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“Despite broad support for policies requiring that prospective firearm owners receive training before acquiring a firearm, little is known about the scope and content of firearm training in the USA,” reports. They then set out to fill that gap. And the survey said!

61% of firearm owners and 14% of non-owners living with a firearm owner reported having received formal firearm training. The most commonly reported combination of training topics was safe handling, safe storage and preventing accidents.

The proportion of the US firearm owners with formal firearm training has not meaningfully changed since two decades ago. Training programme contents vary widely. Efforts to standardise and evaluate the effectiveness of firearm training are warranted.

Is it me or do these “efforts to standardise” firearms training smack of government infringement?

Because any and all mandatory firearms training is a violation of Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arm without government infringement.

Besides, who cares? OK, sure, the NRA cares. And thousands of independent firearms trainers. I’m pro-training all day. But how much training does the average gun owner really need to defend themselves against an imminent, credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death?

Estimates of annual defensive gun uses vary wildly — from 80,000 to 1.2 million. I’d be surprised if even half of those gun owners could perform what you and I might call “basic” marksmanship.

Again, how important is firearms training, really? Have gun, load gun, aim gun, pull trigger. Done. Yes?

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  1. The Statists aren’t happy unless they have someone to shove around. Stay armed and ready to shoot them whenever they need it

    • Registration, Confiscation then Genocide. That’s the history of Marxists in the Twentieth Century.

      Molon labe

      Violence and threats from the left worldwide daily.

      Always error on the side of Liberty.

  2. Every year people defend themselves with guns they’ve never even fired before,much less trained with.

    The notion of mandatory training itself is anti-freedom.

    • +1

      Guns are tools, they make life easier. Maybe an unseasoned user isn’t getting the maximum benefit, but the low hanging fruit is still pretty good. And even if it weren’t, people can make their own mistakes, paternalism is no moral whitewash for statism.

    • Again, I revert to the authors of the 2nd Amendment, James Madison and George Mason, who said that training with firearms begins in youth and that there is no need for military style training for what should be routine and learned at home. Nowhere is there mention of training in the 2nd Amendment, and the words of the authors indicated that formal training was not necessary.

      George Washington said that he disdained the militia for they lacked military training and discipline and, at the first volley would run to hide and shoot from behind trees and walls. Remember, that was still in the age when two armies marched toward each other, firing as they went. Their weapons didn’t even need to be all that accurate since they were firing into masses of bodies and could hardly miss hitting someone. The militia members were comprised of related individuals as was the case of Green Mountain boys, a small group of militia formed by Ethan Allen in 1770. They began by fighting off people who wanted to steal their land and crops, using tactics they learned from native Americans, but when circumstances changed, they found themselves involved in the war against England.

    • “The notion of mandatory training itself is anti-freedom.”

      Yes, *however* –

      A 22 year-old guy is hanging out with friends, one of them shows a gun to another. *BOOM*.

      One of the bros has his brains splattered on the refrigerator.

      With a horrified look on his face, he says “But it was unloaded, I dropped the magazine clear.”

      I’m in general agreement with you, ST. But knowing *basic* safe handling skills I don’t have a problem with for new gun owners. Like the 4 rules.

      We can eliminate the whole thing if our schools had this as a part of their ‘health’ requirement. I consider it as important as the basics of reproduction…

      • In this example, the failure seems to be common sense.

        I don’t need driver’s ed to know a car can injure or kill someone so, if I had the notion to close my eyes and just stomp on the gas, that’s a failure of basic logic and intelligence.

        • This may be a philosophical question, but how do you call something ‘common sense’ if it is not even CLOSE to common? My (anecdotal) experience with people who have little experience with guns leads me to believe that there is no innate ‘common sense’ in humans for them at this time.

          At this point, depending on ‘common sense’ is a fool’s errand.

  3. Firearms owners need to have basic safety training. They should have some training on marksmanship and DGU laws. How much do they have to have by force of law? Zero. Any “have to have” is infringement pure and simple.

