone who carries a firearm should receive training. Making that training mandatory, however, and requiring certain levels of proficiency, is a slippery slope that I don't want to head down.

    I know when I got my permit in Virginia I had to take a "Basic Safety Class" or something like that. I went to an NRA class, shot some rounds at the range (no score), and the gave me a certificate. This method seemed to work fine.

    In Texas, they do have a "proficiency" test, although I can't imagine how anyone could fail it (as you saw in your class, the target is large and the distances are close). In that case, the proficiency test means very little. You can miss the large target several times and still pass. I think the only purpose of having this proficiency exam was to get the bill passed: "Look guys, they have to show they can hit a target and have 15 hours of classroom lecture. These people will be well trained." It is another feel good measure that in reality doesn't mean anything. If everyone passes, why does there need to be a test?

    On the other extreme, what if the proficiency test was something that Rob Leatham and maybe the other top 500 shooters in the nation could pass? That would essentially be a "ban" on concealed carry.

    Who decides what level of proficiency is acceptable? Do they have to be able to shoot as accurately and as quickly as you? Me? Rob Leatham?
  18. Headless

    Headless Active Member

    May 19, 2006
    I took a gunshow class for my CCW here in tallahassee, FL and was unimpressed with the instructor. The class was mainly about when you can use force, and where you can carry. For our 'live fire', we were handed 2 colibri rounds to load into a .22 revolver, which we then shot into a target at a distance of about 5 feet. Plat. Plat. You're done - next up! So, I got qualified, very easily. So what? I can hit tennis balls consistently at 15 yards+ w/ my 9mm or .40. The class doesn't mean anything in the first place.

    I don't see a problem; people should be able to carry their firearm wherever they want without a permit in the first place. If you are allowed to buy a gun, why shouldn't you be allowed to carry it?

    A couple of hours of 'training' in one sitting doesn't make someone proficient with a firearm anyway; either someone is going to be of their own accord, or they won't. Does anyone really believe that firing 50-100 rounds downrange during CCW qualifying really makes someone 'proficient'? It took me a couple thousand rounds before i considered myself 'proficient' with my guns; most people i've introduced to guns have not been proficient after firing hundreds of rounds. It takes time and practice to build up familiarity and skill with handguns.
  19. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Senior Elder

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    I believe in training. I believe in regular and focused practice. But I do not believe that we are a safer society by having mandatory licensing or qualification standards; I believe that all those restrictions accomplish is to pad the statistics for 'gun crimes' when folk are found to have a firearm without the mandatory slip of paper.

    Exactly - and now they're illegal gun owners, so we can cart them off to jail and declare a need for more gun laws.


    Who believes that failing to pass a CHL test will prevent anyone from carrying? The lack of a slip of paper is no more a deterrent than putting up 'Gun Free Zone' signs on doors and walls. Look at the number of unlicensed drivers on the road every day (especially those of us who live close to the southern border), if you want a real-world example of how a licensing barrier is not a behavioral impediment.

    The end result. Make the training so expensive and the qualification barrier so onerous that most folks can't start or won't try.

    It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with controlling the gun culture. Anyone who believes otherwise needs only to look to other areas where competency evaluations are required by law to see how ineffective those laws really are.
  20. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    What, exactly, is the point and purpose of the CCW/CWP/CHL classes?
    The long and arduous Texas class exists to teach you the law, not to teach you how to shoot. You should already know how to shoot when you show up. The shooting qualification is to ensure you can see the target, and have a basic understanding of firing the gun at that target.
    It's a law class with a gun section, not a basic handgun course.

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