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“Back then, the Internet was still in its infancy, and no one knew what could be done with it for education and training. The purpose of the (original) legislation was to ensure proper training, but these (online) courses do not adequately teach how to safely handle a gun.” – Colorado State Sen. Lois Tochtrop in Is online gun training OK? States split [at]

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  1. All I could envision was some upstanding citizen pulling a gun on an assailant, or maybe a crazed gunman, and shooting innocent bystanders due to their lack of skill,” he said

    I’m sure you can envision it, but how often does this actually happen?

  2. Because we can teach defensive driving online but obviously teaching the 4 rules of firearm safety is impossible.

  3. As a certified NRA pistol instructor Im going to go out on a limb and conclude this person has no clue how utterly worthless a hands-on class typically is.

    This goes for every state that mandates you handle a gun for a carry permit or a hunting license. If youre the type to pursue either permit or license you already have experience far beyond what is required in these courses and if you lack that experience a few rounds into paper on a range arent going to make you proficient in a self defense situation. Lord knows it doesnt for the cops so why would it for anyone else?

    • The Basic NRA Pistol Course IS NOT intended as a self defense course. It is an introduction to mechanics, safe handling and safe use of a gun.

      In many of my classes, the first time some of my students have even handled a gun is in my class.

      The class serves a purpose, much more experience and training is needed for self defense. The classes IS NOT intended to for self defense BUT to help prevent Negligent Discharge and to focus on safety. Given the number of NDs we see here on TTAG especially of those when cleaning a firearm, I am Ok with this requirement, I just do not think anyone should pay for it.

      Regardless of your view, many states require the basic course because of the belief that you should be at least familiar with the basic operations and use of a firearm. What I object, is that the course should cost any money.

      In many states, including my own, the “Hunter Safety” course is required to get a hunting license. Those classes are “FREE” paid for partially from the federal government, and partially from the license fees collected from permits. I see no reason why Basic Pistol should cost anything.

      IMHO, I am Ok with the Basic Pistol Safety Course as a requirement, I just believe is should be free. If you move to another state, and you had a permit in another state, the requirement should be waived.

      The way they are done now is simply to raise the bar to a permit and to cost you between $125 to $175 before you can get your permit.

      • ” I see no reason why Basic Pistol should cost anything.

        IMHO, I am Ok with the Basic Pistol Safety Course as a requirement, I just believe is should be free. If you move to another state, and you had a permit in another state, the requirement should be waived.”

        Yes. Keep talking sense! I totally agree. Money should not be used as an obstacle course. It’s a classist and possibly racist approach.

    • Totally agree with Shire-man.

      To the extent the basic CCW classes do have value, that value is teaching gun laws and the basics of lethal force law. Where you can carry, when you are justified in shooting, etc. But these topics can just as easily be covered in an internet course.

      The “value” of the face-time in a 4-hour hands on class is close to zero.

      • I have two family memeber that had never taken a firearms training course. They had to attend a class as required by the WI CC law.

        I on the other hand completed a FL course when I was 12. I printed off a coppy from the FL GAFC and sent it in as they honor any accredited course from any state. If a state has a given standard above another state, yet the undividual has completed a higher level of training in a state with a higher standard, it should be accepted.

        See my post below on MN CC permitting.

    • Yep. The reason for the requirements is simply to reduce the number of CC holders by reducing the number of applicants. It’s exactly as effective as it is smart.

  4. Oh the horror…a gun owner that isn’t a marksman by the time they get permission to exercise their natural rights. News flash genius: not shooting an innocent bystander has everything to do with not shooting when innocent bystanders are behind your target and nothing to do with marksmanship. Following the basic rules of gun safety will eliminate all but the most random of freak accidents, the very same rules that require no range time, no practical gun handling, and only the ability to follow basic instructions to impliment. And if we can teach highschool and college level courses online, there is no reason one cannot learn proper firearms safety from an online source. Heck, I don’t even disassemble a gun for cleaning for the first time without watching a youtube video of it first.

  5. Basic common sense treat all guns ( I repeat all guns ) as loaded . When given or giving a weapon to someone else treat it as loaded . All guns are loaded until properly inspected . If you can’t finish the next sentence put that piece down and seek instructions . “Never touch the trigger until ——— !
    Empty guns kill . Final admonition , guns know no master .
    Dennis .

  6. Doesn’t safe and handing and successful use of any mechanical device (stove, car, chainsaw, gun, backhoe, skate board … whatever) require substantial physical/tactile familiarity acquired by actual use of the device? Like … “duh?”

    One can certainly get the concepts and principles of how a device works and rules for safe use from reading about it. But there is no substitute for training and practice. Obtaining training and experience is a matter of personal responsibility. Doesn’t every rational person on the planet understand that? (well, given the number of tragic mistakes folks make, apparently not)

    SO THEN… Whether the government should be able to REQUIRE a person to train for the right to exercise self-defense before “permitting” them to prepare for it is the slippery slope question.

    It that light it seems ridiculous and amplifies the fallacy of the Nanny State.

  7. Has Ms. Tochtrop ever even handled a firearm herself?

    Twenty years ago I got my motorcycle license. They had a test that involved riding a motorcycle around a parking lot making extremely tight circles without putting your foot down (which is exactly what you’d do in real life). Unless you knew someone with a 125 your could borrow it was dang near impossible and had nothing to do with riding a motorcycle at anything over 5mph. The full figured lady in her DOT issued polyester stretch pants (with the stripe down the side) had never been on a motorcycle, but she was the one designated by the state to decide if I had demonstrated an ability to handle a motorcycle. After watching a guy dump his own bike, I did the logical thing and skipped the test, and rode around for a while without a license until I could get into an Abate class. That class would have been informative if I’d never been on a motorcycle, but by then I had pretty much figured it all out on my own.

