Firearms Training Is Still Essential, Even If a Permit Isn't

As more and more states move to what is known as “constitutional carry” — as in, adults who are not criminals may legally carry concealed firearms without a state-issued permit — it raises a few important questions: If you don’t have to get a concealed carry permit, then why would you? Come to think of it, why would you ever even go to a firearms training class?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

It’s a great sentiment. But it’s not going to happen. And that will be our ultimate undoing.

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We have seen firsthand how firearm training is still happening – and growing --everywhere, even in places that don’t require it.

Wisconsin currently requires a class for concealed carry. Non-concealed carry classes are as full as the required concealed carry class and range time is still incredibly full even with the ammo shortage.

A required class doesn’t mean those in attendance will retain or train on anything they’ve heard in the class. How much of the required high school classes do people remember as adults? (I don’t remember anything from geometry and I took it for an entire school year. :thinking: )

People who want to be educated and train will do so with or without the government requirement.


I have mixed feelings on requirements. But I think there needs to be a lot more encouragement for all these new shooters to get some training. I have never seen a salesman at any store hand a gun over to an obviously inexperienced purchaser and follow it up with a suggestion on training opportunities. Maybe trainers should give handouts to the stores to be offered to new customers? Of course the store owners should make sure the trainers are qualified.


All so-called “training” isn’t created equal. A lot of what passes for “training” nowadays is crap being taught by people who a) aren’t very good at teaching people physical skills, and b) have no experience-based knowledge of what an actual life-n-death fight is like, much less how to survive one.


Yep. When I made my first purchase, it was ahead of any training or safety study. I was clearly a newbie, and anyone could tell.

Rather than saying “Let me tell you about some local gun clubs,” or offering me a list of training resources, he asked me “Don’t you want to buy some bullets?”

That’s part of what we’re about here, right? Offering encouragement to new shooters, and helping them be safe gun owners.

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@Ken38, does someone have to survive a life or death fight to be able to teach firearm safety, shooting fundamentals or defensive shooting? That would severely reduce the number of instructors.

Someone who has survived a gunfight will definitely have different insights than someone who hasn’t, however that doesn’t mean the survivor will be a good teacher or the good teacher has to be a survivor of a gunfight to teach.


Maybe. But I prefer to get training from people who actually know what they are doing with a demonstrated and indisputable track record of successful experience…especially when it comes to life-n-death stuff. I’m funny that way.


I didn’t interpret @Ken38’s comments to mean the only worthwhile training to be from a battle tested veteran, rather there are significant differences in training courses, depending on who’s teaching them.

That said, my USCCA trainer did experience the high stress conditions of being in action in Afghanistan, and the whole class appreciated the Q&A with someone who had “been there.”


I also think a certified Hunter Education Instructor should have been hunting a few times and actually skinned a rabbit or squirrel once or twice. Like I said, I’m just funny like this. I won’t send my daughter to take driver’s ed class from someone who has never been a professional driver, either. SMH.


The USCCA is a very good resource for new shooters. The issue is that many of the folks who find their way here are the self motivated learners who are actively seeking out knowledge on their own.

A lot of new shooters lack the understanding and/or the motivation to actively look for good educational opportunities. And then you also have the yahoos who think that buying a gun and some ammo makes them an instant Rambo, no training needed.


I personally prefer advice and training from people who have been there and done that. But not all of those people make good teachers. I also think it is possible for really good teachers who don’t have the first hand experience to seek out knowledge from the people who have and build that into an effective curriculum. The trick is figuring out which trainers actually know what they are talking about and know how to pass it on effectively in style that works for you.


I 100% agree. The same is true with so many things, the guy who buys an expensive sports car and crashes it at high speed, because he doesn’t know how to drive fast.

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I respectfully disagree. I don’t believe USCCA’s body of training curriculum or the majority of their certified instructors and TCs with whom I have become familiar are very impressive. And I dug pretty deeply into the curriculum and have researched a few instructors and TCs for acquaintances here in FL who I had to waive them away from due to an assortment (or even concentration) of “red flag warning” reasons. I even reported some of these concerns to USCCA, and said individuals still appear on the USCCA’s referral lists (last I checked). No, I am not citing specific cases in an open forum. I’m sure some of the instructors are terrific. I actually was considering transferring my certs to USCCA a few years ago because so many people I met here were asking me to coach them, and that’s the main reason I dug so deep into this. In the end, I just let most of my certs expire. I don’t want to be associated with NRA anymore, and I don’t want to be professionally associated with USCCA. Here in FL (and in many states), I can teach the prerequisite course for the CWL on my Hunter Ed Instructor cert. Not much more, and I can teach LE and PSC firearms courses. And that should concern folks who think mandatory training is a good idea.

