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The LE qualification thread and the CCW class thread in "What's Your Deal" got me thinking about this. I'm LE, so I'm pretty familiar with various law enforcement qualification courses. My state, however, has no training requirement to procure a CCW, so although I've had one for years (long before I got into Law Enforcement), I've never had any formal firearms training outside of LE.

For those of you who live in states that required you to take a class to get your CCW permit, what did the qualification course entail? Did you feel it was an adequate test of basic marksmanship skills, or not? If not, what do you think could have been changed to make it better?
Posts: 4142 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got no idea what they are these days in my state. But let me tell you what they did in 1986 when I got my then called CWP now called CPP in my state. CWP were available throughout the state through the Sheriff's office only. CWP were not common in 1986 like they are now days in my state. For the CWP back in the day you filled out 3 pages of info and got finger printed and waited up to 60 days. The last page you had to provide names, address, and PH# of 2 to 3 (minimum of two but preferred 3) character witness non relatives of good standing with no convictions other than minor traffic tickets. I put down two. A deputy sheriff actually went to the house of the two I put down and talked to them. Plus he talked to at least one of my neighbors on my character. I would say they were thorough. Now days you do not need to have two character witness in my state as far as I know.
Posts: 2088 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In MA we, supposedly, only need to take an approved gun safety class that is state certified and then off to the local police dept. for fingerprints and background check. Then wait for the permit to be printed. All this, by law, is required to be done in 40 days but many people can wait multiple months for their permit to be issued.

Then there are local town/city requirements that may be added on, even though state law does not ask for them. For instance, Boston requires you to qualify outdoors at their range with their revolvers. Also, some places will issue you a permit that is restricted and doesn't allow for concealed carry but will allow you to own and shoot for target and hunting.

Very convoluted system that is unfair to some citizens.


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Posts: 2152 | Location: N.E. Massachusetts | Registered: June 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I first moved to my current state it was 10 rounds into a 10in circle at 10 yards, reload, 10 more rounds...needed 80% to qualify if I recall. Lots of people failed that. A year later the laws changed and no shooting was required. While Im all less restrictions, pretty scary to think that some of those people will actually carry a firearm.

Posts: 7761 | Location: One step ahead of you | Registered: February 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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From Florida Statute 790.06:

(h) Demonstrates competence with a firearm by any one of the following:
1. Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;
2. Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
3. Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, using instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
4. Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of a law enforcement agency or security enforcement;
5. Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service;
6. Is licensed or has been licensed to carry a firearm in this state or a county or municipality of this state, unless such license has been revoked for cause; or
7. Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor;

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Posts: 3611 | Location: Florida Panhandle | Registered: September 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In California, it can vary from county to county, but if I remember correctly, the basic requirement is 8 hour class for first time applicants and 4 hours for renewal every 2 years.

We can only carry the guns that we have listed on our permit (up to 5 guns for my county)
The shooting requirement can vary depending on the instructor you sign up with.
I did my renewal last week and it was 2 targets for each gun and 15 rounds per target. One at 7 yards and one at 15 yards. Basically you have to make the shots within the 7 ring on a B27 target.

I also have an Arizona permit which was all done through the mail. I emailed them my info and they mailed me an application packet. My CA CCW qualifies for the "training" requirement and submitted a fingerprint card that they provided along with the fees and application.
The AZ one is good for 5 years.

I don't know about what changes to be made, but I would hope that people who carry or consider carrying, to be sure they are somewhat decent on putting rounds on target.

The majority of the guys I've observed were not good marksmen. I was one of the guys who changed out the targets between qualifications so I got to take a good look at everyone's target. Most of them looked like a shotgun pattern rather than a group and this was slow fire at 7 yards.
I can confidently say that I out shot all of them with my Ruger LCP.
Posts: 6681 | Location: CA | Registered: April 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think FL took my DD214 for 'quals' when I got it, forever ago.

UT requires the UT class; 4 hours of classroom.

No shooting for either.
Posts: 45798 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by yanici:
In MA we, supposedly, only need to take an approved gun safety class that is state certified and then off to the local police dept. for fingerprints and background check. Then wait for the permit to be printed. All this, by law, is required to be done in 40 days but many people can wait multiple months for their permit to be issued.

Then there are local town/city requirements that may be added on, even though state law does not ask for them. For instance, Boston requires you to qualify outdoors at their range with their revolvers. Also, some places will issue you a permit that is restricted and doesn't allow for concealed carry but will allow you to own and shoot for target and hunting.

Very convoluted system that is unfair to some citizens.

Same process in VA. I let a video play in background while surfing the web, come back answer questions, let video play more, answer questions, repeat until done. You don't need to watch the video to get a 100% on the test. Wife did the VA Hunter safety class which also qualifies you. She actually hand to read, watch, and participate. After doing whatever class you go get fingerprinted at police station. Then you go to Clerk of the Court and file finger prints, completion certificate, application, and $30 (I think, might be $50). Took about a month. When I thought I lost mine it only took one week and to get replacement.

Good for five years, can renew at 6mo prior to expiration. Renewal starts at end of previous permit. No requirement for CE or additional courses.


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Posts: 17728 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's been a while since I shot my qualification course, but I think it was mostly at close range, with one string at 15 yards, all on a B27-type silhouette target. If all your shots were in the black, you passed. A marksmanship course, it was not.