    • Absolutely right. We cannot mandate training…
      But let’s have some fun with this: okay, you progs out there… training in safe, proper firearms use is now mandatory in the United States. All elementary school-age children will be coached and drilled on the Four Rules. All children attending public school must participate – there can be no conscientious objecting parents who do not wish their little darlings being exposed to proper firearms use – they will get trained and you’ll like it and shut up.
      Beginning in junior high, all children will begin receiving hands-on instruction in the use of firearms of all commonly used types today, ie: semi-automatic, lever-action, bolt-action, pump, etc. Again, this will be mandatory… no exemptions will be made for parents who just can’t stand guns…

      See? This could be very interesting indeed…

      • I like the way you think, they always want to teach safe sex, why not safe gun handling.

    • Firearm owners need safety knowledge and to practice that knowledge. Instruction from a parent or friend is probably best, but training is not required. It’s not like the four rules are hard to find and understand.

  4. When I first became pistoliferous I hired an instructor for an hour. That’s been my only formal training. I could have done without that, it just saved time.

    Mandatory training will probably be an avenue for infringement that the antis will get around to exploring eventually. That’s why it’s important we keep our rhetoric straight, that it’s a personal choice.

    You might think I’d be effed in a DGU. Thanks for your concern. There certainly is a limit to what I could deal with, I couldn’t stop a SEAL team. But having little or no training isn’t negligent. It’s a personal choice. Saying it’s negligent or makes gun ownership useless will come back to bite us in the communal butt.

  5. The question I always have when this topic comes up: What constitutes “formal” or “proper” training?

    If, as a child, my dad hade made me wear a tux with tails, a top hat and talk all proper and shit while teaching me about guns over high tea, would that be “formal” training?

    Does military service count? Does paying James “It’s a FUCKING SILENCER” Jeager count? What about that VODA guy? How does Hunter’s safety stack up?

    There’s no definition for these terms and that’s the problem. Especially since the statists would Love to mandate a course that few could afford and fewer could pass.

  6. Standardise? Programme? BONGS AND LEAFIES GET OUT! REEEE!

    You don’t need a PhD in Journalism, English, Religion, or Sociology to exercise your First Amendment rights, or prior service to exercise your Third Amendment rights, and we’re much better off for it. Requiring training goes entirely against the nature of RIGHTS.

  7. Uggg…I’m so sick of hearing about “training” in the gun debate. It is quite simply a way for anti gunners to require govt licensing of all gun owners. After all…how else can one mandate training without a license?

    Is it good to get training? Sure…but let’s be honest about how “training” would affect the gun death rate. The facts are clearly that it wouldn’t.

    Roughly 30k peole die from gunshots a year.

    First…the vast majority are suicides….around 20k…nothng to do with training. The people committing suicide used the gun as intended.

    After that are homicides…11k…again….NOTHING to do with training. The criminals used the gun as intended.

    After that…roughly 700-800 accidents. Now I would argue that most of these were done by people who already had training. Maybe half are probably hunting accidents(all states require hunter saftey to get licenses for the most part)…and probably more by people who did some type of other training. I would argue that that all you need to learn about gun safety can be taught in an hour(the four rules, etc). Running people through a week long tactical terry course isn’t going to really make them any “safer” just better shots.

    So MAYBE we are looking at 200 or so people that could have been “saved” by mandatory training. And that to me is even generous as I would bet that most of these people are just plain stupid/reckless and would have just ignored any training. These are the same people who go to driving school at 16…are told again and again how dangerous speeding is…but do it anyway.

    So I could argue that brings it down to around 100. Considering how many gun owerns there are that number is statistically insignificant. Putting in place a massive federal program that mandates training(thus licensing…thus control and infrigement on our rights) would be useless.

    • I rant about the numbers all the time but people just can’t/won’t do the math. 100+ million gun owners, 300+ million guns. 10,000 intentional deaths, 1000 accidental, per annum. Probability that a gun owner is not responsible for a murder in a given year = 1- (10,000/100,000,000) = 0.9999 = 99.99%. Probability that a gun owner is not responsible for an accidental death in a given year = 1- (1000/100,000,000) = 0.99999 = 99.999%. Probability that a given gun is not involved in a murder in a given year = 1-(10,000/300,000,000) = 0.99997 = 99.997%. Probability that a given gun is not involved in an accidental death in a given year = 1-(1000/300,000,000) = 0.999997 = 99.9997%.

      Oh, but that’s just for one year, what about during a lifetime? Well, let’s say the average gun owner is a gun owner for 50 years of his or her life. Then P(Not a murderer w/a gun) = 0.9999^50 = .99501 = 99.5% so, still not a real high probability of being a murderer. Similarly, P(Not causing accidental death due to GSW) = .99999^50 = 99.95%, etc.