Last week I was speaking via phone with one of the most prolific and competent licensed LTC instructors in TX about the constitutional carry drive in TX. I’ve worked for him in the past. We are good friends. He has a revenue stream that is going to disappear if this becomes law in TX. He knows I am a proponent of constitutional carry…just because I’m pro-Constitution, period (which includes the processes for amending it if we think it needs modification). He told me he can no longer defend or justify the requirement for the LTC class and doesn’t trust background checks anymore. He’s a full-time LE senior leader, by the way. So he was about to publicly endorse the constitutional carry legislation in TX when he called. He says the current curriculum is so inadequate that it may actually do more harm than good.

You see, a whole lot of people are trying to make a buck or stroke their egos with little to no awareness of, much less regard for, the training scars they are putting on people. This is the essence of the phrase: a lot of folks don’t know what they don’t know. But we will all answer for it in the end.


So much of this falls under “don’t let a good crisis go to waste.” Bad people take advantage of desperate people. It also includes scam ammo suppliers as we’ve captured in another thread on the forum, and snake oil purveyors selling Covid protection.

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Spot on. And I totally agree that we will all answer for it in the end. And for no good reason other than hubris, greed, and benign neglect.

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I agree that certifications generally certify a minimal competency, at best. I don’t want to be trained by someone who is minimally qualified. I want to be trained by someone who has a well earned reputation as an effective trainer of effective techniques.

I also would not expect to be able to effectively train someone after simply taking a single training course. I would at least want to have taken a whole lot of training courses from highly regarded trainers to see what techniques work best for a wide variety of students. I would prefer to then apprentice with a well respected trainer to get the needed experience and critiques.

Having never trained with a USCCA certified trainer I cannot speak to the quality of their curriculum or the pool of trainers they have available. I do think that the USCCA forum and some of their online training materials provide some useful resources for people trying to figure out some of what they don’t know.

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Appreciate the topic.

I had wondered if there already exists, a certification, but dedicated to firearms handling, safety, and “use”, not necessarily “how to shoot straight”;

A certification on a “volunteer” basis, “not necessarily only for firearms instructors”, but for having a status of higher-level learning and training, with the purpose of adding more quality and responsibility to our community. A certification not managed by government entity, but by citizens, and nationally recognized. No disrespecting nor claiming that our community is lacking, but rather – interested in elevating our community. Perhaps a positive response which could help add more strength.

Similar to other fields, such as Karate has black belts, and how certain physicians or counselors have certifications as credentials. We already have for fee classes related to firearms on topics from A-Z, why not have a series which leads to a certification which we can renew every few years?

Those certified can serve as role models, or ambassadors for our community. They could help co-teach existing CCL Permit courses, or out of pocket/private pay courses which some gun ranges already teach via their instructors. They could be guest speakers or guest lecturers to groups or schools, with an emphasis on safety, and handling.

I also wondered if there could be non-for-profit training programs which are more affordable for those who need to or want to obtain a CCL Permit for the states which require training before issuing a permit.

I’m not sure if we will see enough valid and believable measurements of outcomes, good or bad fallout from the increase in “buyers” the last 12 months, and from the new permit-less or constitutional carry states. Though personally, it makes sense to me that there might be more accidents or theft.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article herein but in another post which it claimed to have found how each of several mass shooters obtained their firearms. I’ve since lost that “read”, but found a different one linked below.

To me it was interesting that some obtained them by taking them from a relative, or having purchased them legally. A very complex subject indeed. I believe in certain rights to “bear”; I can “carry” in 40 states. Yet at the same time I seek to find out how I can help reduce harm from them.

Article: percent-of-mass-shooters-obtained-their-guns-legally

SO- you’re saying that rather than more gun laws we need-
1- Enforcement of the ones we have
2, Mental health to be taken seriously
That’s crazy talk. What are the politicians going to jump in front of cameras to talk about?

agree, i have also train with glock 19 gen 5 with my brothers… when robbers attacked to our house then my brother save our live with air-fire