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Alright guys, I wanted to inquire about the process of becoming a firearms instructor. Some background so I don’t come off as some fudd hobbyist shooter lol. I’m an active duty Army Ranger and have spent the last 5+ years in Special Operations. Multiple combat deployments throughout the Middle East. I’m certified through RSALC (Ranger Small Arms Leaders Course) and teach regularly to my platoon and company. I’m a Master class USPSA shooter and active competitor in SCSA, Multi-gun, and PRS. I’ve been asked on several occasions if I offer classes, but unfortunately I didn’t, and still don’t, know exactly how to go about that. Must I attend a state recognized course? Am I only permitted to teach the curriculum taught in that specific course? I don’t know what governing body has the power to certify an instructor and I’d also assume I must register as an LLC or similar. I’d like to teach a few disciplines. Broad scope-handgun and long range, but specifically introduction to competitive shooting, CQB, basic and advanced carbine, long range precision, etc. Obviously that’s long term goals, as I’ll likely start with one or two class curriculums and add as I progress. I’m sure it’s state dependent, but some general info would be awesome. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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I have no idea how to become an instructor, but with that resume of yours, sign me up

for one of your courses.     :cheers:

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So it sounds like you have the skills, you just need the paper to be a firearms instructor for the general public.  I'd look into becoming an NRA certified firearms instructor.  They probably have several levels of certification.  Your Military status and M classification would get you clients without it, but the certification will only help.

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1 hour ago, RangerTrace said:

So it sounds like you have the skills, you just need the paper to be a firearms instructor for the general public.  I'd look into becoming an NRA certified firearms instructor.  They probably have several levels of certification.  Your Military status and M classification would get you clients without it, but the certification will only help.

My only concern was if, legally, I had to possess a civilian certification to hold classes. Seems like you need a permit or license for everything these days, so I’d assume there’s some hoops instructors must jump through lol. The NRA certs are all narrow scope (ie basic pistol instructor, basic rifle instructor, etc). Didn’t know if they restrict class curriculum for instructors. 

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1 hour ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

I have no idea how to become an instructor, but with that resume of yours, sign me up

for one of your courses.     :cheers:

Haha thanks man. Hopefully in the near future I’ll have some classes up and running. 

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13 minutes ago, Ragnar175 said:

My only concern was if, legally, I had to possess a civilian certification to hold classes. Seems like you need a permit or license for everything these days, so I’d assume there’s some hoops instructors must jump through lol. The NRA certs are all narrow scope (ie basic pistol instructor, basic rifle instructor, etc). Didn’t know if they restrict class curriculum for instructors. 

I'm not sure.  I'm a DPS Firearms Instructor for what its worth.  I can teach and qualify LEOs on pistol, rifle and shotgun.  But, I certainly don't feel like I could sell my instruction to anyone other than brand new shooters.  

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In Texas, not that i know of.  It might help to get something like an NRA instructor certificate/LTC teaching requirement, for "credibility"but you really just need students and a place to host classes.  You will probably want some insurance though.  Good luck

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8 minutes ago, RJH said:

In Texas, not that i know of.  It might help to get something like an NRA instructor certificate/LTC teaching requirement, for "credibility"but you really just need students and a place to host classes.  You will probably want some insurance though.  Good luck

That was another concern. Insurance and a business account to file with the IRS 😕 

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BTW, if you're teaching a class of students, I know of a few instructors who insist

on wearing Kevlar during the class ...

 

I've brought Viet Vets out shooting, and was amazed at how dismal their 

knowledge of shooting protocol was.   Very unsafe group of shooters.    :( 

 

We also have a guy at our local club who offers instruction - and he has no

where near your credentials.    :) 

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56 minutes ago, Ragnar175 said:

That was another concern. Insurance and a business account to file with the IRS 😕 

 

 

Neither of those are real big  deals.  Matter of a fact an insurance company might be a real good place to get the info you are looking for. I used to have a range and the insurance people were actually very helpful, never had a claim though....

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Take a long hard look at the industry before you jump into it. There are LOTS of guys with similar background/skillset who hung their shingle/website out. 

 

Very very crowded market. 

 

Not a jab at you at all, just relaying what I'm seeing from  the instructor side of the curtain. 

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14 minutes ago, konkapot said:

Take a long hard look at the industry before you jump into it. There are LOTS of guys with similar background/skillset who hung their shingle/website out. 

 

Very very crowded market. 

 

Not a jab at you at all, just relaying what I'm seeing from  the instructor side of the curtain. 

Oh, it’s definitely a saturated market. I don’t intend to do this as a full time gig, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. Just a side gig at clubs within a day’s drive from me. I enjoy teaching and seeing shooters grow. And some side money for Ammo/components wouldn’t hurt either 😆 

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8 hours ago, RJH said:

 

 

Neither of those are real big  deals.  Matter of a fact an insurance company might be a real good place to get the info you are looking for. I used to have a range and the insurance people were actually very helpful, never had a claim though....

