Selecting the right firearms instructor is one of the most important decisions you will make. It is important to choose someone that you feel comfortable with and can learn from. Tactical Firearms Academy (TFA) has been in operations for over twenty years with an instructor team background in military, law enforcement, competition shooting, and private law enforcement. TFA’s instructors stay current on the latest shooting techniques by attending continuing education courses as part of license requirements and to offer their students the most current practical shooting applications. We hope you choose TFA to be your trainer for life. These are some questions to consider when selecting a firearms instructor:
What is their training background?
You want an instructor who doesn’t spout theory but knows from firsthand experience what they are talking about. Is the instructor’s background in military, special ops, reality TV, or competition shooting? If an instructor has no government or military background, they should still have received plenty of firearms training. There are private firearms schools all over the country, which anyone can attend. True instructors never stop learning. Avoid instructors who don’t train often and can’t rattle off the schools and training they have attended.
What certifications does the instructor hold? Are they National Rifle Association (NRA) certified?
In Florida anyone can hang up a shingle and call themselves a firearms instructor. Florida does not require licensure or insurance to teach firearms but does offer a “K” license to firearms instructors. Instructors who possess a “K” license must have completed a course of firearms proficiency taught by law enforcement or a criminal justice agency and is qualified to teach firearms tactics to law enforcement. NRA instructor development classes teach proper instruction and safety techniques. Checking instructor qualifications will ensure you don’t run across someone who doesn’t know the first thing about firearms training. Ask if the instructor carries liability insurance. If they do, they have taken their responsibility seriously. At Tactical Firearms Academy our instructors hold certifications from The National Rifle Association (NRA), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), State of Florida (“K” License) International Association of Law Enforcement Firearm Instructors (IALEFI) and the United States Department of State (DSP-5) for training foreign nationals.
Is the instructor friendly, open-minded and non-militaristic? Do you feel comfortable around them?
When looking for an instructor you want someone who is humble, listens to their students, and is willing to learn from others and take their advice, as well as share their own wisdom.
Does the instructor emphasize safety?
A firearms instructor must make safety paramount. If the instructor does not cover the four safety rules (among others) or makes light of safety, walk the other way. You want an instructor who lives in reality and trains his students for the practical scenarios they will encounter. The instructor who is melodramatic and tells students that they shouldn’t leave their house without wearing their bullet proof vest, carrying 27 items on them, in addition to their gun, and having a bazooka in the trunk, just in case, should also be avoided.
Does the instructor listen to you and genuinely care about you?
If you’re talking to an instructor about the first gun you should purchase do they actually listen to you and to the reason you want to buy a gun? Or do they just spout off “everybody should own a Glock, just buy a Glock and you’ll be fine.” Each of us is different and our firearms needs vary greatly. Look for an instructor that understands this.
Does the instructor walk the walk?
I admit, this one is difficult to find out. However, it’s important to know whether an instructor believes in their training. If you ran into this person in the store, would they be carrying a concealed firearm? Or do they just teach the classes, yet never carry themselves? I would like to learn from someone who lives by what he teaches.
Can the instructor teach?
I know many people who are great marksmen and have incredible self-defense knowledge, yet are terrible teachers. You need someone who is articulate and able to explain why we do the things we do. If an instructor loses patience with someone for asking a few innocent questions, then they probably shouldn’t be teaching classes. Look for customer reviews on the instructor’s training abilities.
What do others say about them?
Finding the right firearms instructor is important. What do others say about their teaching methods? At Tactical Firearms Academy you can find out exactly what our students say about us. Check out our Google+ reviews.
Do they offer a refresher or re-training program at a discounted rate?
If you decide(d) to take a class with Tactical Firearms Academy we are sure the skills we teach will be invaluable to you now and in the future. What happens if you have been busy and just haven’t made it back to the range in awhile to reinforce the skills you learned? Not a problem. Under our Student Refresher Program we allow students to re-take a course they completed for half-price, that’s right half-price! The only requirement is that you take the refresher course within one year of course completion. It’s that easy!