CSA offers two categories of handgun training: our own defensive courses that are specifically designed to follow the Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit class, and standard NRA courses. Please click the links below to learn more about each.
The Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Class is very basic. Its purpose is to teach Tennessee handgun laws and ways to safely load, unload, and store a handgun. It wasn’t created to teach you how to carry a handgun in public or use one to defend yourself from violent attack. Defending yourself with a handgun demands a level of skill. Developing the required skill takes more than one class, it is a process that involves time, instruction, and structured practice.
For those who want to gain confidence and competence with their handgun, we have the “After the Permit” series of courses, ATP-1 and ATP-2.
ATP-1 is a 4-hour course that continues where the TN Handgun Permit class ends. Topics include:
- A review of the rules of safe gun handling and how to apply them
- A review of the shooting fundamentals with an emphasis on defensive application
- Safe loading, unloading and storage of handguns
- How to handle and operate a handgun in a comfortable and robust manner
- How to select the right gear for training and carrying
- An introduction to accuracy standards
- Introduction to defensive and preparatory mindset
- Proper “ready positions” and safe gun-handling
Completion of ATP-1 will prepare you for success in ATP-2, where we introduce students to other defensive handgun techniques and applications.
- Reliable handgun (contact us if you need a recommendation, or to rent one)
- 100 rounds of quality practice ammo
- Eye and ear protection
The Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Class is very basic. Its purpose is to teach Tennessee handgun laws and ways to safely load, unload, and store a handgun. It wasn’t created to teach you how to carry a handgun in public or use one to defend yourself from violent attack. Defending yourself with a handgun demands a level of skill. Developing the required skill takes more than one class. It is a process that involves time, instruction, and structured practice.
For those who want to gain confidence and competence with their handgun we have the “After the Permit” series of courses, ATP-1 and ATP-2.
ATP-2 is a 4-hour course that continues where the ATP-1 class ends. Topics include:
- A review of the rules of safe gun handling
- A shooting fundamentals check
- Developing the fighting mindset
- The proper placement of on-body equipment for concealed carry
- Emergency reloading
- Malfunction clearing
- Tactical anatomy and effective shot placement
- How to properly access and draw a pistol from a holster
- Continued application of defensive accuracy standards
- Post-incident police contact
ATP-2 will prepare you for success in Defensive Pistol, where we revisit all the isolated technical skills from previous classes and introduce real-world contextual applications and environmental factors (adapting to one’s surroundings).
- Successful completion of ATP-1 or equivalent course/experience
- Reliable defensive handgun
- Quality holster designed for the model handgun you have
- Belt designed to support a handgun
- 150 rounds of quality practice ammo
- Eye and ear protection
If you need equipment recommendations for this class, please contact us.
So, you’ve got your permit, and you’ve taken ATP-1 and ATP-2. What’s next? Now you’re ready for Defensive Pistol, where we take all the skills from previous classes and put them in context. The goal of Defensive Pistol is to show average, everyday citizens how to apply their handgun carry fundamentals in the real world. This means taking several new factors into account. What measures can you take to avoid facing a defensive shooting scenario in the first place? How can you reduce your chances of being selected as a victim? And how are fundamental marksmanship techniques affected when we add factors like stress, decision making, barriers, or bystanders?
Topics covered in Defensive Pistol include:
- Mental awareness and techniques for avoiding life-threatening confrontations
- Developing a defensive mindset for carrying and using a pistol for personal protection
- The importance of carrying and using a pistol responsibly and ethically for personal protection
- How the rules for safe gun-handling apply to concealed carry
- Concealing a pistol properly and clothing considerations
- Improving your shooting skills
- Quickly presenting a pistol during an attack (and safely concealing it again)
- Using your pistol sights for fast and effective results
- Fixing the pistol if it malfunctions during an attack
- Cover and concealment
- Psychological and physiological changes you may experience during an attack and how to deal with them
Defensive Pistol is offered in two formats: one 8-hour day, or two separate 4-hour sessions (Part 1 and Part 2). Students who complete the full eight hours of coursework will receive a certificate as proof of their training. Our Defensive Pistol course meets or exceeds the learning objectives of the NRA Defensive Pistol course.
NRA firearm training is nationally recognized as the gold standard for safe firearms education. Entirely separate from its political wing, the NRA Training Division has developed millions of safe, ethical, responsible shooters and instructors since 1871. Moreover, no curriculum has been as thoroughly vetted and successfully courtroom-tested as the NRA training curriculum has. Whether you’re a new gun owner in search of training or an experienced shooter looking to maintain skills and support others, the NRA has a course for you. Citizens Safety Academy offers the following NRA courses for handgun training:
- Home Firearm Safety
- Basic Pistol
- Basic CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon)
- Defensive Pistol
- Personal Protection In The Home
- Personal Protection Outside The Home
- Range Safety Officer
- Chief Range Safety Officer
- Women on Target
For detailed descriptions of each of these courses, please visit the NRA Course Catalog. In addition to pistol courses, CSA also offers the NRA’s award-winning Refuse to Be a Victim seminar, as well as NRA Basic Rifle and Shotgun classes.
Has your passion for learning grown so much that you’d like to become an instructor yourself? We offer not only general courses but also instructor-level courses, training students to be teachers. In keeping with our firm belief in the “each one teach one” model of community empowerment, we take pride in preparing energetic new instructors to refresh and diversify the training world as often as we can.
NRA firearm training is nationally recognized as the gold standard for safe firearms education. Entirely separate from its political wing, the NRA Training Division has developed millions of safe, ethical, responsible shooters and instructors since 1871. Citizens Safety Academy offers lots of NRA courses, but we’re especially proud to now offer the Women on Target Instructional Shooting Clinic, a ladies-only primer designed to demystify firearms in a supportive, comfortable, fun environment.
Whether you’re already an experienced shooter, you’re looking for effective ways to discuss gun safety with your kids, you’re hoping to overcome a fear guns, or you just want a few hours of fun with like-minded ladies, this clinic is for you. We’ll go over the fundamentals with an emphasis on safety rules, and then we’ll relieve a little stress on the range. No judgment, no pressure, no intimidation, no egos, and no politics. We hope you’ll join us for a half-day of empowerment as we strive to keep all Women on Target!
Do you have trouble hitting the target consistently? Would you like to shoot faster or more accurately? The CSA Quick Clinics are specifically designed to develop, ingrain, and habituate students’ marksmanship technique in just a few hours. No matter your current skill level, this course will help make you a more consistent and more precise shooter.
In our Pistol Quick Clinic, we spend four hours on the range giving students one-on-one attention to diagnose any errors in handgun shooting technique. We also work on shooting more quickly while maintaining a steady shooting cadence, to help students carefully balance speed and control. This class isn’t about tactics. Instead, we use a series of narrowly-tailored drills to refine the fundamentals of pure marksmanship. This allows students to establish a solid performance baseline and continue building on it with the practice techniques we provide in the Clinic.
CSA’s Quick Clinics are designed to give our patrons a chance to have a bit more time with our instructors for a cost-effective, relatively short practice session to drill some of the important skills introduced in our longer classes. In the dry-fire clinic, we come together for a few brief hours of highly-focused drills with totally empty handguns. The main goal of dry-fire is to reinforce the fundamentals of marksmanship without the added hassles of purchasing ammo or traveling to a live-fire range. Dry-fire drills can be done in the comfort of our temperature-controlled classroom. By removing the distractions of recoil, muzzle flash, and loud noises, we can really focus on the technical nuances of trigger control and sight alignment. And after a good dry-fire session, you’ll really see a difference in your accuracy and consistency the next time you go to the range for live-fire.