Does PFI conduct the minimum state required four-hour “safety class” for Colorado’s Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) process?

PFI does NOT offer four hour courses. As a long time instructor, I cannot give a person a four hour class and expect them to be “trained” to carry a loaded gun for lethal personal defense. The industry is full of instructors who will do that. They’re not hard to find.

PFI was founded to give students training that will give them the advantage in a lethal self-defense scenario and how to deal with the post-shooting realities. PFI instruction is certified and qualifies for the CHP application process.


Why are your courses primarily two-days?

Being both a student and instructor in the arts of defensive shooting for almost four decades, I have found that two-days (16 hours) is the absolute minimum amount of time a student needs for thorough immersion and training in that specific block of instruction.

For successful training one must experience repetition to develop muscle memory. Your muscle-memory fosters confidence, decisiveness, and speeds-up your decision-making process in life threatening emergencies. Anything less, you’re only fooling yourself!


Your eight-hour Introduction to Defensive Handgun (IDH) course is twice the requirement for the CHP process. Why does the course description state you don’t recommend it for a student’s CHP process?

The IDH course covers only the introduction to safe gun handling, weapon manipulation, defensive shooting and marksmanship with your handgun. This course does not cover other vital subjects such as related self-defense laws, the CHP process, tactics, the post-shooting investigation/court/legal system, etc. In reality there’s a lot more to carrying a gun than just knowing how to make it shoot. I cannot honestly have a student use an IDH certificate for his/her CHP, thinking they’re trained to carry a gun for personal defense.

But, in reality, yes, the student can use the certificate for the CHP application process as it is state-recognized, certified training.


I never shot a gun in my life and just bought my first handgun.  Some of PFI’s course descriptions talk about the student being an “Operator.”  That sounds too advanced for me.

The term “Operator,” for our purpose, is used to described a student who is trained as an individual, and when necessary work as a partner, or in a team, to accurately and efficiently operate the firearm he/she is using to defend their life in any environment.

The term has its origins in military circles when Delta Force was first operational. Currently, it’s used often in the tactical world of describing SEAL/Special Forces/SWAT, etc, personnel, who are all extraordinarily and extremely motivated, skilled and trained, for highly specialized, dangerous missions.

However, in a multitude of examples (and I will be the first to admit), the term is ridiculously overused to describe everything from expensive guns, to clothing, to footwear, to eyewear, and the list goes on.

In PFI’s courses, students will evolve from foundational skills and advance into “Operators.” Our curriculum uses the teaching principle of: Crawl, Walk, Run. New students are proven to be competent and proficient in the foundational skills before advanced skills are taught.


Ammunition can be difficult to get. Do I really need the amount of ammunition as stated in your courses?

The current political climate and economic events has made ammunition an elusive commodity at times. Live-fire training is an absolute must for defensive firearms proficiency. The amount of ammunition listed in PFI’s course descriptions is needed to ensure complete training. PFI requires factory made ammunition, in our courses. See the ammunition requirement in the Equipment List for complete information.


I have prior military training. Why do I have to take your “basic” course?

Any student’s prior service and training experience is greatly appreciated. I have had numerous “experienced” veterans of our armed forces and law enforcement in courses and training sessions over the past 20-plus years of instructing. The arena of defensive firearms training is in constant flux. Improved techniques, equipment, and tactics are constantly evolving. It’s incumbent on every serious student to reinforce their basic skills and learn current, advanced techniques. I believe you should have all of the advantages in a life or death conflict. As an longtime instructor, even I attend formal training under the auspices of other qualified instructors annually.


The details in your course descriptions sounds like a lot of physical work. Is there a lot of running or low-crawling in your courses?

PFI is not a physical fitness institute! And we don’t conduct Physical Fitness Qualification (PFQ) Tests. Rest assured that students with physical limitations are accommodated. After 31 years in law enforcement, I have “old” injuries that slow me down occasionally. My instruction deals with students as individuals. PFI courses will challenge students to raise their expectations and performance levels for defensive shooting. Students can elect not to participate in any activity that may aggravate any injury or condition. But, courses can be designed for groups such as law enforcement or military, to be as physical demanding for their training needs.


I have my CHP. I don’t need another concealed carry class!

PFI covers info and laws related to conceal carry in Colorado and the CHP process as needed. In reality that specific subject matter is covered in in a small block of instruction. If I have no one in a Defensive Handgun I course wanting or needing a CHP, the material is not covered. The course content deals with defensive shooting, related tactics, etc. Carrying a handgun concealed is a condition of carry. And only a part of the curriculum. One training course does not keep one “trained” for life! As I repeatedly lectured during my law enforcement career, “One certificate does not ‘survivalize’ you for life!” Training needs to be experienced regularly to ensure a student’s skills remain current and equipment still functions as required. Training = Competency = Decisiveness = Survivability.


Do I need to carry my gun in a holster all the time?