      How much safer do people think we can get vis-a-vis guns? We do not really have much of a gun safety problem. Guns are dangerous, people know this, people are careful with them – that’s why the hundreds of millions (thats 100s of 1,000,000s, x>3×10^8, lots and lots and lots) of guns that aren’t ever used to kill anyone don’t ever kill anyone. If this weren’t true you’d see a lot more accidental death. Similarly, murder with a gun is relatively rare as few people commit murder and few people are murdered and, as you point out, murder with a gun is not a safety issue – it is an issue of mis-use.

      There seems to be a notion that there are some magic bullet (sorry) solutions that could radically reduce crimes and accidents with guns. There are not. There are lots of people in this country, few commit violent crime and fewer still commit violent crime with a gun. There are lots of guns in this country, very few are ever involved in crime or accidental harm. Given that these things are already unlikely, there is not much that can be done to make something unlikely unlikelier. Falling down kills more people in this country each year than guns. Where are all the news stories, op-eds, and calls for regulation on people walking around.

  8. CapArms Question of the Day: 59 Percent Of Americans Sat They’ve Never Received Firearms Training.

    CapArms Question of the Day: 59 Percent Of Americans Say They’ve Never Received Firearms Training.


  9. The U.S. has 210 million licensed drivers, all of which had to demonstrate knowledge of traffic laws and proficiency in operating a vehicle safely.

    Most of those 210 million people will have a wreck at some point. Many of those people will have more than one.

    Meanwhile, very, very few of the 100 million or more gun owners in the U.S. will ever experience an accidental discharge that leads to injury or fatality. The government statistics on accidental injuries or deaths involving firearms are astonishingly low, when you think about it.

    The states that require training courses for conceal carry permits do not have lower firearms injury rates than the states that do not require such courses.

    I see no evidence to indicate that government mandated training would make us safer.

    • Not advocating for government mandated training, but…

      I have over 1.5 million miles behind the wheel. I have had extensive training and still have had several accidents, some of them actually my fault. Luckily no one, including me, has been injured.

      I have had a total of exactly ONE negligent (accidental) discharge of a firearm. An instructor was attempting to teach us trigger reset and neither of us was aware of the sensitivity/quality of the trigger on my SR9c, which resulted in a discharge into the ceiling at the range as I brought the pistol back into sight alignment. Sweet trigger, very smooth. Don’t try that tactile reset trick.

      My point being that even with POTG we spend a whole lot more time behind the wheel of our cars/trucks than we do with our firearms (YMMV) and so have a much greater risk of eventually having an auto accident than an ND.

      I remember watching a video of a British Bobby who opined that if there was a 6 inch spike sticking out of the center of every steering wheel there would probably be fewer traffic accidents as the drivers would be more aware of the dangers. I think this applies to the subject of NDs as shooters are generally VERY aware of the dangers of what they are doing.

  10. High School students are required (in most cases) to attend sex ed classes. I’m not certain there is a requirement to pass the class, only to pay attention. (Monty Python comes to mind.)

    IMO, gun training should be of the same status and have no further government involvement. Senior students in high School should be required to take (and pass) a class in gun safety including the 4 rules, identifying different types of firearms (accurately) and how they function, and the general local laws regarding the use of lethal force in self defense. “Live fire” training could be accomplished with Airsoft pistols and rifles. No tactics or scenarios should be included or required.

    This class should NOT be required to own a firearm, that would be unconstitutional, but required in order to graduate.

    • They should start much earlier than high school. By junior high everyone should be capable of clearing a weapon and making sure it’s safe. Often the 13 year old is the closest thing to an adult around.

  11. Want safety training? Fine. Teach it in grade school.

    Americans should know how to use a gun.

    • Okay, okay, we can compromise. Teach it in Grade School, Junior High AND Senior High. Happy now? Maybe save the Airsoft for Senior High, that’s negotiable.

        • Alcohol and drug use amongst junior high staff is near universal. Would you want a high and or drunk teacher showing billy and susie how to safely handle a gun?

          Let the teachers stick with something they know. They can teach billy and susie how to have sex.

        • Grinding up a gun to smoke, snort or shoot is a real PITA.

          But if you do lines off your rifle it’s better than a hooker’s ass. The rifle doesn’t have to be paid and doesn’t talk.

