Live Fire Training for Newbies?

The Defensive Shooting Fundamentals Level 1 class takes students from any level through a variety of live-fire drills. The class starts out slowly and builds on different skills throughout the class.

Are you comfortable being in a class on the range with someone who hasn’t shot a gun yet?


Sometimes, I would rather be in that group. If they have paid to be taught how to handle a gun safely, they will probably pay attention. I’ve seen more bad habits from range “experts” than novices.


I am fine with new shooters in class! I want them to learn and new shooters can learn from the new and old shooters can learn from the newbies.


Yes, if they are being supervised by someone who knows how to operate firearms.


@Dawn If the participant had some basic safety training and is with a responsible adult. I’m not sure what other states have because I live here in Illinois but gun ranges want an adult along with a beginner, and that adult must have a FOID no exceptions. In contrast years ago when I was young many many of the Chicago Public Schools had .22 cal rifle ranges in their basements, obviously not any longer but back then Yes; the Caveat to that is back then the NRA taught Firearms safety, Gun safety call it what you will it was taught back in the 1950s, early 1960s and prior to the 1950s.

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…sometimes, on the daily public range, I dearly want a IIII+ rig… but ya, if the Instructor(s) have things well in hand shure… And if they don’t I can be as pushy as anyone when it comes to “keep the fire hole down line!”

Very true, @45IPAC! I’ve heard so many stories - and seen my fair share - of new shooters outshooting those had been shooting for ages because they listened and applied the fundamentals where more seasoned shooters may have some bad habits that are affecting them and they don’t even know it.

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I am as long as they are honest with me about their experience. I like to pair off experienced shooters as coaches with the less experienced.

Honestly I see more safety issues with people that have been shooting since they were pups than with newbies. Newbies tend to be inherently fearful of making mistakes and the more experienced, particularly with guys, is that they will just BS their way through anything feigning expertise where they have none.


In the class -> YES. This group is always supervised, however I do few extra precautions (mostly stay very back when this person is carrying a gun).
I was in CCL class with 3 people who never shot a gun. My first impression wasn’t good. :neutral_face: But Range Officer took care of these guys and treated them with “extra attention” so rest of us felt safe.

And looks newbies have more respect for firearms that “long time” shooters…

As I have personally been that “newbie” on the range when learning handgun and AR-15 I will tell you that I was timid and waited to be instructed on every detail. I now shoot at the range on about a weekly basis and have gotten the RSO or left my range practice day early to avoid those “experts” who waive their guns around without regard to any of the 4 basic gun safety rules. Safety is my # 1 priority when on the range no matter if I’m surrounded by newbies or experts.


The difference in a new bad habit and an old bad habit is that the old bad habit has been reinforced for years or even decades and becomes much harder to break.

Newbies are by far easier to deal with in my experience as an instructor and I’ll go so far as to say that women in general tend to make much better students because their testosterone levels never interfere with accepting direction or instruction.

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I’ll second that, @Shirley! Welcome to the Community!

No I’m sorry I wouldn’t take a course with newbies. I don’t feel like getting shot.