Frequently Asked Questions answered by the instructor 

1.        Will this class teach me everything I need to know?
2.        What is the gender mix of your typical class?
3.        Is this class about hunting?
4.        Do I have to own or bring a handgun to participate?
5.        What handgun will I have the opportunity to shoot?
6.        Where will the class shoot?
7.        Should I practice shooting before coming to class?
8.        Why are “ball caps” and “higher-neckline shirts” recommended for the range exercises?
9.        Is the class ever cancelled for inclement weather?
10.     How much does the class cost?
11.     Can I take this class online somewhere cheaper?
12.     Can I take this class at a gun show, my local range, hunt club, or from another instructor?
13.     The class offered at the gun show is only 3 hours.  Why is this class 9 hours?
14.     Do you have references?
15.     Is there an age minimum to take the class?
16.     What will we do in class?
17.     What will we NOT do in class?
18.     What will we do at the range?
19.     What will we NOT do at the range?
20.     What kind of gun should I buy?
21.     My gun doesn’t function properly.  What is wrong?
22.     Why aren’t holsters or ammunition covered in great detail in this class?
23.     How do I register?
24.     May I bring a friend?
25.     When/what’s for lunch?
26.     How do I get to the range?
27.     Can I register online?
28.     Who besides a person seeking a Concealed Handgun Permit would value this class?
29.     What if the instructor doesn’t know the answer to a question?
30.     Will this class make me a marksman?
31.     Are students with differing views of gun rights welcome?
32.     Can I have a private class?
33.     Can I have a class for a specific group?
34.     Will you travel to teach?
35.     Do you offer lecture only classes?
36.     Do you offer classes on weekdays or shorter classes?
37.     Will you really accept a gun, gold, or silver in trade for tuition?
38.     How often is the class material updated?
39.     I have always been intimidated by taking a gun class.  Should I be?
40.     Does the training certificate ever expire?
41.     I'm a resident alien.  Does that prevent me from being eligible for a Virginia concealed handgun permit?
42.     I'm a non-resident student here on an F-1 visa.  Does that prevent me from being eligible for a Virginia concealed handgun permit?
43     Where is my question?

Will this class teach me everything I need to know? This class is the comprehensive “getting started” guide to handgun carry and the most I could fit in a one day class.  We all can and should learn and train for a lifetime and I encourage evryone to take at least one training class every year to improve their knowledge and skills.  Rest assured, you will leave this class among the very best-informed handgun carriers anywhere and have a solid basis of marksmanship fundamentals to practice with purpose.  You'll never "target practice" the same way again.

 2.      What is the gender mix of your typical class? On Average, about 50/50... or what California might say is 31/14/5/6.5/11/18/14.5.  All kidding aside, it's just about evenly split between male and female.  Some classes turn out to be all male, some turn out to be all female, and most are mixed.  If you would prefer to be in an all-male or all-female class, I suggest recruiting your own group.

3.      Is this class about hunting? No.  Hunting is briefly mentioned, however, in regards to handgun carry on hunting grounds. 

4.      Do I have to own or bring a handgun to participate? No, but if you already have a handgun, you are welcome to bring it.  Please ensure that it is either unloaded and cased OR properly holstered.  No unholstered handguns are permitted in the classroom or range without permission.

5.      What handgun will I have the opportunity to shoot? While you are encouraged to shoot a handgun and ammunition that you bring (no reloads), I can furnish the use of a semi-auto handgun to complete the range exercises if you will cover the cost of ammunition.  Ammunition is sold at the gun store next door.  Also, as time allows after the required range exercises, it is not uncommon for students to allow other students to experience shooting each other’s handguns.  This is entirely up to the students.  Any gun that is shot is at the shooter’s risk. 

6.      Where will the class shoot? There is a private range area on site.  For the private classes, we have agreements with private landowners to set up a range on their land.   Which we use will depend upon availability.  While I encourage students to support and patronize public ranges, private land gives the teaching environment an advantage over the public range.  Any student who has private property and is willing to let the class shoot there, is welcome to contact the instructor to discuss that possibility.

7.       Should I practice shooting before coming to class?  There is no need to practice before coming to class in an attempt to improve your performance.  In fact, it is usually counter-productive to learning the new skills from class.  The skills introduced in class are usually new to even the experienced shooters.  More often than not, students who have no experience, shoot just as well as, if not better than, those who have some experience because of the emphasis on specific techniques.

8.      Why are “ball caps” and “higher-neckline shirts” recommended for the range exercises? This is optional and the class has no dress code, but I can tell you from experience that spent shell casings can be HOT.  The brims from hats and caps help keep the shell casings ejected from semi-automatics out of your face and from getting inside your collar.  Low and plunging necklines increase your chances of collecting a stray shell casing in your shirt and promise an awkward and frantic retrieval effort.  Revolvers do not eject their spent shell casings as they fire, so this is not a problem for them, but even if you are shooting a revolver, if the students to your left are shooting semi-automatics, you may have his/her shell casings come down on you occasionally.

