A person buys a gun, stores it away, and then never learns how to use it. That scenario perplexes Practical Arms founder and director Mark Williams, because knowing how to safely store and operate a firearm requires ongoing training and practice. That's why he and his fellow instructors draw upon their wealth of expertise to train novice and experienced marksmen. Boasting multiple training certifications from organizations such as the North Carolina Department of Justice—plus experience training law-enforcement personnel from agencies such as the FBI and ATF—Mark oversees classes that adhere to NRA curricula, such as the NRA basic pistol-shooting course and home-defense classes. In addition to drilling students in the safe use of firearms, Mark and his team maintain a welcoming, nonthreatening atmosphere by beginning each class with 10 minutes of standup comedy.
Courses at Freedom Firearms LLC cover everything from basic to advanced firearm techniques during sessions split between classroom time at the Embassy Suites in Concord and a nearby 18-lane state-of-the-art indoor shooting range. Over two or three afternoons, NRA-certified instructors impart skills such as handgun safety, two-handed standing positions, speed reloading, and pistol cleaning tips in a comfortable environment. The team also specializes in on-site private instruction and woman's self-defense, including an in-home course during which guests learn about non-lethal means of protection such as pepper sprays and tasers. Students can also purchase a rental package if they do not have a firearm of their own.
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