When your interest in firearms begins, you’ll probably wonder the following: How much does gun training cost? How much do shooting lessons cost? How about the cost of firearms training courses? How much does a CCW license cost so I can carry a firearm?  

These answers aren’t easily explained. And I have found over the previous three decades, it’s not easily understood either. 

The closest comparison I can make is the cost of being a parent. At its very base form, the cost is zero.  

The cost of being a parent is somewhat monetary for sure, but 95% of the effort is how much time you put into it. If you father a child and have nothing to do with them, you can call yourself a parent, but in reality, you are not.  

The same adage applies to firearms training and the CCW world. You absolutely can show up at a gun show, sit through a two-hour lecture, fire one round into a barrel and then apply for your license. Assuming you meet the background requirements, your license will be issued, and it will be legal for you to carry a weapon.  

The reality is, you’re no more qualified to carry a weapon than a person who never sees their child is qualified to call themselves a parent. That is just the hard reality of life.  


Price is how most prospective students evaluate CCW classes. That is the last thing that should be considered. For students with no prior military or law enforcement training, your goal should be to learn as much as possible about the law and the use of deadly force and then continue to seek additional training. A mistake could cost you the majority of your life.  

If the difference between a two-hour course and a four-hour course is $100, ask yourself this: how much is your life worth if you are in jail for 20 years because you didn’t know the law? At a difference of $100, that equates to $5 per year for each year of imprisonment. Yeah, it does not make sense. 

If a class offers additional hands-on firearms training, the class should teach you a good base to BEGIN your training in order to be competent with a firearm.  

If I had a nickel for everyone who told me they’d been around hunting and guns their whole life, I would be Warren Buffett. You could add another fortune to my net worth for those who told me their dad, uncle or grandfather was a cop or in the military.  

They always look surprised when I respond with, “If you shot the wrong deer, were you ever brought up on charges?” “What caliber did the deer shoot back with and how many people could have died during the incident?”  

My all-time favorite response is, “If your father was the best surgeon on the planet, I’ve got news for you: YOU are not performing surgery on me.” I guess they have a firm belief in the theory of osmosis. 

All of these responses are intended to get people to think about what they are getting into and to understand that they do not know what they do not know. Hunting is not self-defense. It has zero in common with the use of a firearm in defense of your life. In hunting, you ambush prey that (for the most part) cannot fight back. The prey does not know you are there, and they are not actively threatening you.  

I’ve got news for you.  

If you ambush someone, you will be, most likely, reading my next blog post from a jail cell. Being around guns teaches you nothing. Guns do not impart knowledge by their mere presence.  

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