        • In all seriousness though I tend to agree on the school thing.

          However, I don’t see why it can’t start at the ultra basics in grade school and then be revisited with a refresher and then more advanced material in later years though.

  12. How about instead of the government treating us like children who can’t be trusted to play nice with our toys, if the government wants to do something useful they can supply all the manufacturers, distributors and dealers of fire arms with a flyer that states in clear language that any rednecked hillbilly can understand what the federal, state and local laws are pertaining to the ownership and use of fire arms, so we won’t have to accidentally spend the next 7 years in a New Jersey prison.

    • I have one simple rule I follow that prevents that sort of problem and the training was free: NEVER go to New Jersey or New York or Washington D.C.

      • Good rule, but there are a lot of people who aren’t well informed enough to make such a rule. If you’re going to blatantly violate the Constitution and throw people in prison for exercising their rights, you should at least be required to forewarn them you’re about to do so.

        • Billboards at the state border of every major highway: “Abandon your Second Amendment protected rights, all ye that enter here!”

  13. What I’m more concerned with is whether or not writers at that injury prevention website have taken their gobment-approved First Amendment training yet. /;-)

  14. “Have gun. Load gun. Aim gun. Pull trigger. Done. Yes?”
    While not an advocate of government mandated training, I am appalled by the percentage of gun owners (My estimate, well above 99%) who are trusting to luck that their act of self defense will be legal. Alabama doesn’t require training for a permit, just a clean background check. I am the only lawyer in AL who teaches a class (6 hours) on legal use of force.(For $150 a person.) I train about 10 church security teams, but I struggle to get one class of 12 independent permit holders per year who want to know how to stay out of jail when using defensive force. That,’s in a county that issues 20,000-plus carry permits a year, let alone the rest of the state.
    I have had a Mom, sister and wife crying in my office because their son/brother/husband, who had legally carried his gun for 8 years, pulled it in a situation completely inappropriate for even drawing his gun. It went off accidentally, a man died, and he got 20 years. The family hired their business lawyer to defend the murder charge (Which is like asking your podiatrist to do neurosurgery.). By the time the family was referred to me, the state court of criminal appeals had affirmed the conviction, and they wanted someone to appeal to the AL Supreme Court. After looking over the case, I told them F. Lee Bailey couldn’t help them. Criminal liability here was cut-and dried. EVERY STATE, BTW, holds you liable for every bit of property or person you hit accidentally.
    Those who own and/or carry guns (or any weapon) for self defense owe it to themselves to get legal training. Otherwise you’re gambling with your fortune and your freedom.

  15. Based on the number of traffic deaths, driver training is a higher priority need. Firearms training means different things to different folks. From a Eddie the Eagle message on the low end. To a Gunsite course on the high end. While it should be encouraged, mandated schooling is not practical for 300 million.

  16. I make no judgement here. I will relay a situation I encountered at a carry license class I was a part of. A young lady approximately 23 years old attending the class said she wanted her carry permit in order to protect her child. She lived in a bad neighborhood where crime was on the rise. After talking with her she told me she had never held a firearm in her life. Should she have some training? Even though none is required to get your license beyond what is given in the class. Should further training be mandatory? In her case I was able to get her further training. How many people out there have gotten a permit to carry with only the training provided in a certification class? New drivers are required to have training to get a drivers license. What’s wrong with requiring training or at the very least showing the ability to perform simple tasks in the use of a firearm? I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and believe everyone has the right to Keep and Bear Arms. I just don’t think it is productive for our side to give anti 2A forces more ammunition when a poorly trained person is involved in bad shoot situation. If you are concerned about what training is required. Get involved with passing proper firearms training guidelines. Don’t just sit behind a computer monitor and bitch like a keyboard commando.

    • The problem with your suggestion is “creep”.

      Pardon the rather dark political way of looking at this but an “untrained yahoo” in a “bad shoot” is something our side can write off as a bird rare enough to require little to no action.

      If on the other hand, we acquiesce to “mandatory training” it’s a situation statistically guaranteed to have a “trained” person have a “bad shoot” which becomes an argument for “enhanced” training requirements. Pretty soon you’re going to have standards so high most competent gun owners can’t meet them and courses so expensive you’ll need a second mortgage to afford to attend one.

      This isn’t ground that you give up. You’ll never get it back. At absolute best you’ll have training regs and requirements written by dumbass politicians and know-nothing government workers. Just look at Cali.

