May 6, 2008

Air Guns Used to Qualify Florida CHL Candidates

Some of the 500,000 people holding concealed-weapons permits in Florida qualified by using air guns.

Some CHL trainers had passed students for merely pulling the trigger once or twice without ever loading or unloading a handgun.

Quickie permit classes have become so common that the National Rifle Association threatened this month to fire any NRA-certified instructor who didn't use real guns to teach students in Florida.

Though carrying a concealed weapon requires a state permit, gun owners need only take a gun-safety course and show they know how to safely fire a real bullet.

"Unlike Texas, we do not have to have so many rounds at 10 feet or so many rounds at 15 feet. Florida just doesn't have that," said Buddy Bevis, director of licensing for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Shoddy training became an issue more than a year after Col. James K. Otto Sr., an NRA instructor from North Florida, first complained to Gov. Charlie Crist about classes at gun shows.

Marion Hammer, a former NRA president and one of the state's most powerful lobbyists, alerted NRA national headquarters. Within days, every NRA-certified instructor in Florida was warned they would lose their credentials for not using real guns with real bullets in class.

"Specifically, Air Soft or other air-driven guns are not acceptable," stated the April 14 memo. "Florida law requires that you maintain records certifying that you 'observed the student safely handle and discharge the firearm.' ",0,2256061.story

Comments (20)

Well from what I read the people are wright about giving a permit or a Licence to untrained persons who never picked up a book to read how to handle a gun period .I"ve seen foremans give all the people the cheat sheet all the answers to the tests and pass them thru . and all got their certificates?

Posted by: amiller195421 | April 18, 2009 6:42 PM    Report this comment

Well from what I read the people are wright about giving a permit or a Licence to untrained persons who never picked up a book to read how to handle a gun period .I"ve seen foremans give all the people the cheat sheet all the answers to the tests and pass them thru . and all got their certificates?

Posted by: amiller195421 | April 18, 2009 6:37 PM    Report this comment

When I took my Texas CHL class, there were at least two people -- one woman, one man -- who brought brand-new guns to class and had never fired them before. The instructor gave them a little help, which bothered me ... both passed ... I'm hoping they don't ever have to actually use those guns ...

Posted by: BILL S | May 13, 2008 12:09 PM    Report this comment

Douglas, here in PA, there is no training requirement and the license is $25 dollars for five years. And you know what, there are not any more accidental shootings or illegal uses of a gun by people with a license than in NC or any other state with a training requirement. The numbers don't lie. Why require it if it is just to make people feel good but serves no measurable purpose. (It's not a cost issue, it's a Freedom issue).

Again, I advocate that anyone who carries a gun get training to be able to effectively defend themselves.

Posted by: notrealname | May 8, 2008 5:24 PM    Report this comment

Here in NC, the 2 day CCW class cost me $130+100 rnds of ammo. The permit is $95 for five years. Cost prohibitive? NO. Not for profesional training, background check and range time. What are people going to be advocating next, free ammo to low income families? Let's not confuse the right to own a firearm with the privilige of carring a loaded concealed weapon in public. Taking the weapon outside of my home and carring it on my person, means that I must be ready to use that weapon if needed to deffend myself or others. With our litigous society, any person who does so without adequate documented traing and practice, is an idot.

Posted by: Barnstorm | May 8, 2008 10:17 AM    Report this comment

Concealed carry permits should not be required for citizens who wish to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. The whole CCW process is just a way for the NRA to make money. The permits cost too much and the people who most need a weapon for self-defense (low income) may be excluded because of this. I have a CCW permit from the state of Kansas. I believe people who carry a firearm should seek out training and practice regularly as a matter of personal responsibility, but I don't believe in state requirements limits. The Florida fiasco was inevitable and probably those that qualified with airguns were happy to do so and sought out that opportunity. The instructors did not take advantage of the willing buyers, the instructors demonstrated a lack of character for participating in the farce.

Posted by: Seiurep | May 8, 2008 9:22 AM    Report this comment

Don, don't want to get into an argument but the gov. does NOT give us our right to bear arms or any other right. It is there to ensure our GOD given rights are not trampled on. You are right, felons should be allowed to own guns according to the constitution - if you disagree then we should amend the constitution. I prefer to follow the law and change it if it is wrong rather than ignore it or "interpret" it out of existance. Individual responsibility is the name of the game in a republic - when we forget that, as we seem to be doing, a lot more than a God given right to bear arms is in danger.

Posted by: Les H | May 8, 2008 8:45 AM    Report this comment

For all you 2nd amendment groupies…… The second amendment does not have a requirement for training…absolutely true. It also states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
If we read and follow the second amendment verbally, then we are violating the rights of convicted felons like murderers, rapist ,and serial killers. They are people, and their right to bear arms should not be infringed. There is a lot that needs to be regulated and controlled and unfortunately the government which is elected by the people is the group that needs to do it. Also for you government “big brother” haters…….the government which you hate is the group that gave you the 2nd amendment rights.

Posted by: donba27 | May 8, 2008 6:54 AM    Report this comment

This has been going on for a while. Why doesen't the NRA remove certification of ANY instructor who has done this? It is the "NRA Basic Pistol SHOOTING Course" after all.

