A friend shared a Facebook advertisement of a concealed firearms permit class being offered in Jackson Hole, and I decided to learn more. As a business person, I like to “check out the competition” and I also find that I always learn something when I take courses from other instructors. This prompted my Concealed Carry Class Review. Our firm’s primary focus is on our world renown 3-Hour Multi-Gun Rifle and Pistol Shooting Experiences and our private long range rifle training, specifically our Journey to One Mile.
We offer a dozen or so community group classes each year in defensive tactical carbine, long range rifle, concealed carry weapons (CCW) among others. We offer these 1-day classes at very low prices simply to help our neighbors become more familiar with firearms safety and to help them better protect themselves and their neighbors (us). 🙂
I had previously taken an online CCW course that was horrible, it was only one hour in length and the instructor was lousy, in his demonstrations even pointing his pistol at himself. I feared that the Equip 2 Conceal Class would also be a junk show, however it was definitely a step up! To be fair, we also have a different business model and target audience. It is somewhat unfair to compare budget products and services to premier ones.
Wyoming’s requirements are excellent for CCW classes. The Wyoming law simply requires that a student, “Demonstrates familiarity with a firearm.” One way is, “Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor.” This means that technically, a student would not even have to touch a firearm, and if an NRA instructor taught a 2-minute class, the student would have met the state requirements. In my opinion, this is a good law. It is up to the market to sort out what is good and what is bad.
Because our firearms training school is dedicated to excellence, and not to cheapness, I started offering some 1-day NRA Basic Pistol Classes and 1-Day NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home courses. Even with these, I was not satisfied with the quality, so I created my own 1-day (7-8 hours) class that combined the best of the other classes, added much more information and required students to shoot at least 50 shots with an instructor observing and coaching. I determined that it would not be responsible of me to provide anything less, even though it would be a fast and easy money-making scheme to run a “certificate mill.” I am proud that when someone receives a certificate of completion from one of our CCW classes, it really means something.
So, my first step was to see what others who had paid for Equip to Conceal classes had to say, so I checked for online reviews. Some were from people that we disgusted with the refund & cancellation policy.
Based on this, I was not expecting much good. When I arrived however, a friendly instructor greeted me and had me sign in. I had registered 2 days prior, and he did not have my information, however agreed to accept me. He was humble, friendly and well-intentioned.
Over the next 2.5 hours he read from the PowerPoint and talked about many of the same topics I offer in my classes. There were a few inaccuracies in the Powerpoint, however is was overall better than I expected. The instructor was not knowledgeable about state or federal firearms laws, and did not understand all of the content he was teaching. A handful of times he was absolutely wrong, however greater than 95% of the time he understood the PowerPoint content.
This $79 Equip 2 Conceal class was not the total disaster as I expected, and would not be a bad option for a person that simply needs a certificate. I will actually refer some people to this class that I think might be a better fit than for our class. If one already knows firearms laws and is willing to do research on Use of Force on their own time, and if they already know how to shoot well and have limited time and simply need a certificate, this class could be a great option.
The most important misconception that I fear students left with was that when you pull a gun to defend yourself that you need to use it and shoot to stop. I am sure the instructor simply misunderstood the question that was asked.