I recently got into an argument with a cop about firearms safety courses. I suggested that a basic gun safety course for people who have never fired or handled a gun before should not be taught using live firearms or ammunition. Instead, blue guns should be used to teach the basics of safety.

(The basis of the argument was that teaching firearm safety should be done in high school. A parent came on and said she didn’t think it was a good idea for children to handle guns in school. I suggested that the course could be taught using blue guns, and that way the basics could be taught without exposing students to undue risk.)

He responded by being an insulting ass, and telling everyone that HE is a 20 year New York cop, and that makes him an expert. He then told me that all of my certifications in shooting and firearms instruction are useless because the most important thing to be taught is how to load and unload firearms while keeping your finger off the trigger.

I told him that firearms and ammunition should NEVER be handled by students anywhere in a classroom, and that ammo and guns should never even be in the classroom together- this kind of thing should be restricted to range sessions only. Having guns and ammo being handled together, especially by novices, is just asking for an ND.

He then told me that I should stick to hoses. Since he was the cop, and everyone seems to defer to them on all topics related to guns, the crowd all nodded and gave me the stare down. I left the conversation at that point.

So, here is my request: Do any of my readers have a link to a best practices page from a reputable training organization that supports either position? I want to see who is correct…

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Beans · January 1, 2020 at 2:23 am

A simple answer would be to look at what the military does with firearms basic training.

Simple answer? Nothing is done with ammunition except at the range under very controlled circumstances, very very controlled circumstances.

So does the military method count?

Miguel GFZ · January 1, 2020 at 5:41 am

Ask him why his duty Glock has a 12.6 Lb trigger when the civilian Glocks only run 6 Lb.

If he does not know the answer or gives you one other than PP1 does not trust their cops with the training they have to keep the effing finger off the effing trigger.
And then remind him that nowhere in the US civilians have pulled an Amadou Diallo (4 officers shooting 41 shots and hitting 19 times a guy on a stoop armed with a wallet.)

TCK · January 1, 2020 at 10:12 am

A Gestapo traitor with a badge isn't the first (or second, or fifth, ect.) person I'd trust with anything at all (other than if I wanted to know how to best drive my boot into the neck of my fellow man).

Angus McThag · January 1, 2020 at 6:44 pm

The military's methodology is probably the best model to emulate here, as Beans says.

They routinely take people who've never handled any kind of firearm before and teach them to safely handle and use even heavy artillery.

Craig Mark · January 1, 2020 at 8:32 pm

The NRA Basic Pistol Safety Course demands that NO ammunition be anywhere in the room during firearm handling instruction.

Craig Mark · January 1, 2020 at 8:44 pm

The no ammunition in the classroom is in big red letters on the first slide of the NRA pistol course ppt. I can send you a copy of the slide if you like. All of the links to the course are behind the instructor login though.

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