      Fuck that. Kick that camel in the face and say “No, bad camel! Stay outside you filthy ungulate!”

      • Please remember you post when one of yours is the victim. No one is more Pro 2A than me. I Have and will fight to the death to protect yours as well as my Right to Keep and Bear Arms. You just hide behind your keyboard and talk shit. Snowflake…….

        • You are arguing for restrictions on the right to bear arms and saying that no one is more pro 2A than you. I bet you don’t even see the contradiction.

        • Two things:

          First, I didn’t insult you at all. I pointed out a risk associated with your suggestion yet you respond with nothing but pejoratives and claims of badassery on your part.

          You don’t know fuck all about me so I’d suggest you work harder to resist your childlike urges to devolve to ad hominem while telling us all how much of a pipe hitting door kicker you are. Such behavior lacks class and makes you look like a mall ninja who takes their Wheaties with an extra side of paint chips every morning.

          Secondly, for such a hardcore 2A supporter you’re awfully quick to cede ground to statists for no real reason, for no gain and with a lot of downside risk.

          Now, in reference to any further posts you might choose to make here in reply: If you can’t discuss the topic without resorting to insults (while failing to address the issue at all) then kindly run outside and play a nice game of hide-and-go-fuck-yourself with a rusty piece of rebar.

          • On a tangentially relevant note, “pipe hitting door kicker you are.” The term “pipe hitter” has always made think of the phrase “hitting the pipe.”

    • Darkman says: ‘New drivers are required to have training to get a drivers license.

      Not in my state, or many others.

      It is remarkable to see all of the ”I fully support the 2A, but…” posts popping up.

    • Darkman, you are using the example of CARRY licences, and yet seem unaware that this study’s “59%” (which is meaningless anyway) is home ownership, not carry licences.

      You use the example of drivers licence training, so you are saying that anyone who has a carry licence from a state that has some training requirement should be able to carry in all other states, as is the case with your drivers licence? do you know EVERY gun control group is against this?

  17. Meh…get training. Or don’t get training. My nearby state of Indiana requires NO training to own,conceal carry or open carry. Nada-zip. Compare to Illinois where I live. Who has more “gun problems”?!? No rivers of blood in Hoosierland-unlike Chiraq. It’s all about control and revenue in the Land of Lincoln.

    • And it’s a really good bet that the majority of those shooters in Chicago got all of their training on the street from their homeboys. Equally certain that just like taking a class for a carry permit they would not bother with any state mandated training requirement either. Go figure.

  18. TTAG ‘s commitment to keep self defense choices out or the less than wealthy seems endless. The most expensive firearms and blades, only expensive holsters, top tier training. These are all “necessary” for responsible self defense and out of the reach for those working two jobs at 60+ Hours a week to give their family decent lives. I sure hope that’s not the truth about guns.

  19. How many have received training on how to freely speak? How many have received training on how not to be a slave? Over to you.

  20. Why is the BRITISH Medical Journal worried bout firearms training in the US of A? They’ve got all their problems fixed over there, so they have to come over here to fix our stuff for us now?

    • All available evidence to the contrary, many of the Brits still view the U.S. as their wayward children and they have a deep rooted desire to train us and raise us up to be more like them.

  21. One doesn’t have to get “training” to learn the four rules. They are published in every owner’s manual of every new handgun I’ve ever purchased. I was first introduced to them the first time I went to the local indoor range, which at the time required people to read and sign a waiver that republished the four rules. But then I am in California. We used to have to get a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC), which has now morphed into a Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC) in order to purchase a firearm. A test is required. The booklet needed to take the test covers the four rules, safely loading and unloading revolvers and semiauto pistols (and maybe something about some rifles but not ARs, the basic rules of transfer in California, and other miscellaneous materials about safe handling and storage. That covers the extent of my “formal” training. The rest I acquired from articles and videos demonstrating various grips and shooting techniques. Now I am no great shot, but I can hit the broad side of a torso target at 25 yards. What more training do I really need?

  22. The teenage veterans of Chiraq have no training but they seem to be doing a pretty good job of killing each other.

  23. Guns are pretty damn simple. You can familiarize yourself with any given firearm and train your own self in the fundamentals of safety in a matter of minutes. No expert supervision or government license needed — and I think that’s what really burns the British medical profession’s biscuits.

