Tips For Selecting A Concealed Carry Class

Unless you enjoy paying to hear an instructor's jokes and tall-tales about his or her "glory days," save your money for the clowns at the circus.  On the other hand, if you follow the advice above to avoid scammers and phony "universities" where the instructors lack nationally recognized certification and training, you will be just fine. 

The Truth About Handgun Carry Permit Classes


Other than the quality of the facilities and the entertainment (jokes, tall tales, and "war stories") performed by the instructor, Tennessee handgun carry permit classes could be pretty much the same.  They should be the same length (eight hours), cover the same material, show the same video, use the same tests, and shoot the same qualifying course.  However, in reality, the classes are very different.


Why are classes so different?  The facilities and range for one, and then there's the fact that many instructors are "hobbyists" or underqualified "volunteers."  Trainer certifications are not all the same either.  Some instructors have made up their training certifications that are not recognized nationally. Then some instructors promise to get your permit class done in less than the prescribed eight hours. Taking shortcuts in your permit class is not something you should contemplate. You may later wish you had learned what the carry laws are or when you can legally use deadly force. Indeed, there is nothing about firearms training and your instructor’s qualification that you should shortcut or take for granted.

To help you out, we've listed some important things to watch for when selecting a training academy and instructors:

  • Are the instructors NRA Pistol or POST Law Enforcement Certified? 

  • Are professionally Certified NRA Range Safety Officers assisting in the range or does the instructor use "buddies" and "volunteers" with no actual qualifications to "help out"?

  • What is the price?  Beware of  "FREE CLASSES" that require mandatory "donations" and add-on range fees.

  • Is the price right? Or do you have pay to $75, $80, or even $90 on top of the cost of your ammo?

  • Does the instructor have an actual school with large, clean, well-lighted classrooms?

  • Does the instructor, school or "university" bounce around from range to range (a sure sign they have firearm safety issues)?

  • Is the shooting range indoors and at the same location as the classroom?

  • Or do you have to drive miles and miles to some far off range?

  • Do each instructor AND the range have insurance to cover training?

  • Does the facility have clean, modern Ladies' and Gentlemen's restrooms that are easily available (remember it's an eight-hour course)? Or must sexes share the same toilet or porta-potty?

  • Is there a spacious, comfortable lounge area for breaks?

  • Is lunch provided?

  • Are snacks and soda machines available?

  • Is the range indoors or must you contend with weather, mosquitos, ticks, and chiggers?

  • Is the range safe or will you be peppered by bullets bouncing back from steel backstops (Old 50ft ranges with steel backstops are dangerous)?

  • Will your class have exclusive use of the range or will you be sharing it with others shooters who are not under your instructor's control?

  • (For some) Is the range 100% handicap accessible and wheelchair friendly without barriers or steps to climb up and down into the range?

  • Are loaner firearms readily available should yours break during the class?

  • Are additional NRA Certified Range Safety Officers and  NRA and State Certified Instructors always on duty to give your instructors' a hand or offer a bit of coaching when needed?

  • Is the range safe, of modern design, well lighted, and with proper ventilation (airborne lead is dangerous)?

  • Does the range have a trauma kit, a professional grade first aid kit with everything needed to dress gunshot wounds?

  • Do employees have trauma training should an accident occur?

  • Is there ample paved parking? 

  • Are classes held frequently should you need to reschedule your class?

  • Will you be allowed to reschedule or do you lose your money? 

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Frontier Firearms Family Shooting Center is located in Kingston, TN.  We are the largest locally owned Knoxville area shooting range and gun store and the only gun store that lets you "try before you buy" or test fire before you buy.  Since 2000 Frontier has provided East Tennessee shooting enthusiasts with quality new and used firearms, handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and shooting accessories, including the latest in tactical arms and gear.   We have guns for sale from all major brands, like Smith & Wesson, Glock, Benelli, Stoeger, Uberti, Franchi, Mossberg, Sig Sauer, Springfield, Taurus, Ruger, and more. Additionally, we have some of the most knowledgeable staff and best firearms instructors around; each staff member is NRA certified. We train thousands of people each year. Indeed, few can match the experience and knowledge of our staff. We offer gun classes and NRA courses. Some of the firearms training classes we offer are the Tennessee Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit (HCP), Concealed Carry Permit (CCP) classes, concealed carry courses TNCCP, women's gun classes, beginning, intermediate, advanced Carry for Life©, private handgun, CCW, and self-defense instruction.

Range Hours

Last Shooters allowed in the range 1 hour before store closing.

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Brant Williams has been an NRA life member since 1980
Frontier Firearms Family Shooting Center support the NSSF since 2000.