A concealed carry instructor is a person who is certified and approved to teach a concealed carry class. An instructor will be a very highly trained and qualified marksman and firearms safety expert. He or she will have intimate knowledge of the laws governing concealed carry in your state, and will have to be very familiar with all aspects of carrying a concealed weapon.
States usually allow for firearms safety and training courses to be given by state-approved instructors. Usually, this includes NRA Instructors, Police or Sheriff Instructors, or Military Instructors.
NRA Firearms Safety Courses are widely accepted as appropriate training to acquire a concealed carry class. (You can find out what requirements your state has by clicking here.) Therefore, civilians can and do teach carry courses by becoming an NRA Certified Instructor.
Concealed Carry Instructor Course
To become a certified and approved concealed carry instructor, you will have to take training and pass a test. Additionally, it is likely that you will need to fill out a form and provide documentation showing that you have the appropriate certification to teach a concealed carry class.
Like the concealed carry class itself, to become a concealed carry instructor, in some states you will have to provide information on your mental health, your background, criminal record, and provide proof of training.
The course you take will likely be an NRA course. It will teach you multiple facets of concealed carry, firearms laws in your state, and how to safely handle weapons. However, it will also teach you what you need to know to be an effective teacher. Just because you know a lot about guns, carrying, etc., does not mean you will necessarily be a top-notch teacher.
How to become a concealed carry instructor
So, you might now be asking, “How do I become a CCW instructor?”
Because NRA Instructors are widely recognized (though not universally recognized), you are best off becoming an NRA Instructor. Again, double check what kind of instructors your state approves for concealed carry classes. If in doubt, contact your local sheriff’s office or your state’s Attorney General.
To become an instructor, you will have to have a real passion for teaching people and spreading firearms awareness and safety. You are doing yourself and your students an injustice if you aren’t fully engaged. Teaching firearms safety isn’t just about going through a text book. You must know what to do in any given situation, so that you can give the most informative classes and answer any questions that may arise.
As long as you are sure that you are teacher material, you can begin the process to become an NRA Instructor.
You will first need to sign up to take a course. Courses are divided into disciplines. For example, you can be an instructor for the Pistol Shooting Course, the Home Firearm Safety Course, etc.
Fill out the application. You will be accepted or denied based on your background in firearm safety and shooting skills. This can be demonstrated in numerous ways.
Qualify based on the Pre-Course Qualification Checklist. This can only be done if you have passed the course you hope to teach, with a very high score (90% on the test). This can be skipped, as long as you have other equally impressive shooting skills that you can prove.
You need at least 80% on the Pre-Course Qualification to make it to the actual instructor course. You will be tested on things like loading/unloading, clearing jams, firing proficiency, etc. Safety is paramount. Failure to adhere to good safety practices will result in a 0 mark for any particular section of the Pre-Course Qualification.
If you pass this part of the application, you will take the actual training, usually 2 weeks or so afterwards. The training will consist of 2 days, typically. You will learn basic instruction first, and then have a second day, where you will delve further into your specialty.
Finally, you will need the endorsement of your teacher (an NRA Training Counselor).
As you can see, this test process is not quick, nor easy. The NRA Instructor Course can cost anywhere from $200 to $400, and can only be taught by NRA Training Counselors.
If you get through this process and become an NRA Instructor, you can be sure that you are a highly qualified and skilled firearms safety and training expert.
Now, while this is the tough part, you will probably have to get approved by your state, in order to actually teach.
To do this, contact your local sheriff or police chief. If your concealed firearms program/legislation is run by another state department, contact them (i.e., Attorney General).
It is likely that you will need to fill out a form that confirms you are of sound mind, do not have a criminal record, don’t abuse drugs nor alcohol, and have the appropriate training requirements.
There are some states that have different CCW instructor certification guidelines. To find out more about your state’s requirements to become a concealed carry instructor, click below.
How to become an instructor in each state – Coming Soon!
Concealed Carry Pro says
Great article! Really lays out what you need to do to become qualified. One thing I might add is that before you even think about this, you should practice — both range time and dry fire time — to make your skills automatic. That will help a LOT in passing the proficiency test.