  24. “Because any and all mandatory firearms training is a violation of Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arm without government infringement.” Nor really. Training as a requirement to exercise 2A rights would be an infringement, but simply requiring that everyone be trained is not. Congress has the authority to require training. It’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 16.

    “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”

    I’m not sure how that would work, but I think it means the feds can set standards, but the states are the ones who would carry out the training.

    • “as may be employed in the Service of the United States”

      Such standards would only apply to the part of the militia that is called into service.

      • “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States”

        There are several powers here. To provide for (1) organizing, (2) arming, (3) disciplining, and (4) governing the militia when in service under the federal government.

        The laws for organization, arming, and disciplining (which would be the training requirements and such) would apply all the time. The “governing” portions would only apply when the militias were called up.

        • The government surely could impose a training requirement. It wouldn’t be unconstitutional on its face.

          In fact, the government should establish training standards and require everyone who is physically and mentally capable to meet them. For well over 150 years, the federal government has been derelict in its constitutional duty to foster and utilize a functioning (i.e., well-regulated) citizen militia for purposes of national security and domestic tranquility.

          The problem is that the politicians and wonks who talk about training requirements don’t actually want to train a citizen militia. Training, to them, is merely a proxy for prohibitive restrictions that most people won’t have the time, money, or dedication to overcome.

          • I think it is closer to 230 years. I don’t think the federal government ever actually pushed militias. I think the states did, but I’m not sure about that.

  25. Speaking just for myself, I’ve benefited from some formal training. I literally had never held a handgun before my first basic pistol course less than a year ago (I don’t call myself “The Rookie” for nothin’). I learned a brick-load in just that first, 4 hour class. So, I see some merit in the process.

    What I do not favor is government setting some sort of mandatory minimum standard for training. Leaving constitutional issues aside, such programs leave an opening for anti-gunners to create another impediment, another means to prohibit, law-abiding gun owners from carrying the means to defend themselves.

    • For the old farts like me it’s not uncommon for us to come from a POTG background. Family, friends were all gun owners and hunters and quite a few ex servicemen. We learned the basics at the side of our elders. And in my case it was reinforced in Boy Scouts and then hunter safety to get my junior license. And then a hitch with my rich uncle.

      For a guy such as yourself that is an absolute beginner without that family background and history the classes are a real boon. Safe gun handling is the number 1 priority. Marksmanship comes with practice.

      Like you I think the basic classes are a good thing. Very good. But at no time should they be mandated.

      Welcome to the fold and I hope your experience is a lifetime one.

  26. Hey, if coked-out child soldiers in the Congo can do it, using firearms can’t be that difficult

  27. I’d imagine the 7% of the US that are veterans (a demographic likely disproportionately over-represented among gun owners), states that require “training” for CCP, plus those with LEO history (however little that training is) make up a very large chunk of that 59%. That the study didn’t bother getting basic information about where and how the training was obtained makes it pretty worthless. A simple “select all that apply” question with “part of profession’s training (e.g., military, law enforcement)”, “youth group”, “school program”, “required for permit”, “elective (free)”, and “elective (paid)” (am I forgetting anything?) would have vastly improved the survey’s value.

    • I volunteer for a couple of veteran service organizations. For one of them, I teach basic firearms safety and marksmanship. Many of the people I train don’t know how to load or manipulate the controls of their own service weapons.
      Get that. A lot of veterans I teach don’t know how to load and cycle a 92fs or an AR15. It’s something they did a few times in basic training, and maybe once every couple of years during qualification, and someone helped them get through that.

      • I never said it was particularly ingrained in them, just that they would tick the box that says they received training. Though, having no idea how to work a 92FS isn’t really a surprise with how little they’re used.

  28. All these untrained people and yet there’s only about 700 accidental deaths involving a gun per year. It was as if guns were just like any other potentially dangerous item and that just basic safety perceptions can handle it.

  29. Of course training is necessary, and of course training should be mandatory. Anyone who doesn’t think we need formal training isn’t considering the purpose of the Second Amendment. It’s not about crime. It’s not about hunting. It’s not about safe and proper handling of a firearm. It’s about a bulwark against tyranny.
    Every High School in the country should have a course on Basic Rifle Marksmanship, as well as team and squad-level tactics. And of course it should be part of the public education curricula, and be used in conjunction with the modern military arms of the day.
    Can’t shoot move and communicate? Sorry Tammy, you’re going to have to repeat the 11th grade. Freedom needs riflemen.

