Either you want to learn how to use your newly acquired firearm, or you are just going to the range to practice, having a firearm instructor alongside is important – Because why would you want to be led by someone who isn’t providing the skill set to save your life?
So how do you know the right firearm instructor for you? How do you know if he or she is qualified enough? And what should you consider before choosing a firearm instructor?
This post reveals the answers to all of these questions and more. Let’s take a closer look.
WHO IS A FIREARM INSTRUCTOR?
A firearm instructor is a trained and registered personnel that is qualified to educate and instruct a firearm user on the rules guiding firearm usage and maintenance.
However, not everyone that claims to be a firearm instructor is licensed or qualified to teach you what you need to know about your firearm.
Here are a few criteria on what to look for in the right firearm instructor:
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A FIREARM INSTRUCTOR
1. THE INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE A LEGAL LICENSE RECOGNIZED BY A NATIONAL RECOGNITION AGENCY.
National agencies like the NRA, USCCA, NAAGA, and Guns for everyone usually have curriculums that intending firearm instructors have to complete to get a recognized license. Firearm instructor license also expires usually after 2 years so don’t be fooled by an expired license.
2. THE INSTRUCTOR SHOULD PUT SAFETY FIRST.
The right firearm instructor will always put safety first. The shooting session should also always begin with a recap of the firearm safety rules and regulations. This is because a huge percentage of firearm-related injuries occur as a result of improper firearm handling.
Most people go to the range with the expectation of pulling the trigger and popping a few rounds. However, before you can do that, you need to master proper firearm handling and control.
You might not even get to pull the trigger on your first training session. However, this depends on state obligations. For instance, in Maryland, you are required to sit in a 4 hour class which may limit your shooting time.
The right firearm instructor has to put safety first at all times.
3. THE INSTRUCTOR SHOULD BE WILLING TO DEMONSTRATE.
If the instructor is all talk, then he or she isn’t the right one. The right instructor should be willing and able to demonstrate a move or skill. This means the right instructor should be theoretical as well as practical.
4. THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR TRAINS
Becoming a firearm instructor isn’t a day’s job. It involves consistent training and mastering of skills, rules, gears, and of course, firearms. The right instructor for you has to not just be trained but still be training.
It doesn’t matter how much training the instructor had before getting his license, if the person quits training after getting recognized, then he or she would get rusty after a while. The last person you want to teach you how to use a firearm is someone who hasn’t used one in a while.
5. THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR HAS TO HAVE SKILLS THAT MATCH YOUR NEEDS
Believe it or not, not everyone looks for a firearm instructor because they want to learn how to shoot. Some people just want to learn how to handle a firearm without it going off accidentally.
A wife who doesn’t use a gun might have a husband who likes keeping one around. So it’s only logical for the wife to learn proper firearm handling and storage since her husband would have one in the home.
So the right firearm instructor should have skills that will match your desired needs. This also includes knowledge about specific firearms.
An instructor might be good with a handgun like the Glock series but not very good with assault rifles. So if you want to learn how to use your AR-15 assault rifle, such an instructor wouldn’t be the best fit. I’m sure you get the idea.
6. THE RIGHT FIREARM INSTRUCTOR SHOULD BE COOL AND PATIENT
Contrary to common beliefs, firearm instructors aren’t all “GI JOES or GI JANES.” The right firearm instructor should be cool, patient, and understanding. He or she has to move with you at your pace and not theirs. This means the right firearm instructor wouldn’t rush you or be in haste.
Learning to shoot isn’t complicated and shouldn’t be long-winded. Patience, a cool head, and understanding are all attributes of a good instructor.
Overall, picking a firearm instructor is a big deal because your knowledge and skill with a firearm will depend on the instructor. So ensure to follow the guidelines above and conduct proper research before picking a firearm instructor.
Who knows, you might be a firearm instructor one day too.
Depending on state obligations. For instance, Maryland. You are required to sit in a 4-hour class which may limited shooting time. Of course, is a deterrent to prevent people from buying guns.
Maybe add something like a person who is cool. Not everyone needs a GI joe to teach. Learning to shoot isn’t complicated and shouldn’t be long winded except when teaching required state law and more advanced topics.