Posted by: RodolfoFierro | May 8, 2008 5:20 AM    Report this comment

The 2nd Amendment has no requirement for training. The government has no business messing with our 2nd Amendment rights, period. The folks in Florida got ripped-off by some greedy, ignorant, lazy instructors and the NRA should deal harshly with them. The government has no business restricting gun-ownership at all, so let's not go crying to "Big-Brother" about what is basically a consumer issue. I'm all for training, took the NRA course myself and I'm not required to and have a class this and next month that are costing me plenty, but this is a requirement I place on myself out of personal responsibility. NONE of it is the government's business. The government can't even steal our tax money efficiently, why in the world are you folks crying for their interference in this?

Posted by: TBILL | May 7, 2008 6:47 PM    Report this comment

I stated my personal opinion. You, John V, make a statement as if it were fact. I'd like to know where you get your information on, that you can make your claim that, "states that have NO training requirements to obtain a License to Carry a Concealed Firearm have no more accidents or violations than those that have the strictest requirements!" While I feel I am as much a supporter of the Second Amendment as anyone else, I recognize that many people are getting CCW permits to go with their first handgun purchase. Some basic instruction can do little harm, IMO, and certainly can help those lacking knowledge. Please recognize that while making CCW training mandatory in some states may offend someone who has been doing it for years, even minimal training should be recognized as beneficial for "people who have hardly ever fired their gun before". Don't let your pride goeth before their fall, eh?

Posted by: unevrno | May 7, 2008 6:14 PM    Report this comment

Correction:"...who doesn't should not be allowed to exercise their RIGHT...

Don't get me wrong. If the law in your state requires training, by all means follow the law. I also highly recommend formal training and practice for anyone who owns and carries a gun. But the Anti-Gun crowd will just keep adding on to the requirements until getting the license is beyond the reach of most people.

Posted by: notrealname | May 7, 2008 6:09 PM    Report this comment

Who is to decide exactly how much training should be required to carry a gun to defend your self? Some might say that anything less than a week long course at the Gunsite Ranch is not enough. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of legal, successful self defense shootings occur by people who have hardly ever fired their gun before. Quite often, the thing has been sitting in a night stand or closet for many years untouched. Did you ever read "The Armed Citizen" clippings in the NRA magazines? Do you think that the people in those articles go to the range and practice every month? Just because YOU eat, sleep and breathe guns and shooting doesn't mean that every one else who doesn't should be allowed to exercise their RIGHT to BEAR ARMS!

Posted by: notrealname | May 7, 2008 6:01 PM    Report this comment

I agree with John V somewhat. The fact remains that there are laws governing CHLs and their acqusition. We as holders should abide by those laws to set an example for the anti-gunners.

Posted by: RICHARD B | May 7, 2008 5:58 PM    Report this comment

The most dangerous concealed weapon is the one in the hands of someone who has no clue how to use it. Just because a state doesn’t require a training course, doesn’t make it right. I live in the state of Georgia which doesn’t require a training course, but many of the city police departments offer free handgun courses. Before I allowed my wife to get a permit, I required her to take one of these courses. In fact even thought I am a veteran trained in the use of firearms, I took the course with her. I was amazed at how many people taking the course who already had permits didn’t have a clue what they were doing.
When you compare buying a handgun with buying a book, I think you’re really pushing the issue. Would you feel comfortable if none of the states required a test to get a drivers license. Any person who has never had any firearm training and refuses to get the training, should not be licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Posted by: donba27 | May 7, 2008 5:54 PM    Report this comment

anyone who gets a CHL without ever loading and firing a real weapon should immediately have that permit rejected. Air guns and real guns are not the same and the danger is that someone who has perhaps never fired their weapon deciding in a life threatening situation to use one poses a great danger to themselves and everyone else in the area. What a ludicrous situation.

Posted by: LongRider | May 7, 2008 5:43 PM    Report this comment

Here is the shocking truth: states that have NO training requirements to obtain a License to Carry a Concealed Firearm have no more accidents or violations than those that have the strictest requirements! There should be no requirement to attend a class to exercise your Right to Bear Arms any more than there should be a requirement to take a reading class or test to buy a book.

From what I see here, the only problem is that people are paying for NRA approved training that they are not getting.

Posted by: notrealname | May 7, 2008 5:17 PM    Report this comment

Although the training class I attended in Nebraska for my CCW permit had me fire less than 100 rounds, the "Hogan's Alley", stress-fire portion gave me a taste of a real armed confrontation.

Based upon my experience, I think everyone who applies for a permit, in any state, should undergo this type of training.

To provide less is to fail to give your student a fighting chance in a real gunfight. Shame on those instructors who just 'mailed it in', likely to maximize their profits from teaching this mandatory course.

Their instructor's ratings should be revoked, and they should refund the money they greedily took for providing sub-standard training. This is not a freakin game, it's people's lives at stake, here!

Posted by: unevrno | May 7, 2008 4:55 PM    Report this comment

No wonder the merchants are concerned about having firearms on their property. If I were a merchant in Florida, I would not trust anyone who had qualified with an Air Gun.

Speaking of Firing people, they should begin with the Governor!

Posted by: American121 | May 7, 2008 4:49 PM    Report this comment

I think that not only should the instructors be fired the permits should be revoked!

Posted by: Wood Butcher | May 7, 2008 4:28 PM    Report this comment

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