9.      Is the class ever cancelled for inclement weather? Generally not.  There will be no refunds based upon inclement weather unless the instructor or landowner cancel.  I am willing to reschedule if the instructor and students can reach a mutual agreement, but am content to teach in inclement weather and remind you that real-life defensive situations can come about in any weather. 

10.   How much does the class cost?  As of 2019, the cost is $75.  The value is much higher.  Most places where I go to train cost $100-$350 per day.  I keep the price for this class in line with most basic permit classes, but don't be fooled:  it is much more.  My motivation is to see more people get real training regardless of their budget.  I tach for the outcome, not the income.

11.   Can I take this class online somewhere cheaper? Not this class!  There are classes one can take online that will satisfy Virginia’s requirement for training.  In the interests of liberty, I am okay with that since we shouldn't have to jump through hoops to ask to buy a right back that we were born with, but feel that this class is among the very best one-day, hands-on classes available anywhere.  A student can’t experience shooting online either.  I urge you to compare price with value for your money.  This difference is why I started offering this class in the first place.

12.  Can I take this class at a gun show, my local range, hunt club, or from another instructor? Not this class!  I know and respect several of my fellow instructors’ offerings and recognize the growing need for quality firearms instruction and choices from whom to take it, but none of them offer this class.  This is an original presentation and classroom and range experiences that I have developed over years of shooting experience, training all across America with very knowledgeable people, and legislative activism and it continues to evolve with changing firearm laws and technology.

 13.  The class offered at the gun show is only 3 hours.  Why is this class 9 hours? Yes, my class budgets nine including an hour lunch break, but the requirements are usually met before 6:00pm (9:00pm for split weekday classes).  There are many forms of training that Virginia will accept to satisfy the proof of training requirement; DD-214, hunter’s safety, any approved classroom or online safety course, and at one time even a hunting license.  The 3-3.5 hour class will satisfy the requirement, but if you ask me, it is most satisfying to the instructors who get 30-40 students in a room and teach it for $45-$50 per student with very little overhead.  The online courses can charge that much for 30 minutes behind a monitor.  I know of a class offered locally that was written by someone across the country who charges $75 for a two hour lecture.  I knew I could offer better.  This class is much more comprehensive and very beneficial to those who want to intelligently carry and have a foundation to build future skills upon.  We cover things like travel, understanding of your rights, and how to clean guns.  Depending on class size, this class enilsts the help of assistant instructors to allow for plenty of personalized attention during the range time.  All of the instructors are experienced shooters and carriers who really know and live this stuff.  Anyone who wishes to take another class instead is welcomed to do so and I won’t be offended one bit if they do.  I appreciate everyone who wants to be in this class and has the attitude to learn.  If you are looking for a class to “sit through” so you can get your permit, this is not the class for you.

14.   Do you have references?
Sure.  I can offer contact info for a number of former students.  Of the reference(s) you choose to contact, he and/or she should be able to tell you what class is like, the quality of instruction received, whether it was enjoyable, etc.  Also, my training resume is posted to this site.

15.  Is there an age minimum to take the class?
 Not per se, but any prospective student under the age of 18, would have to have their waiver of liability signed by a parent or legal guardian.  While I encourage youth to be given age-appropriate firearm instruction, the instructor reserves the right to admit or deny admission to any student under 18 in his sole discretion.  Many younger teenagers have successfully completed the class.  Also, anyone under 21 who takes the class is free to come back and retake it for free when they turn 21.  Laws change and skills need to be refreshed.

16.  What will we do in class? Hear a presentation on, among other things, gun owners’ rights, responsibilities, and restrictions, travel with a handgun, firearm safety, ammunition basics, shooting basics, analyze gunfight video, discuss emergency planning, orally take a 21-question exam as a group, and much, much, more.  Every class has been respectful.  Every class has had fun! 

17.  What will we NOT do in class?
 As much as I love a variety of firearm-related subject matter, this is a one-day class and as such, we unfortunately do not have the time to stray too far from the course outline.  We will refrain from: debates about anything, complaining about politicians, overly-detailed ballistics and firearm specifications, students talking amongst themselves, telling unrelated stories, and worrying about the test.  Please do not use cell phones, laptops, or personal data devices during class.  Yu're welcome to take notes! We will have short breaks as needed; students may check their messages during break.  I want every student to get as much value for their tuition as possible and everyone’s cooperation will help achieve this. 

