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Old October 24, 2002, 09:53 PM   #1
glockgirl
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Rifle Training/Classes Seattle Area

Anybody have any recommendations regarding classes or individual instruction in beginning defensive (urban) rifle? Classes geared towards women would be great, if you know of any. I'd prefer a beginner's-level class, since although I have fired a few thousand rounds through various pistols, I've never so much as handled a rifle.

Thanks,

Jennifer
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Old October 24, 2002, 10:58 PM   #2
mooser
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In the Seattle area check with Marty and Gila Hayes at www.firearmsacademy.com

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Old October 25, 2002, 05:53 AM   #3
David Blinder
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In addition to Marty & Gila (who are great), you can also check out www.insightstraining.com.
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Old November 1, 2002, 02:38 AM   #4
pax
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Glockgirl,

I haven't taken their defensive rifle class yet, but took the defensive shotgun class a couple months back at FAS. Gila Hayes taught the class; out of 15 students, three of us were women. I'm pretty sure the class size and ratios would be about the same in the rifle classes.

I hear good things about Insights, too, but have never taken anything from them.

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Old November 1, 2002, 03:36 AM   #5
NWRed
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I'm more of a lurker then a poster, but I would like to comment that the requirements provided by FAS will ensure that neither I nor anyone in my immediate family will ever attend any class or training provided by them. As per their web site "F.A.S. requires a valid State Issued Concealed Weapons Permit for all courses except FAS-1 and the Handgun Safety Seminar. Please understand that due to the advanced nature of the material presented, it is necessary to "screen" those civilians to whom we teach police based, advanced self-defense and firearms instruction. If you do not have a CWP, we will accept a police background check or a letter from an attorney attesting that you have no felony or misdemeanor record."
The logic of requiring a CHL boggles my mind, when they alledgedly believe "At The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc. we believe safety begins with the individual. A career law enforcement officer, Director Marty Hayes knows that the police can't protect you. YOU must be able to protect yourself if you expect to survive an assault on your life or the lives of your loved ones. " If safety begins with the individual then why require the State to attest that it's "safe" to teach me?
In addition, the optional "background letter" that shows no misdemeanors? In WA they are several traffic offenses that are misdemeanors. Not to mention that WA is "shall issue" state. Short of a felony or restraining order, they have to give you one, (regardless of how many misdemeanors you have). Simply another "feel good" measure that does nothing other then provide a false sense of security from lawsuits.
My suggestion is to contact Insights
http://www.insightstraining.com/ps/courses/long/gdr.htm
or another respectable training outfit that is more interested in teaching self defense rather then in covering their SoCal LEO asses. HTH
Sean aka NWRed
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Old November 1, 2002, 04:09 AM   #6
SKN
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Character affirmation

NWRed,

I believe that you'll find that most reputable and responsible firearms training institutions which are accesible to non military and LE, including Insights and FAS, have very similar personal reference requirements. This requirement seems even to be specified in the web site reference that you gave.

Though I'm not completely familiar with WA state 'shall issue' statutes I'm fairly certain that a WA CCW permit is one of the easiest to obtain. Therefore, character affirmation through this method is hardly an insurmountable obstacle to admission to formal firearms training.

Also, I could be mistaken but I don't think that Marty Hayes' LE background includes service with a Southern California agency if that was what you meant by "SoCal LEO".
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Old November 1, 2002, 04:59 AM   #7
NWRed
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Perhaps I'm mistaken then regarding Mr. Hayes background. Possibly confusing him with another former LEO turned trainer in western WA.
My point was the requirement to have a CHL is a bit offputting to me. Perhaps its a nonissue for others,such as yourself. I've carried a pistol, both illegally and legally since I was 19. I didnt have "permission" to defend myself, I took that responsibilty on because it is my life. As the introduction page to FAS states, "At The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc. we believe safety begins with the individual." If thats the case then why the requirement that people seeking reputable self defense training be able to produce a criminal background sceen? Do these trainers do their own background check with the information provided or simply take the information provided by the customers at face value?

As to Insights page:
A letter of good character is also dubious, although I will admit I had over looked the requirement by Insights, although it appears its much less of a intrusion since there's simply the "letter of good character" option. Although it isn't clear who's "qualified" to write it ( but I did send an email inquiring about this). I'm sure my mother would say I'm a nice guy if I asked her to write me a letter.
Perhaps I'm overzealous when it comes to my privacy. If private companies want to perform background checks prior to selling their services thats fine by me, it's a free country. But that certainly doesnt mean I , and numerous others, are happily going along. Nor would I do business with them due to their requirements. The presumption that everyone is "guilty" until cleared by a background check is irritating to me personally.
Take care,
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Old November 1, 2002, 06:41 PM   #8
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glockgirl, I.T.C. comes to out to the hairy-chested West in Lincoln City, Oreygun a couple times a year. I highly recommend a class or two from the wise man in Tejas (O.K., when ITC alter ego, wise man from Fort Wayne).
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Old November 4, 2002, 08:22 PM   #9
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My 2 cents -- I have taken five classes from Insights and they've never asked to see my CPL or asked for any letters of recommendation/good character, etc. At the most I was asked to put down my CPL number on the release form, which was filled out at the start of the class.

Justin
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Old November 4, 2002, 08:32 PM   #10
jthuang
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By the way I have also taken Insights's General Defensive Rifle class (3 days) and highly recommend it.

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Old November 4, 2002, 11:55 PM   #11
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NWRed,

Your post wasn't quite accurate. Your political opinions about this are your own business (and rightfully so), but you should have your facts straight.

From Insights' page re Basic Handgun course:
Quote:
Prerequisites: None
From Insights' page re General Defensive Handgun:
Quote:
Prerequisites: Concealed weapon permit or documentation of good character.
From Insights' page re Intensive Handgun Skills class:
Quote:
Prerequisites: General Defensive Handgun or equivalent and Concealed Weapons Permit.
From the registration page on the FAS site:
Quote:
FAS requires a valid State Issued Concealed Weapons Permit for all courses except FAS-1 and the Handgun Safety Seminar. If you do not have a CWP, we will accept a police background check or a letter from an attorney attesting that you have no felony or misdemeanor record. If you have any questions about this, please call.
From the FAS page re Handgun Safety Seminar:
Quote:
Enrollees must be 18 years or older, free of criminal background, and legally able to own or be in possession of handguns.
So what's the difference? Insights requires a CCW for all classes except its most basic offerings, but will also accept "documentation of good character" for some of its mid-level classes. A CCW is required for higher level classes.

FAS requires a CCW for all classes except its most basic offerings. It sounds from the web site as though FAS requires no documentation of good character or otherwise for its two most basic classes.

I fail to see any substantive differences between what the two web sites have to say, nor do I see any reason to bad-mouth the one while saying the other is acceptable, given that their requirements are essentially the same.

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Old November 5, 2002, 02:09 AM   #12
NWRed
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You are correct

I was mistaken. Although I thought I cleared this up in my follow up post regarding my oversight on Insights Requirements. I failed to see that Insights makes similar requirements. However they have not yet contacted me back regarding who is qualified to write a letter of character. However the nice folks at the Washington State Patrol and State Attorney General's Office and the Washington State Dept. of Licensing did. They all informed me that using the CPL list the Dept. of Licensing maintains for any purpose other then Law Enforcement or Judicial use in court cases is illegal. There can be no verification of this database by civilians and there can be no lawful use of it to verify the status of anyone presenting a CPL in lieu of a background check. Hope I cleared my mistake up this time. Take care,
Sean
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Old November 6, 2002, 01:50 PM   #13
Marty Hayes
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Sean:

I am perplexed at your resistance to making sure you train with certified good guys. Do you actually want to train next to an Al-quada member, or perhaps billy bob biker with his 6 felonies to his credit?

Do you actually want the next guy to case your house to have advanced handgun and tactical training skills? Can you imagine a gang of car-jackers that can shoot like an IPSC Master? You want your wife or daughter to train next to a sexual predator?

For me, I would rather have all the scum of the world learn their tricks of the trade from TV and the movies.

I am not worried about misdemeanor traffic offenses. As long as you can legally purchase and own a firearm, you are welcome here. If you have to go to the black market for your guns, then I would prefer you stay away from us.

