By Ken Dodd, Instructor, FTA, Inc. Garner, NC
At Firearms Training Associates we believe our Concealed Carry Weapon Permit class is the most thorough offering in the Triangle, giving our students an in-depth exposure to rights, responsibilities and skills required for lawful firearm ownership.
Still, perspective clients often ask us why we structure our class to be conducted over three days. If you shop around the Triangle for other concealed carry classes you’ll find some that are conducted in one day and some that take up the whole weekend. Here’s why we hold our classes over three days.
The first class is a four-hour session on a Monday evening that covers North Carolina law as it pertains to owning, carrying and using a handgun. We discuss your rights as a lawful owner of a firearm, your responsibilities that come with firearm ownership and the rights of your neighbors and fellow citizens who may not be inclined to share your ideas and opinions of firearms. This is a lot of information and the law and the decisions that come from it are almost always changing.
The second class on a Wednesday evening is also a four-hour class that focuses on firearms safety. Our clients learn the parts of both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. We discus how to handle a firearm, what a proper sight picture looks like, how to care for and store a firearm, what can go wrong when you pull the trigger and how to rectify those situations. Again, this is very important information and there is a lot of it.
Our Saturday session is a four-hour, qualifying session on our range that generally starts mid-morning. Staffed by three to five instructors depending on class size we teach our clients proper stance and grip of the firearm and how to present, or draw, it from the holster. We practice voice commands, an integral and often overlooked component should a person have to draw their firearm to defend themselves. We practice proper sight pictures, breathing techniques and how to make accurate follow-up shots. We try to create muscle memory that may possibly save a person’s life should they ever find themselves in a high-stress, high-adrenaline confrontation with real bad guys. We do all of this with a singular focus on safety.
On range day, FTA is one of the few companies that actually instruct it students on presenting the firearm from the holster. Why do we do that when others don’t? Where will your firearm be if you have a real-world encounter with someone with violent intentions? We believe that it’s critical to learn and practice in an environment that most closely replicates the world in which we live.
And FTA does something we know no other company does. We have a standing invitation to all our clients to return to EVERY range day to practice and shoot with each new class. We believe in proficiency with a firearm and the only way to achieve that is through practice. So you can see Saturday is also packed with information.
Now you’re saying “But three four-hour classes is a lot of time.” You are correct but the North Carolina Department of Justice curriculum requires a person receive eight hours of instruction plus qualify in a live-fire range session to pass a concealed carry permit courses. That is mandated by North Carolina law. At FTA we think trying to cover all of this classroom information in one giant, eight hour “brain dump” is counter-productive. People can forget or miss key points of information. They get tired, restless or bored. They don’t have time to digest the information and ask questions. Our instructors are all former law enforcement officers, each with more than 30 years of LE experience and years of instructing thousands of Triangle residents. They know their stuff and they know how to teach it.
The bottom line is that a person can probably find a class that costs less money or is conducted in a shorter time span. But you will not find a class that is more thorough, has better instructors or is more valuable than that offered by FTA.