Selecting a Concealed Carry Instructor
There is plenty more a credible instructor will add to personalize the course to their own style and accentuate what they feel is important. There will always be plenty more to learn when it comes to being a responsibly armed citizen. Generally, this information is the minimum one should expect to gain from a class, but we should always expect more. The best instructors always give you more. In many cases the increased content and instructor experience may mean an increase in course fees. Many of the great instructors recognize the value of the course they teach and are not charging bargain basement prices. They are often times worth every penny.
What are some characteristics of a good instructor?
Start with being credentialed by a well-known firearms safety/education organization. This may be from the National Rifle Association, the United States Concealed Carry Association or a Law Enforcement or Military Firearms School. This credential is not a be-all end-all. However it does say this person takes instruction serious enough to seek out education. Most states require concealed carry instructors to be credentialed in order for their training certificate to be recognized.
Dress for success
A serious and professional instructor will dress professionally. The guy showing up in cut off shorts and a tank top is not taking his appearance seriously, so why should he take his class seriously. Conversely, if the instructor shows up in military fatigues with body armor and a tactical rifle, it is likely he is not aware of his audience. Especially those who are looking to be armed in public without anyone taking notice.
A good instructor recognizes that we never stop learning, and they take their own education seriously. Good instructors will publish the courses they have attended in order to improve their own skills. Some instructors will be active in competitive shooting or other activities, which keeps their skills sharp. Look for instructors who also take classes that are not just shooting related. Emergency medicine, psychology of self-defense, and classes related to teaching adult education are great non-shooting training an instructor will attend in order to improve their own effectiveness.
Above all, look for an instructor who emphasizes safety. For the 8 hours or so they are in charge of a class, they are responsible for student safety. If there is any indication that an instructor allows unsafe behavior in their classroom or range, run the other way.
These are the basics… there is always more to learn and skills to develop that could be lifesaving should you need them. Always look for training beyond the basics. You may also find out that you have a lot of fun along the way.
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