To become a MN “firearms instructor” is very simple. One needs only to possess basic firearms skills.
I, as many others, attended an instructor’s course, where they attempted to make us into “teachers”. We were not taught what to teach, simply how to stand at a podium and address a “class”. I explain this process so one might grasp why every MN Carry Permit Class is so different in material presented, duration and quality.
I became an instructor, designed my curriculum, sent it to the BCA and it was approved…and I’m “instructing”! From a personal experience, the BCA approves most anything, I don’t mean this as an insult, as they are like most state/government run entities – understaffed, which also leads to the fact that most classes will never see an “audit”; ensuring we are instructing the material as approved. Regulation on numbers of rounds fired by a student and how proficient they should be is at best a gray area. Armed with this information on how the real world works – let us explore what a “really good” class is…
CLASS SIZE: More than a dozen students mean more noise/talking and less individual attention. A good instructor to student ratio is 1:4.
LIVE FIRE EXERCISES: Should be held in a climate controlled environment for best results. “What are you going to learn outside at -10°F?
CLASS LENGTH: “Class time” needs to be a minimum of 6 hours; any less and very important topics/information will get left out.
QUALITY: How good is the instructor(s) at presenting material, allowing students to understand and retain the information? Can the instructor teach to a wide variety of skill levels present in the students? How good are the instructors own firearms skills and knowledge base?
As an instructor, I see each student as a challenge, I have 8 hours to instruct this person in a very serious - deadly serious topic. I will cover hundreds of topics and bits of information; it’s critical to ensure the student is safe, well informed and fully understands the ramification of using deadly force in self defense.
My greatest concern as an instructor is too many students shopping for a “short” class or base their decision on cost. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor – do NOT cut corners on training…find a reputable instructor and a full day class.
Brian, Vance and Jaime are instructors at PointBlank Gun Training, LLC founded on the idea of making sure each and every student gets the absolute most from their experience.
Check us out at www.PointBlankGunTraining.com for more carry permit information as well as other classes offered.