Firearm Instructor Certification

Firearm Instructor Certification

You cannot ignore the power of the National Rifle Association (hereafter referred to as the NRA) for good reason – the NRA is the largest and oldest firearms training organization in the world.


Established in 1871, the NRA was established for the improvement of shooting skills for their members. The NRA actively trains the general public, law enforcement, and military. In many states the NRA Instructor Certification is mentioned in state law as a prerequisite to teach Concealed Carry classes.

Instructor Standards

The NRA’s Instructor website states the following requirements for every instructor:

  • Candidates must have completed the basic course in the discipline they wish to teach, e.g. NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting, Rifle Shooting, etc.
  • Candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline for which they wish to be certified.
  • Candidates will be required to demonstrate solid and safe firearm handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires and qualification exercises.
  • Candidates must satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course in the discipline they wish to teach and receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting that training.

As a result, the four bulleted points hold instructor candidates to a high standard. If every instructor-candidate were to meet all requirements, we would not have an over-saturated number of firearm “instructors”. It’s amazing how many pistol “instructors” attend our courses who do not know how to operate a single-action revolver.

Higher Training Standards are Needed

Unfortunately, there are many instructors who do not meet the standards mentioned earlier. Instead, they were simply “certified” in exchange for a few dollars and a wink of an eye. This is not the NRA’s fault, it’s the fault of Training Counselors who are willing to pass anyone who comes to their course. Consequently, Training Counselors must uphold the NRA (USCCA) standards for training if their programs are going to continue to exist.

Fortunately, there are good counselors out there – find one! Use your resources, the Internet, range owners, friends and family to locate them. Utilize the Level 1 Firearms Training website to locate an instructor near you. It’s a short list because they have to be very good instructors to be placed on the list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *