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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Inexpensive, minimalist class?
 
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 Inexpensive, minimalist class? 
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:59 am 
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PocketProtector642 wrote:
cobb wrote:
MostlyHarmless wrote:
Especially with some assigned reading prior to the class,
I do not live in a perfect world, so how this be contolled or determined if the assigned reading was done?

After being through college, Im not sold on the fact that you can trust people to pre-read. There would have to be a test of some sort... but in the 40+ mins that would take (administering, grading, teaching the correct answers), you're maybe better off talking about it the first time.
Yup. I haven't had that problem with the Express classes, but I know people who have done medium and larger classes and said to everybody, "read the book ahead of time and we'll get through faster," and it never works. There's always at least several people who just didn't have time.

That said, I think Andrew makes very good use of a test in his MADFI instructor training. The pre-test exposes some lacunae in knowledge that folks who are going through the training already should have.

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Last edited by joelr on Tue May 05, 2009 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:05 pm 
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A couple of things. First, if possible, and I think Joel may have referenced this earlier, but if David's posts re: the history and background of the MCPPA could be carved out and put into the reference section, that would be nice. Thank you David and Joe. I learned more in those 3 or 4 posts, about the work this law took, than in my 3 years on this forum, and no disrespect is meant. I love this place!

As to the relevent discussion, I took, from a large retail outlet in a suburb north of Minneapolis, their "Renewal Course" that is advertised as 4 hours. We spent, on 5 class members, shooting for 90 min using about 50 rounds. Mind you, we were all shooting at the same time, in timed fire exercises. Then we hit the books for about 2 hours. There was no time for Q & A, nor did we cover much other than safety and some very high points of the laws around use of force and such. How it could have been done quicker, and still covered everything that the law requires, with more than 5 non-first timer students, is beyond me.

I will freely admit, the time and cost combo of this class is what drew me in. I did not want to spend the extra time or money on a renewal. Yet, how those without access to the support items on par with *ill*s could compress a class down under those 4 hours is not something I can envision. Not that trying wouldn't be worth it, I just don't want someone to get their hopes up and then crash and burn.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:03 am 
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jdege wrote:
MostlyHarmless wrote:
I believe there's a middle ground. Especially with some assigned reading prior to the class, I think that the necessary material could be covered in about an hour, plus range time.

Back when I taught carry classes, I had one class that ended up with just one student. That student was a 4-H firearms safety instructor.

After a bit of discussion, we skipped through most of the firearms safety aspects of the course, and focused on legal issues. We finished quite early, but I never felt as if I had short-changed him, or let my standards slip.
I don't think so, either. I once did a private class for an NRA National Board member, who was not only kind of familiar with the issues (he's an attorney, and he'd read the book in advance; he's a longtime permit holder in another state), and we did go through a lot of the stuff pretty quickly (although we spent a lot of time on some of the fundamental and fun MN cases -- which was fun for me; I don't often get to go into detail on Poupard and Sanford). I don't think I skimped, either.

That said, I can just hear the Coconut Charlie types: "well, if Rosenburg [they're likely to spell my name wrong] can put a guy through a quick class, what's the problem with me doing a GonzoDiscountQuickieHonorSystemInstaQual class in two hours?"

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:27 pm 
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Question for Joel. I have not taken one of your carry classes (though I have read the book) I don't think anyone would deny that you are a very competent and knowledgeable instructor who is also very familiar with the MN carry law. You have also stated yourself that your classes are not the least expensive. But I believe that your classes also qualify for multi state permits which must require at least some time devoted to laws in other states. And I believe that you offer a far more comprehensive course that is required by the law. And I think it would be worth the money because of the level of training your student's receive.

That said, 624.714 lays out the training requirement as:
(1) instruction in the fundamentals of pistol use;
(2) successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and
(3) instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force.


So, fundamentals of pistol use. To me, is insuring that the student understands the rules of safe gun handling and can load, fire, unload and clear a handgun.
an actual shooting qualification exercise. This it left totally ambiguous and without any definition in the law. I think we can all agree that this should include the demonstration by the student that they can load, and fire a defensive caliber handgun with reasonable accuracy at a reasonable range while adhering to the rules of safe gun handling.
instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force This, to me, is one of the most important aspects of a carry class. Most people are not lawyers and a thorough explanation in lay men's terms of the legal aspects of carrying [and using] a firearm in self defense is what is going to keep people out of prison.

Now the question is: would you agree that a MN specific carry class could be designed that met the legal requirements and could still be done responsibly and at less than $100 even in the $65 - $85 range?
I'm not setting a time limit on the class and I don't think it could be done in less than about 5-6 hours and that would be with a class size of ten max.