The requirement to show that you are a good guy, and not a convicted felon, member of a terrorist group, or any other undesireables is not so much to insure that we cover our butts, but to make sure that the classes as a whole are made up of honest, law abiding citizens wanting to learn self-defense skills.

The only way to do that is for the students to show a proof of good character. We don't have access to the State of Washington CCL computor list, we just have you show your CCL.

I hope this helps clear up the reasons why we require such. Believe me, being the libertarian that I am, I don't like doing this. But, I also don't want 60 minutes to show up on my door step wondering why the next DC sniper got his training here.

As far as SoCal, I have 20 years in LE from Idaho and Washington, never been a cop in California, although I have trained many of them.
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Old November 7, 2002, 03:34 AM   #14
NWRed
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Mr. Hayes,
Do you perform background checks on your students or not? Because for all the reasons you stated in your post, the only one that requiring a CPL to be shown would stop, is a convicted felon. And even then, without a verification process its still useless, since you can't tell if the CPL is valid or genuine.


"I am perplexed at your resistance to making sure you train with certified good guys. Do you actually want to train next to an Al-quada member, or perhaps billy bob biker with his 6 felonies to his credit?

Do you actually want the next guy to case your house to have advanced handgun and tactical training skills? Can you imagine a gang of car-jackers that can shoot like an IPSC Master? You want your wife or daughter to train next to a sexual predator? "

They change the requirements since I got my CPL? They screen for sexual predators and other criminals who aren't convicted felons?

"For me, I would rather have all the scum of the world learn their tricks of the trade from TV and the movies.

I am not worried about misdemeanor traffic offenses. As long as you can legally purchase and own a firearm, you are welcome here. If you have to go to the black market for your guns, then I would prefer you stay away from us. "

Define "black market"? Do you mean private sale?

"The requirement to show that you are a good guy, and not a convicted felon, member of a terrorist group, or any other undesireables is not so much to insure that we cover our butts, but to make sure that the classes as a whole are made up of honest, law abiding citizens wanting to learn self-defense skills."

Having a CPL does not guarantee that a person is not a member of a terrorist group, or a criminal, or an "undesirable" as you said.

"The only way to do that is for the students to show a proof of good character. We don't have access to the State of Washington CCL computor list, we just have you show your CCL."

So what you're saying is, anyone that has a CPL, whether it's revoked, or made on their home computer is good to go in your classes since that is the only proof you require and can't verify that information in this state.

"I hope this helps clear up the reasons why we require such. Believe me, being the libertarian that I am, I don't like doing this. But, I also don't want 60 minutes to show up on my door step wondering why the next DC sniper got his training here."

Perhaps when the news reporters come at ask why you train citizens in self defense, you could tell them " Because in America people aren't guilty until they're convicted of commiting a crime."

"As far as SoCal, I have 20 years in LE from Idaho and Washington, never been a cop in California, although I have trained many of them."

As I had said in my previous post, I apparently mistook you for another LEO-turned-trainer in the region.
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Old November 7, 2002, 07:22 AM   #15
David Blinder
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NWRed.

Are you a troll or just a doofus? I don't know of any credible training organization that doesn't require some sort of proof that students have a relatively clean background. If that doesn't suit you, then don't go or relegate yourself to attending "Bubba's Ninja Fighting School and Bait Shop."
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Old November 7, 2002, 10:56 AM   #16
Marty Hayes
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Sean:

You are absolutely correct, that having a permit to carry a concealed weapon does not rule out the possibility that one is a criminal. But, in my 20 years of police work, I have never arrested a person who also had a CCL. Traffic offenses yes, but no serious crimes.

We make a good faith effort to insure the people who take our classes are not criminals, that's all. Frankly, based on your attitude, I am glad you are not coming to our school. We don't need your type here.
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Old November 7, 2002, 01:35 PM   #17
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Welcome to TFL, Marty.
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Old November 7, 2002, 03:30 PM   #18
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Glockgirl,
You won't go wrong with either Firearms Academy of Seattle or Insights. They are quality schools run by experts. Since you have experience in handguns at the moment, you might consider a basic handgun course first. Then you can ease into the cost of the rifle and accesories and already be familiar with the schools and the teaching methods. If possible, train at both schools-it's always good to get different perspectives on training and to work with different instructors.
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