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There are as many different avenues to becoming a concealed handgun instructor as there are states that allow concealed carry (CCW). This is because there are no national or federal standards with regard to carrying concealed handguns. Virtually the entire legal process is left up to each state to determine.
Some states, like Indiana and Washington, have no formal CCW instructors because they do not require classes or testing for a license. Other states, such as Nevada, leaves it up to the local county sheriff to determine who is qualified to teach the classes. Others, like Michigan, have a formal process that includes statewide mandatory training of those who seek to become instructors.
Sufficient training is the best way to progress toward a CCW instructors position. While some states have their own certification program, many also accept the National Rifle Association (NRA) training, “Personal Protection Outside The Home Instructor.” This is an advanced NRA course which requires other basic courses, such as “Basic Pistol Shooting Instructor,” as a prerequisite. Other quality training programs which advance a potential instructor's knowledge base are Gunsite and BullsEye Tactical Firearms Training.
Shooting a handgun does not come naturally to everyone. For the states that require a range test, the students will have to be equipped with proper training and practice. It will be easier for them to pass the test if they have a competent and experienced CCW instructor who knows how to handle a variety of handguns and can communicate that experience to his students.
Study State Laws
Teaching others the use of firearms in public can be risky if they ultimately misuse the handgun to harm others. If they are found at fault, they may put the blame on you for providing inadequate instruction. It is incumbent upon you to fully understand your state's regulations concerning firearms and the proper use thereof. While there are great similarities between the laws of many states, even such actions as self-defense have different statutory and case law which vary from state to state.
If your state does not supply an instructional syllabus that covers the mandatory areas, then it is up to you to put one together.
Take Care of Business
Apply with the state or county in which you want to teach. Secure any business licenses that you need, along with a business structure, whether a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Because the issue of firearms can often bring litigation, becoming a corporation may be the best way to protect any assets from lawsuits.
Network with natural places, such as gun shops and gun shows, to let the community know that you are in business. If there is a organization in your state that represents gun owners, they often have lists of CCW instructions on their website. If there are ranges or hunting clubs in your area, it is good to know the people who work there and let them spread the word for you. The police often come into contact with people who want to obtain a CCW license and having them aware of your business is always a good idea.
If your shooting skills are weak, you may wish to enter into a partnership with someone who makes up for what you lack.
Because of the possiblity of litigation, you must insure yourself with the proper coverage.
Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.