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Bad Article in Orlando Sun Sentinal

On training requirements for license holders in the state:

Recent complaints to state officials pointed out that almost anyone who wants to carry a handgun to the movies, mall or church can do so. The shortcomings they cited include training that allows firing bullets without gunpowder, and passing students for merely pulling the trigger once or twice without ever loading or unloading a handgun.

Quickie permit classes had become so common, the National Rifle Association threatened this month to fire any NRA-certified instructor who didn’t use real guns to teach students in Florida.

Here in Pennsylvania, we don’t have any training requirement, so pretty clearly we must have innocent bystanders and children being shot on a regular basis, right?  Second, NRA is just the certifying body.  Instructors are not employees.  NRA could revoke their credentials, but not fire them.

Shoddy training became an issue this month, more than a year after a retired military officer first complained to Gov. Charlie Crist about classes at gun shows.

“You can only train a corpse in 3 hours,” Col. James K. Otto Sr., an NRA instructor from North Florida, wrote to the governor. “Our NRA certified instructors take 3 days to a week to make sure their students not only know the law but also know how to handle firearms and ammunition safely with at least a half day firing at a local range.”

And no doubt this guy wants Florida to mandate a longer training course, which he so generously offers, at a fairly high price, I’m guessing.  It doesn’t take long to teach someone to be reasonably competent with a pistol.  It can be done in 3 hours, which includes going over relevant law.  I’ve rarely encountered a new shooter who can’t shoot well enough to defend themselves if given the fundamentals.  You don’t have to be a marksman to defend yourself.  Most encounters happen in under 5 yards.

Hammer, a former NRA president and one of the state’s most powerful lobbyists, alerted NRA national headquarters. Within days, every NRA-certified instructor in Florida was warned they would lose their credentials for not using real guns with real bullets in class.

They should be cracking down on people who aren’t allowing students live fire.  That is not up to NRA standards for training, and those people should lose their certifications if they are doing it.  But it doesn’t point to a problem with Florida law.

“In Florida, where you’re permitting them to legally carry a loaded, hidden handgun in a crowded situation where people may be running all over the place and then you’re expecting them with no training to hit their mark — that’s crazy,” said Brian Malte, the [Brady Campaign’s] director of state legislation and politics. “Law-enforcement officers . . . miss their mark 80 percent of the time even after all the training they get.”

Cops who are good shots are good shots because they take their trade seriously, and train on their own.  The same with CCL holders.  The training is not meant to make people competent marksmen, it’s meant to give them a start.  Competent marksmanship only comes with practice.

6 Responses to “Bad Article in Orlando Sun Sentinal”

  1. mostlygenius says:

    If someone is teaching an NRA course then they have to follow the NRA guidelines. The NRA is well within it’s rights to revoke the credentials of any of it’s instructors that it doesn’t see as measuring up.

    If Florida actually requires an NRA certified course then the NRA is responsible for the quality control of it’s instructors.

  2. BobG says:

    Most of the people I know with CCW have been shooting a lot longer than they have had a permit. They also practice more than most police I have known.
    A private citizen does not need as much training as a LEO. Police are expected to function in situations that a citizen avoids, such as searching deserted buildings, capturing escaping criminals, etc.

  3. Tom says:

    how many people getting a CCW haven’t ever shot, or more likely been shooting for a while? Besides reporters and asshats trying to badmouth CCW that is.

    I’ll agree, 3 hours is hardly going to give you training in the ridiculous laws we have, the ever expanding web of crap meant to create more criminals and make more money for the state, but as stated, it’s not meant to be all inclusive or else you;d get a law degree at the end of it.

  4. BobG says:

    The law aspect isn’t that difficult; you can only use lethal force to defend against someone trying to kill or severely injure you. Any other use of it is not allowed by private citizens. That is the area where the LEO has to know all of the different cases where lethal force can be applied when it is not an immediate threat to life.
    As far as safety training goes, what more is needed than the four rules of firearms safety?

  5. Phillip says:

    I read this in the Orlando Sentinel yesterday, and I’ve been fuming ever since. My roommate said she read the article but dismissed it because that reporter is always biased and slants every story he’s involved in. And yes, it seems as though everything that was in the story was slanted towards making it harder and much more expensive to get a carry permit. I was recovering from a serious injury when I got mine renewed recently, and the money to get it was hard to come up with. I’d hate to have to pay hundreds of dollars for a course at the same time.

    In my opinion, the reporter completely missed the boat, as did everyone he quoted. The entire purpose of a FL CCW permit is to make sure that you know the laws involved in carrying, owning, and using a firearm. Proficiency is not addressed anywhere in the laws regarding concealed carry. In fact, FL is one of the more gun-friendly states I’ve heard of. It has been a right here as far back as I can remember that you can carry a firearm in your car without any permit, or any fear of reprisal. In fact, the FL constitution and laws state that the rights of a person to carry a gun is to be interpreted as liberally as possible.

    When I renewed my permit, I was assisted by a legal assistant I knew, and her husband, a city police officer. The police here LIKE for people to carry legally. It has a lot to do with the fairly low violent crime rate we have here.

    The first time I got my CCW in FL, I walked into one of the gunshops in the area and talked to the guy that was doing the testing. I told him I was originally from WV, had grown up with guns, and wanted a legal permit to carry now that I was old enough by FL law. He handed me a pamphlet, had me fill out some paperwork, and said I had to come back at least the next day because I couldn’t do it the same day. I got there, I took a written test, we went over my answers, we talked for a few minutes, and I asked him if he needed me to shoot anything. He said, no, but if I wanted to I could. I think their portion for testing was about $30 or so. I got the packet, got everything filled out and sent in, and had my permit back fairly quickly. No one ever questioned how well I could shoot, because that wasn’t what it was all about. My permit’s never come up during a conversation during a traffic stop. It’s been a non-issue.

    Sorry for the book. This one was a little too close to home. Literally.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Sorry for the book. This one was a little too close to home. Literally.

    No need to apologize. Thanks for sharing your story.

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