The Professional Firearm Instructor

The Professional Firearm Instructor

There are many instructors who enter the field because they have had some training in the military, in law enforcement, or have simply been shooting “all their lives”. While this suggests familiarity with firearms, it’s a small fraction of what the instructor needs to know to open operate a successful firearms business. To be a “professional” means you must understand all aspects of the business. You must make a sustainable enough income to pay the bills, put some money aside, and enjoy a vacation. Attending professional firearms training is your first step towards becoming a professional firearm instructor.

Understanding all aspects of the business means being true to the industry. Too often, instructors will pass a student who failed to meet minimum requirements. This occurs primarily because the instructor cannot afford to say otherwise. For example, when a student fails their concealed carry class. Instructors are afraid the student will ask for their money back or will complain about his teaching to friends and family. They may even pass them so they don’t have to refund their money.

Failing a student is never a good experience but it’s a necessary evil in order to keep the rest of the community safe. Being afraid of failing a student for whatever reason is wrong. It sends a message to  remaining students that you do not care, have no standards, or that their hard work is unappreciated.

The Professional Firearm Instructor

Firearm training does not end when you receive your certifications. In fact, that should be the beginning of a long road towards improving your skills. Remember the title of your job – “Firearm Instructor” – the keyword being “instructor”. This means your commitment to being the best means learning from the best. Continuing education, unfortunately, is not a requirement; but it should be. Continuing education does not mean you go and attend a class on how to shoot long range distances, although it could. It means learning how to hone your teaching skills, understanding your audience, and how to reach them effectively.

Be a Good Stewart

Be involved with your community. Get out and educate others on the incredible responsibility every gun owner must take to keep their community safe. There are many clubs and organizations that serve their local community and these are excellent avenues for the professional to dispel the myths that surround gun ownership. Offer to give speeches – about gun safety – not your business. Stress responsible gun ownership practices, safe gun storage, and education.

Most importantly, all eyes are on you – the professional. Remember that everything you do, everything you say, especially in your capacity as a firearm instructor is being measured. Be the poster child for safety, responsible gun ownership, and education.

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