New Gun Owner Guide: Finding Firearm Training

posted on April 2, 2020
For new gun owners, one of the most daunting challenges can be finding someone who can provide further training and instruction on the safe, effective use of their new firearm. The National Rifle Association provides resources for new gun owners to find licensed trainers in their area offering courses on a range of topics, but that's not the only solution.

Option One: Ask Your Friends & Family

With the incredible number of gun owners and CCW-permit holders in America, odds are that someone you know likely owns a gun and has probably sought out some form of basic training, whether as part of a concealed-carry course, hunter's safety class or otherwise.

Not only can these close friends and relatives be great sources of information on the basics of gun-handling, they can also point you in the direction of instructors in your area. With their guidance and recommendations, you can confidently head to a training class where those you know and love have also received solid firearm training.

Option Two: Use the NRA Explore Search Function

Of course, it's always possible that you may not come from a family that owns guns or is all that familiar with them. There's also the possibility that you may not want to highlight your new gun purchase to those you know, for whatever reason. In that case, there are still many resources for you!

One of the best options for finding firearm training local to you is to use the search function at NRA Explore. Simply scroll down to the bottom of this page, plug in your zip code, set the search parameters anywhere from 25 miles to 200 miles and hit, "Search"!

In my case, the search function brought up 22 pages of firearm-training options, including shotgun, rifle and pistol basics, as well as other training options, like metallic cartridge reloading, basic CCW instruction and more. No matter where you are in the country, you'll be able to find a course that caters to your needs.

Option Three: Research Firearm Training Schools in Your Region

Many NRA-certified instructors are involved in dedicated training academies across the United States, and those schools often teach a range of classes in addition to basic firearm instruction. This gives the new gun owner an opportunity to not only learn the basics but also discover opportunities to sharpen their skills with additional classes.

Some of these schools include Gunsite Academy, Thunder Ranch, SIG Sauer Academy, Rogers Shooting School, Rangemaster and Academi, but there are many other reputable trainers and schools in different regions of the country, and most have introductory courses designed to familiarize new gun owners with their firearms.

No matter what route you take, one of the best steps any gun owner can take, whether new or experienced, is to seek out training. Firearm-handling is a skill that can always be improved upon, and the more skilled you are, the more capable you'll be in defending yourself and your family from threats.


Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine
Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine

Hand-Engraved, Silver-Plated New Original Henry Rifle Heads To Auction

There are few places in the country more impressive than The Cody Firearms Museum for history buffs and firearms enthusiasts, and Henry Repeating Arms, Baron Engraving and Davidson’s have created something special to support the facility.

Rifleman Report: Shall Not Be Infringed

As of this writing, the people of Ukraine are locked in a life-and-death struggle with the invading Russian military in the most significant warfare seen in Europe since World War II.

This Old Gun: U.S. Model Of 1842 Musket

By the latter part of the 1830s, most of the major powers finally let practicality overcome economy, realizing that it was time to switch their small arms over from flintlock to percussion. Britain and France were among the earliest, with the United States following suit in short order—the Americans fielding the handsome Model of 1842.

Preview: Brügger & Thomet Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable

Externally configured as a standard vertical fore-grip, the B&T Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable, as its name suggests, also features a throw-lever Picatinny-rail attachment clamp and more.

The Armed Citizen® May 23, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

2022 Rifle Of The Year: Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model

Now in their 20th year, the Golden Bullseye Awards are chosen annually to recognize the firearm industry’s best new offerings. Here is this year’s winners as selected by the editors of “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority.”


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.