Firearms Safety – By Brett McQueen

Some of you may have heard about a firearms mishap at a Riverside range a few weeks ago during a concealed carry class. Apparently the civilian instructor shot a student in the leg. This was what we consider to be a negligent incident and not an ‘accident’ as reported. Why do we characterize it as such? Because something like that should never happen and if it does, it is indeed negligence.

As many of you know, we have been training for 30 years and have never had such an occurrence. Safety is, and always should be, the number one issue. Drawing from a concealed carry position can be tricky and that’s why a student must attend Handgun I and Handgun II in order to qualify for our concealed carry class. Brand new shooters should not be drawing from a concealed position and instructors have no excuse for shooting students in the leg, even if they are extremely annoying individuals.

Firearms training has become a cottage industry with weekend ‘warrior’ instructors coming out in droves! One needs to get licensed to do manicures or drive a taxi, but in order to qualify to be a firearms instructor all one needs is to pass an NRA course, buy some insurance, and find a range. Getting students to attend is another matter so you will see instructors claiming to be Special Forces, Navy Seals, SWAT and any other high speed monikers one can think of. When asked about their backgrounds, they often say they can’t “talk about it”!! Most of these claims are false and up until recently it has been extremely difficult to verify their veracity. And even if they are who they say they are, it doesn’t mean they have any qualifications to teach others or that they know what works and what doesn’t on the streets.

I have had students in my Handgun I class tell me that they have attended a basic handgun class at a school taught by one of these charlatans (who shall go unnamed) and people were just wandering around with loaded guns apparently attempting to do entries in a shoot house. Really!! And they stayed even though they felt unsafe! DO NOT STAY IN A CLASS THAT IS UNSAFE!! I know that sounds pretty sophomoric but it is surprising how many people do not want to rock the boat and will patiently wait until a class ends before rushing out in horror. Sometimes instructors even argue when students tell them they are being unsafe. We knew one guy who repeatedly told the instructor that he was uncomfortable because the instructor was covering the class with his muzzle each time he demonstrated a technique. The instructor balked at this and said that the rifle was unloaded. It later proved to be loaded, but either way, it should have been treated as such.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the lack of professionalism in these instructors is a major annoyance of mine! There is simply no excuse for a cavalier attitude in instructors and there are absolutely no shortcuts to running a safe range.

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2 Responses to Firearms Safety – By Brett McQueen

  1. Adrian Silva says:

    You may remember that when I attended my very first ITTS class, Handgun I, you brought Scott up to address the class attendees. When he asked everyone their name and what they did, I was very hesitant to offer that I was former-US Army Special Forces and only said I was retired. As you know, Scott likes to press the issues and said “retired from what?” I only responded with what I did s a civilian after the military. He then asked “what did you do in the military?” Being the black & white Boy Scout that I’ve been my entire life, I told the truth and only said “I was a commo & weapons sergeant in Special Forces.” At that response, he moved on to one of the next attendees.
    When we had a break for lunch, I went up to Scott, introduced myself by name, and said “whoever I was and whatever I did when I was in my early-20s has no relevance at this point in my life. I’m just another guy wanting to train and stay as gun savvy and proficient as possible as I age. I’m here to learn from you and your instructors and will take away from ITTS all of the positive things you’ll teach.”
    I think Scott appreciated that attitude because, as you mentioned in this Safety article, there are a bunch of posturing assholes out there who “think” they know what they’re doing without anything to back it up.
    I think the world of every instructor I’ve had at your school because they are the “Real Deal.” To this day, I’m so glad ITTS was recommended to me by Tiger McKee because he too understands what it means to be a rock-solid, switched-on firearms instructor.
    P.S. Please pass along my congratulations to Jordan and his wife on the birth of their first child and your first grandchild.
    Stay well and safe.
    De Oppresso Liber

  2. James Michael Miller says:

    Well said !

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