    • Exactly. The only thing to add is that it should not be a prerequisite to the exercise of the right.

      It should be a prerequisite to being considered a well formed citizen, but not to being a citizen. Being born a citizen or naturalized is what makes one a citizen.

    • well, when you put it like that…..
      I was carrying a shotgun in the woods by second grade, the first (and only) time my Dad saw me point it in an unsafe direction (unloaded) he popped me upside the head and i didn’t pick it up again until third grade.
      But if there had been a course in school offering marksmanship and “squad-level tactics,” i would have been all over it.

  30. “Again, how important is firearms training, really? Have gun, load gun, aim gun, pull trigger. Done. Yes?”

    You forgot steps #4 (know when/if to pull trigger) and 6 (know enough to lawyer up and keep your ass out of prison).

  31. My training came from my dad. I thought that’s what dad’s were for. And making sure there’s no aliens under the bed.

    • Exactly. The word “formal” described the training. The education I received on responsible ownership was much greater with my father. Now I learned how to really shoot in the military. But firearms safety was already second nature.

  32. I’m all for training, but it isn’t a talisman that mystically protects everyone from Murphy’s law. It certainly shouldn’t be a requirement given the number of people who effectively use firearms to protect themselves with hardly a glance at a manual let alone formal classes. An argument could be made that “proper” training could increase the likelihood of a successful use, but a just as valid argument could be made that requiring such would only discourage ownership and thereby negatively impact said successful gun use. In comparing such arguments I prefer to err on the side of liberty.

  33. Basically training should be the four rules plus knowing how to load and unload, which should take no more than 15 minutes. One you have that down you can go to the range and figure the rest our yourself without being a danger to everyone else.

  34. Wow, surprised at the pro big government sentiment here. There is nothing stopping anyone from taking gun newbies to the range and give them some free training. Done it myself several times. I shudder at the thought of mandatory government training. God only knows how expensive, terrible, and restrictive the government’s implementation would be.

  35. When Arizona passed Constitutional Carry, (essentially no restrictions on citizen ownership or carry) firearms safety and marksmanship training blossomed.
    As for what is essential, the person selling or giving the gun should assure that the person receiving it knows and understands the NRA three Always safety rules (or the four used by others), and the specific operation of the firearm. Some pistols fire with the magazine removed, others do not. The button to move shotgun shell from magazine into the chamber. The unique details of that firearm.
    Fifteen minutes, no government, just prudent people. I would want someone carrying a firearm to know how to make it operate if they needed to protect themselves.
    ~ NRA Master Training Counselor

  36. Ya, it’s like driving a car. You don’t need to know what you’re doing. Just get in the car turn the key step on the gas and go.

    • Worked for several decades after the introduction of automobiles, till government figured out how to exert more control over its subjects.

  37. When I took my cpl class (required for concealed carry in my state ) most of it was about the laws and how to not end up in prison if you need to use your firearm in self defense which I found very important and useful information. Hopefully the situation will never arise but I’m glad that I am informed of the laws in my particular state.

  38. Being a has been used too was (old guy!) A conclusion about the percentage of people that have never received training stems from a couple of reasons; population increase of cities, depopulation of rural areas, growing up in a rural area weapons were available 24/7. they were kept in handy places in case of need! barn gun usually a .22 fully loaded none in the chamber rifles a 30-30 loaded on half cock in each bedroom again loaded shotguns SA usually shell in chamber, on half cock! they were used weekly if not daily, Bear breaking in Kitchen window wanting frying Bacon , weasel in the hen house, escaped prisoners 1:Pm in morning! Regressing, all were taught gun safety from old enough to touch til grave yard, no one got accidentally hurt, belt and or willow switches on posterior kept us in line, we definitely were not spoiled as in spare the rod! in the cities firearm were not so prevalent nor needed as in rural areas, guns became a toy too these people not a tool, hunting was usually the reason a firearm was kept in the house at all, not displayed for a myriad of reasons! with lack of openness gun handling and safety became a wayside product, as too mandatory government training it is already a reality for Hunting

  39. Driving training: should be mandatory when you are continuously operating private property on public property, and is not a constitutional right.

    Gun training: does not need to be mandatory because it is operation of private property on private property, and is a constitutional right.

