NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Training

By Nowicki, Ed | Law & Order, July 2004 | Go to article overview

NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Training


Nowicki, Ed, Law & Order


Whether you like the NRA or not is unimportant. What is important is to know that the NRA is more than a just an association of gun owners and second Amendment supporters. Stereotyping aside, the NRA has done a great job of serving the American public by training law enforcement throughout the entire nation.

The NRA does a considerable amount of training of law enforcement firearms instructors through its Law Enforcement Activities Division (LEAD). In fact, the Law Enforcement Activities Division, also under a few prior names, has been training our nation's law enforcement firearms instructors for more than 40 years.

Under the leadership of Ron Kirkland, a retired FBI Special Agent, the NRA's Law Enforcement Activities Division is continuing to develop and expand its law enforcement training base. Existing programs are constantly being refined based on the tactical use of handguns, shotguns, patrol rifles, select-fire and long-range rifles.

The expanded availability of NRA law enforcement training seems to come at the right time. Many agencies are able to attend tuition-free law enforcement firearms instructor courses that were taught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI resources are stretched today due to an increased focus on terrorism, so it is becoming virtually impossible for the FBI to conduct many law enforcement training programs. Budget cutbacks severely impacted many state POST Councils and Training and Standards Boards, and they have greatly reduced or totally eliminated the number of firearms instructor course offerings.

The NRA's LEAD will train individuals as instructors in virtually any modern law enforcement firearm. The majority of law enforcement agencies allows or mandates that officers cany the semi-auto pistol. Some still carry revolvers, but that is not a problem, since the basics are the same with almost any handgun. So, instructors are trained in both the semi-auto pistol and the revolver. The LEAD also spends considerable time on how officers should instruct, in addition to range safety.

Not only does the NRA hold special law enforcement firearms instructors classes, it also holds many of them at a very reasonable price. For example, tuition for its law enforcement handgun instructor development course is $495 for 40 hours of intense training. Naturally, students are required to bring their own ammunition in addition to other gear.

Training offerings start with the basics. The LEAD law enforcement handgun instructor development course is meant for the new law enforcement firearms instructor. Students who attend are expected to have a basic knowledge of law enforcement firearms and the capability to safely and accurately deploy them.

Any officer without this knowledge and skill may find himself struggling to keep pace with the instruction, practical exercises and successful completion of the proficiency courses of fire. Additionally, students should be able to consistently fire six-inch groups at a distance of 15 yards before attending the program.

The curriculum of the LEAD law enforcement handgun instructor development course devotes 22 contact hours in the classroom and 22 contact hours on the firearms range.

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