18.  What will we do at the range?
 Students will receive any instruction remaining from the classroom that is better conveyed at the range.  Students will receive individual instruction as necessary to know how to complete the range exercises.  Range exercises will be shot at a distance of about 5 yards.  We will practice proper grip, sight picture and alignment, trigger control, and follow through including trigger reset.  We will strictly observe the four firearm safety rules.  After completion of the class exercises and the awarding of certificates, students may have the opportunity to do some practice shooting and receive further instruction as time permits.  Depending upon what handguns other students and the instructor bring and their respective wishes, students may have the opportunity to experience firing some different handguns… at their own risk, of course.  We will learn.  We will have fun! 

19.  What will we NOT do at the range?
 To maintain a safe, comfortable, and productive learning environment, please refrain from loud, obnoxious, or unsafe behavior.  I'm asking nicely now.  No tobacco use within 50 feet of the firing line and tobacco users may not leave ANY evidence of their habit(s) on the range.

Unfortunately, because of the constraints of a one day, beginner level class, we will not practice “presentation firing” or drawing.  The following will not be tolerated: poking fun of or belittling the skill or experience level of other students, behavior the instructor/range officer deems dangerous, insubordination to the instructor/range officer, firing of ammunition that is not factory loaded, firing at anything other than the provided targets, disrespecting the landowners property, firing anything other than handguns, use of any handgun the instructor/range safety officer has declared unsafe for any reason in his (or her) sole discretion.

20.  What kind of gun should I buy? I have certain things that I look for in a handgun and other features that make one handgun better than another for certain people and/or certain situations.  There are many factors in handgun selection; size, weight, ease of concealment, magazine capacity, quality, sights, price, reliability, ergonomics, etc, etc, etc…   the right gun will be the right compromise of all of these things specific to each individual shooter’s needs, but one thing is always true:  select a gun that if you had to be in a gunfight, you would be able to fight with!  Feel free to contact me with specific questions.  My personal pick for best all-around carry gun:  Glock 19

My gun doesn’t function properly.  What is wrong? I’m happy to take a look at any handgun you bring and am a Glock certified advanced armorer, but can’t guarantee I’ll know what is ailing it.  There may be a simple problem causing the malfunction, a problem with the way you are operating it, or it may be unhappy with the ammo you are feeding it, particularly if it is semi-automatic.  On the other hand, I may declare it unsafe to shoot and not allow you to shoot it during class.  This is not a class in gunsmithing, so in the interests of time, I cannot take time away from the rest of the class to investigate the problem.  Sorry.  I can loan you a Glock or Smith and Wesson M&P to finish the class if need be.

22.  Why aren’t holsters or ammunition covered in great detail in this class?
 Holsters and ammunition are critical elements to well-prepared handgun carry and we will discuss them, but each could easily make whole-day classes of their own.  The options in holstering are practically limitless and a holster that is right for one may not work for someone else.  Subtle variations in balistics could confuse even a mathematician.  The ammunition that works for one shooter’s gun or application may be completely wrong for another shooter's needs.  Therefore, we will cover the most essential, universal elements of ammunition and holstering.  I can recommend trusted vendors to explain all of your options and help you select what will work best for you and your handgun.

23.  How do I register? Unless it is a "corporate" or hosted group class with registration through the host, contact the instructor to reserve a seat or register online here.

24.  May I bring a friend? 
Unless, you are a minor or require assistance because of a language barrier or disability, i.e. interpreter, nurse, etc., bystanders are not allowed.  If your friend can may legally possess a handgun and would like to register and pay for the class, bring as many friends as we have space to accommodate!

25.  When/what’s for lunch?
 Don’t worry; lunch is important to me too!  Once we finish the classroom component of the course, we will have a lunch break.  Usually, the class will have lunch together at a mutually agreeable restaurant before heading to the range, but the students are certainly free to use the lunch break any way they choose with the exception of going to the range ahead of the class to shoot, which is expressly forbidden by both the landowners and this class.  

26.  How do I get to the range? 
In consideration of the landowners’ privacy, I will not post the exact locations of the ranges here, but will tell the students at class time or individually.  I encourage the students to work out carpooling as necessary or whatever works for everyone.  We will dismiss from the range.  Most ranges are easily accessible by any vehicle, but, one prefers an SUV or other vehicle with substantial ground clearance for access.  I will help as much as possible to assist students who may not be able to drive into that property. 

27.  Can I register online?
 Yes!  Register here.

28.  Who besides a person seeking a Concealed Handgun Permit would value this class?
  Lots of people!  Virginia accepts hunter’s education/hunter’s safety certificates, DD-214s, and other “proof of training.” While these are great to have and certainly respectable, they don’t necessarily cover all of the bases in informing someone how to responsibly carry a handgun in an open or concealed fashion.  This class is great for those seeking more knowledge about firearms laws and safety that do not intend to apply for a CHP and elect to exclusively “open carry” or carry in their vehicle, neither of which require a CHP in Virginia.  Also, the skills taught in this class are often new to even experienced shooters.  Anyone with an open mind will learn new things.

