Red Flags for Students

I have a potential student that voluntarily check themselves into a mental institution a few years back. Not to get too personal with the information due to HIPPA, but it wasnt because of suicidal thoughts.

Seeing as instructors don’t conduct background checks, what are some other red flags that would prevent a student from participating in a CPL/CCW class?


Most CCW classes require range proficiency. Most, if not all, ranges require signing a waiver. If someone refuses to complete the waiver bounce them from the class. In extremus, you could prepare a questionnaire matching the 4473. Give both at the start of the class (or as part of the course registration). Lots of info there. Don’t use an actual Form 4473! Check with your lawyer first, if possible.


A store/range where I shoot, with a high number of classes each month, will give the classroom portion to anyone, but if they learn a person has a medical marijuana card they will not let them shoot. A significant concern is for the legal risk to the instructor and employer (store) of providing a firearm to a known drug user. Until marijuana is removed from the prohibited drugs list at the Federal level, this will be an ongoing problem; the ATF is still enforcing the marijuana law, even though as far back as Obama/Holder the Justice Department is, in general, not doing so.


If the person was involunarily committed to a mental treatment facility, or is required to be seen by a psychiatrist, then there’d be an issue about that person even being allowed to purchase a firearm, let alone participate in range activities. In a range situation, if the person displays overt activity that could cause harm to themselves or others, then they need to be excused from the range by staff or other authority and reported promptly depending on the situation. Otherwise it’s really none of our concern, what are we going to do, perform a personality index on every person we suspect “isn’t right in the head” before they can enter a range? We’ve all seen “odd” folks at the range, we’ve all talked to fellow firearm owners that are “out there”, but unless they whip out a piece and start waiving it around like the Joker, it’s none of my business what’s going on in their head.


I’ve signed a combination waiver-questionnaire form in the past which makes a lot of sense.
Prior to having a CCW permit, I wasn’t familiar with the term “prohibited persons.”