We found this piece from the April 2014 issue of The Center Mass Citizen Newsletter.  (With some minor editing for readability).

Center Mass, Inc. is a Michigan-based company that provides a host of firearms training programs for civilians and law enforcement.

They seem to have their stuff together up there and we salute them for some great writing.


The Concealed Carry Training Gold Rush

Risking your life + your freedom + your mental stability + your life-long possessions to save less than $50…

Why do this???

Professional Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and firearms training is serious and nothing to gamble with. Yet thousands of people do exactly that on a daily basis.

These good people want their CPL, and during tough economic times, many understandably seek the “best deal” they can find.

This seems logical, until you consider the true reality of the purchasing decision. You are not investing in a widget folks… You are investing in information.

The quality and delivery of that information (and the resultant practical application training that accompanies it) may ultimately either save your life or contribute to your death or imprisonment.

Do you really want to trust your life, your family’s lives, and your freedom to save $50.00 by selecting a “fly by night” training provider? Or, would you rather have the peace of mind that comes from having been trained by a nationally recognized, industry leading subject matter expert that will stand behind you if the unthinkable happens?

CPL training, also known as a concealed carry weapon (CCW) training, is currently big business nationwide. And It seems like everybody and anybody is cashing-in these days by providing this training at the expense of consumers who may not really recognize the seriousness of what they are buying…

This is where red flares should be going off like it is the 4th of July for the consumer! Here are three critical issues consumers should consider before choosing a firearms training provider…

Bait & Switch Pricing 

Get your CPL for $99.00!!!
+ $10.00 for book/manual
+ $10.00 range fee
+ $5.00 for eyes/ears/target
+ $10.00 to rent a gun
+ $15.00 for ammo
+ $10.00 for lunch
At a minimum, the real cost is $159.00 to the unsuspecting consumer who expected to pay $99.00 for their CPL.

Unqualified Instructors

  •     Many states have laws that require the legal portions of CPL classes be taught by a lawyer or certified active or retired law enforcement officer.
  •     Some unscrupulous training providers are not using a lawyer or a certified law enforcement officer to teach this portion of the course.
  •     Furthermore, unscrupulous training providers oftentimes do not fully provide the state mandated minimum training hours or rounds fired during their classes.
  •     Your safety begs the question: What training & real world experience does your instructor have to justifiably teach you how and when to use deadly force against another human being?

Training Institution Background

  •     Did you know that in some states CPL instructors have immunity?
  •     Is your training provider properly insured?
  •     Does the institution teach firearms self-defense, gun fighting, or target shooting? There is a big difference…
  •     Will your training provider stand with you if you have to use deadly force?
  •     Will your training provider reputation and experience, help or hurt you in front of a judge or jury?
  •     If your training provider has not been in the firearms training business for a minimum of 10 years, and if they do not have an established and impeccable record as a training provider, you are risking your life, your freedom, and everything you have ever owned, to save less than $50.00… Is it really worth it?

A simple way to stack the odds of getting a reputable training provider in the consumers favor is to use your local gun range. These folks have made a substantial financial investment in the community and likely have been in business for a considerable period of time. This generally means that they are doing something right, and they can typically provide a lower CPL training rate than organizations that have to rent both classroom and range space/time. This is not to say that there are not very reputable training providers who don’t own a range, as many do exist. It is simply a suggestion for your consideration.

At any rate, we hope that this information was useful to you, and we wish you and yours the very best in all of your firearms training efforts. Stay safe, remember to protect your rights, and always aim for perfection!!!

7 thoughts on “THE CONCEALED CARRY TRAINING GOLD RUSH: Some folks are risking everything to save $50”
  1. Overall, pretty good and I agree. But playing devil’s advocate on the “just go to your local range” philosophy: I had a friend do just that. He reported that the range-sponsored class consisted of a cocky instructor w/ “credentials” (ex-cop) who spent most of the time talking about how great he was in front of a room of 50 people packed in like sardines. Had “experience” on paper, but couldn’t instruct worth a darn, and his anecdotal stories – while somewhat entertaining – were generally inappropriate for armed citizen CCW’ers.