29.  What if the instructor doesn’t know the answer to a question? 
While I have many years of experience and lots to share, there are plenty of things that I don’t know and if I don’t, I’ll tell you that I don’t.  However, I really like to learn and if I don’t know the answer and the question needs answering; I’ll research it, and collaborate with my colleagues to get the right answer.  I have contacts who are military, police, lawyers, security, range owners, collectors, dealers, other instructors/trainers, and gun rights experts.  From that pool of 100s of years of collective experience, I’ll try to get the right answer.  Of course, we still have moral questions and still answer legally to judges and juries; thus I will not warrant any answer. 

30.  Will this class make me a marksman?
  Marksmanship is developed over a lifetime, but new shooters can get great results even if their first shots are in the class!

31.  Are students with differing views of gun rights welcome?
 Absolutely.  Whether you are an ardent supporter of total firearm freedom or strongly believe in our government’s measures to regulate them, you are welcome in this class as the need for self-defense is universal.  With that being said, no student with either position or any position in between will be allowed to initiate a debate, at least not in this particular class. 

32.  Can I have a private class?
  Possibly.  Classes with a group are fun, but I understand that there are reasons why one may want to have an individual class.  If you would like a class one-on-one, please contact the instructor for availability, pricing, and details. 

33.  Can I have a class for a specific group?
  Sure.  A group needs to be at least 4 people.  Smaller groups may be arranged, but may cost more per student.  If you wish, I can limit enrollment to your group only.  If the group leader is okay with others being allowed to join (most usually are), I'll allow others to enroll in that same class.  Usually, the more the merrier! 

34.  Will you travel to teach?  I'll gladly entertain that.  My focus is Virginia and that is the state for which I can offer the most comprehensive CHP class.  With enough interest and a price worked out, I may be willing to teach a class anywhere in the free states of America.  West Virginia’s concealed handgun permit requirements and laws have many parallels to Virginia and I may travel to teach a WV CHP class or offer one here if there is enough interest.  Having a class outside of the New River Valley of Virginia will require classroom and range facilities to be established that the instructor finds suitable.  So, if you want me to come to you or your group, please contact me early to start making arrangements.  For universal pistol instruction only, I would entertain travelling most anywhere in the US.  An NRA-approved pistol course satisfies the training requirements of several other states as well.  Contact me to see if I can help you or your group get the training you need. 

35.  Do you offer lecture only classes?
 That is in the works.  Contact me if you’re interested.  A lecture-only class is simpler to arrange, can accomodate more people, and may be ideal for experienced shooters that already have or are not seeking to apply for a concealed handgun permit, but want or need to broaden their knowledge of their rights, the law, safety, travel, or other requested topics. 

36.  Do you offer classes on weekdays or shorter classes?  In the summer months, I offer classes divided on a Monday 5:30pm-9:00pm and Wednesday 5:30pm-9:00pm OR Tuesday 5:30pm-9:00pm and Thursday 5:30pm-9:00pm split.  The first day will be for classroom instruction and the second day will be at the range.  Weekday, whole-day classes are possible by request with enough interest. 

37.  Will you really accept a gun, gold, or silver in trade for tuition?
 So this isn’t a frequent question.  The answer is yes.  I will always entertain a trade and have done so before.  I traded for a shotgun and revolver once.  REAL gold or silver is always a welcome method of payment.  Feel free to pitch trade offers!

38.  How often is the class material updated?   Constantly.  I stay informed of gun laws long before they become law, when they are still bills making their way through the legislature.  I watch the trends the best I can as well.  Whenever there is a change, I update the course.  Periodically, I will send an e-mail to former students to inform them of a change or other news of interest.  Space permitting, class alumni are welcome to come back to the lecture free of charge to refresh.

39.  I have always been intimidated by taking a gun class.  Should I be?
  No.  Don't worry about that.  Generally, students leave this class with more confidence   an when they enter; the instructor is committed to inspiring confidence in all of the students!

40.  Does the training certificate ever expire?
  No.  Under current Virginia law, proof of training does not expire.

41.  I'm a resident alien.  Does that prevent me from being eligible for a Virginia concealed handgun permit?  No.  Per section 6 of the permit application (SP-248), non-citizens with a lawful permanent residence and a valid INS-issued alien registration number may apply.

42.  I'm a non-resident student here on an F-1 visa.  Does that prevent me from being eligible for a Virginia concealed handgun permit? 
Yes.  Without permanent residence in Virginia, your application for a permit is a non-starter.

Where is my question?  
If you don’t see it, contact me at to ask.





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