West Virginia UPDATE March 4, 2016:
The new version of the NRA Basic Pistol Course, needed to obtain a concealed carry permit in West Virginia, is online at www.nraonlinetraining.org The cost is $60 for the online training, payable through PayPal. You’ll need a Windows or Apple computer and a connection to the Internet. Then course is also supported on many hand held devices.
Although I am a certified instructor, I am taking the course as a student to get the full student experience. I’ll report later how it all went. Remember, under this new system, you will need to take the online course and see an instructor for the hands on and range portions of the certification.
Changes to the NRA Basic Pistol Course
Gross Security, LLC, proudly supports the 2nd Amendment by teaching the NRA’s Basic Pistol Course that many of our West Virginia residents use to obtain their concealed carry permit. The NRA is overhauling the way they will conduct the training, by splitting the program into two parts in what is termed “blended” learning.
The previous course required a classroom setting with traditional face to face presentations and hands-on training, followed by a range portion with live fire.
The new course allows students to get the classroom training, online at their convenience, while still requiring a range portion with local instructors, like William Gross of Gross Security.
The online training portal is not yet live – but is expected to be about the 17th of February 2016. As soon as it is, we will take the course as a student, to experience the new course from the student’s perspective, make necessary changes to our curriculum, and begin offering the new program.
We are also considering a way to deliver the online training as a group. Many non-mountaineers can no longer appreciate life without 100% broadband and cellular coverage and therefore do not understand that many of our elderly students have no computer, and others with computers cannot access the Internet at modern speeds. Stay tuned for that as well!
Call 304-927-8757 to be added to our list for the next available class.
A word from the instructor:
The class I teach exceeds the permit requirements: it is a comprehensive handgun course. So, if you want to learn about handguns (safety, ownership, maintenance, marksmanship, etc), this NRA developed course offers excellent way for you to get educated about handguns; moreover, the class gives you the knowledge and skills to intelligently and responsibly exercise your 2nd Amendment Right.
Many folks ask me about the duration of my class. Some think that eight hours is too long, but I disagree. Here’s why:
In West Virginia, the concealed carry license requires the applicant to “complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun.”
WV Code §61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained)
(d) All persons applying for a license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement:
(1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;
(2) Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors certified by the institution;
(3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;
(4) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard.
I am a multi-certified NRA instructor (college professor and retired US Army Military Police) and I teach (among others) the NRA Basic Pistol Course. A requirement to obtain and maintain the NRA instructor certification is that I teach the entire course, without modification – you can add your personal thoughts and experiences, but you must teach the entire course as developed by the NRA. It is the way the NRA maintains standards across the nation. The course design requires eight hours. It can be quicker (or longer), depending on breaks and the flow of the class, how talkative students are, and the personality of the instructor. I think it is safe to say that you cannot properly teach this class in three or four hours – that is just not enough time to adequately and responsibly deliver the content of the class.
To put it bluntly, I am not a diploma mill. I believe in giving my students my best effort, every time. The class title is “Basic Pistol Course” and as such presents material with no expectation of any experience or expertise on the student’s part. Many of my students have years of experience with a handgun and they make the class more interesting. Many students have never before touched a handgun, much less fired one, and they too, make the class interesting, with their honest questions.
We get both types of students – after all, this is a “basic” class. The class is designed to take all students from a position of no experience or handgun education, to a reasonable level for safe operation and handling of a handgun.
So, my authority to meet the state law’s requirements for a concealed permit rests in my relationship with the NRA as an NRA certified instructor, teaching the complete NRA Basic Pistol Course. However, you can meet the state’s requirements in various other ways – I am not a part of that process.
Like many things in life, there are good and bad ways to accomplish things and there are good and bad instructors. I insist on doing things the right way, especially with firearms, and strive to be one of the good instructors. My decades of experience with firearms in the US Army allows me to say that firearms are serious business and require responsible and mature behavior; this is my promise to myself and my students.
Concealed Carry Permits
In West Virginia and Ohio, you can apply for a concealed carry permit at your county sheriff’s office. You must have a certification of training that meets the requirements of the applicable state law. We teach the NRA Basic Pistol Course, to the prescribed NRA standards. This way, you are getting a thorough and quality block of instruction in the safe handling, loading, unloading, firing, cleaning, and storing of handguns. Moreover, you will meet the training requirements for a concealed carry permit. Other requirements apply, like you must be 21 years of age or older, not be convicted of a felony, and so on. Each state law is slightly different. We can assure you the training you receive will meet or exceed the state requirements.
Our next classe(s) are listed on the firearms page.
National Rifle Association developed and approved classes are taught by Mr. Gross. He is retired US Army MP (Military Police Officer), qualified on over a dozen military weapon systems, and adjunct professor at WVUP. His education includes two master’s degrees and numerous industry certifications. With these qualifications, you can be assured you are receiving quality instruction by an experienced professor.
We are certified to teach the following NRA Classes:
- Basic Pistol Course (to qualify for the Concealed Carry Permit in West Virginia and Ohio)
- Personal Protection Inside the Home
- Personal Protection Outside the Home
- Home Firearm Safety Course
Included with the Basic Pistol Course are several extras, like the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting, and of course, a certificate of training you can use to apply for a concealed carry permit at your local sheriffs’ office. The course requires firing a handgun. You can bring your own pistol with a box of suitable ammunition, or fire with one of ours. The cost of the course is $85 and we would like a $25 deposit. NRA and WVCDL members get a 10% discount with proof of current membership.
Every student gets one-on-one time with the instructor and we conduct hands on training both in the classroom and during range live fire.
Private Firearms Training
Need a private class? No problem! We can bring the training to you. Just put together four or more attendees and we will accommodate your timeline. Call us for details.