Thursday, January 14, 2010

How To Determine In A 60 Second Phone Call If A Michigan CCW Class Is Legitimate

Some prospective Concealed Pistol License (CPL) Training students like to "shop prices" when selecting a firearms training service. However, many shoppers don't know enough about the industry to effectively weed out the scam artists when doing their evaluations. Thus, they're not going to be to make "apples-to-apples" comparisons and, as a consequence, not make a wise decision.

The purpose of this article is to detail how five quick questions - asked over a phone call - can positively determine within 60 seconds if a firearms training service is offering CPL classes that do not comply with the law - PA 381 of 2000.

Five Questions That Will Identify Bogus CPL Training Services

1. What organization has certified the Chief Firearms Instructor?

The first thing that a student should check when evaluating a CPL training class is to check out the credentials of the organization sponsoring the class. The state of Michigan, as a governmental organization, has chosen the Michigan Coalition Of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) organization as its officially designated organization to provide CPL training.

In addition, the statute also makes reference to "national firearms training organizations" as being qualified to conduct CPL training classes. It is widely understood that this designation in the statute authorizes credentialed National Rifle Association (NRA) trainers to conduct CPL training courses.

For corroboration, both MCOLES and NRA certified instructors have credential cards that can viewed by prospective students to confirm they are qualified - by the state of Michigan statute - to conduct CPL training.

Credentials from other organizations - "state firearms training organizations" or otherwise - conducting CPL training should be scrutinized closely. If necessary, contact your local county gun board to confirm whether they would accept a Course Completion Certificate from that group.

2. What is the name of the class being taught?

The only NRA class that meets the legal requirements for a Michigan CPL is entitled "Personal Protection In The Home."

The only MCOLES class that meets the legal requirements for a Michigan CPL is entitled "Michigan Basic Pistol Safety Training Class."

If the class you are evaluating is entitled something else, do not take that class.

3. How Many Hours In Length Is The Class?

By statute, the classroom section must be at least 5 hours in length. Further, the shooting part of the class must be at least three hours in length. Thus, if the total class length is not eight hours in length, do not take that class.

4. What Are The Qualifications Of The Person Teaching The Legal Section Of The Class?

Only a law enforcement officer with Police Officer Standards Training (P.O.S.T.) or a state bar certified attorney should teach the legal section of the class. Firearms instructors are not qualified to teach this section of the class.

5. Does The Training Include A Range Exercise Whereby A Real Handgun Will Be Discharged?

If the class does not feature a live-fire training exercise with a real handgun, do not take that class; many scam artists are illegally training students with BB Guns and Airsoft™ Pistols.

Bottom Line:
It only takes 60 seconds to know if you are dealing with a reputable firearms training service - You just need to know which questions to ask. Once you have determined that a service provider is legit, you can now make valid comparisons between it and other legitimate firms.

Good Luck!

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