You’ve been doing this for a while. You’re trained up, you’re capable, and now you want to pass that knowledge onto others. Maybe you feel you have a particularly keen grasp on what it takes to be a law-abiding concealed carrier and you want to ensure others do, too. Perhaps you’re interested in pursuing a career as a firearms instructor. In either case, there are a number of steps you need to take to become a state-certified concealed carry firearms instructor.
Research Your State’s Requirements
Each state will likely have specific milestones before they approve a person as a state-certified concealed carry handgun instructor. This distinction – called by different titles depending on the state – enables you to teach others your state’s required concealed carry course. If you live in a state that doesn’t require a concealed carrier to attend a course ahead of time (New Hampshire, for example) – you may still be eligible to register with other state boards so you can teach their state’s CHL or CCW course.
For example, let’s look at North Carolina’s requirements to become an instructor of their required concealed carry handgun permit course.
12 NCAC 09F .0104 INSTRUCTOR QUALIFICATIONS
(a) Instructors shall meet the following qualifications for approval to deliver the “Concealed Carry Handgun Training” course:
(1) the instructor shall hold one of the following certifications:
(a) “Specific Instructor Certification-Firearms” issued by the Commission;
(b) Private Protective Services Firearms Trainer Certification; or
(c) “Firearms Instructor Certification” in Personal Protection, Basic Pistol, or Police Firearms issued by the National Rifle Association;
(2) the instructor shall hold a certificate issued by the North Carolina Justice Academy showing successful completion of the course on “Laws Governing Concealed Handgun and Use of Deadly Force;”
(3) the instructor shall be eligible to receive or possess a firearm under Federal and North Carolina State Law; and
(b) The instructor shall notify the Criminal Justice Standards Division of all court orders, domestic violence orders of protection, and criminal offenses for which the instructor is charged which would prohibit the instructor from being eligible to receive or possess a firearm under Federal and North Carolina State Law. The notifications required under this Paragraph must be in writing, must specify the nature of the offense, the court in which the case is being handled, the date of arrest, court order, domestic violence order of protection or criminal charge. The notification required under this Paragraph must be received by the Criminal Justice Standards Division within 10 days of the date of the court order, domestic violence order of protection, arrest or criminal charge.
North Carolina is actually pretty typical in scope for their criteria of what cuts the mustard for concealed carry instructors. Reducing the verbiage down, we see that all applicants must have:
- Passed a state-recognized instructor course on firearms.
- Completed a specific course on that state’s gun laws.
- Eligible to possess a firearm in that state.
- Notify the state if the applicant or instructor is caught violating the law.
States like Louisiana specifically outline what that training must consist of at every step of the process. Here are Louisiana’s required training materials:
- One hour of instruction on handgun nomenclature and safe handling procedures of a revolver and semi-automatic pistol;
- One hour of instruction on ammunition knowledge and fundamentals of pistol shooting;
- Three hours of instruction on the use of deadly force and conflict resolution;
- One hour of instruction on handgun shooting positions;
- One hour of instruction on child access prevention; and
- Two hours of actual live range fire and proper handgun cleaning procedures
So, as you can see — each state is going to outline the process they’re going to want you to go through in order to become a concealed carry firearms instructor.
Before you apply for a concealed handgun or concealed carry instructor certification course, it’s always a fantastic idea to have a proven record of training behind you. Part of that training can come from your time in the military (and is documented on your DD-214), or you are prior law enforcement. If you’re able to show you have a record of safety and certifications, your argument to the state certification process and the actual certification process itself will be much stronger.
Not all instructors took their courses through the NRA. Some states, such as Illinois, have their own process and their own training courses administered by law enforcement. The NRA instructor course, however, will undoubtedly look good in your application.
The Application Process
Go online and find out your state’s specific application process. Don’t apply until you have all the requirements met. Once you’ve completed your state’s requirements and have achieved their blessing to continue on as a state-certified concealed carry firearms instructor, you could inquire into neighboring states to determine their process.