NRA Law Enforcement Schools | Law Enforcement, Military, Security

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Instructor Development Schools

The NRA was created in 1871 to promote firearm safety, training, and competitive proficiency. This commitment has continued and evolved to include law enforcement-specific training in 1960, with the creation of the Law Enforcement Division. Our schools are intended for public and private law enforcement officers and military personnel who are currently assigned, or are about to be assigned, to duties as law enforcement firearm instructors.

Here in the Law Enforcement Division, our commitment to the law enforcement community is to provide the highest quality, most up-to-date, cost effective, and comprehensive law enforcement firearm instructor training available. Our programs expose every student to a broad base of techniques, tactics, teaching methodologies, and technical knowledge in order to develop the skills required to effectively perform his or her role as a firearm instructor at the agency and/or academy level. The law enforcement firearm instructor's job is to teach officers how to be safe, effective, and timely in the use of their firearms and tactics, and to win the lethal encounter. Our programs provide the hands-on training to help you teach your officers to win. NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor Development Schools develop and enhance both instructor skills and firearm handling skills of all students so they can effectively teach their officers to win lethal encounters.


Basic Eligibility Requirements

Specific eligibility requirements must be met prior to attending any NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor school. Registration in any of these programs must be made on the proper forms with appropriate documentation attached. Registration confirmation must be received from NRA prior to attending any school. All applicants must be United States citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who must also be able to lawfully possess firearms and ammunition. Additionally, applicants must meet one of the following six criteria:

  1. A "sworn" law enforcement officer: This is defined as someone vested with the constitutional or statutory authority to detain and/or arrest, who is authorized to carry a firearm in the furtherance of their duties, is typically employed by a federal, state, county or municipal organization and has a minimum of three-years' experience* as such. These may include but are not limited to police officers, sheriffs, special agents, marshals, troopers, park rangers, land and natural resource officers, marine officers, animal wardens, tribal police, correctional officers and/or railroad police. Reserve, auxiliary and/or part-time law enforcement officers who are "sworn" as defined above, are also eligible.
  2. A retired or previously employed "sworn" law enforcement officer: This is defined as someone meeting the definition of "sworn" officer above, who has retired with tenure, through disability, or who has otherwise separated from their agency prior to retirement and had a minimum of three-years' experience* as such.
  3. A licensed "armed" private security officer: This is defined as someone who is licensed by a federal, state or municipal regulatory agency to provide "armed" personal protection or other physical security services and has a minimum of three-years' experience* as such.
  4. A member of the United States Armed Forces: This is defined as someone presently obligated to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, any of their Reserve components, or National Guard. Members of the military must provide a letter from their unit or command specifically requesting their admittance into the school in support of their units' mission. Regrettably, former members of the military (those who have retired, been discharged or have resigned their commissions) are not eligible to attend and once separated, must then establish eligibility through one of the other criteria.
  5. A full-time civilian firearm instructor who is employed by a public law enforcement agency: This is defined as someone employed full time in a civilian capacity by a public law enforcement agency or organization to provide law enforcement specific firearm training to its "sworn" law enforcement personnel. A letter from the chief, sheriff, or other appropriate command person attesting to their full-time employment status and experience will be required of anyone attempting to establish eligibility under this section.
  6. A full-time civilian contractor: This is defined as someone employed by a U.S. company or corporation actively engaged in a verifiable GSA contract to provide firearm training or other armed personal / physical security protection types of service to the U.S. government or military. A letter from a program manager or other appropriate individual attesting to the company's contractual obligation and the individual's current employment status and experience is required of anyone attempting to establish eligibility under this section.

Documentation establishing one's eligibility will be required when submitting all applications. NRA retains the right to accept or decline any application.

* "Experience" can be any combination of documented sworn law enforcement and/or armed private security work. Experience need not all be with a current employer, and does not necessarily need to be continuous or even obtained through an unbroken chain of employment. If your employment experience isn't continuous and/or all with a single employer though, you will be required to provide appropriate documentation from the additional sources.

Physical skills - All students must be physically capable of safely completing all range drills with both their right and left hands

Safety - Safety is our number one priority and is EVERYONE'S responsibility. As such, safety violations will not be tolerated. Students deemed by the NRA instructors to be unsafe will be asked to leave and may not be entitled to a refund of their monies. A solid understanding of the English language, (conversationally fluent, as well as read and write in English), is required in order to attend the NRA Law Enforcement programs.