    The state should stick to what the state knows and that is what the laws the state imposes on you if you chose to exercise your right to carry a firearm. They set the laws up to be a minefield, I believe intentionally in order to intimidate people. And the penalties are often harsh. You pay your $50 you should at least get a brochure laying out the law. I had to figure that all out on my own as well.

  8. If that’s how she feels, why doesn’t the government facilitate better training and marksmanship? Why don’t we have more access to shooting ranges? Why aren’t there financial incentives for taking a course with Larry Vickers? Why doesn’t the government ration ammo out to citizens to encourage firearms proficiency?

    A well-armed, well-trained citizenry is a public good. More good guys with guns means more deterrence to bad guys.

    But no, in our current environment no state or federal gov’t is ever going encourage or incentivize owning guns. Our bureaucrats want nothing more than to squash the 2nd Amendment, and they’re going to try every guise they can think of. Thank the Lord for “…shall not be infringed.”

    • See, that’s more along the lines of what I was thinking- If safety is really the concern, and we’re really worried about making better marksmen (and women), there’s lots of stuff that can be done that we would be happy to help the administrators do. We could have incentives for completing additional training- like waiving a renewal fee? How about we let the CMP bring those beautiful Korean War rifles home? Nothing makes a better shooter than a carbine or a Garand…
      I agree that an internet course is a poor substitute for real training, but just like everyone else has said, a CWP course is not real training.

    • “If that’s how she feels, why doesn’t the government facilitate better training and marksmanship? Why don’t we have more access to shooting ranges? Why aren’t there financial incentives for taking a course with Larry Vickers? Why doesn’t the government ration ammo out to citizens to encourage firearms proficiency?”


  9. and in other news . . . . Colorado State Sen. Lois Tochtrop’s husband checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic. After years of denial, he finally admitted to himself that the fifth of Jim Beam he drank every night was really an ackowledgement that alcohol had clouded his judgment to the point of entering into a committed realtionship with a SheMale more than 40 years ago . . . . .

    • How many cool, calming cold beers am I going to need after reading that? I think I should go to the store first.

  10. The only ones to benefit from mandatory gun safety classes are gun safety class instructors and the NRA.

  11. Firearm training is a good thing. I don’t like being swept by Fudds. I don’t like reading about the daily negligent discharges into family members and neighboring houses. I don’t like idiot liberals who have never even held a gun voting my rights away based on Hollywood lies.

    But this has nothing to do with training, it’s about a barrier to exercise a civil right which idiot liberals would prefer that you didn’t have at all.

  12. The purpose of the state concealed carry course is to inform the applicant of the law and, if required, have the. applicant demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in shooting. It is not a defensive handgun course, though some states allow full or partial substitutions. Utah’s test is a perfect example: any tactical reload ,prperly performed, will cause an immediate failure (the gun must point exactly downrange). This is a test and cannot be mistaken for training. We had more leeway in Texas and some coaching occurred on the range for those who kept failing the shooting test. But, those folks really needed a three or four day handgun course.

  13. CHL / CCW classes were never envisioned to teach firearm safety, that’s what firearm safety classes are for. CHL / CCW classes are to teach you the laws around carrying concealed in your state.

    I would ask when these liberals will understand that, but alas, they don’t want to.

    • Yes, exactly. I can read and understand laws just fine.

      This “in-class” requirement is seen in MN I have been told, but I will read up on it.

      Taking MN into account, they do not accept WI CC permits. Or any other state for that matter. So if I do have to sit through a class and pay $70-100, what is the point? I simply do not understand the importance of this.

      Was it some part of a back-room deal hammered out for FFL’s and training people back when they started their ant-constitutional “permit to purchase” Law just to fleece people?

  14. Ok, it sounds like there are some serious issues here.

    1. The Internet is a fantastic way to share information. It’s great for accessibility to facts and exchanging of ideas.

    2. Gun basics can be taught online through text, video, even chat/webinars. The issue is setting up the instruction properly. Outsourcing it and making it as cheap as possible will result in a shoddy True/False instruction.

    3. There is no substitution for hands-on experience with a firearm. To know it’s weight, how the mechanics feel, and the efforts required to shoot it.

    4. The government will tax its citizens any method they can, they make the rules. License tabs, CWP license fees, and on and on. The Federal government cannot (should not) tax you on your rights, however. It just takes time and money and a good SCOTUS decision to break that habit.

    5. We do not require people to take classes to exercise their right to vote (we should, we wouldn’t have crappy officials and laws), speak, worship, run for office, etc. Requirements to have a training course in firearms is a burden on our rights.

    6. The government(s) tend to dictate to us what we should and shouldn’t do. It has removed freedom and choice- and the opposite side of the coin- personal responsibility and accountability. Laws cannot be created to remove personal responsibility and accountability. Laws need to punish ones who can’t be responsible. We have “Caution: Coffee may be hot” notifications and thousands more like it. In our lazy, litigation-happy society, no one wants to be accountable for their actions. “I’ve completed Driver’s Education- I’m an excellent driver that won’t ever crash or speed.” Change that up- “I’ve completed the state-mandated Firearm Education course, I will never shoot someone accidentally, nor be irresponsible with my gun. The feds/state say I’m A-OK.”


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