Any machine, equipment, or tool that you may buy to use requires you first to know the operation and get proper training. One such tool or equipment is a firearm which a person can readily carry and use.
The trend of buying firearms has increased in recent years. People may buy a firearm for various purposes such as for protection, sport shooting, or preparing to get employed in a law enforcement agency.
Why Firearm Safety So Important
A firearm is a mechanical machine but can be quite a dangerous one, so a person must ensure all the safety precautions. A firearm can be a hazard and pose a danger not only to a person who is not authorized to handle it but also to those around him. Firearm training is mandatory and necessary before buying a firearm either for protection or sport shooting.
If you want to improve your sport shooting skill, you must legally buy a gun and practice it before participating in any sporting event or competition. Firearm safety training is very important because most accidents happen because proper safety protocols were not followed.
When basic safety rules are not followed, it endangers the life of the individual handling the firearm and those around him. You need to enroll and perform Firearm Competency Certificate Training if you are looking to join a law enforcement agency, participate in a sport shooting competition or use a gun for personal protection.
The Various Key Aspects of Firearm Training Program
You need to take regular training classes and learn how to handle, load, and use a firearm. The firearm training programs are part of most police and security academies. Some of the aspects of the training program are
- Following the safety procedure
- Displaying marksmanship skills
- Shooting from various angles and positions
- Engaging the subject or target accurately
- Action drills
- Unlocking the firearm and then assembling it again
As a participant, you are supposed to learn all the rules and methods and then display your abilities. There are certain controlled scenarios, and your use of skill and training will be analyzed.
The Requirements to Fulfill for Firearm Competency Certificate
The students of the training program can use both automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Some of the documents and details you need to submit before taking admission into the competency training program are
- Your name and contact details
- Criminal record background check
- Any prior certificate while working with a law enforcement agency
- Copy of Driver’s License, Passport, and Identification Card
- Certificate of Mental Health
Professional and seasoned firearm trainers conduct the firearm competency training program. The term ‘firearm competency’ means that you have been judged as competent and can own a firearm. You have to fulfill the requirements to get a certificate and complete the unit standard testing for a specific firearm that you will carry and use. Some of the common unit standards include
- Handling and using a handgun
- Handling and using a shotgun
- Handling and using a rifle
- Handling and using a carbine
You can apply for the unit standard according to the firearm you want to purchase and use. You will get a competency certificate if you pass the training test of the unit standard you chose. You may also need to show association with a particular hunting or sport shooting club that is accredited. The competency certificate is given out based on firearms such as a handgun, rifle, shotgun (semi-automatic, or pump-action), and rifle (manual, block, or bolt).
The Duration of Firearm Competency Certificate
The training provider may further take tests and evaluations to ensure an individual’s competency to obtain a firearm competency certificate. The duration of the certificate varies, and you may have to get a new certificate if you are going to change the firearm or change the purpose of carrying a firearm. Some of the common purposes and periods are
- Self-protection (5 years)
- Occasional sport shooting or hunting (10 years)
- Professional hunting (10 years)
- Hunting or game rancher business (10 years)
A training provider may take time to review and verify your documents. You need to carefully fulfill all the requirements, including all the relevant documentation, proof of memberships to hunting and sport shooting clubs, and your license application.
The firearm competency certificate is compulsory for every individual under the age of 21. To get an authorized certificate, the individual needs to perform the proficiency testing and training and get dedicated status from a certified hunting or sport shooting association. Once the individual gets the competency certificate, then he/she can apply to get a firearm for which he/she has the competency.
The proficiency or practical test involves the demonstration of safe handling and usage of a firearm. The competency certificate verifies if its purpose is possessing a firearm, manufacturing a firearm, trade a firearm, or running a gun business.
Most individuals under 21 years develop an interest in sport shooting and want to obtain a certificate to start practicing using a firearm and then buy one for participating in a sport shooting event.
Keith Harrison is a professional firearm trainer and instructor. He gives valuable knowledge on handling and following safety precautions while using a firearm. He also answers questions about firearm safety through his social media.