Yes! ALL of PFI’s courses require ALL students to carry their handgun in a holster, with spare magazines/speed loaders in pouches . PFI encourages the carrying of a secondary/back-up handgun in advanced courses. This requirement extends to PFI’s shotgun and rifle courses as well. The handgun is the foundation of all defensive shooting and defensive firearms training. Once again, if you don’t carry your handgun in training you’re only fooling yourself. There is no shooting “off the counter” in our courses.


Why do students carry loaded guns in your courses?

The default condition of ALL weapons carried in all of PFI courses is LOADED. Loaded is defined as, for example, a round in the chamber with a fully charged magazine for pistols; and all chambers loaded for revolvers. PFI’s training conditions students to always be in a state of readiness. Any other way to conduct training, you’re only fooling yourself. Carrying an unloaded gun gives a student a false sense of competency. All modern firearms are designed and built to be carried loaded. Any other form of training sets up a student for disaster in real life. Since instructing for well over twenty years (and have been carrying a gun for over thirty years), I have never seen a holstered handgun or properly slung long gun shoot all by itself, in any training session or operationally.


Your experience is in law enforcement. I don’t need to learn how to shoot like a cop!

I’m still not sure what that really means, but I am told and asked about that now and then. Defensive shooting has nothing to do with one’s profession, title, or wearing a uniform. Defending your life with firearms, in any circumstance, only matters with the ‘shooter.’

It doesn’t matter the circumstances that put you there, how you are employed, or how you are armed/equipped. It only matters you posses the skills to survive the lethal situation before you and how to deal with its aftermath.


Some instructor’s profess the gun they use is the only one to carry or use in their classes. Do you require certain make/model of guns for your classes?

My training philosophy includes the old adage that, “a shooting is a come as you are event.” Be it a market parking lot, a shopping mall, or your home’s hallway, day or night.

Students are urged to use what they own and how they usually carry. If needed, students new to the arena of defensive shooting training and concealed carry should call PFI for recommendations. PFI does recommend quality, reliable equipment that functions as advertised, to be used to save your life. And yes, as most long-time gun carriers and trainers, I do have my favorites. There are general parameters for the firearms requirements in our course descriptions and equipment needed. And some gun designs are more user friendly than others.

I practice what I preach as I will teach any class with what, and how, I carry everyday.

The only time I may carry something else is when I teach a law enforcement or military group. I will usually wear equipment and carry as my students are for presentation consistency. My courses are not about me or overpriced “custom” firearms and/or equipment. They’re about my students becoming competent with what they have.


May I use Class-III weapons in your courses?

Yes! Any student with a legally owned, Class-III firearm may use it in an applicable PFI course. For instance, select-fire, short barreled, and/or suppressed rifles/carbines, in rifle courses; and short barreled shotguns in shotgun courses. For legal purposes, the student SHALL to be in possession of the necessary paperwork with the weapon(s) during the course.


PFI advertises for Armed Citizens‘ Legal Defense Network, Inc. Is there a requirement to purchase a membership from this network?

There is no requirement to purchase a membership from this network. As a credible defensive shooting instructor, I would be remiss in my duties not to instruct students of the post-shooting realities of criminal and civil court systems. The information is provided as a service to my students.

The Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network is committed to preventing punitive or political prosecution of armed self-defense acts by defending its members. The network’s entire purpose and goal is to ensure that members understand the legal ramifications surrounding the use of deadly force and its aftermath. Also, that members have access to vigorous and skillful legal representation immediately after a self-defense incident. And continuing so long as the member is in legal jeopardy stemming from a legitimate self-defense act.

When you shoot someone, at the very least, you will be subjected to a criminal investigation by your local law enforcement jurisdiction and prosecutor. And expect to be sued civilly. You will be involved with these court systems; that is the reality! Not having proper, expert legal representation after any lethal force situation only sets you up for a horrible disaster. One only has to look at a few recent newsworthy self-defense shooting incidents and how they were viewed and handled in the media.


I have a 9 year old daughter (or son). Can she (or he) attend the class with me?

PFI love’s kids and believe’s all children need foundational gun safety training. PFI’s policy is to approve anyone under 18 years of age on a case-by-case basis. See our policy page for additional information.


Can I have a one-on-one, two-day course?

Yes.  One-on-one courses may be arranged, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


Do you conduct precision rifle/sniper courses?

My sniper training is minimal, and very limited; and I have no operational sniper experience. I will gladly refer you to competent, experienced instructors in that field.


Can you come to my part of the state for a course with my family or group?

PFI is mobile and can arrange training at your location, inside and outside of Colorado.  There are planning, logistics, training, and range procedures that must be adhered to.  PFI will decide if your training location/range is conducive to our established training curriculum.  All of PFI’s student requirements and policies still apply.


Does PFI give tuition discounts for families and/or groups?

PFI may give tuition discounts to courses arranged for families and/or groups.  


If you didn’t find your question here, please contact PFI!