The NRA has been deluged for a very long time with requests from the public for an actual NRA CCW class (as opposed to the Basics of Pistol Shooting class that is aimed at any and all legal uses of handguns). In response, the NRA announced a new modular CCW Course yesterday that will allow Instructors certified in this new discipline (Basic NRA CCW) to teach an NRA CCW class.
Thus far the existence of the course, officially named the “Basic NRA CCW” course, has not been made public. In an email to Training Counselors sent out yesterday, we were told a little about the new course and given an opportunity to sign up for one of the first two course sessions being held during the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas at the beginning of next month. I’ll be attending the very first session and will report on what I learn there about the course.
Here’s what we know so far:
- The course is modular so that the Instructor can teach only the portions needed to meet the requirements of their state permitting process. This means that the course can vary in length from 1 to 16 hours. It also means that a state specific, non-NRA legal module and/or live fire qualification can be included.
- In order to become certified to teach the Basic NRA CCW course, you will have to be an NRA Pistol Instructor, successfully complete the Basic NRA CCW course (student), and successfully complete the NRA CCW Instructor course. Instructors that haven’t taken BIT in the last two years will have to take it again in order to add the new rating. (That’s a requirement for adding any new rating and a good reason to get all the ratings you plan to within that two year period.)
The course the TCs are taking is 8 hours, but I have no idea how that will translate into what Instructor Candidates will have to take. I strongly suspect that the student version the Instructor Candidates have to first take will be 8+ hours and the Instructor class will also be 8+ hours.
My suspicion is that the NRA CCW course will take sections from the Basics of Pistol Shooting and Defensive Pistol in order to create the modules. If that’s what was done, it should be an excellent course!
Some reasons you might want to consider adding this rating (when it becomes available) include:
- This is a way to differentiate your classes from the typical 1-3 hour CCW classes seen everywhere. This will be an actual NRA class with an NRA certificate. Until I’ve seen the actual modules, it’s hard to say how long a minimum course for Florida will be, but it’s entirely conceivable that it could be around 4+/- hours.
- You’ll be teaching NRA approved curriculum instead of something you created yourself. Unless you have the credentials to be developing curriculum yourself (NRA civilian ratings DO NOT provide those credentials), this makes the new NRA CCW class particularly attractive.
- Since NRA CCW classes ARE NRA classes, you’ll be able to register them on the Instructor Portal. This means that your classes will show up in searches anyone does on the website. Despite the trashing from the main stream media, the NRA remains the most respected source of firearm training and people will seek out these classes when they are publicly announced.
- The modular format of the class means that you can easily break it down into multiple sessions/days. You could even break it into the initial class covering all of the necessary modules and then additional classes covering other modules. Some very successful trainers are already employing this tactic to increase attendance.
We will update you when we know more and when we have classes scheduled.