A Little Research Goes Along Way…
I recently came across this story: http://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/prosecutor-concealed-carry-instructors-forged-basic-requirements, and thought it was worth sharing on our newsletter. This article brings up an issue that seems to plague the CCW licensing industry as a whole. That issue is simply based on taking “shortcuts”. If you don’t want to check out the article directly, here’s a quick recap:
Two CCW instructors in Ohio were offering concealed carry classes where students were being “passed” although they had not met the mandatory required number of classroom or live fire hours per the Ohio state law. Again, taking shortcuts. The worst part of this situation: at least 50 students of these individuals have now had their Ohio CCW permits revoked, and both instructors are facing criminal fraud charges.
While this isn’t a common occurrence, it seems to be happening more and more these days. This is the first case I’m aware of where criminal charges were applied (and I completely agree with that approach). In most of these scenarios, the instructor’s certification/license is suspended and they cannot teach in that particular state again.
Now you may be thinking, “what’s the big deal if the instructor cuts a few hours off the class? I can always take another class if needed”. Aside from the obvious inconvenience and costs of taking another class, here’s where it becomes a big deal. Imagine if you had taken one of these falsified classes in OH and received your Ohio CCW permit based on that class. A month later, you are placed in a situation where you have to use deadly force to protect yourself. Even though you thought (in good faith) that you were licensed to carry, by law, you technically were not. This opens a huge can of worms for you legally and civilly, and puts your alleged self defense actions in a whole new light.
I still believe most people are “good”, and most CCW instructors across the U.S. follow the rules and fulfill the training requirements for each state. That being said, how do you avoid getting in this situation?
- First, familiarize yourself with the CCW licensing requirements of your state, and be aware of exactly how many hours of classroom instruction and range time (if any) are required. For example, in my home state of NC, the CCW class requirement is a minimum of 8 hours of instruction followed by a live fire qualification.
- Second, consider an experienced CCW instructor and double check his/her license to teach CCW in that state. Each state should be able to confirm that an instructor is licensed to teach in that state. The state agency that oversees the licensing process for instructors will vary state to state, so you may have to spend a little time researching it. Here in NC, licensing is administered and managed by the NC Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards Commission.
- Ask exactly how long the classes are and how the class hours and/or range time are allotted. If your state requirement is 8 hours of classroom with 2 hours of range instruction, and the answer provided to you is 6 in class and 1 on the range, I’d consider looking elsewhere or move to the next instructor or class on your list.
Personally, I’d avoid any CCW instructor who makes references to just signing off on a certification or offers to complete a class faster than the required number of state hours. While it sounds convenient and easy, it simply isn’t worth the risk.
We’d love to hear any comments in the comments section below.