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CSA Gateway Instructor Certification Course (Okeechobee, FL)

June 8, 2024 @ 8:00 am - June 9, 2024 @ 6:00 pm EDT


Are you an experienced shooter who wants to teach others about basic marksmanship and firearm safety? This is the course for you! Instructor candidates will learn to develop, organize, and teach a basic defense-oriented pistol curriculum in the paradigm of “gateway instruction” developed by Citizens Safety Academy.

This course teaches experienced shooters how to design, organize, and conduct a gateway (entry-level) pistol shooting course.

There are many instructor certification courses available, but most suffer from at least one of three common shortcomings. First, they often spend too much time on shooting and not enough time on teaching how to teach. Second, they often focus on teaching intermediate-level shooters without enough attention paid to the nuances of managing a class full of brand-new, first-time shooters. Third, many instructor courses tend to ignore the cultural and demographic dynamics of today’s market of firearms trainees.

With the recent explosion of gun purchases by urbanites, millennials, trauma victims, and others who don’t fit the traditional stereotypes of gun ownership, firearms trainers must adapt to the rapidly-evolving 21st Century market. CSA developed what we call the “gateway” instructional model in an effort to fill those gaps in the training community.

Instructor candidates will learn and demonstrate organizational and teaching skills via participation in practical exercises during the course (including leading a line of live-fire shooters through a course of fire). Candidates will also have to pass an instructor certification examination and a shooting qualification course of fire. The course also includes an Instructor’s Guide that participants can take home with them for future reference.

When we say “gateway instruction,” we mean true entry-level content, designed for students who’ve overcome boundaries, obstacles, social disincentives, or other adverse odds to learn to shoot for the first time. We have found that many “beginner” classes on the market are often weighed down by assumptions and misperceptions about what new shooters typically bring with them. These classes often take for granted that every student has the same opinion about guns, everyone has the same understanding of gun safety, and everyone generally understands how guns work and what they’re used for. But that’s often not the case.

At CSA, we take a different approach. Gateway instruction levels the playing field by allowing all students to enter the firearms training world without any pressure to know more than they know, or to be someone they aren’t. One of the many benefits of this teaching technique (and the reason we call it “gateway instruction”) is that it greatly increases the chances of students investing in more training and becoming members of the training community, rather than just visitors or sightseers. We hope to be an “on-ramp” for those who might otherwise see themselves as outsiders to the gun world.

Every class is a little different, so we often have to make adjustments based on time and facility constraints; but our standard Gateway Instructor curriculum includes the following:

  • Adult learning theory
  • Effective communication skills / public speaking
  • Depoliticizing instruction, content, and facilities
  • Designing and using effective training aids
  • Connecting with inexperienced, fearful, and non-traditional students
  • Making classroom lectures interactive and engaging
  • Effective use of multi-media in the modern classroom
  • Concepts from the pivotal text, “Telling Ain’t Training,” by Keeps and Stolovitch
  • Classroom management
  • Range management
  • Teaching basic principles of lawful defensive force
  • Managing students with past trauma or emotional triggers
  • Effective assessment / written examination design
  • How to control and command a firing line
  • The “Less is More” principle
  • Effective range commands
  • Student-centric range exercises
  • Differentiating between skill drills and performance drills
  • Managing students with physical limitations or disabilities
  • Teaching both left- and right-handed students
  • Managing firing lines with revolvers and semi-autos of different action types
  • Effective use of assistant instructors
  • Safety protocols and emergency procedures
  • And much more!

For this class, you’ll need:

  • An open  mind
  • A positive attitude
  • A reliable semi-automatic handgun (9mm or larger)
  • Roughly 200 rounds of ammunition (ammo usage will depend on how many times we need to shoot the 25-round qualification course and how much time we have to shoot skill drills).
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for shooting (indoor ranges can be cold), brimmed hat/cap, trimmed fingernails (no high-heeled or open-toed shoes or low cut blouses) snacks and water. If at an outdoor range, weather appropriate attire, bug spray, snacks and water
  • Notebook and pens or an electronic device (laptop/tablet) for note taking

Note that you will NOT need a holster for the range exercises. We’ll send an email to all students within a week of class with more details on what to bring and what to expect.

Note on Ammo:

We are mindful of the current ammunition shortage. We will do our very best to be conservative with ammo consumption throughout this course. The round count in the equipment list is a generous estimate, and we hope to avoid having to use all of it.

Instructor candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Candidates will be required to demonstrate how to safely handle, load and unload both a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol.

Shout-Out to Our Local Host: B2 Defense, Inc.

Many thanks to Erica Brown of B2 Defense, Inc. for hosting this event! We’ve crossed paths with Erica many times at different training events around the country, and we’re really excited to conduct a class on her home turf. To learn more about Erica’s training company and cadre, please visit https://www.facebook.com/B2Defense or https://www.b2defense.com.

GICC Maryland


We look forward to seeing you in class! If you have any trouble with the embedded registration form below, you can also register directly on our Eventbrite page (click here). Thanks!


Citizens Safety Academy
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Okeechobee Shooting Sports
7055 NE 48th Street
Okeechobee, FL 34972
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(863) 357-3006
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