How To Know If A Course Is Approved

First, Section 571.111, RSMo, subsection 5 explains what is required to be qualified to teach the ccw permit course as a firearms safety instructor:


5. A firearms safety instructor shall be considered to be a qualified firearms safety instructor by any sheriff issuing a concealed carry permit pursuant to sections 571.101 to 571.121 if the instructor:

    (1) Is a valid firearms safety instructor certified by the National Rifle Association holding a rating as a personal protection instructor or pistol marksmanship instructor; or

    (2) Submits a photocopy of a notarized certificate from a firearms safety instructor's course offered by a local, state, or federal governmental agency; or

    (3) Submits a photocopy of a notarized certificate from a firearms safety instructor course approved by the department of public safety; or

    (4) Has successfully completed a firearms safety instructor course given by or under the supervision of any state, county, municipal, or federal law enforcement agency; or

    (5) Is a certified police officer firearms safety instructor.

(The last three of the firearms instructor certificates listed above are known to be substantially harder to acquire due to a higher level of course difficulty and the time and money involved.)

In addition to the course instructor having the proper firearms instructor certification, the course being provided must also meet all of the requirements listed in subsections 1 and 2 of the concealed carry law (see Course Contents).  The problem for the student is how to know if their sheriff will accept the training certificate from their firearms instructor.  The most straight-forward solution is to call the sheriff's department and ask.  Most sheriffs maintain a list of instructors that have been approved to instruct their county's residents.  A course instructor may also submit their credentials to their local sheriff to become registered in a statewide database of approved instructors that is accessible to and accepted by all sheriffs.

All conscientious course instructors are concerned about two things:

1. Diploma mills - where "certificates" can be purchased without taking any training, and

2. Poor quality courses (aka "Billy-Bob behind the barn courses") - where a properly certified instructor runs a poor quality course for his buddies and "all comers" for the fee.  (Apologies to any real instructors who may be named Billy-Bob!)

The latter is a big problem in particular because it could result in a student (who took a course in good faith) unknowingly breaking the law and getting caught, or possibly being involved in a "bad shooting" -- all because of misinformation received in the course.  But such courses would harm us all!  It could get the good law we have all worked so long and hard to pass restricted and revised in ways we don't like, or even repealed.  We cannot allow this to happen.


7. Any firearms safety instructor who knowingly provides any sheriff with any false information concerning an applicant's performance on any portion of the required training and qualification shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.  A violation of the provisions of this section shall result in the person being prohibited from instructing concealed carry permit classes and issuing certificates.

Please be sure that any course and instructor you sign up with has both the proper certification and course that will allow you to meet the training requirements and get a Missouri CCW Permit.

So that students who attend Learn To Carry courses can have confidence that their instructor's certificates and course will be approved by their sheriff and passes muster, all Learn To Carry ccw-permit course instructors are Certified Law Enforcement Instructors and registered with the statewide database of approved instructors.

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