That’s a good point. Now just to find an insurer that hasn’t excommunicated the firearms industry. 

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8 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

BTW, if you're teaching a class of students, I know of a few instructors who insist

on wearing Kevlar during the class ...

 

I've brought Viet Vets out shooting, and was amazed at how dismal their 

knowledge of shooting protocol was.   Very unsafe group of shooters.    :( 

 

We also have a guy at our local club who offers instruction - and he has no

where near your credentials.    :) 

Yeah, I can definitely see incompetence being an issue on the range. I wouldn’t go to the extent of making everyone wear armor, but I would definitely need to look at some mitigating factors. Small classes of 8-10, classroom instruction prior to range time, no hot weapons off the line or until make ready command, etc. Teaching civilians definitely presents its own challenges, but I’d like to think the majority of people willing to pay for instruction have a baseline knowledge. I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong rather quickly, though lol. 

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1 hour ago, Ragnar175 said:

Yeah, I can definitely see incompetence being an issue on the range. I wouldn’t go to the extent of making everyone wear armor, but I would definitely need to look at some mitigating factors. Small classes of 8-10, classroom instruction prior to range time, no hot weapons off the line or until make ready command, etc. Teaching civilians definitely presents its own challenges, but I’d like to think the majority of people willing to pay for instruction have a baseline knowledge. I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong rather quickly, though lol. 

 

 

I think just going with a cold range like uspsa does will probably cure most issues.  Holstered empty when not at the line and a hammer down holster after firing.  Probably a few minutes of safety briefing and you won't have any issues.  And let them know that blatant safety violations will get them tossed from class with no refund.  A pocketbook hit is to adults what an ass whipping is to kids haha.  IME "civilians" are easier to teach, cause they don't think they are experts, except cops, idk about those guys haha.  The worst safety violations at my matches, like 360 sweeping everybody violations, was cops and military.  The excuse was always some version of, "no 180s in the real world," but then the other cops and military guys did't do that, so it just turned out a couple of them was idiots.  So basically, you can end up with idiots from all walks of life and hammer down guns are the way to go

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15 minutes ago, RJH said:

 

 

I think just going with a cold range like uspsa does will probably cure most issues.  Holstered empty when not at the line and a hammer down holster after firing.  Probably a few minutes of safety briefing and you won't have any issues.  And let them know that blatant safety violations will get them tossed from class with no refund.  A pocketbook hit is to adults what an ass whipping is to kids haha.  IME "civilians" are easier to teach, cause they don't think they are experts, except cops, idk about those guys haha.  The worst safety violations at my matches, like 360 sweeping everybody violations, was cops and military.  The excuse was always some version of, "no 180s in the real world," but then the other cops and military guys did't do that, so it just turned out a couple of them was idiots.  So basically, you can end up with idiots from all walks of life and hammer down guns are the way to go

That’s very true. Even in the Special Operations world, blatantly unsafe acts are all too common. And like you said, usually from the know-it-alls. But yes, the money will be the big deterrent. People will think twice before wasting hundreds of dollars over a safety violation. And usually it’s pretty easy to get a feel for who just had a mental lapse and who’s an unsafe jackass lol. 

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To respond to the original question. 

Call your local range and ask them what credentials an instructor needs in order to come in and teach a class. Then go get those. Maybe try that with a few ranges to get a good feel for what you need. 

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In short, unless your state has some brutal laws, no, there is not a requirement.

 

From the state, just be licensed, i.e. get an llc if you want protection and liability insurance.

 

No where does it say you need to be an NRA instructor etc... BUT most people will get it just because newbs will want it... same thing if you want to teach at a public range, etc..

 

Also ask the place where you plan on teaching.  I.e. many private ranges do not allow members to conduct business on the property.

 

Teaching gun classes is not like being a licensed doctor, lawyer, stock broker, real estate agent.... at least as far as I know in most of free america.  You don't need permission to do it.

 

If someone is willing to pay you for your knowledge... that's all that matters.

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2 hours ago, Maksim said:

In short, unless your state has some brutal laws, no, there is not a requirement.

 

From the state, just be licensed, i.e. get an llc if you want protection and liability insurance.

 

No where does it say you need to be an NRA instructor etc... BUT most people will get it just because newbs will want it... same thing if you want to teach at a public range, etc..

 

Also ask the place where you plan on teaching.  I.e. many private ranges do not allow members to conduct business on the property.

 

Teaching gun classes is not like being a licensed doctor, lawyer, stock broker, real estate agent.... at least as far as I know in most of free america.  You don't need permission to do it.

 

If someone is willing to pay you for your knowledge... that's all that matters.

That seems to be the case in Georgia, as well. Waiting on responses from my gun club at the moment, but should have a definitive answer soon. 

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