    • exactly and the “study” demonstrates no understand of the difference between carry and home defense ownership

  40. “Gun Safety” has never been, and will never be, as big a problem in America and around the world as tyranny.

    Let’s fight those assholes people.

    F em all.

  41. As far as “training” goes, can’t we all agree . . .

    No. No we fing can’t.

    Sit in the corner until we ask stupid.

  42. There’s obviously a LOT of $$$ invested in training companies, those companies would like to make a heavy multiple on the return. Their fervent calls for “training” are blatantly obvious and they ALL sound like a lobby AGAINST us. WE GET IT, you thought the federal government would chase us to your door when Hillary got in.

    We could start a petition to shut down firearms training, because, like the federal government, they got real problems, and their not afraid to use them.

  43. I formally trained myself, later my wife and sons. Why would I think that counts in this bullshit poll? We have taken some “formal” training from “professionals”, found it usually completely worthless, almost invariably not worth the cost.

  44. For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the statistics shared here are fairly accurate. In that case, I takeaway two issues from this article.

    First is the number of firearms owners lacking formal training…even the safety training widely available from the NRA. If 61 percent of owners have received training, that implies 39 percent have not. That tells me that, as a group, those of us who have received some level of formal training need to get the word out about the importance of that training. Although the value of formal training from individual instructors varies quite a bit, the basic Hunter Safety course offered by the NRA is pretty good. While I disagree with the idea that such training should be legislated, I think we as a group could do a better job of encouraging others – especially new shooters – to take some foundational safety training.

    Second, and a distinctly different issue from the first, is the idea that “Efforts to standardise and evaluate the effectiveness of firearm training are warranted.” Geez, that just sounds ripe for a government oversight program of some sort. Nope. No thank you. Don’t need my federal, state, or local government getting any deeper into my knickers than they already have. If the gun community wants to self-regulate, say through a rating system of instructors by attendees at the end of a course, sure. But we don’t need the government infringing any more than they already do.

    My point here is that the two issues – more emphasis on the value basic safety training and the need for government oversight – should not be confused or mingled in anyone’s mind. Doing so just makes another inaccurate argument for the anti-gun crowd.

    • I have taken a Texas CHL class and a Hunter Safety Class. Neither of those things required hands on training. Both required education and testing of knowledge, and the CHL course required an additional “proficiency” examination.

      I’d say I’ve never received formal firearms training. I would say I have received firearm safety education. My point is that I don’t consider simple classroom instruction training.

  45. How did the human race survive the whole of recorded history without dumbass democrat micromanaging?
    Nobody needed “gun training” before democrats .
    Nobody needed “survival training” before democrats.
    Nobody needed “motherhood training/ parenting class” before democrats.
    What kind of class/training did they have for horses/buggies?
    What’s next mandatory training on how to make a fire with matches?

  46. “For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the statistics shared here are fairly accurate.”

    actually let’s assume they are not. Modern home and personal protection firearms training includes, reiterated several times, NEVER to tell a strange you have a firearm in the home.

    The BMJ study is not of gun owners, they have no idea if whom they are talking to is a gun owner or not.

    In fact it is most likely, like all survays of gun owners, they ares disproportionately speaking to rural older gun owners, who because
    a) where they live gun ownership is not a secret, are likely more likely to tell a surveyor they have a firearm since firearms ownership where they are often associated with non-secret social activities such as hunting and sport shooting
    A higher proportion of rural gun owners would not have “formal training” as they already have intensive training from expert fathers or uncles, or yes sometimes by moms or aunts, as part of hunting or recreational shooing

    b) precisely because the urban gun owner has gotten formal training due to legal requirements, they are exactly who will NOT tell a surveyor/pollster they have a gun at home — because the formal training includes the exhortation to NEVER tell a stranger you have a gun

    This study’s authors have NO IDEA as to US gun ownership demographics or why they have a MASSIVE OBSERVATIONAL BIAS inherent in their study, since gun owners with mandatory or “professional” training” are the exactly the demographic most likely to state they have no firearm when polled or surveyed!

  47. “Despite broad support for policies requiring that prospective firearm owners receive training before acquiring a firearm”


    “Despite broad support for prospective firearm owners seeking training before acquiring a firearm, if they choose to”

    There. Fixed your stupid lie, not you, you are beyond help.

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