    The live fire qual was scary too: after 9 hrs of grueling lecture and fatigue setting in, inexperienced shooters lined up for live fire draw from a holster w/ a poor instructor-to-shooter ratio.

    There’s something to be said for the “little guy” instructors that provide small classes and individual attention – even if they don’t have tacti-cool resumes.

    1. I agree.

      I read the article in terms of the penny-wise, pound-foolish aspect.

      There is a race to the bottom in terms of content and prices among many instructors in IL.

      It’s truly capitalism at its best… unfortunately, some instructors are cutting corners to make up for cheaper prices, leaving their students holding the bag after ISP jerks their creds for insufficient training.

      If some folks want to spend the bare-bones minimum to get their license, fine.

      Other, more prudent folks, will do everything they can to educate themselves on the rules of the road when it comes to the justifiable use of deadly force and the sound and effective use of a firearm to help keep them safe and alive.

      Most people’s lives are worth more than $50 or $100.

      I say most people because some people like one named “Raisin” we’ve written about recently should have a bounty on their heads as they are nothing but asocial human debris.


  2. Yet not too far away, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with over 800,000 licensees, there’s NO TRAINING REQUIREMENT (no classroom, no live fire, nothing, zip, nada). That’s a $99.00 savings on top of Training Institute’s $50.00 savings.

    Is training nice to have? Of course it is. Should it be mandated by the state? Gee, what ever happened to Personal Responsibility?
    And, as far as anyone can tell, Pennsylvania’s licensees are no more prone to accidents or such without training than Michigan’s licensees are with training.

    Oh, and a license in Pennsylvania only costs $20.00 and, in many cases, is issued on the spot with a one-page application.

    1. As Illinois residents, we don’t have to look as far as Pennsylvania for what happens without training.

      INDIANA has no training requirement, and while on occasion I find a story about someone doing something stupid with their CCW piece, it’s *very* rare – and often occurs as people are loading up as they leave the Indy 1500 gun show.

      No, there should be no training requirement to CCW any more than their should be a literacy requirement or a poll tax to vote.

      However what should be isn’t what is.

      The Democrat legislative leaders in Illinois have promulgated that Illinois residents need 16-hours of training to carry.

      That’s an obstacle I’m willing to cross over to get a license. It’s not ideal, but again, we’re not dealing with a perfect world. If it’s not for other people, so be it. Don’t get a license.

      Just as nobody’s pointing a gun at your head requiring you to get a FOID card.

      If you feel that strongly about the FOID card being objectionable, or the training requirement, then why haven’t you moved to Indiana?

      We’re working to eliminate the training requirement and the FOID card in IL, but we didn’t lose those rights overnight and getting them back will involve steps, not sudden changes.


  3. lookee here a training outfit running down other training outfits

    yes there are pirates and such out there some bigger than others

  4. In Illinois we had a golden ticket to pass a law with a court order backing it up. The law that passed was entirely to make money for wannabe trainers while the poor and the old got pushed aside.

    Even Madigans forces have happily written about the cost being the biggest deterrent that works for them. Unfortunately this cost also worked to make wannabe trainers salivate to impose them as middlemen over everyone else.

    I dont see any movement or action to eliminate training requirements

  5. This company charges $129 for the MI class which is 9 hours instead of our IL 16 hours. I don’t see this as a terrific money saver or deal using their figures, about double the $159 example they uses. As another poster here said more about yet another company criticizing other companies. Again as someone else once pointed out figures don’t lie but liars figure.

    On the other hand IMO we do need some training. For some folks 16 hours is w-a-y to much. For others 40 hours won’t get them trained to be a responsible CCL holder. There is no correct answer but I can live with what we have for now. What I can’t live with is the $ amount to renew in 5 years, no lifetime permit fee and no provisions for a reduced fee for seniors and veterans, this we must work on. If we want to look too IN. Look at their fees for the renewals and lifetime charges etc.

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