I never think additional training is a bad idea and encourage people to seek it out. However there are allot of people (I know several) who would like to have a P2C but with the $100 to the Sheriff coupled with $125+ for the class to get the cert to apply they are simply priced out of getting a permit.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:27 pm 
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parap1445 wrote:
Question for Joel. I have not taken one of your carry classes (though I have read the book) I don't think anyone would deny that you are a very competent and knowledgeable instructor who is also very familiar with the MN carry law. You have also stated yourself that your classes are not the least expensive. But I believe that your classes also qualify for multi state permits which must require at least some time devoted to laws in other states.
Sure. Not much, all in all, but sure. Utah is the big problem, but, well, that's another issue for another day.
Quote:
And I believe that you offer a far more comprehensive course that is required by the law.
Gosh, I hope so.
Quote:
And I think it would be worth the money because of the level of training your student's receive.

That said, 624.714 lays out the training requirement as:
(1) instruction in the fundamentals of pistol use;
(2) successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and
(3) instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force.


So, fundamentals of pistol use. To me, is insuring that the student understands the rules of safe gun handling and can load, fire, unload and clear a handgun.
an actual shooting qualification exercise. This it left totally ambiguous and without any definition in the law. I think we can all agree that this should include the demonstration by the student that they can load, and fire a defensive caliber handgun with reasonable accuracy at a reasonable range while adhering to the rules of safe gun handling.
instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force This, to me, is one of the most important aspects of a carry class. Most people are not lawyers and a thorough explanation in lay men's terms of the legal aspects of carrying [and using] a firearm in self defense is what is going to keep people out of prison.
Got it in one.
Quote:

Now the question is: would you agree that a MN specific carry class could be designed that met the legal requirements and could still be done responsibly and at less than $100 even in the $65 - $85 range?
I'm not setting a time limit on the class and I don't think it could be done in less than about 5-6 hours and that would be with a class size of ten max.
Okay: why? I know I can do a 47 person class -- since I've done one -- and the real problem on the big classes isn't the class time (there's usually more questions in a larger class, but not that many more -- most people get their questions asked by somebody else, and the class is pretty comprehensive, in the first place). Setting aside the qual -- another issue -- I don't see any reason I couldn't do a class of a couple hundred, in the proper venue, given not a huge amount of extra time. The extra administrative load -- preparing packets, handing out books, checking IDs -- can be offloaded to assistants. Range time? Easy -- just schedule quals over several days. I like to do them myself, anyway.

I don't see the need to skimp, actually, given the prices you're talking.

Heck, if somebody wants to set up a huge class -- with the understanding that it couldn't be a one day deal, and I'd have to have enough time to set up quals over several days -- I'd be happy to do it. I know what my incremental costs are, and guesstimating cost of the (obviously large, but I've got some ideas) classroom facility, admin staff (I've got enough on hand; I'm married to one, and the others are my daughters, and I know what they get), off the top of my head, I'd be happy to do a 100-person TCCarry class -- no skimping, not at all -- at $85 / person.

That said, I don't really think there are a lot of folks who want a first-rate class (ahem) for whom the real dealbreaker is the extra $100 (this hypothetical $85 plus the $100 I charge for first time folks).

But I'd love to be proven wrong, and profit by it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:41 pm 
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It was wondered..."Now the question is: would you agree that a MN specific carry class could be designed that met the legal requirements and could still be done responsibly and at less than $100 even in the $65 - $85 range? "

Of course, I do it all the time...$65 when done at my home location. I have said it over and over...cost is not the end-all of quality.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:07 pm 
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phorvick wrote:
It was wondered..."Now the question is: would you agree that a MN specific carry class could be designed that met the legal requirements and could still be done responsibly and at less than $100 even in the $65 - $85 range? "

Of course, I do it all the time...$65 when done at my home location. I have said it over and over...cost is not the end-all of quality.


I'm aware that you do, and I believe that it's been established that your class is a quality class. However you seem to be the exception to the rule and you are about a 5 hour drive away. In the metro area classes seem to start about $125 and up.

Now as I've stated, I believe these classes to be comprehensive classes that go well beyond the basic standard set forth in the law. While there's nothing wrong with that and it would be a good education and probably well worth the money. There is the poor guy on the east side of St Paul who last week heard gunfire a block away from the house that he and his wife live in and a few days ago heard sirens screaming past his house and looked out the window to see a cop standing on the corner next to his house with a shotgun - this in not hypothetical by the way, these are true events. And yet he still has to go outside and go to work and live his life. Now, there also the problem that these are trying economic times, and this guy has had his hours cut at work and he's living pretty much chech to check and he'd have a hard time even coming up with a spare $100 to give to Sheriff Fletcher (so he could have a clerk to $10 or $20 worth of paperwork) but before he can do that he's got to have a certificate showing he took the legally required training. So now he's got to come up with another $125 or more. So he either hopes he doesn't get caught on the sidewalk by one of the numerous thugs or he carrys his gun without the permit because he feels he has a right to the means to defend himself and his wife from the human predators and hopes he doesn't get caught and socked with a weapons charge because he just can't afford to pay over $200 to exercise his legal right.

