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How to Be a CPL Instructor in Michigan

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Carrying a concealed pistol is legal in many states, including Michigan. Before earning the right to do so, though, Michigan citizens are required to take an eight-hour gun safety course taught by a certified concealed pistol license instructor, and then apply for the concealed pistol license through the county clerk's office. CPL instructors are trained through nationally and state-certified agencies and are well versed on gun safety and handling before they become certified instructors. CPL instructors are not required to register with the state of Michigan after completing training.


Learn gun safety and how to fire a pistol. Instructors must have these skills before taking an instructor training program. Local shooting schools and firing ranges provide classes in shooting and gun safety.

Develop and demonstrate your shooting skills. Shooting clubs and firing ranges are good places to further your pistol skills and learn to demonstrate your shooting skills. Instructor training programs will require you to demonstrate expert pistol skills during training.

Learn to instruct others. Not everyone with gun safety and shooting knowledge is comfortable instructing others. Enroll in a class that teaches you how to teach, present information and follow a lesson plan. Check local community colleges and continuing education programs for teacher training programs.

Instructor Training

Make sure you qualify. Michigan will not allow certain individuals to instruct gun safety. You will not be allowed to be a CPL instructor if you were dishonorably discharged from the military; were terminated or asked to leave, or resigned in lieu of termination, from a federal or state law enforcement agency; or were convicted of a felony.

Read Michigan Act 372 of 1927, Section5j. Section 5j records the requirements of the training program you will be teaching once you complete instructor training.

Enroll in and complete an instructor program offered by a state approved or national firearms training organization. The National Rifle Association qualifies as a national firearms organization. The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards is Michigan's certifying body for approved firearms training programs.

Work for a Michigan law enforcement agency and be certified to teach gun safety through that agency. This requirement is necessary only when applying for a MCOLES certification to teach the eight-hour pistol safety course. If you are certified to teach gun safety through a Michigan law enforcement agency, you will still need to complete the MCOLES certification to teach the state gun safety course.

Teach the required Michigan pistol safety course. You can work through a training school or as an individual instructor. You must provide students who successfully complete the safety course with certificates stating their completion and including your name and signature as the certifying instructor. According to Michigan state law, each certificate must also include the statement “This course complies with section 5j of 1927 PA 372.”


Awarding a certificate to a student that you know did not complete the program in a satisfactory manner can cost you a $2,500 fine and a four-year prison sentence.

You may be asked to provide proof of your instructor certification by students, employers or state officials. Keep a copy with you when teaching.


Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.

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