The classroom portion was split between watching videos and instructor lectures, covering the law (where you can and can't carry, use of force, etc.), pistol nomenclature, and options for carrying.

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Posts: 1286 | Registered: February 26, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My state requires classroom time sufficient to cover proscribed state material by instructor lecture and passage of a multiple choice test which can be administered as "open book" at the instructors discretion. Minimal range time with large profile target, passing is at instructor's judgement.
We have a "shall issue" law, first permit takes 90 days.

Posts: 135 | Registered: February 04, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Colorado requires training to demonstrate “familiarity” with handguns, but no live fire qualification.

What’s interesting to me is that although as discussed in another thread, law enforcement qualifications are very often very easy to pass and therefore don’t serve as much of a test of shooting ability, many people are adamant that non-LE permit holders’ quals should be more demanding. Also, strangely enough, in states that require permits but no qualifications, or—mirabile dictu!—even in the many states now that require no permit at all to carry concealed do we hardly ever hear of untrained people slaughtering the innocent due to their lack of mandatory training.

(The same rarity of bystanders’ being mowed down by wild shots is true of shootings by untrained LEOs for some reason. LEOs are more likely to shoot the innocent, regardless of their level of training, but that’s because they are involved in far more shootings in uncontrolled settings than non-LEOs.)

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More than some, not as much as others. An eight-hour class, including some live fire. In the one I took, handguns and ammo (Ruger .22s) were provided. Unfortunately, I can't remember the number of or exact distances at which we shot. I want to think it was at three and five yards. The shots had to be at least on the paper. The final paper test was open-book and coached. For the required fingerprints, I went to a UPS Store. They used a device resembling a copy machine and transmitted them electronically. This was included in the state fee (not the cost of the class). All the above was in 2013. I renewed by mail in 2018.
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Our state has very strict requirements on what kinds of targets used and at what distances. Which is ironic, because there is no minimum score. You don't have to hit anything. If you pass the written test and don't shoot yourself or anyone else, you've passed.
Posts: 3876 | Location: OK | Registered: August 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Variable by county, but not much. No "training" required.
BATF recently concluded that the "background check" was not being done well enough to qualify our permit for gun purchase, we are now having to go through NICS again.
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Well when I called The Great State Of Maine home for over 20 years all I needed to do was go to my local PD every four years and give the nice lady $30. For an extra buck she would laminate the permit. Now that I gave up my ME license and am currently living in NC I had to jump through a few hoops. Eight hour class, thirty rounds fired, and a ninety dollr fee and I now have a NC permit.

I prefer Maine.
Posts: 9838 | Registered: June 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In SoDak you must be a resident and pass a NICS background check and:

1. Is eighteen years-of age or older;
2. Has never pled guilty to, nolo contendere to, or been convicted of a felony or a crime of violence; Note: “Crime of violence” is defined in SDCL 22-1-2 (9)
3. Is not habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition;
4. Has no history of violence;
5. Has not been found in the previous ten years to be a “danger to others” or a “danger to self” as defined in SDCL 27A-1-1 or is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent;
6. Has been a resident of the county or municipality where the application is being made for at least thirty days;
7. Has had no violations of chapter 23-7, firearms control, 22-14, unlawful use of weapons, or 22-42, controlled substances; marijuana, in the five years preceding the date of application;
8. Is a citizen of the United States; and
9. Is not a fugitive from justice.

Pay a fee of $10.00.


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Posts: 1526 | Location: Lake County South Dakota-pheasant country | Registered: June 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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New Mexico you need to take a ccw class cost 150.00 to 250.00. The class is 15 hours, 8hrs classroom, 7hrs range time. Range time is 15 rounds at 3 yards and 10 rounds at 10 yards at a 12x18 target. Scoring is 4pts a hit and you need total of 72%.
Then pay for prints, send in 100.00 and wait 60 days.
For renewal you can take an online course but you have to do live fire.
Most class want some sort of basic firearm class before the ccw class and most only allow OWB holster.
Posts: 921 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: March 21, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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20 rounds from the seven yard line, no time, no drawing the pistol. You must hit 11 rounds on the target somewhere. You must fire all 20 rounds even if you hit the first 11.

This is also the minimum mandatory qualification for law enforcement which must be shot yearly to maintain a POPS certificate. This is also the retired LEOSA standard which retirees must fire each year to keep their certification.

As to my feelings if the qualification was adequate, I am lukewarm. While I don't think you should have to have a government permission slip to exercise a Right, I don't think in any way, shape, form or fashion that it is adequate training to be a professional. The problem with it is, as I mentioned in another thread, is I do not trust ANY politician to decide how much training one has to have.

I know of a female who had a failed attempt to run for the state legislature. She had a plan of introducing legislation to force all LE agencies to fire a standardized qualification that was much tougher once per year. The thing that she did not mention was that she had plans to open a range and force all LEOs in the state to come to her range and pay to shoot it. In another thread about training, there were plenty of people that were lining up to let this type of creature decide what training they had to have, and how much it costs to exercise a Right. They kept repeating "I know of no place that charges high fees" but apparently they don't look at what a permit costs in CA, if you can even have the influence (donations to re-election campaigns) to be allowed to get one.

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Posts: 34951 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One page application very similar to the 4473 with two character witnesses, a couple minutes in the sheriff’s office, a photo and done.
Posts: 184 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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