Again, I think offering a comprehensive course is is a fine thing, and by all means an instructor who offers one should be able to charge a fair price for it. but what's wrong with having an alternative for a person who only needs to get the legally required training so they can get a MN P2C. Especially someone who has been shooting and hunting for over 30 years, spent four years in the Army in a combat arms MOS, graduated from gunsmithing school, and worked as a gunsmith while they owned a gunshop. There are many people out there who are very familiar with weapons and don't need a class on shooting but would definitely benefit from a good explanation of the pertinent laws.

I understand David Gross' point about the political realities of why the training requirements are in the law. But why couldn't there be a streamlined, inexpensive way to meet those requirements other than the Coconut Charlies?

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:23 pm 
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parap1445 wrote:
I'm aware that you do, and I believe that it's been established that your class is a quality class. However you seem to be the exception to the rule and you are about a 5 hour drive away. In the metro area classes seem to start about $125 and up.

Is an extra $60 for a five year permit a deal breaker for many? How much will you spend on range fees and practice ammo, over those five years?


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For households where either the husband or wife have been laid off, had hours cut, taken paycuts, yes it is.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 12:10 am 
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jdege wrote:
Quote:
How much will you spend on range fees and practice ammo, over those five years?


For the person referred to in my previous post he does his practice shooting on private property at no charge and his practice ammo is reloads with components he already had from his days at the gunshop.
So that isn't a cost issue.

Sure an extra $60 for five years is not much when you think of it in terms of it being 12/year. but when it comes time to reach in your pocket and pull out that $60 and say do I get my permit this week or buy food for my family it's not 12/year - it's $60 out of your already short check
and you don't get paid for another 2 weeks. I think it was brought up earlier in this thread, that the more it costs to exercise a right the more allot of the people who need it most can't afford it. The training is in the law, I just wish there was a way to accomplish it without it more than doubling the cost of obtaining a permit.

The original question of this thread was why are there so many more permits in Washington than Minnesota and I know that one of the reasons is the price tag to get a MN permit.

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So, the general theme that seems repeated is that perhaps there is, or could be, a market for a lower cost class, no frills (however that is defined) in the Metro area.

My personal experience is that is an idea that sounds good on paper, but may prove to be difficult in reality.

Just read the common theme in all treads that ever get rolling regarding pricing. Every thread has an an undercurrent that lower $ equals lower quality. The problem of "perceived value" is an incredibly difficult hurdle to overcome.

Here is a challenge. I will come to you...present a full frilled (content wise) class...$50/person. YOU make the arrangement for location and range so that it costs nothing extra. Also, be sure that at least 10 attend.

I will lay odds that not a single person will take that challenge.

Sounds good though.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:22 am 
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I think there's a belief here that the real barrier to folks getting a carry permit is the difference between, say, a $50 class and, say, a $185 TCCarry class.

I don't think that's the case, alas.

Really, the marginal difference in the cost of one class over another is a small part of the story. There's the permit, the gun (if you don't already have one), holsters, ammo for practice, range time, etc. etc.

<a href=http://ellegon.com/features/data/trainingcosts/>This</a> is a little dated, but play around with it. The marginal cost of a more expensive carry class really is a very small part of it, although it's something that, I think, a fair number of folks do use to talk themselves out of getting their permits.

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Carbide Insert wrote:
Quote:
personally know people who do not have permits, but would otherwise have them if it didn't cost close to $200.

I too, know at least a few people who when I've asked them about getting a permit they say that, though they would like to, after looking into it-it's just too expensive.
(perhaps I will touch base with Carbide and talk to a few people myself and we can get 10 people together and take phorvick up on his offer.)

There is, of course the fee to the Sheriff. As David Gross pointed out, the Sheriffs could be challenged on the "actual cost" language in the law. And as he [rightly] points out he's done his time and is leaving that to someone else.(Thank You again to David, Prof Olson et al) I, for one do not have the time, money or legal expertise to engage in such a challenge. Hopefully someone sometime will.

My point was mearly that though it may not be a huge market there really are people in this state that $100 or even $60 extra out of there pocket is a big deal and can in fact be the deciding factor in weather they get a permit or not and I wondered why (apparently) in the whole state phorvick is the only option for good quality - low cost training.

Maybe those of us who can afford to ante up $225 (or more) to get a P2C should count our blessings.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:26 pm 
On time out
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:18 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: 35 W and Hiway 10
I see a lot of people who wince and say nah when the concept of the permit cost is explained. Particularly people who have read about other state's cost. which can be from 20 to 50 dollars in a lot of states.

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molan labe


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:13 pm
Posts: 1743
Location: Lakeville
I'll tell you guys what, I took my class a year or so ago. I don't remember what it cost (and I paid twice; once for my wife, and one for myself.) I do know however that I got what I paid for and more out of it and I am confident that my wife and I bothhave the knowledge needed to make the correct choices when it come to exercising the abilities provided via the MN PTC.

Andrew Rothman was our instructor and did a great job. I don't feel like we overpaid or he under-preformed in the slightest.

'Cost' is certainly a good factor in determining quality among many things, but certinaly not the only nor the best.

('Cost' is one of the easiest factors however to use to compare.)


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