Basic Equipment Requirements

The following equipment is REQUIRED and must be provided by the student for ALL firearm instructor development schools:

  1. Duty Handgun: A duty-type, law enforcement handgun
  2. Magazines or Speedloader: If using a semi-automatic pistol, bring a minimum of four magazines (five if the magazine capacity is less than 10). If using a revolver, bring a minimum of five speedloaders.
  3. Holster, Belt and Ammunition Carrier Pouches: The holster must be department or agency issued, duty-type (patrol), strong-side directional draw, equipped with a handgun retention device and securely fastened to the gun belt. Speedloaders and/or magazine pouches must also be equipped with retention devices.
  4. Eye Protection, Ear Protection and Baseball Style Cap: Safety glasses must be of the wraparound type or employ side panels. If wearing prescription glasses, they must be covered with safety glasses unless they meet the above requirements. Ear plugs or ear muffs (preferred) and a baseball cap with bill to deflect ejected brass must also be worn. NOTE: Students will NOT be allowed on the range without wraparound or side-panel safety glasses.
  5. Appropriate Clothing: Students should bring appropriate clothing to participate in the range exercises consistent with prevailing weather conditions. Range exercises will be conducted in inclement weather unless a safety hazard exists. NOTE: Shorts are NOT appropriate law enforcement range clothing.
  6. Duty Flashlight: Law enforcement, hand-held, duty-type flashlight capable of one-handed operation
  7. Note Taking Materials: Pen, pencil and paper to take notes in the classroom and on the range, and a jumbo permanent marker for use on the range
  8. Cleaning Equipment: Appropriate cleaning equipment for the firearm being utilized at the school. NOTE: There is no time allotted during the school for the cleaning of firearms. Students will be expected to perform cleaning of their respective firearms on their own time.
  9. Knee and Elbow Pads: Knee and elbow pads are optional for kneeling and prone position shooting.

Select A Course To Get Started

The NRA Law Enforcement Division offers a variety of firearm training and instructor development courses. Explore the courses below to learn more about each class, requirements and needed equipment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To sign-up for a school, you will need to create a Username and Password to access the sign-up portal. If you wish you can do that here or you can do that later. If you already have a Username and Password you can sign-in now, if you wish.

Handgun Instructor

This school is our premier handgun instructor school. Students are taught classroom instructional methods, how to effectively teach firearm operator skills, and how to develop dynamic and practical range training relevant to their agency's needs. Drills on the range enforce skills in the areas of coaching, accurate shot placement, multiple threats, decision-making, shooting while moving, identifying threats and firing in reduced light, tactical use of cover, concealed-carry training, one-handed malfunction clearing, firing from unconventional positions, and use of verbal commands.

Handgun/Shotgun Instructor

This school compresses the handgun instructor school to 3 days and adds 2 days of shotgun instructor training. Student classroom presentations, concealed-carry training, and unconventional shooting positions are replaced with shotgun marksmanship and handling classroom presentations and range work. Shotgun drills include firing from cover, use of kneeling and prone positions, moving targets, malfunction clearing, firing on the move, and transitioning to the handgun.

Tactical Shooting Instructor

The Tactical Shooting Instructor School is intended for the experienced and previously-trained and/or certified law enforcement firearm instructor looking to take his/her skills and agency's training programs to the next level. Basic MOI or "Method of Instruction" related lessons are not included in this school. This school is geared towards providing the law enforcement firearm instructor with the ability to create and implement sophisticated and practical agency-specific firearm training programs.

Tactical Shotgun Instructor

The shotgun is one of the most underutilized tools available to officers because their training has failed to instill confidence in their abilities and eliminate the hesitation they have towards firing the shotgun. This school begins with a focus on the fundamentals of both pump and semi-automatic shotguns, ammunition, combat firing techniques, and the shotgun as a multi-purpose launching platform. Advanced range work includes moving targets, firing on the move, multiple threats, decision-making, select loading, speed reloading techniques, transitioning to handgun, one-hand malfunction clearing, identifying threats and firing in reduced light conditions.

Patrol Rifle Instructor

This school centers on the patrol rifle for officers using iron sights or optics (which must be removed for zeroing exercises). The classroom portion informs students how to teach basic fundamentals of rifle marksmanship and handling, how to zero iron-sighted rifles, and discusses zeroing policy and liability concerns. Range work quickly moves from basic marksmanship to tactical movement, use of cover, various firing positions, pivots and turns, use of the safety circle concept, reloading under stress, firing on the move, multiple threats, decision-making, and reduced light threat identification and firing.

Select-Fire Instructor

This school is designed for the select-fire firearm with full-automatic capability and applies to both submachine guns and rifles. Classroom presentations cover how to teach basic fundamentals of marksmanship, handling, zeroing, practical range drill development, and liability issues. Range work covers marksmanship, operating techniques, use of cover, various firing positions, pivots and turns, use of the safety circle concept, reloading under stress, firing on the move, multiple threats, decision-making, reduced light threat identification and firing, semi-automatic, burst and automatic firing trigger control, and handgun transition techniques.

