Thursday, October 9, 2008

Five Things To Do After Taking The Michigan Basic Pistol Safety Training Class

As a firearms instructor, who keeps "the door of communication" open with my Concealed Pistol License (CPL) students open, I occasionally find out that a few of them aren't dilligently working towards their personal protection goals. Sometimes I find out by a phone call and at other times it is through an email message. In every case, I playfully tease them a bit and I then implore them to "take care of business." This article will disclose the top five things that a CPL student should do very soon after taking the Michigan Basic Pistol Safety Training Class (BPSTC).

1. Return To The Range For Reinforcement
A beginning shooter should revisit the range soon after their BPSTC. The purpose of this visit is to have another shooting experience while everything that that they learned in class is still relatively fresh in their minds. If the student ventures back into the range for a shooting session soon after the BPSTC, they will have reinforced their training and have established confidence that will sustain them throughout their new life as a shooter.

If the student procrastinates and does not return to the range within a reasonable period of time, self doubt might creep in and keep them from ever going back by themselves. Fortunately for my students, all they have to do is call me and I'll meet them at the range and re-establish their prior comfort level with shooting a firearm.

2. Submit Their CPL Application To Their County Clerk
It is surprising to me, at times, when I receive a call from a CPL student who wants to know when their Course Completion Certificate (CCC) expires. From this inquiry, I correctly infer that they haven't submitted their CPL Application yet. Of course, "I give them the business," and inform them that the National Rifle Association's (NRA) opinion is that the certificates never expire, however, many county gun boards won't accept a CCC older than a year old. In a way I wished that the CCCs expired in 10 days like the Handgun Purchase Permits - there would then be a "built-in" sense of urgency to fill out and submit the application.

3. Shop For An Attorney For Representation
If a person is going to be carrying around a gun for personal protection, it is a good idea to have an attorney. The time to find a lawyer that you like and would want to represent you - when necessary - is before you actually need one. You will have some time before you receive your CPL, so use your time wisely - find a lawyer! If you believe that having a loaded pistol in your possession will give you peace of mind, just imagine how great you'll feel when you have both a loaded gun AND an attorney!

4. Shop Around For A Handgun
No one handgun fits everybody. If a person was a student in my CPL class, odds are that I had him/her shoot a full-sized Glock™ 19 (9mm) handgun. There is a chance that it didn't fit his hand, didn't have a magazine button on the "right" side for left-handed shooter, was too big for his liking, or in one way or another did not meet his requirements.

In a way, those aforementioned situations are still postive experiences. Sometimes, like in this case, it's good to also know what you don't want. In our CPL class, we extensively cover "Buying Considerations," so my students know what to look for in a firearm. Now is the time to shop so that when the CPL arrives, the newly licensed carrier will have already bought a handgun and can start "packing" without delay!

5. Pursue Further Training
A Michigan Basic Pistol Safety Training Class will not transform a novice gunhandler into a gunfighter. The only thing that a graduate of this class can assert is that he has satisfactorily met the state of Michigan's base requirements for a CPL. As such, there is a lot about personal protection that a newly minted CPL will not know. It is thus imperative that he seek out further training programs to further develop his handgun and personal protection skills.
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