Precision (Scoped) Rifle Instructor

This school increases the abilities and knowledge of law enforcement firearm instructors involved in teaching long-range scoped rifle programs. Classroom presentations cover long-range rifle marksmanship fundamentals, tactical rifle handling, rifle shooting positions, zeroing a scoped rifle, the tactical use of cover and concealment, conducting practical long-range rifle range training, ammunition and equipment, use of trajectory charts and rifle data books, range estimation, and reduced light training.

Host Your Own School

We are currently accepting requests to sponsor NRA Law Enforcement Instructor Development Schools. The host is responsible for providing range and classroom facilities along with some other minor administrative duties. Additionally, the NRA will provide professional staff to conduct the school, student manuals, and all student handout materials including targets.

Please contact our staff for preliminary discussions and a host information package at (703) 267-1640 or email us at [email protected].

These schools are intended for public and private law enforcement officers and military personnel. 

The curriculum is designed to prepare students to develop and conduct safe, effective, reality-based and agency-related firearm training.

Classroom instruction and practical exercises on the range provide a model for students to use in building their own agency programs. In addition, the school will enhance each student's firearm knowledge and handling skills. All classes and range exercises are conducted at the instructor level, with students conducting many of the range exercises to gain experience. Students are exposed to a wide variety of shooting techniques, training methods, and tactical philosophies, which allows them to choose what best serves their students.

State-Of-The-Art Training

We deliver state-of-the-art training with completely rewritten and updated student manuals covering the classroom and range work, presented in an indexed, comprehensive, reference guide format. We provide each student with an extensive student manual, not just an outline.

Our schools are week-long programs designed to stand alone, and may be presented separately or combined to meet regional or state mandates. Our schools are cost-effective and are conducted throughout the United States.

Designed to Train and Prepare

Our schools are designed to train and prepare the law enforcement officer to be a firearm instructor. Our schools ARE NOT shooting schools and are not designed to teach officers how to shoot. Students who attend our firearm instructor development schools are expected to have a basic knowledge of the law enforcement firearms used and be able to safely and accurately use them. Without this basic background, students may find difficulty keeping pace with the instruction, practical exercises, and successful completion of the proficiency assessments. We expect all students to demonstrate safe gun handling at all times and be able to shoot consistent ten-inch groups with a handgun at 25 yards upon arrival at the school. Students must be physically capable of quickly and safely assuming the standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone positions, maintaining them for a period of time, and safely recovering from them without assistance. The ability to field strip and reassemble the duty firearm is a must as well.

Officers attending any of our schools should have their agency's authorized factory-trained armorer conduct a technical inspection of the firearms being brought to the school to ensure they are safe to fire, functioning reliably, and that the sight systems are solidly attached. Students should check the condition of ALL equipment they will be bringing to the school. The NRA provides no personnel or facilities to repair firearms on-site.

Each of our Instructor Development Schools consists of a minimum of forty-four (44) contact hours during a five (5) day school. Contact hours refers to actual instructional time in the classroom and on the range, and does not include travel time between the lodging and training site, meal times, or range clean up. Classes will be conducted from approximately 0800 to 1800 hours, Monday through Friday, plus one late night to accommodate reduced light shooting. 100% attendance is MANDATORY for successful school completion. Students must demonstrate teaching and shooting proficiency and pass a written examination.

Apply Now

Tuition for all law enforcement firearm instructor development schools is $685. To apply now, click here.

The $685 tuition is payable to NRA by check, credit card, or state or local purchase order prior to the school. In addition, the hosting agency may charge a "range fee" to cover the cost of cardboard, staples, coffee, snacks and other out-of-pocket expenses. This fee is payable directly to the host on site at the first day of school. Range fees vary from $25-$50, see training schedule for specific amount, if any.

These schools are for law enforcement personnel ONLY. Only law enforcement duty-type firearms and equipment are acceptable. DO NOT BRING competition guns or equipment. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility and/or what equipment is acceptable, contact the Law Enforcement Division at (703) 267-1640 or e-mail us at [email protected].

Additional Resources

Explore the firearm training resources and services available to law enforcement officers and members of the military.

Certification as an NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor is not automatic. It must be applied for separately upon successfully completing an NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor school.

Our Law Enforcement Instructor Development Manuals are available on CD-ROM in Microsoft Word format. The manuals are also available in print through the Program Materials Center.

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For more information about the Law Enforcement Division, call us at (703) 267-1640 or email [email protected].


Law Enforcement, Military, Security

The NRA Law Enforcement Division offers a complete police shooting program to police departments and law enforcement agencies to encourage patrol officers to gain more experience, training and time on the range using their duty firearms.